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Pros, cons, and X factors--Redskins at Eagles game prediction

Pros, cons, and X factors--Redskins at Eagles game prediction

Redskins at Eagles
Sunday, 1:00 p.m.

Let’s take a look at the pros, cons, and X factors for the Redskins as they take on the Eagles on Sunday and then I’ll give my prediction.

Here are two factors that work against a Redskins win:

—The Eagles already had arguably the best running back in the game in LeSean McCoy. And then they added another weapon in Darren Sproles. Washington had all kinds of trouble with McCoy last year (51 att., 261 yds., 3 TD), who spent two games leaving defenders who had missed tackles on him in his wake. Sproles killed the Colts on Monday with receptions out of the backfield (7 rec., 152 yds.). The talk around Redskins Park is that the Redskins’ speed at linebacker will help contain them. We’ll see.

—The Redskins are well conditioned enough to handle the Eagles’ pace of play even though the defensive line is likely to be a player short with Kedric Golston seeming likely to miss a second straight game with a groin injury. But what got the Jaguars in trouble in Week 1 in Philadelphia was some defensive signals that got crossed, allowing some big plays. With a new play caller in the middle of the defense in Keenan Robinson the Redskins are going to have to ensure that there are no mix-ups or the Eagles could make them pay immediately.

Here are two factors in favor of a Redskins win:

—I could probably just copy and paste Alfred Morris into this spot each week. He didn’t have a monster game against Jacksonville but only because they didn’t need him too. He had 22 carries for 85 yards but most of it came in the first half and early in the third quarter as Washington built its big lead. He will be a key to controlling the ball and keeping McCoy, Sproles, and company off of the field.

—With starter Lane Johnson suspended and backup Allen Barbre out for the year with an injury, the Eagles are down to their third right tackle. The Redskins defender who will be lining up against Andrew Gardner is Ryan Kerrigan, who is very much a top-shelf player. Kerrigan is coming off of a four-sack performance against Jacksonville and will be looking for more.

And two X factors:

—What’s DeSean Jackson’s deal? The words coming from him and from Jay Gruden indicate that his sprained AC joint will not keep him from playing. But he hasn’t practiced all week, not even on a limited basis, and that’s not a good sign. And if he does play, how effective will he be? Even is his left arm is limited, he could line up as a decoy to take coverage away from Pierre Garçon, Andre Roberts, and Niles Paul.

—Last week the Jaguars were expecting to face Robert Griffin III and they got Kirk Cousins for all but nine snaps. This week the Eagles expect Cousins and they’ll get him. Last year Cousins had a good game in his first start against the Falcons but when he faced the Cowboys the next week he saw precipitous drops in his completion percentage (64% vs. Falcons, 58% vs. Cowboys), yards per pass attempt (8.5 to 5.5), and passer rating (94.8 to 71.2). Will the Eagles have a book on Cousins? Or can he maintain the success he had against the Jags?

So what will happen?

Philly is favored by about a touchdown and that seems about right to me. Until the Redskins show that they can stop Chip Kelly’s attack by tackling McCoy and Sproles and getting some takeaways (they only have two so far this year) it’s hard to see them winning a game like this against a quality opponent on the road.

It’s not that the Redskins don’t have a chance. If they can control the ball with Morris and get the play-action passing game going they can score enough to win. But I see McCoy or Sproles being elusive at just the wrong moment for Washington and the Eagles breaking open a tight game with a late score.

Eagles 31, Redskins 20

(record this year 1-1)

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract

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Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details.

Until now.

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. The top line numbers are five years, $111 million, an average annual value of $22.2 million per year. 


Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer).

But there is another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million.

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith, but since we have no details, we’ll set those aside for now.

The cap hits on the contract are as follows:

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022.

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.