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State of the Redskins, Week 15: Still in control

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State of the Redskins, Week 15: Still in control

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Record: 6-7, T-1st in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 6-4
vs. AFC: 0-3
Home: 5-2
Away: 1-5

Key stats changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 336.5 (25th)
Defense (yards/game): 363.7 (21st)
Passer rating offense:  93.0 (13th)
Opp passer rating: 95.2 (22nd)
Yards/rush attempt: 3.6 (29th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.6 (29th)
DVOA through Week 14 (Football Outsiders): -5.6% (17th)

Top three storylines:

Still in control—By getting their first win on the road, the Redskins stayed in control of their playoff fate. If they win out, they are in. There are some complex scenarios that will let them get in if they don’t put together a 3-0 finish. But there is a good sound to win and in.

Injuries continue to pile up—Another week, another season ending injury for the Redskins. This week it was second tight end Derek carrier, who went out with a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. Carrier joined over a dozen teammates on injured reserve as the team signed Alex Smith, who played for Jay Gruden in Cincinnati. Just another case of next man up.

Cousins stays hot—Kirk Cousins’ future in Washington was looking shaky after he threw two interceptions and posted a passer rating of 57.9 against the Jets in Week 6. But since then he has been on fire. Since then he has thrown just three interceptions and has five games with a passer rating over 100 including his last three in a row.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Bills (6-7)—The Bills’ defense was supposed to be dominant but that hasn’t materialized. LeSean McCoy, who burned the Redskins on occasion when he was with the Eagles, seems to be healthy and is playing better the last five games than he has all year. We will see what Rex Ryan brings to town on Sunday.

December 26 @ Eagles (6-7)—The only thing this game will mean is everything. The winner probably wins the NFC East, the loser likely heads home for the playoffs. We’ll take a closer look at where these two inconsistent teams as we get closer to the Saturday prime time contest.

January 3 @ Cowboys (4-9)—This game could be critical for the Redskins or it could be the January equivalent of a meaningless preseason game. We know it won’t mean anything for the Cowboys.

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Devin Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why

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Devin Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why

Devin Hester officially announced his NFL retirement on Tuesday after 11 years as the most feared return specialist in NFL history. 

Hester who spent a majority of his career with the Bears and Falcons finished with 20 return touchdowns, the most in NFL history. His 14 punt return touchdowns is also an NFL record. Hester also returned a missed field goal for an 108-yard touchdown. He became just one of eight men to score a kick return touchdown in the Super Bowl. 

It wasn't just what he did, but how he did it, and that matters. Hester was explosively and entertaining, sometimes taking a route well longer than the official length of his return touchdown. Hester had the combination of speed and quickness you only see once in a generation. 

Devin Hester is worthy of a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why.

Hester is the greatest return specialist in NFL history. But Mitchell is the best return specialist in NFL history.

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There's a difference too, between greatest and best. Hester was feared. He was revered. But nobody did it better than Mitchell. Nobody has ever fielded more returns than Mitchell (1,070), and nobody has ever compiled more return yards (19,013) than he. Only Hester has more career return touchdowns than Mitchell (13).

While Hester was boom-or-bust on many of his returns, Mitchell always got yardage. He averaged at least 10 yards per punt return in nine seasons and led the NFL in 1994 with 14.1 yards per punt return. He played in 223 of 224 possible games. Nobody did it better.

Mitchell has still yet to get the call from Canton, Ohio for enshrinement. Mitchell was a nominee for the 2017 class, but did not receive enough votes. But with Hester now officially on the clock for enshrinement, one things become clear: A return specialist will head to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Hester will get his name called, and when he does, it will be because of Mitchell. Nobody did it better than Mitchell. The omission of Mitchell has been a contentious point recently, and if the Hall of Fame has not been able to add Mitchell to their hallowed halls, what would it take?

Devin Hester. That's what.

Hester had to do things pro football world had never seen before. He had to do truly great things. Things that you couldn't do in the Madden video games.

If the Hall of Fame has been reluctant to add Mitchell, only a player like Hester would be able to budge them off their archaic line.

Make no mistake about it: Brian Mitchell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

So does Devin Hester, and when he makes it, he'll have B-Mitch to thank. 

 

 

 

 

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Jordan Reed's unsatisfying 2017 season has come to an official end

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USA Today Sports

Jordan Reed's unsatisfying 2017 season has come to an official end

The Redskins made a roster move that many have anticipated for the last few weeks.

The team announced that 2016 Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Reed, who has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury, has been placed on injured reserve. That ends a very disappointing season for the five-year veteran.

It seemed that Reed was never fully healthy all year. He was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with a toe injury when he reported to camp in late July. Reed remained on PUP until a week before the start of the regular season, when he was activated.

MORE REDSKINS: 11 SECONDS OF MOMENTUM

In six games, Reed’s production was running well below his career averages in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He was averaging just 7.8 yards per catch after averaging 10.5 per reception prior to the season.

It seemed like he was on the verge of breaking out in Week 7 against the Eagles, when he caught eight passes for 64 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. But the following week against the Cowboys he suffered the hamstring injury early in the game and he hasn’t played since.

Reed was close to returning a few weeks ago but he suffered a setback and he just couldn’t get the hamstring healthy enough to play. With the Redskins now officially out of playoff contention, the decision apparently was made to put him on the shelf and start getting him ready for next year.

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In other moves announced by the Redskins, they put RB Byron Marshall (hamstring) and LB Chris Carter (broken fibula) on IR. Both were injured during the loss to the Chargers on Sunday. Carter will have surgery and face a long rehab. Perhaps Marshall could return after a few weeks but the Redskins needed to get a third running back on the roster.

That running back is Kapri Bibbs, who has been on the Redskins’ practice squad. Also signed to the active roster were practice squad linebackers Pete Robertson and Otha Peters.

Added to the practice squad were LB Alex McCalister, RB Dare Ogunbowale, and S Orion Stewart.

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