Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 17, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Denver Broncos at FedEx Field.
Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff, noon, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Cardinals, 1 pm, FOX
—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 7
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 14
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 130
Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals
Key news and information:
Home field: The Cardinals are 2-4 on the road this year with the two wins coming against the 3-11 Colts and the 3-10 49ers. But the Redskins haven’t exactly torn it up at FedEx Field, going 3-3 with none of the wins coming over teams that have winning records. There are tickets selling for as little as six bucks on StubHub; you can get into the lower bowl for $14. Although there is not likely to be a Cardinals fan takeover, the Redskins could have some trouble generating much noise to support them.
Run game: The matchup the Redskins should be most concerned about is their running game against the Cardinals rushing defense. In the standard stats, Arizona is seventh in rushing yards allowed and fourth in yards per attempt. If you want to go advanced stats, Football Outsiders says that their rushing defense is third in the league as measured by DVOA. The Redskins are 4-24 under Jay Gruden when they rush for less than 90 yards. The Cardinals have allowed over 90 yards rushing five times this season, although it should be noted that they have given up at least 108 yards in each of their last three games.
Cousins bounce back: Kirk Cousins had arguably his worst game as a starter against the Chargers last week. He passed for 151 yards, his lowest total in any career game that he started and finished. Cousins didn’t appear to see some open receivers and he frequently was off target when he did find guys with some separation. The Redskins need him to come up big. He doesn’t necessarily have to be great for his team to win, just competent.
Other keys to a win:
- Don’t let Blaine Gabbert beat you. He has been sacked 15 times in his last two games. The Cardinals are 2-2 in his four starts and he has thrown two interceptions in each of the losses. The Redskins, who have a defense that mostly is healthy, need to get the sacks and the picks to keep the Arizona offense at bay.
- Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones has 14 sacks, nearly half of Arizona’s total of 31. He has been steady, with at least one sack in 11 of the Cardinals’ 13 games. Jones usually lines up on the right side so it will be up to Trent Williams or, if he can’t go, Ty Nsekhe to slow him down.
Prediction: Earlier this week on the Redskins Talk podcast (you can listen to it below) I predicted a fairly easy win for the Redskins. The more I think about it, the more I’m not so sure. A Redskins rout is possible if the defense can do its part with sacks and takeaways. But nothing comes easy for the 2017 Redskins. I think they’ll win the game but if I was concerned about the point spread for entertainment or other purposes I might take the visitors and the four points.
Redskins 17, Cardinals 14
Tandler on Twitter
The players and coaches do not give a hoot in hell about a top 10 draft pick. They desperately need a win.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) December 16, 2017
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