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


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 and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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