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The state of the Redskins, Week 4

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The state of the Redskins, Week 4

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 3 of the NFL season.

Record: 1-2, T-2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 1-1
vs. AFC: 0-1
Home: 1-1
Away: 0-1

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 371.7 (12th)
Defense (yards/game): 277.3 (2nd)
Passer rating offense: 81.3 (22nd)
Opp passer rating: 96.3 (20th)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.6 (5th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 3.6 (11th)
DVOA through Week 14 (Football Outsiders): 6.1% (13th)

Top three storylines:

A season on the brink?—Last year the Redskins started 1-1 but a four-game losing streak followed and the season essentially was over before the middle of October. This year they have a chance to right their season at home at the expense of a scuffling division rival in the Eagles. They need to take advantage of it.

Changing of the guard—Left guard Shawn Lauvao was playing well, frequently pulling and leading the way on successful runs to the left. Now he is out for the season and either Spencer Long or Arie Kouandjio will get his first NFL start on Sunday. It’s not an ideal situation but if you are going to have an inexperienced player on the line, guard is the place to have him.

In search of takeaways—The Redskins are turning the ball over more than they should—six times in three games. But they could partially mitigate those issues by take the ball away more frequently on defense. They have just one takeaway, the fumble that Preston Smith forced and recovered in the opener. Obviously, that needs to change.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Eagles (1-2)—Right now it looks like Chip Kelly deserves the dunce cap more than the genius label. His three highest-profile offseason acquisitions, running back DeMarco Murray, quarterback Sam Bradford, and cornerback Byron Maxwell, have been disappointments in the early going. We will see if they can right the ship against the Redskins

Oct. 11 @ Falcons (3-0)—Kyle Shanahan has Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the rest of the Atlanta offense rolling and Dan Quinn has the team believing. In their last two games they have overcome double-digit deficits on the road to win against the Giants and Cowboys the last two weeks.

Oct. 18 @ Jets (2-1)—Former Redskins safety Todd Bowles (1986-1990, 1991-1992) has the Jets playing pretty well. They are getting it done the way the Redskins want to get it done, with a stout defense, a game managing QB, and a stout rushing attack.

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The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

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USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

The Redskins have not had a very good year when it comes to sacking the opposing quarterback. They have 31 sacks for the season, 17th in the NFL.

They had a then-NFL best 32-game streak with at least one sack came to an end in Week 10 against the Vikings.

Ryan Kerrigan is doing well with 9.0 sacks to his credit. Preston Smith has five but only a half since Week 6. Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen were forming a solid interior pass rush tandem early in the year but Allen went on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury and Ioannidis suffered a broken hand that limited his playing time and effectiveness.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

But the cure to the Redskins’ pass-rushing ills just may be coming to town on Sunday in the form of the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

The Cardinals have given up 44 sacks on the season; that’s 31st in the NFL.

Things have gotten worse in the last couple of weeks, with Gabbert going down a combined 15 times against the Rams and Titans.

If you think that the Cardinals may have hit rock bottom, consider that two starters, left tackle Jared Veldheer and right guard Earl Watford, won’t be playing due to injuries.

Will Holden, a rookie fifth-round pick, will start at left tackle and Evan Boehm, who lost his job to Watford earlier this season, will be the right guard.

Of course, the Redskins have to go out and make it happen. The entire Cowboys offense was slumping until they met the Redskins a couple of weeks ago. They can’t be a haven for a struggling unit once again.

In any case, it is an opportunity that is in front of the Redskins. It’s up to them to take advantage of it.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

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.

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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 14, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 10
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 17
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 133

State of the Redskins

Top storylines

Jobs on the line? It’s been the conventional wisdom that the jobs of Jay Gruden and his staff are safe, barring a complete collapse at the end of the year. Well, after two ugly losses we are 40 percent of the way to a complete collapse. The Redskins don’t even have to look good down the stretch, they just need to win two of the final three and be competitive in the other. Gruden might be able to survive a couple more games like the Cowboys and Chargers debacles but if that happens I wouldn’t want to be him on January 1, the day after the season ends.

Shutdowns started—Jordan Reed going on injured reserve could be the first of a few moves to end the seasons of players who won’t be healthy in time to play in more than one or two games. It lets the player dive into rehab and it lets the team sign and get a look at a player who can stay on the roster through the offseason and compete for a roster spot in 2018. There could be more coming up until Week 17.

Playing out the string—Last week, when the Redskins were technically alive for the playoffs they apparently couldn’t muster enough motivation to prepare properly. It will be interesting to see how they react this week with their playoff odds reduced to zero.

Last three games

Sunday vs. Cardinals (6-7)—The Cardinals have fallen even further than the Redskins. Two years ago, they were on their way to a first-round bye and an appearance in the NFC title game. This season they are 6-7 after suffering from a raft of injuries, including losing their starting QB and All-Pro running back David Johnson. Can two teams with nothing to play for put on an entertaining show?

Christmas Eve vs. Broncos (4-9)—And in comes another team that has fallen even further and harder. The Broncos were lifting the Super Bowl Trophy two years ago. Now, the defense that spearheaded that run is still solid but without a reliable quarterback, they are having issues. At this point, your guess at if it will be Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, or Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback is as good as mine.

New Year’s Eve @ Giants (2-11)—Will this game be bye-bye to Eli? Changes are coming to New York and Manning, sometimes a Redskins nemesis and sometimes a player who gift-wrapped wins for Washington, could be on the way out. The Redskins could be playing to avoid the kind of upheaval that has already begun in the Big Apple.

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.

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