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Need to Know: Redskins vs. Saints tale of the tape

Need to Know: Redskins vs. Saints tale of the tape

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 5, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the New Orleans Saints.  

Talking Points

Here is a comparison of the elements of the Redskins and Saints as they prepare for their game on Monday night. 

Quarterback
Alex Smith has top-10 stats this year but Drew Brees’ numbers are in the top five all-time. The Saints’ quarterback isn’t slowing down at age 39, getting off to a sizzling start. He has completed 75 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. Smith has been efficient, and he got the deep passing game going last week but he still is a few notches below the elite status that Brees shares with just a few other quarterbacks. 

Strong advantage Saints

Running Back
This is a similar situation to quarterback. The Redskins have two good running backs in Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. But the Saints’ Alvin Kamara has 100 yards either rushing or receiving in three of the Saints’ four games. And New Orleans will get back Mark Ingram, who rushed for over 1,100 yards last year. 

Strong advantage Saints

Wide receivers/tight ends
The Saints will have the best receiver on the field in Michael Thomas, who has more receptions through four games than any other player in NFL history (42). Paul Richardson of the Redskins will be the second best, although Ted Ginn of the Saints still has a few deep balls left in him. The best tight end on the field will be Washington’s Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis also is better than the Saints’ starter, Benjamin Watson. This is close, but Thomas tilts the balance to the home team. 

Advantage Saints

Offensive Line
While it would be a mistake to underestimate the Saints’ offensive line, they aren’t quite up to the level of the Redskins’ group. Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are one of the better tackle tandems in the league and Brandon Scherff has Pro Bowl credentials. The Saints group is, from left to right, Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Max Unger, Larry Warford, and Ryan Ramczyk. Their strength is that there really isn’t a weak link on the line. 

Advantage Redskins

Defensive Front
Both teams have a top edge rusher. Both Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan and Washington outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had 13 sacks last year. This year, however, it’s a different story as Jordan has four sacks and Kerrigan has none. The Saints are third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, but the fact that the New Orleans pass defense has been very leaky has teams throwing the ball more and running it less. 

The Redskins’ young defensive line of Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Matt Ioannidis is already living up to its potential. The Saints traded away next year’s first-round pick to take DE Marcus Davenport, who is being worked into the lineup. Washington has a slight advantage in the non-edge linebackers as Mason Foster and Zach Brown have better playmaking potential than the Saints’ Manti Te’o, A.J. Klein, and Demario Davis.  

Slight advantage Redskins

Defensive Backs
Last year, New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore was the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. So far this year he has not been playing up to that level, allowing 75 percent completions on passes thrown into his coverage, per Pro Football Focus. He is part of a secondary that has given up an adjusted net yards per pass average of 9.9 yards. It’s a passing league this year but compare that to the league ANY/A of 6.5.

The Redskins are giving up 4.3 adjusted net yards per attempt, second best in the NFL. If you prefer the traditional passer rating metric, Washington opponents have compiled a 77.0 rating, third in the NFL, while the Saints’ opposing quarterbacks have rolled up a rating of 128.7, which is 31st in the league. 

Strong advantage Redskins

Special Teams
Neither team has done much outstanding on special teams. The Redskins’ Dustin Hopkins has a better touchback rate than New Orleans’ Will Lutz but Washington has difficulty returning kickoffs (last in the NFL at 14.6 yards/return) so that doesn't make much difference. The Saints are 31st in punt returns with a 3.9-yard average. It appears that this game will be decided on offense and defense. 

Even

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The Agenda

Today: Practice 12:15; Jay Gruden news conference and open locker room after practice, approx. 2:00

Upcoming: Redskins @ Saints (October 8) 3 days; Panthers @ Redskins 9; Cowboys @ Redskins 16

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Redskins at Jaguars Week 15: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Redskins at Jaguars Week 15: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Things have gone downhill fast for the Redskins.

Washington turned in their worst performance of the season this past Sunday, falling to the lowly New York Giants 40-16 at home, marking four straight losses following a 6-3 start to the season. Quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was making his first start since 2015 in place of the injured Colt McCoy, did not last three quarters before he was benched for Josh Johnson. The team had signed Johnson, who had last thrown an NFL pass in 2011, just four days prior. Johnson had to play Madden in order to learn his teammates names.

Surprisingly, there is still a path to the playoffs, even with the team on their fourth quarterback of the season. On Sunday, they travel to Jacksonville for a clash with the Jaguars, a team that was just a few plays away from a Super Bowl berth earlier this calendar year. The Jaguars have been one of the most dissapointing teams in the NFL this season in terms of their preseason expectations, but present a tough challenge for the Redskins this Sunday nonetheless.

Here's everything you need to know...

