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Need to Know: Tale of the tape — Redskins vs. Panthers

Need to Know: Tale of the tape — Redskins vs. Panthers

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 12, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Talking Points

Here is how the Redskins stack up against the Panthers, position by position:

Quarterback
The chances are good that Alex Smith will bounce back after a very disappointing outing against the Saints. His 2018 numbers are almost identical to those of the Panthers’ Cam Newton. Although Smith can run some, Newton’s average of nearly five yards per carry and three TDs give him the edge. 

Slight advantage Panthers

Running Back
This is really a two for one comparison. For the Redskins, Adrian Peterson covers first and second downs and Chris Thompson comes in for passing situations. For Carolina, Christian McCaffrey does it all. No other running back on the team has more than 16 rushing attempts or one reception. McCaffrey may be more effective than either Redskin individually but the combination favors Washington. 

Slight advantage Redskins

Wide Receiver/Tight End
Tight end Greg Olson may play for the Panthers for the first time this year after recovering from a broken foot. Even if he is effective he will be just the third-best TE on the field behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis. There are plenty of complaints about the Redskins wide receiver corps, but the Panthers top trio of Devin Funchess, Torrey Smith, and Jarius Wright hasn’t been much more productive. 

Advantage Redskins

Offensive line
Panthers center Ryan Kalil has a couple of first-team All-Pro entries on his resume, and even at age 33, he’s a solid center. Right guard Trai Turner has been to the last three Pro Bowls. The rest of the line, with Chris Clark and Taylor Moton at the tackle spots and Greg Van Roten at left guard, is nothing special. The Redskins are better at three of the five spots, giving them the edge here. 

Advantage Redskins

Defensive Front Seven
Here the edge swings back to the Panthers. You have to like how the Redskins’ interior line is coming along but Carolina defensive tackles Kawaan Short and Dontari Poe have been doing it well for a long time. Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is one of the best in the business when healthy and he appears to be good to go now. The Redskins have the better edge rushers, assuming Preston Smith gets rolling. Maybe the Washington D-line can make some noise in this game but for now, Carolina is the better unit. 

Advantage Panthers

Secondary
Even after the debacle against Drew Brees and the Saints, the Redskins are still in the top 10 in pass defense DVOA, sitting in tenth at -0.6%. The Panthers are near the bottom of the league at 27th with a DVOA of 23.3% (remember that lower/negative numbers are better in defensive DVOA). Assuming that Josh Norman is able to pull it back together, the Redskins have a solid advantage here. 

Advantage Redskins

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The agenda

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

Upcoming: Panthers @ Redskins 2 days; Cowboys @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Giants 16


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2020 NFL Mock Draft 12.0: Who needs to standout in Indianapolis?

2020 NFL Mock Draft 12.0: Who needs to standout in Indianapolis?

The NFL Scouting Combine begins next week, and there are several NFL Draft prospects looking to raise their stock.

Our latest mock draft takes a look at which players could use a solid performance at the scouting combine.

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR LATEST MOCK DRAFT>>

After being a frequent top-5 pick in our early mock drafts, Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy's stock has slid a little. Could a solid performance in Indianapolis reestablish the wideout as this year's best in the class, and maybe warrant a top-5 pick?

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa likely will not participate at the combine as he continues to recover from his dislocated hip. Could Oregon's Justin Herbert take advantage of Tagovailoa's absence and catapult himself into the debate of the best signal-caller in the draft alongside LSU's Joe Burrow?

Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young, who many expect the Redskins to use the No. 2 pick on, will put his incredible athletic ability on display. Could the 20-year-old make the Bengals rethink their decision of using the No. 1 pick on a QB?

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR LATEST MOCK DRAFT>>

Every year, we see several prospects who come out of nowhere during the combine and establish themselves as first-round picks. We saw it last year with Montez Sweat, Juan Thornhill, and Justice Hill.

But remember, a great combine doesn't always equate to being a first-rounder. Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf stole the show a year ago at the combine but fell to the end of the second round of the draft.

Next week's scouting combine is the first major event of the offseason as the NFL shifts focus to free agency and the draft.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Jordan Reed is still in concussion protocol six months after the injury, per report

Jordan Reed is still in concussion protocol six months after the injury, per report

The seventh documented concussion of Jordan Reed's football career is still affecting him six months later.

According to a report from The Athletic CharlotteReed is still in concussion protocol from a helmet-to-helmet collision that occurred during a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons in August. 

Reed did not play a snap in 2019, as the team placed him on injured reserve in October.

The tight end is under contract through 2020, as Reed enters the final year of a five-year, $46 million extension he signed with the team in 2015.

But whether he's on the roster or not is uncertain, as NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay reported that Reed's tenure is likely over in Washington. NBC Sports Washington's Julie Donaldson reported Monday that she doesn't expect Reed to return to Washington, either.

"Do we have our tight end? Probably not," Redskins head coach Ron Rivera said on Redskins Nation on Feb. 4. "That’s a big question mark." 

According to Finlay, the Redskins can still release Reed, even if he remains in protocol.

In his six NFL seasons, Reed has never played more than 14 games in one year. Following his breakout season in 2015, Reed never was able to replicate that success.

To address their need at tight end, the Redskins are one of three teams vying for the services of tight end Greg Olsen, who was released by the Carolina Panthers a few weeks ago. Rivera coached Olsen in Carolina for eight seasons.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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