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State of the Redskins Week 5: Key stats, trends, and storylines

State of the Redskins Week 5: Key stats, trends, and storylines

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 5 of the 2018 NFL season. 

Top three storylines:

Returning to the scene

The Redskins go back to the Superdome less than a year after suffering their worst loss of the 2017 season there. You don’t need the details of the Redskins blowing a 15-point lead with six minutes to play in Week 11. Will the Redskins be motivated by the loss or will they play scared if they do get a lead? 

On the personal side, Adrian Peterson will be facing the team that signed him last year only to trade him to the Cardinals after four games. And Chris Thompson returns to the scene of his season-ending broken fibula, an injury that derailed a career season for Thompson. 

Defense leads the way

In three games, the Redskins defense has gotten the job done. They nearly had a shutout in Arizona, they played well enough to win against the Colts, and they held Aaron Rodgers’ Packers to less than 20 points. 

Sure, there are some things that they need to tighten up - like the rushing defense - and they need to get more pass rush off of the edge. But they have improved from last year. The young defensive line is performing as advertised and the gamble they took in relying on young players at corner has paid off. 

A well-timed bye

Let’s get this straight—Week 4 is way too early to have a bye. I’ve never heard an adequate explanation as to why they have to start byes before around Week 6 or later. Despite that, the bye could work out well for the Redskins. Most importantly it allowed Trent Williams time to get surgery on his bursa sac and rehab that before playing. Brandon Scherff had a week to rehab his injured knee. Both Adrian Peterson (ankle) and Josh Norman (hamstring) may have been questionable or doubtful if they had played a game last Sunday. While they may show effects of playing 13 straight weeks somewhere down the line, the bye did provide the Redskins with some short-term help. 

Record: 2-1, 1st in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-0
vs. NFC: 2-0
vs. AFC: 0-1
Home: 1-1
Away: 1-0

Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 10.0% (9th)
Playoff chances per FO: 56.0%

Trending in the right direction: Against the Colts, Adrian Peterson had 11 carries for 20 yards. Not since September of 2016 had he rushed for so few yards in a game where he had at least 10 carries. He bounced back in a big way, averaging 6.23 yards on 19 carries against the Packers. That was his best average per rushing attempt since he averaged 7.8 in a game against the Raiders. 

Trending in the wrong direction: Josh Doctson tied his career high with four receptions against the Colts. He followed it up by posting a goose egg in the catches column against Green Bay. We’re at the point where we should forget about Doctson having a breakout season and just look for him to have a breakout game. 

Next three games

Monday @ Saints (3-1)—If they win, the Redskins will remain in first place in the NFC East and they will have everyone’s attention. Lose and the perception that they are a team that has some talent but is plagued by inconsistency will stick. 

October 14 vs. Panthers (2-1)—The Redskins haven’t won a game against the Panthers with Cam Newton at quarterback. In fact, they haven’t beaten them with anyone at QB since 2006. Newton is playing as well as he ever has and the decision to let second-year running back Christian McCaffrey run the ball more often has made the Carolina offense a force to be reckoned with.

October 21 vs. Cowboys (2-2)—Not much needs to be said here. They haven’t beaten the Cowboys since Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott arrived. Home division game.  

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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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