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After win over Packers, this is where the Redskins stand

After win over Packers, this is where the Redskins stand

The Redskins had a big win in prime time but it really didn’t get the much of anywhere in the short term.

After their 42-24 win over the Packers, the Redskins are 6-3-1 and they are right where they started the day in their two most important races. Washington is in third place in the NFC East, still a half game behind the 7-3 Giants and two and a half behind the Cowboys, who are 9-1. Both of their rivals won earlier on Sunday so they gained no ground.

They did pick up a game on the Eagles, who lost to the Seahawks on Sunday. They are now a game and a half clear of the NFC East cellar.

The Redskins also started and finished the day in position as the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff hunt, the second wild card spot. They had to win or the Vikings, winners over the Cardinals today, would have elevated into that spot.

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So, certainly, the win today was more than just running in place. In addition to staying ahead of the Vikings they picked up ground on the Cardinals and Eagles, who are further back in the playoff race.

They face the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, a tough task under any circumstances but made even more challenging by the Dallas’ 9-1 record and the very short week they have after this night game.

But even if that proves to be too much, they will have an opportunity to put together a stretch run to the playoffs. After Dallas, none of their next five opponents currently has a winning record. They have trips to play the Cardinals (4-5-1) and Eagles (5-5) before coming home to face the Panthers (4-6) and taking a Christmas Eve trip to Chicago (2-8). If they can find three wins in that group of games they would finish the season at least 9-6-1, a record that would very likely land them in the postseason.

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10 Days to training camp: How to sort out the defensive line rotation?

10 Days to training camp: How to sort out the defensive line rotation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

On a team with few definitive strengths, the defensive line ranks as easily the best position group on the 2019 Redskins.

The team boasts two first-rounders in Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. The team also just paid fourth-year pro Matt Ioannidis, giving him a contract extension to lock him up before free agency next year. After that, this year there are expectations that Tim Settle and Caleb Brantley should play expanded roles.

And in many ways, that has to happen.

Allen and Payne played too much last season, especially early. In a Week 4 win against the Packers, Payne and Allen played more than 90 percent of the Redskins' defensive snaps. In a Week 5 loss to the Saints, both players were on the field for more than 75 percent of the team's snaps.

Keep in mind, too, Payne was a rookie and Allen was in his second NFL season after only playing a handful of games as a rookie. In hindsight, the Redskins needed to deploy more of a rotation along the defensive line in 2018, and in 2019, would be crazy not to.

Payne and Allen both have Pro Bowl potential. Ioannidis has proven elite pass rush potential when he's on the field and needs to be on the field more. Then there are Settle and Brantley, two players that Redskins coaches have praised extensively this offseason.

The best defensive lines have talent and depth. The Redskins definitely have talent. Payne, Allen, and Ioannidis prove that.

The Redskins need to have depth. A fresh defensive line, or even a less beat up defensive line, can make a huge difference in the second half of the season. Jim Tomsula says the Redskins have the talent to go deep in their linemen rotation.
In 2019, the team needs to show it.

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Is it time to re-examine Redskins RB situation after latest Derrius Guice setback? Or is the team safe either way?

Is it time to re-examine Redskins RB situation after latest Derrius Guice setback? Or is the team safe either way?

The Redskins offense struggled to score points in 2018, and heading into 2019, that unit poses the biggest question marks for the organization. 

Of course, the biggest mystery remains who will be the starting quarterback. One position that looked like a strength, however, was running back. 

Now with less than two weeks before training camp opens, news emerged that second-year RB Derrius Guice is dealing with a hamstring injury. On Twitter Guice said not to worry about the hamstring, but players tend to be quite bullish about their own injury prognosis. 

What is known about Guice is that he's dealt with injuries the last three seasons, including 2017 in college at LSU and an ACL tear last year in the preseason. He hasn't taken an NFL snap yet.

There are a few other things to consider too when looking at the Guice file. 

The Redskins re-signed Adrian Peterson to a two-year deal this offseason, securing the veteran as part of their offense. Peterson did not come back thinking he would be a backup, especially as he's chasing down some significant historic NFL records. 

Additionally, the Redskins selected Bryce Love in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Love is coming back from his own knee injury and seems highly unlikely to open training camp on the active roster. 

Still, Love was a star at Stanford. If he can get his knee back to 100 percent, and one source said his ACL tear "was clean," he will be a contributor to the Redskins offense. That might not happen until 2020, but it could happen during the back half of the 2019 season too.

Elsewhere on the roster, Chris Thompson has a very clear role. That isn't changing. 

Then there is Samaje Perine. Repeatedly this offseason, Washington head coach Jay Gruden has gone out of his way to compliment the third-year back out of Oklahoma. 

This is a long way of saying that the Redskins have built themselves plenty of options should Guice continue to deal with injuries. 

It's important to point out that Guice's hamstring might be incredibly minor. It might not impact his availability to start training camp in Richmond. This could all be much ado about nothing. 

But it might not.

Less than a year removed from an ACL tear, and after dealing with multiple surgical setbacks due to infection, now Guice has a hamstring issue. The team brought back Peterson and drafted Love in the time in between. 

Fans love and can't wait to see Guice on the field for the Burgundy and Gold. There is much to be excited about. The Redskins' brass has talked excitedly about Guice too.

But in the NFL, talk is cheap. Actions matter. 

Bruce Allen made moves to ensure his team has options at running back whether Guice opens training camp or not.

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