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Backup offensive linemen uneven for Redskins, but so are starters

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Backup offensive linemen uneven for Redskins, but so are starters

Against the Jets, the Redskins were without three Week 1 offensive line starters in Shawn Lauvao, Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger. The performance was uneven, but it wasn't just the backups that struggled.

Pro Football Focus graded out the Week 5 loss in New York, and found that rookie Brandon Scherff played his worst game of the year. From PFF: "Scherff received by far his worst overall grade of his career, mostly due to pass blocking struggles (a sack, two hits, four hurries allowed)."

With every starter on the left side of the line lost to injury, perhaps it's not a surprise Scherff struggled on the right. Also, backup center Josh LeRibeus struggled, but the bulk of his errors came in run blocking. One pleasant note from the Redskins O-line was the play of backup left tackle Ty Nsekhe. Sunday's loss in New York marked the first ever start for Nsekhe, a 6'8" mountain of a man with very limited NFL experience, and generally, he performed well. From PFF on Nsekhe, "subbed in admirably at LT, receiving the highest and only green overall grade (+1.4)."

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Going through the rest of the PFF grades seems a bit uneven. Bashaud Breeland was one of the few bright spots Sunday, with two recovered fumbles and an interception, though PFF also noted Breeland was "targeted six times and allowed four catches for 58 yards and two TDs."

The grades on Kirk Cousins, obviously, weren't great. Of five throws that went more than 20 yards in the air, Cousins completed zero, except one he completed to a Jets defender.

PFF also determined Ryan Kerrigan played his worst game of the year, as well as Dashon Goldson and Perry Riley. While Riley certainly struggled and Kerrigan was mostly silent, Goldson had a number of big hits and added to the physicality of the defense. 

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Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the FedEx Field end zones ditched their usual gold trim for some pink instead. As it turns out, burgundy and pink go quite well together.

The reason for the change was to celebrate the Redskins Breast Cancer Awareness game as well as the 20th anniversary of Tanya Snyder's THINK-PINK! campaign.

Mrs. Snyder started the movement two decades ago by passing out 8,000 handmade pink ribbons at the team's stadium meant to remind people that early detection of breast cancer can make a major difference.

Now, her campaign has gone league-wide and is the reason you see so many players wearing pink in October, fans waving pink towels in the stands and other awareness-raising initiatives throughout the NFL.

"Very, very, very proud," Snyder said while handing out ribbons before the Washington-Carolina game. "We're not finished, but we are making a difference with early detection. So I'm beaming." 

For more information on Snyder and the NFL's breast cancer efforts, head to redskins.com/thinkpink. And for more details about the events held at FedEx Field during Week 6, check out the video above.

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Redskins need a winning streak to convince legion of skeptics

Redskins need a winning streak to convince legion of skeptics

If you want to, you can find plenty of things wrong with the Redskins’ 23-17 win over the Panthers. The home team was up 17-0 in the second quarter and yet had to hang on as the Panthers reached the red zone with a chance to win in the last minute. The game got tight because the Redskins continued their second-half scoring problems, putting up just six points. Alex Smith passed for just 153 yards. 

But you can’t poke holes in the fact that the Redskins are 3-2 and in first place in the NFC East. Sure, there is a long way to go. But consider this—a Redskins schedule that looked rough at the beginning of the season doesn’t look quite as tough. In fact, right now the Redskins have a better winning percentage than any team they will play in their remaining 11 games. 

Yes, that’s right. They have six games to play in the division, two each against the Cowboys and Eagles, both now 3-3, and the 1-5 Giants. Their two remaining games against the NFC South are against the 2-3 Bucs and the 2-4 Falcons. The schedule is rounded out with games against three AFC South teams, the Titans, Texans, and Jaguars. All three of those teams are tied atop the division at 3-3. 

Of course, you can’t expect all of these teams to still be wallowing around .500 when they face the Redskins. It looks like the Eagles and Falcons are on the upswing and in today’s NFL any team can get hot at any time. 

And, as the Redskins demonstrated in their Week 2 loss to the Colts, they are capable of losing to a weak team. They still have plenty of issues they have to correct if they plan on maintaining their winning record and staying in contention for the division title. They won’t survive if they continue to have difficulty scoring in the second half (their only second-half TD this season came in garbage time against the Saints). They need to get more sacks from Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, who have one combined. Plenty of details need to be ironed out. 

But the fact that they are a flawed team doesn’t take away from the fact that they got a quality win over the Panthers. Carolina was 3-1, coming off of an 11-5 playoff season. On top of that, the Redskins had not beaten the Panthers since 2006, a stretch that included an 0-4 record against Cam Newton. They didn’t commit a turnover for the first time this year and they got a season-high three takeaways. Christian McCaffrey came into the game averaging 83 yards per game and left it averaging 70 after picking up 20 yards on eight carries. 

With all of that said, the Redskins still have to overcome their inconsistency. They have won two games in a row just twice since the beginning of the 2017 season. Nobody is going to believe that anything is different about the Redskins until they can string together three or four wins in a row. Until then, skepticism will abound. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler is locked into the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler