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Need to Know: Key for the Redskins—No mistakes

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USA TODAY Sports

Need to Know: Key for the Redskins—No mistakes

NEW ORLEANS—Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 19, four days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins kickoff, noon, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins @ Saints, 1 p.m., FOX

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 11
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 21
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 28

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Saints

Will the Redskins commit to running the ball? Some of you will answer with a kneejerk “no” because they don’t think that Jay Gruden will do that. But just look back at the Rams and Raiders games, when they ran 39 and 34 times, respectively. If running is even moderately effective and if the score remains in a range where the Redskins can play ball control, Gruden is more than happy to let Kirk Cousins had the ball off. The Saints defense allows 4.7 yards per carry, 30th in the NFL so the effectiveness aspect should allow for running. Can the Redskins defense keep a cap on Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram long enough for Gruden to be able to stick with the run?

The Chris Thompson factor—Whether he is taking handoffs or catching passes, Thompson’s productivity has been a key for the Redskins. He averages 61 yards from scrimmage in their losses and 116 yards in their wins. Earlier in the season it was Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff getting out in front of Thompson on outside zone runs and screen passes. While they were out of the lineup, Thompson was largely stuck in the mud. With both back, maybe he can get some traction in the Superdome.

Can’t afford mistakes—Like most teams who lead their divisions, the Saints are very opportunistic when it comes to takeaways. They don’t have a large number of them, 13 (13th in the NFL), but they are taking advantage. They have scored eight touchdowns after turnovers, with two pick-sixes, a scoop and score after a fumble, and five TD drives. Kirk Cousins can’t afford to make a mistake, especially in his own territory.

Prediction—It’s not impossible to paint a picture where the Redskins win this game. But it would take something like we saw in Seattle, with some mistakes by the Saints (equivalent to the three missed Seahawks field goals) combined with a dash of late magic could get them past the Saints. The Redskins are 7-1 in the Superdome and Drew Brees has a career passer rating of 70.5 with eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions against Washington. Of course, many of the players responsible for those numbers have long since retired. But the reality is that the Saints are playing better than the Redskins and they’re at home. That means that the home team is likely to win.

Saints 31, Redskins 21

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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Assessing the Redskins' injury situation: Good news, bad news

Assessing the Redskins' injury situation: Good news, bad news

RICHMOND—Since the start of training camp, the Redskins have had some good injury news and some terrible injury news. 

Let’s start by looking at the bad. There is no way to sugar coat the impact of the loss of Derrius Guice to a torn ACL in the first quarter of the first preseason game. He was going to add a dynamic element to the Redskins offense. While there is confidence that the other running backs on the roster can get the job done, there simply will be no replacing him in the lineup. 

WR Robert Davis, who suffered multiple injuries to his leg and is on injured reserve, is not as irreplaceable. Still, you hate to reduce competition and have your potential depth reduced this early before the games start to count. And you have to feel bad for Manasseh Garner, who tore his ACL against the Patriots, but he wasn’t going to make the team anyway. 

So that’s the bad news.

When looking at the brighter side, Jordan Reed is at the top of the list. A year ago he was on the PUP list with a toe injury that never quite went away all year. This year, the player who would have been the key to the success of the team’s offense with or without Guice in the lineup looks as healthy as ever. We know from Reed’s history that good health could be a temporary condition. But he has recovered well from the surgery that removed a bone that was causing problems from each toe, and that’s all you can ask for at this point. 

Also rounding into form after rehabbing from 2017 injuries are Trent Williams and Morgan Moses, the bookend tackles who are keys to providing running room for the healthy running backs. Chris Thompson also appears to be on schedule. Jonathan Allen, who missed the last 11 games of last year with a foot injury, has been a full go since the start of the offseason program. Daron Payne suffered an ankle injury early in camp, but he has been a full participant since Saturday. 

The Redskins also are suffering from the usual minor injuries that hit every team during training camp. WR Josh Doctson has been in and out of practice with heel and shoulder injuries, CB Adonis Alexander and ILB Josh Harvey Clemons have been sidelined with hamstring injuries. DE Matt Ioannidis suffered apparently minor knee and ankle injuries against the Patriots and he should be back soon.

Overall, the Redskins’ injury picture doesn’t look too bad with the exception of Guice, and that’s a big “yeah, but”. The team and its fans are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that it stays that way. 

Redskins 2018 training camp news

-Teammates reactThompson gets emotional talking about Guice
-Redskins-Jets brawlA dangerous situation

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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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

-More fireworks with JetsRedskins turn the tables on Pryor
-Redskins-Jets brawlA dangerous situation

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