Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 26, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.


Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 10
—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 17
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 28

State of the Redskins, Week 8

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 8 of the NFL season.

Top three storylines:

Walking wounded—It’s gotten worse since this was a top storyline last week (and the week before). Trent Williams is barely hanging on with his knee injury, three other offensive line starters are dealing with injuries, Jonathan Allen is out for the season, and Preston Smith could miss the coming game. The good news is that it looks like Josh Norman is ready to go.  

Pryor demoted—Terrelle Pryor has been a disappointment. Other than a play here and there he has had almost zero impact. That’s not what the Redskins were hoping for when they signed him in the offseason. He went from playing an average of 53 snaps in the first five games to 30 against the Eagles. It looks like they will give Josh Doctson an extended chance to make something happen now.  

Punt return problems—Jamison Crowder is having problems with punt returns. Most importantly, he has now put the ball on the ground three times. Two muffs earlier this season were recovered by the other team. On Monday, it was good fortune that a fumble after he was hit was recovered by the Redskins. And when he holds on to the ball he averages just 5.8 yards per return, 21st among the 24 players with enough attempts to qualify. Gruden said on Tuesday that they don’t really have anybody else to return punts. Apparently, all they can do is hope Crowder puts his problems behind him.  


Record: 3-3, T-2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-2
vs. NFC: 2-2
vs. AFC: 1-1
Home: 2-1
Away: 1-2

Rankings  and changes from Week 7

Offense (yards/game): 369.2 (8th, -1 from Week 6)
Defense (yards/game): 325.2 (12th, no change)
Points for: 141 (11th, +3)
Points against: 147 (25th, -6)

Passer rating offense:  107.2 (3rd, no change)
Opp passer rating: 88.9 (16th, -7)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.1 (18th, -1)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.0 (17th, No change)
Third down conversions: 39.5% (17th, -5)
Opp. Third-down conversions: 41.8% (24th, -4)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 15.2% (9th, -3)
Playoff chances per FO: 39.2%, -12.5 percentage points from last week

Trending in the right direction: Well, nothing, really. The passing game is keeping things afloat on offense as the passer rating is staying even and as Kirk Cousins keeps on throwing for 300 yards every week. But the numbers are empty if they can’t run and their average yards per rush attempt has tumbled from the top 10 to below average.

Trending in the wrong direction: Carson Wentz and the Eagles put a dent in just about every defensive category. And a Redskins team that was second overall in DVOA just a few weeks ago is now trending out of the top 10.

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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