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State of the Redskins, wild card week: O-line change on tap

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State of the Redskins, wild card week: O-line change on tap

Here is where the Redskins stand at the end of the NFL regular season:

Record: 9-7, won NFC East title
vs. NFC East: 4-2
vs. NFC: 8-4
vs. AFC: 1-3
Home: 6-2
Away: 3-5

Key stats changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 353.8 (17th)
Defense (yards/game): 380.2 (28th)
Passer rating offense:  102.0 (3rd)
Opp passer rating: 96.1 (22nd)
Yards/rush attempt: 3.7 (29th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.8 (31st)
DVOA through Week 17 (Football Outsiders): -0.5% (15th)

Top three storylines:

On to the playoffs—The Redskins are going to try to get their first home playoff win since 1999 when they take on the Packers this Sunday. They are certainly a flawed team but they are on a roll and we will see if they can survive and advance starting a 4:40.

OL change on tap—It looks like Kory Lichtensteiger, who was just activated from the IR/return list, will start at center, sending Josh LeRibeus to the bench. The veteran has been very active around Redskins Park while on the shelf but he hasn’t played a full game since October 11. We will see if he can last 70 snaps.

Off year for elite QB—Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the game but he isn’t having a great season. In fact, he is behind Kirk Cousins is almost every major statistical category. But even if Rodgers is not at the top of his game he has 12 games of playoff experience to draw on and if only because of him the Packers will be a tough out.

The playoffs

Sunday vs. Packers (10-6)—The Redskins are slight favorites over the Packers. If they are going to avoid the upset, Kirk Cousins is going to need to have a big game and the Redskins’ defense will have to keep a Green Bay offense that has been struggling (4 TD’s in last 3 games) from getting healthy at their expense.

If the Redskins win, their next opponent will be determined by the result of the other NFC wild card game. If the Vikings win, the Redskins would go to Carolina for the second time this year. Should the Seahawks prevail, a Redskins win would send them to Arizona for a Saturday night game.

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Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Redskins outside linebacker Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency to find a team that will give him plenty of snaps, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Galette's contract will expire once the 2017 regular season ends, and while the 29-year-old pass rush specialist appreciates the Redskins organization and fans, he wants to play. 

After suffering season-ending Achilles injuries in 2015 and 2016, Galette has stayed healthy throughout the 2017 season. 

Still, he hasn't been on the field much.

Ryan Kerrigan leads the Redskins with 358 snaps in pass rush situations, and Preston Smith ranks second with 297, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Galette has played only 197 snaps this season in pass rush situations. 

For comparison, rookie Jonathan Allen logged 112 snaps in pass rush situations. Allen played in just five games before heading to the injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury. Galette has played in all 13 Redskins games this year, and hasn't appeared on the injury report once. 

Compounding the issue, Galette has been effective when on the field. 

Pro Football Focus rated him the third best defender on the Redskins this season, behind only Kerrigan and cornerback Kendall Fuller. 

As Rich Tandler noted, there will be a market for Galette. All NFL teams need pass rushers, and it appears Galette still has plenty left after his two-year layoff. Remember, in 2013 and 2014 Galette had 22 sacks for the New Orleans Saints.  This season, he has two sacks. 

The Redskins deserve credit for sticking with Galette after two lost seasons, though Galette deserves credit too for working back from not one but two Achilles injuries. 

Washington's coaches and front office speak highly of Galette, and there haven't been off field issues. For whatever reason, the playing time just hasn't been there. 

Looks like that will change next year. 

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Robert Griffin III listed the best places for Kirk Cousins to end up, and he left off the Redskins

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USA TODAY Sports

Robert Griffin III listed the best places for Kirk Cousins to end up, and he left off the Redskins

Of course this was going to happen. 

The moment it became known that Robert Griffin III was going to be on ESPN's shows for a few appearances this week, you knew he was going to be asked about Kirk Cousins at some point.

And, surely enough, come Wednesday afternoon, the stars aligned and the question was asked on NFL Live: Where, in Griffin's opinion, was the best place for Cousins to land this offseason?

"I think it depends on what he's trying to do," Griffin began.

"If he's trying to make the most money, he goes to Cleveland," he said. "If he's trying to be in the best situation, he goes to one of these teams that have a great defense that isn't gonna put it all on his shoulders."

MORE: POWER RANKINGS - REDSKINS FALL LOWER THAN THEY HAVE ALL 2017

Don't worry, he doesn't stop there. In fact, he saved the good stuff for the latter half of his answer.

"He's had it all on his shoulders in Washington, and we've seen the result," Cousins' draft classmate continued. "But if he's got a great defense like, say, Denver, say, Jacksonville, it makes it easier for him as a quarterback. Whereas in Cleveland, he's gonna have to go in and he's gonna have to do more of the workload."

So, the Browns, Broncos and Jaguars are among the teams Griffin considers options for Cousins. But, uh, what about the one he's on right now?

"I don't think it's Washington, just because of, you've seen what's been going on," he said. "Do they want him there? Does he want to be there?"

This isn't to say that the former rookie of the year doesn't bring up valid points; Cousins has had to play with below-average defenses for much of his career in D.C. and the franchise hasn't exactly shown a ton of admiration for him.

But nevertheless, it was interesting to see Griffin declare wish such confidence that his old backup needs to bolt from the Redskins and head elsewhere.

And thus concludes another chapter of the Griffin-Cousins-Redskins saga. You can leave your comments about how you don't care about it below, even though you made the choice to click on the story in the first place.