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The Redskins' path to the playoffs

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The Redskins' path to the playoffs

The Redskins sit at 2-2 with their season a quarter of the way over. They are tied for second place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles lead the way at 3-1 and the New York Giants are bringing up the rear at 0-4.

Unless Philadelphia runs away with it, this should be a competitive division down to the wire. It seems likely that 10 wins will be enough to win it, as long as you have the right mix of tiebreakers. Doing the math, that means that the Redskins will need to go 8-4 the rest of the way to take the NFC East and get the home playoff game that goes with a division title.


At first glance that looks to be a daunting task, winning at least two games for every loss. Let’s take a look at a formula that might get them where they want to be.

Beat the Eagles—They already have lost to the Eagles once. A second loss in Philly on Monday night in Week 6 would put them in a bad spot in tiebreakers.

Win three of four against the Giants and Cowboys—In a scheduling quirk, the Redskins will be done with one team in the division before facing either of the other two. Both teams made the playoffs in 2016 but both have proven to be very vulnerable this year. Taking three of four would probably consist of sweeping the Giants and splitting with Dallas but the Redskins will take it any way they can get it.


Don’t let an inferior team beat you—The way things look right now, Washington should be a solid favorite against the 49ers and Cardinals at home and at the Chargers. The home game against the Vikings may fall into this category as well. They need to take three out of these four games.

Pull off an upset—It looks like the Redskins will be underdogs on the road against the Saints and Seahawks and at home against the Broncos, although who really knows what either team might have to play for in Week 16. If they get the four division wins and three of the four against likely underdogs, they will need to take one of those three games to get to 10 wins.

Do you think they can do it? Vote in our poll.

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 @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history.

But is he the best running back for the Redskins right now?

The Redskins signed Peterson, 33 years old and a 12-year NFL veteran, to a one-year contract. They have been hit with injuries at the running back position, most notably the loss of second-round pick Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL. They didn’t make any moves when that diagnosis was announced a week and a half ago. But they lost two more backs to short-term injuries last Thursday and they decided that now is the time to go out and get somebody.

Is the need for a running back really there? Rob Kelley was the starter for the last half of the 2016 season and for seven games last year before a variety of ailments sent him to injured reserve. Samaje Perine became the starter after that and while he struggled at time he also showed growth potential.

Kelley is 25 and Perine is 22. In the absence of Guice, they could develop and when Guice returns next year the team would have a good stable of young running backs.

But now, Peterson is in the picture. We don’t yet know what his role will be, but they did not sign him to be the back who is inactive on game days. He will get some carries and that will take work away from Perine and Kelley.

Now, if Peterson is more productive than either of the two younger backs then that is a worthwhile swap. But what does he have left in the tank at age 33?

Last year, playing for the Saints and Cardinals he gained 529 yards on 156 carries, a very pedestrian average of 3.4 years per carry. That is very similar to the production of Perine, who had 175 carries for 603 yards, a 3.4 average. In his two years in the NFL, Kelley has averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

By signing Peterson, however, the Redskins are hoping that Peterson has one more big year, or at least a medium year by his standards, left in him. After all, it was just in 2015 that he led the NFL in rushing for the third time in his career as he ran for 1,485 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The Redskins would be delighted if he could get half of that total.

Any free agent signing can only be evaluated when the contract details are available. We only know that it’s a one-year deal and according to some reports he did not get any money guaranteed at signing. That seems to be a team friendly deal, but we will have to see what might kick in if he is on the Week 1 roster.

As with everything else, time will tell if this move works out. If the money is right, it’s a low risk transaction with some possible upside for Washington.

Back during minicamp while talking about how quickly Alex Smith would have to get up to speed with the offense, Jay Gruden said that the Redskins are not in a rebuilding mode and that they need to win now. After the trade for Smith, the Peterson signing is another indication that patience may be wearing thin.

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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

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Adrian Peterson, per multiple reports and confirmed by NBC Sports Washington.

Washington added Peterson as their running back group took a number of hits this preseason. Rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the year in the preseason opener, while Byron Marshall, Martez Carter and Samaje Perine got hurt in the second preseason game against the Jets.

Peterson is a huge name. He’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and he’s one of only a handful of rushers to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.

His best seasons came with the Vikings, but Peterson hasn’t delivered top flight results since 2015.

If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peterson could be a tremendous steal for the Redskins. There is no way to know until he suits up in the preseason, which could happen as soon as this Friday night against Denver.

On the roster, Washington has Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson available at running back. At his best, Peterson is significantly better than that group.

Will the Redskins get Peterson at his best?

That’s the big question. And with two preseason games remaining, he will get the chance to prove it.