REDSKINS vs. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS WEEK 15

Who: Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars

What: Game 14 of the 2018 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, Dec. 16. 1:00 p.m ET

Where: TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida

TV Channel: CBS

Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV -- TRY A FREE TRIAL

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Jaguars, -7

Over/Under: 36

Weather: 63 degrees, mostly sunny

REDSKINS at JAGUARS TV SCHEDULE:

11:30 AM: Inside the Redskins
12:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live (MyTeams App)
1:00 PM:  Redskins at Jaguars (CBS)
4:00 PM: Redskins Postgame Live (MyTeams App)
5:00 PM: Redskins Overtime Live (MyTeams App)

Click here to access NBC Sports Washington's Channel Finder 

REDSKINS 2018 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Sun., 9/9, @ Arizona Cardinals (24-6, W)

Week 2: Sun, 9/16, vs. Indianapolis Colts (21-9, L)

Week 3: Sun., 9/23, vs. Green Bay Packers (31-17, W)

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: Mon., 10/8, @ New Orleans Saints, (43-19, L)

Week 6: Sun., 10/14, vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. (23-17, W)

Week 7: Sun., 10/21, vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. (20-17, W)

Week 8: Sun. 10/28, @ New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (20-13, W)

Week 9: Sun., 11/4, vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. (38-14, L)

Week 10: Sun. 11/11, @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. (16-3 W)

Week 11: Sun., 11/18, vs. Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. (23-21 L)

Week 12: Thu., 11/22, @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. (31-23 L)

Week 13: Mon., 12/3, @ Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 (28-13 L)

Week 14: Sun., 12/9, vs. New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (40-16, L)

Week 15: Sun., 12/16, @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 16: Sat., 12/22, @ Tennessee Titans, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

Week 17: Sun., 12/30, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

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Recent Redskins roster decisions at WR, RB baffling in light of Simmie Cobbs departure

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USA Today Sports

Recent Redskins roster decisions at WR, RB baffling in light of Simmie Cobbs departure

The Redskins lost practice squad wide receiver Simmie Cobbs this week after the New Orleans Saints claimed the undrafted rookie

On its own, that's not major news. Cobbs showed promise in training camp and many around Redskins Park believe he has made a lot of progress working on the scout team this fall. 

Losing practice squad players happens, but the circumstances around Cobbs' departure are unique. For starters, the Redskins tried to keep Cobbs, but he decided to leave for New Orleans anyway.

On the surface, that move is obvious: Play with Drew Brees on a Super Bowl contender or play with a fourth-string QB on a team riding a four-game losing streak. 

Dig deeper, however, and it's not that simple. None of this is. 

Cobbs chose to go to a new team and a new city rather than the squad that signed him out of Indiana University.

Cobbs chose to learn a new playbook and new terminology with just three weeks remaining in the regular season rather than play in the offense he knows and has been practicing since May. 

As Cobbs explained, it bothered him that the Redskins did not want to sign him until New Orleans made a move. He called it a "no-brainer" to go to New Orleans. 

Frankly, Cobbs is right. 

For weeks, the Redskins have carried a bizarre five running backs on their 53-man roster, even as injuries forced significant churn on the offensive line. Washington has not kept more than three running backs active on game day, yet two more sit occupying roster spots. Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson are absolute roster locks, but beyond that, none of the other rostered players have performed in a manner forcing the 'Skins to keep them. 

Samaje Perine has only been active four games this season, and those were mostly due to injury. He has five carries this year. The Redskins decided to use one of their two injured reserve return designations for Byron Marshall, who has three carries on the season and is best known at this point for a key block he missed on the play that broke Alex Smith's leg. Kapri Bibbs has played relatively well in limited work, but in last week's loss to the Giants, he was inactive with Perine. 

Add all of that up and it appears the Redskins have at least one more running back than they need. In their defense, Thompson's lingering ribs injury forced Washington to play it safe at running back for a number of weeks, but Thompson has now been back on the field for the last two games.

What does all of this mean for Cobbs? 

Building a 53-man roster is like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece must fit with the others, and players on the back end of the roster must be able to help on special teams. 

Cobbs would fit that bill. And this week seemed like the obvious time to bring him up as Josh Doctson worked his way back from the concussion protocol and the team was carrying just five WRs total. 

It's not like Washington was getting a lot of production at the receiver position anyway. Doctson's roster spot is locked in, as is Jamison Crowder's but after that are questions. Mauirce Harris has always shown great hands but he's been on and off the Redskins roster. Veteran Michael Floyd was a midseason addition that has five catches in 10 games. Brian Quick and Jehu Chesson are both primarily special teams players. 

Cobbs, on the other hand, is an intriguing rookie with size and potential. The Redskins are 6-7, and while still in the hunt for the final Wild Card spot, the team is starting a fourth-string QB and playing their fifth and sixth-string guards.

Now isn't the time to take chances on an undrafted rookie; two weeks ago was.

Remember two weeks ago, when the Redskins only used 52 of 53 roster spots for a Monday night loss in Philadelphia? The team literally didn't fill out their full roster. 

Let's not confuse Cobbs with Jerry Rice quite yet, but at the same time, let's look at the big picture.

The Redskins roster has been a mess due to injury, that's understandable. The team has been forced to carry more offensive linemen than expected, and the running back situation clearly dragged longer than the brass could have expected. At least, that's what fans should hope happened with the running back situation. 

Regardless, the Redskins reluctance to give Cobbs a chance, even without much production or potential on the bottom of the WR depth chart, made his decision to join the Saints an easy one. 

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