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The state of the Redskins, Week 5—Run defense a perpetual issue


The state of the Redskins, Week 5—Run defense a perpetual issue

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 5 of the NFL season.

Record: 2-2 T-3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 1-1
vs. NFC: 1-1
vs. AFC: 1-1
Home: 1-2
Away: 1-0

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 380.0 (8th)
Defense (yards/game): 413.4 (29th)
Points for: 99 (12th)
Points against: 112 (26th)
Passer rating offense:  92.6 (16th)
Opp passer rating: 94.2 (23rd )
Yards/rush attempt: 4.4 (7th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.9 (31st)
Weighted DVOA through Week 4 (Football Outsiders): 2.3% (14th)

Trending the right way: The Redskins have not allowed a touchdown in the second half of either of their last two games and have outscored the opposition 27-9.

Trending the wrong way: After throwing three interceptions in the last 10 games of 2015 Kirk Cousins has thrown four picks in the first four games of this season.

Top three storylines:

The defense can’t rest—Opponents are feasting on the Redskins defense on third down, converting 57 percent of them to first downs. The good news is that they are unlikely to remain that historically bad; their pass defense on first and second downs is pretty good and third downs are likely to catch up eventually. The bad news is that until they start getting it done on third down every game will be an adventure.

Stopping the run remains an issue—When it comes to rushing defense, it’s the same, uh, stuff, different year. Last year the Redskins were 31st in the league, allowing 4.8 yards per rushing attempt. This year they are also 31st allowing 3.9 per carry. Since the personnel in the front seven hasn’t been upgraded substantially it’s hard to see how this is going to improve substantially.

Injury picture improving—Bashaud Breeland and Shawn Lauvao will get on the field sometime this week to test their injured ankles. They could still be a week or two away from returning but getting on the field is a necessary first step. Although concussions are tricky there is a chance that David Bruton and Su’a Cravens will be able to go this week. And it looks like Ryan Kerrigan will wrap up his hyperextended elbow and go on Sunday.

Next three games

Sunday @ Ravens (3-1)—On paper this was one of the “easy” games based on Baltimore’s 5-11 record last year but I think everybody knew better. This will be a tough one especially if the Redskins can’t stop Joe Flacco going to Steve Smith Sr. on third down.

October 16 vs. Eagles (3-0)—Does rookie Carson Wentz really possess the best traits of Bret Favre and Peyton Manning as his coach said he does? Or is he a rookie who is off to a hot start and will come back to earth when defensive coordinators figure him out? If I’m the Redskins I’m more worried about an Eagles defense that has allowed just nine points per game.

October 23 @ Lions (1-3)—The Redskins once went for 30 years, from 1968 through 1997, without losing to the Lions. Now the Lions have won three in a row. The last time the Redskins beat Detroit Jim Zorn was in his first year as the head coach.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

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.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.