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Need to Know: Stranger things needed for the Redskins to win without running

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Need to Know: Stranger things needed for the Redskins to win without running

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 8, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.


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

Days until:

—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 11
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 15
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 22

Winning without running an uphill battle for the Redskins

In their game against the Cowboys, the Redskins lost and gained only 51 yards rushing. That dropped the Redskins to 3-21 under Jay Gruden in games that they gained fewer than 90 yards rushing.

But they went off the script during their 17-14 win over the Seahawks. They ran for 51 yards, moving that record up to 4-21 when rushing for fewer than 90 yards. Perhaps they found a formula for being able to win without running the ball. But all four of the wins with a feeble rushing game had some unusual elements that are hard to duplicate.

Here is a look at those four games.

Redskins 31, Bucs 30, 10/26/15—This was the “You like that!” game, the one that put the Redskins and Kirk Cousins on the map that year. Washington had to come back from a 24-0 deficit to win, the largest in team history. The also got a considerable boost from 16 penalties flagged against the Bucs, costing them 142 yards.

Redskins 38, Eagles 24, 12/26/15—This was the closest to a “normal” game in the group. Cousins just had such a hot hand passing, 31 of 46 for 365 yards and four touchdowns, that they didn’t need much of a ground game to compliment it. The only odd stat was that Philly put the ball on the ground seven times (Redskins recovered two).

Redskins 16, Ravens 10, 10/9/16—This one had a couple of unusual plays that swung the balance of the game towards the Redskins. One was Jamison Crowder’s 85-yard punt return for a touchdown. This might be business as usual for many teams but no Redskin had returned a punt for a touchdown since 2008. Then in the third quarter, Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley picked off a Cousins pass and appeared to be headed to the end zone, or at least to a first and goal. But Ty Nsekhe forced a fumble that went out of bounds in the end zone, giving the Redskins the ball with their 13-10 lead intact. Without either one of those plays, the Redskins likely come out of Charm City with an “L”.

Redskins 17, Seahawks 14, 11/5/17—The Redskins fought hard and they should get lots of credit for the win. But they needed the first game-winning touchdown drive that started in the last two minutes of the game they’ve executed since at least 1999. They got some help from the Seahawks in the form of three missed field goals and 16 penalties for 138 yards. Also, they were outgained by 193 yards (437-244). Since 2012, teams getting outgained by 190 yards or more are just 18-136, a .117 winning percentage.

Looking at these games, the Redskins need a whole lot to go their way to win if they can’t get going on the ground. Gaining 100 yards on the ground is common and relatively easy to duplicate; a 24-point comeback, a trio of opponent field goal misses, a pile of laundry on the field working against the other team and the double-turnover trick are not.

If the Redskins are truly going to climb into playoff contention they will need to run the ball consistently. They will run out of rabbits to pull out of their helmets sooner rather than later.

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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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.


Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy


5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live


Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 



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Redskins starters training camp one-liners, defense

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Redskins starters training camp one-liners, defense

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 started with the offense yesterday, the defense is up today. 

DE Jonathan Allen—On the first day of camp, he said that he wants the defense to be “badass” and he has done his part throughout camp. 

NT Daron Payne—After recovering from an ankle injury ahead of schedule he went out and started tossing around some Redskins offensive linemen and then did the same to Jets O-linemen when they came to town. 

DE Matt Ioannidis—He first battled turf toe and then he suffered ankle and knee injuries, so he is still working his way back to being 100 percent. 

OLB Preston Smith—He has been impressive although it must be noted that for most 11 on 11 snaps he has been working against rookie left tackle Geron Christian, not the rehabbing Trent Williams. 

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—He turns 30 today and he looks as good as ever. 

ILB Zach Brown—His pass coverage seems to have improved in his second year in the defense, although it must be noted that as camp went on he became familiar with what the offense was running. 

ILB Mason Foster—Like Brown, he needs to get some snaps against different teams after the grind of camp. 

CB Josh Norman—The veteran continues to set the pace as he continued to work on the field well after practice ended nearly every day, often giving pointers to young defensive backs, and then signing autographs for the remaining fans. 

CB Quinton Dunbar—One of his strengths has been his confidence and that will only grow after the release of Orlando Scandrick. 

S Montae Nicholson—The Redskins made some changes to how they use their safeties and the learning curve has had Nicholson struggling in coverage at times. 

S D.J. Swearinger—He has missed several days over the last week or so with an undisclosed injury but his taunting game is in midseason form, as evidenced by his fake punch at Terrelle Pryor. 


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 and on Instagram @RichTandler