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Need to Know: Predicting best- and worst-case stats for Redskins on defense

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Need to Know: Predicting best- and worst-case stats for Redskins on defense

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 18, four days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.  

Best case, worst case for Redskins on defense

Here is a look at realistic best- and worst-case scenarios for Redskins on defense. We looked at the offense yesterday.

DLs Johnathan Allen and Daron Payne (individually)

Best: 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

Worst: 2 sacks, 0 forced fumbles

I’m putting these two on the same line because 3-4 D-linemen aren’t going to generate much in the way of stats, and expectations for both are about the same. Still, sacks are a stat that will be watched, especially for Payne since pass rush was considered to be a weakness when he was coming out of college. If he and Allen combine for eight sacks, those picks could be home runs. 

OLB Preston Smith

Best: 14 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 interception

Worst: 9 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 0 interceptions

If you hang around here much you know that I am very high on Smith. Yes, he’s inconsistent but that is why he will cost the Redskins “just” $12-$14 million per year to re-sign instead of $18-$20 million. His calling card is forcing turnovers, which are more valuable than sacks. If the defensive line gels, Smith could have plenty of room to operate and blow through the double-digit sack mark for the first time in his career. If he comes near the best-case scenario, the Redskins may have to use the franchise tag on him. 

OLB Ryan Kerrigan

Best: 14 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 interception

Worst: 11 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 0 interceptions

He has been in double figures in sacks in three of the last four years and when he had 9.5 in 2015, he was hampered by playing with a broken hand for about a month. There’s no reason to think he will become significantly less productive. As with Smith, Kerrigan will be helped if the defensive line becomes a strength. 

CB Josh Norman

Best: 4 interceptions, 1 TD, 4 forced fumbles

Worst: 1 interception, 0 TD, 1 forced fumble

I didn’t think it was possible for a cornerback of Norman’s caliber to play 900 snaps and not intercept a single pass, but he did it last year. Sure, the smart strategy is to throw away from him but anyone who plays that much should stumble into one or two picks. Norman did force two fumbles last year and if he continues his mastery of the “Peanut punch” knocking the ball out he should pick up a few more.

S D.J. Swearinger

Best: 5 interceptions, 1 TD, 3 forced fumbles

Worst: 2 interceptions, 0 TD, 1 forced fumble

Swearinger tied for the team lead in interceptions last year with four and there’s no reason to think he can’t get one more this year. He doesn’t have a pick-six in his career, so you can say he’s due for one. The five-year veteran has at least one forced fumble in four of his seasons with a career high of three in 2014. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 26
—Training camp starts (7/26) 70
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 84

The Redskins last played a game 137 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 115 days. 

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Five of the most memorable and wild Redskins upsets from the past 10 years


Five of the most memorable and wild Redskins upsets from the past 10 years

Upsets get a lot of attention in March, due to the allure of the NCAA Tournament and the non-allure of everyone who loves to talk about how THEY CALLED that upset that YOU DIDN'T.

With that being said, upsets happen every month of the year, and they go down weekly in the NFL. So, how about we look back at some of the Redskins' particularly surprising wins from the past decade?

Here are five of the most memorable. 

5) 2014 - Redskins 27, Eagles 24

The Eagles came into FedEx Field late in 2014 with a 9-5 record needing a win to remain squarely in the playoff hunt. The Redskins, meanwhile, were just 3-11 and had changed quarterbacks a depressing five times.

Yet in this matchup, Robert Griffin III managed the offense well and DeSean Jackson had more than 120 receiving yards against his former team because DeSean Jackson is awesome.

Yes, the 'Skins were outproduced in nearly every major stat category. But Mark Sanchez — sorry, future Redskin great Mark Sanchez — had two costly turnovers and Cody Parkey missed two field goals (Philly fans have probably forgiven him by now), allowing the home team to squeak out a W.

4) 2009 - Redskins 27, Broncos 17

This is one of those random Redskins games you've probably forgotten about because it came in a lost season, but it was still a miraculous victory.

The most iconic play from this one was a Hunter Smith to Mike Sellers TD on a fake field goal — a fake, mind you, that came after a timeout by Jim Zorn because the unit's first fake punt attempt included only 10 players on the field.

Denver was 6-2 but lost Kyle Orton to injury at halftime. Jason Campbell, on the other hand, helped the Burgundy and Gold score more than 17 points for the first time all year.

"We've had a desert experience -- very arid, if you will -- for the last few weeks," Zorn said postgame. "So to be able to come out with a win, you almost don't know how to feel."

The Zorn Era was terrible, but you have to give the dude credit for working "very arid" into an NFL press conference.

3) 2012 - Redskins 40, Saints 32

There was plenty of hype surrounding RG3's debut, but there was no way he was going to lead the Redskins to a win over the Saints... in his debut... in the Superdome... right?

Wrong. Incorrect. Not right.

Griffin found Pierre Garcon early for an 88-yard score and the offense stayed hot all afternoon, outpacing a New Orleans squad that was favored by more than a touchdown. If you want a further reminder of how impressive this effort was, look back at what happened to this franchise in the Superdome this past season. 

2) 2014 - Redskins 20, Cowboys 17

Dallas' six-game winning streak stood no chance against Colt McCoy, as the Texas legend went into the Cowboys' house for a wild Monday Night triumph.

Kai Forbath's field goal sealed it in overtime and Bashaud Breeland dominated Dez Bryant, but McCoy was the star. On the way to his first successful start in close to three seasons, the signal caller went 25 for 30 in the air and found the end zone on the ground, too.

1) 2017 - Redskins 17, Seahawks 14

If someone in your life thinks they can't do something, just pull up the box score or highlights from this contest. They will then realize that nothing is impossible, because the Redskins beating the Seahawks on this Sunday should've been impossible, yet it somehow happened anyway.

Washington went into Seattle's harsh environment down six starters, including three on the O-line, but Kirk Cousins kept things together and found Brian Quick and Josh Doctson for long completions on a harrowing last drive to steal this result. It wasn't quite UMBC over Virginia, but it was absolutely a stunning final nonetheless. 


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Josh Norman's brother players professional football in Washington, seriously

Josh Norman's brother players professional football in Washington, seriously

NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller spoke with Washington Valor defensive back Marrio Norman Thursday at the Nuggets-Wizards matchup at Capital One Arena.

Norman, the older brother of Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, was assigned to the Valor on March 6.

"I'm just excited to come and to add my talents to the team," Norman said.

Although the two brothers will be suiting up in different venues in the Nation's Capital, the younger Norman briefed the former on handling the press in Washington.

In 2018 with the Albany Empire, Norman racked up 58 total tackles and three interceptions.

The Valor's season kicks off on April 26 against the Baltimore Brigade at Royal Farms Arena.