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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. streaking Chargers

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. streaking Chargers

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 6, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Chargers in Los Angeles.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 2:45

Days until:

—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 4
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 11
—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 18

First look at Redskins vs. Chargers

Beware of early schedule opinions: This looked like one of the “easy” games on the Redskins schedule when looking at it before the season started. The Chargers were 4-11 in 2016 and they had to undergo a relocation to Los Angeles. The game looked even more like a “W” on the Redskins’ ledger after they started 0-4. But they have been on a roll since then winning six of eight games with the two losses coming on the road to the division-leading Patriots and Jaguars. Now the game certainly is the toughest of the four remaining for the Redskins and it might be one of the most difficult they have faced all year.

Shadow the hot hand? One of the reasons for the Chargers’ hot streak is the emergence of WR Keenan Allen as not just a good player but a great one. In the last three games, all Chargers wins are by an average of three touchdowns. Allen has 33 receptions for 436 yards and four touchdowns. He is the first player in NFL history to have at least 10 receptions, 100 yards, and one touchdown in three straight games. The Redskins haven’t had Josh Norman follow a receiver from side to side, but they might want to consider matching their best corner on the 6-2 Allen.

Rivers as good as ever: Philip Rivers has found new life in LA. After leading the league in interceptions two of the last three seasons in San Diego, he has just seven this year. His passer rating is the best it has been since 2013, and after taking no fewer than 30 sacks in any season since 2009, he is on pace to get sacked 17 times this year. He doesn’t have the “rings” that other QBs do but he’s having a Pro Bowl season in a Hall of Fame career.

Double barrel pass rush: The Chargers likely will finish the season with a double-digit sack performance on each side of their defensive front. Joey Bosa is already there with 11.5. Melvin Ingram has 8.5 and will probably get to at least 10 but he hasn’t had one in the Chargers’ last five games. As a team, the Chargers have 35 sacks, fourth in the NFL. The Redskins will need as many front-line offensive linemen playing as possible.

Potpourri: The Chargers are 31st in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up an average of 129.8 yards per game. Then again, the Redskins don’t always take advantage when they go against weak rushing defenses . . . We know that opposing tight ends always steal the Redskins’ lunch money but perhaps they shouldn’t devote too much to stopping Antonio Gates. He appears to be at the end of the line, with just 19 receptions for 179 yards (9.4 yards per) on the season . . . The Chargers have had some kicking problems this year, hitting just 66.7 percent of their field goals.

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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Redskins starters training camp one-liners, offense

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Associated Press

Redskins starters training camp one-liners, offense

During training camp, it’s natural for the media coverage to gravitate towards the long shots and underdogs and the backups fighting to hang on to a roster spot. The starters go out and do their thing and those players doing their thing isn’t news. 

With that in mind, here is a one-liner review of how each anticipated starter fared in training camp. We’ll start with the offense today, look for the defense tomorrow. 

QB Alex Smith—He still needs some work on timing with his receivers but overall, he looks like a quarterback you can win with. 

RB Rob Kelley—After his move up to starter in the wake of the Derrius Guice injury, Kelley continues to work as he has from the start of camp, like a guy fighting for a roster spot.

WR Paul Richardson—The $40 million free agent pickup showed that his game has some versatility as he made some tough catches over the middle along with some deep receptions. 

WR Josh Doctson—His heel injury slowed down what was solid progress early in training camp.

WR Jamison Crowder—His solid, workmanlike camp should make Redskins fans hope that the team is working on a long-term contract extension with Crowder right now. 

TE Jordan Reed—Considering his importance to the offense, his progress after having surgery on both of his big toes is the most positive story from camp

LT Trent Williams—The plan to ramp up his activity as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery is right on track and there’s every reason to believe he’ll be a full strength in Week 1. 

LG Shaun Lauvao—When he’s healthy, Lauvao is a good enough guard to win with and so far, he has been healthy. 

C Chase Roullier—His strength is often on display during one-on-one blocking drills and he has the appearance of a center the Redskins will be able to plug in and play for at least the next several years. 

RG Brandon Scherff—The fourth-year player is working his way towards his third straight Pro Bowl appearance.

RT Morgan Moses—He is still working through some ankle pain but he should be good to go Week 1. 

Redskins 2018 news

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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 and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Need to Know: Redskins have faith in their young cornerbacks but will keep their options open

Need to Know: Redskins have faith in their young cornerbacks but will keep their options open

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, August 15, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Jets in their second preseason game. 

Talking points

The Redskins paid Orlando Scandrick $1 million and he didn’t play so much as a preseason snap for them. The money is gone, and the Redskins are left with what is mostly a youthful group at cornerback

The senior citizen is Josh Norman, who is 30 and entering his seventh NFL season. Quinton Dunbar is next on the age scale at 26. Those two will be the starters at cornerback on the outside. After them, youth rules the day. 

Fabian Moreau, 22, will take the slot corner position that Scandrick was going to fill. He is in his second NFL season having played just 59 snaps as a rookie. 

That’s 59 more NFL snaps than the next three players on the depth chart have combined. Rookies Greg Stroman, a seventh-round pick this year, Adonis Alexander, a supplemental sixth-round pick, and undrafted free agent Danny Johnson, all 22 years old, are the next men up if any of the top three on the depth chart falter or get injured. 

“I’m very impressed with them all,” said Jay Gruden. “You know, obviously Adonis not as much because he just got here, and he’s been hurt but he’s got the skill set that we’ve noticed, as far as your sixth corner, I think he’d be a very good guy to have in your building to develop. Watching Stroman and watching Danny Johnson compete and play, I’ve been impressed. Watching Fabian move inside, I’ve been very impressed.”

That all sounds good. However, Gruden made sure that everyone knows that the cornerback depth chart is not set in stone.

“We still have time if it doesn’t work out or if somebody gets injured, we still have time to make moves also ourselves,” he said.

The Redskins have about nine practices and three preseason games before they have to set their roster. If it proves that their confidence in the young corners is not well founded, they could look to pick up an alternative on the waiver wire, in the free agent market (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is still available), or via a trade.

The best-case is that the kids work out. But if not, there are alternatives. 

Bureau of statistics

The 2017 Redskins were sixth in the league in pass defense according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. 

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The agenda

Today: No media availability

Upcoming: Preseason Jets @ Redskins (Aug. 16) 1 day; Final cut (Sept. 1) 17 days; Season opener @ Cardinals (Sept. 9) 25 days

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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 and on Instagram @RichTandler