Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 10, five days before the Washington Redskins play the 49ers at FedEx Field.


Today’s schedule: Off day  

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 13
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 19
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 26

Five Redskins who must play better the rest of the season

QB Kirk Cousins—While he seems to be rounding into form, he needs to be a lot better if the Redskins are going to get on a roll. He hasn’t been doing  whole lot wrong but he has to do a lot more right, like get the team into the end zone at the end of the Chiefs and Eagles games, given his $24 million cap hit.

WR Terrelle Pryor—I don’t think that much explanation is needed here. He has had every chance—he has been targeted 24 times, nobody else on the team more than 19—but he still is inconsistent. It’s still early in the season but if the Redskins are going to get what they want from him and if he is going to get a star-level contract next year, things need to start clicking soon.

G Brandon Scherff—The third-year player hasn’t been bad, although his six QB hurries allowed are the most on the team. In fact, his run blocking has been solid. But Scherff needs to continue to improve on his Pro Bowl performance of last year. This isn’t just a matter of justifying being the fifth overall pick in the draft, although that is not inconsequential. He has the sixth highest cap hit on the team right now. After this year the team will have to decide if it wants to give him the fifth-year option, which would come at a price tag in the vicinity of $12 million for the 2019 season. Scherff needs to be very, very good to justify that.


OLB Junior Galette—Being on this list doesn’t necessarily mean that the player’s performance has been disappointing or has fallen below expectations. I think Galette’s slow start (0.5 sacks, 2 hits) was to be expected after missing two seasons. But over the next few games, the team needs for him to pick up the pace and regain at least some of the double-digit sack productivity he had his last two seasons with the Saints. Having a third pass rushing option beyond Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan would be a big boost to the defense.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Although he needs to play better, Breeland in particular hasn’t been a major problem. But the cornerbacks as a group have only one interception on the season, Kendall Fuller’s pick against the Raiders. They need more. Breeland needs to get two or three in the next 12 games and Josh Norman needs at least that many. The corners are too good to have one combined pick a quarter of the way through the season.

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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