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Enemy Intel: Four teams could be the Redskins' first-round opponent

Enemy Intel: Four teams could be the Redskins' first-round opponent

There is one playoff berth left to be decided in the NFC and the Redskins can claim that prize with a win on Sunday. But there is still more to be sorted out including who the Redskins would play in the first round of the playoffs should they qualify.

The Cowboys are locked in as the No. 1 seed; they will get a first-round bye and the road to the Super Bowl will go through AT&T Stadium. The only other seed decided is the Giants as the No. 5 seed, the top wild card. They will travel to play the No. 4 seed, the lowest-seeded division winner, next weekend.

So the second, third, fourth, and sixth seeds are up in the air. If the Redskins win tomorrow and there is a winner and a loser in the Lions-Packers game they will get that No. 6 seed. They would travel to play the No. 3 seed and that spot is fluid now with the possibility that one of four teams could end up there.

Those four teams are the Lions, Packers, Falcons, and Seahawks. The Falcons and Seahawks have locked up the NFC South and NFC West, respectively. The Packers are three-point favorites at Detroit Sunday night while the Falcons are -7 at home over the Saints and the Seahawks are giving 9.5 at the 49ers.

If the favorites prevail, Falcons will be the No. 2 seed with the Seahawks the third and the Packers the fourth. But if Atlanta gets upset and Seattle wins, the Seahawks get the second seed and the week off that goes with it.

The Lions are a longer shot for the No. 2 seed, needing a win and losses by both Atlanta and Seattle to get there. The Packers can earn no better than the three seed if they beat the Lions.

If the Seahawks win, they are guaranteed no worse than the No. 3 seed.

There are other possibilities that include ties and those aren’t worth discussing. If the Redskins can grab that six seed, their possible opponents in order of likelihood are:

1. Seahawks
2. Packers
3. Falcons
4. Lions

The Redskins opponent could be decided by the time their game against the Giants is over. Both the Falcons and Seahawks play in the same late afternoon window and if they both win, the Redskins will know they are headed to Seattle if they get in. If one or both lose they will have to wait until the conclusion of Lions-Packers to find out where they may be headed.

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Terry McLaurin expects Scott Turner to increase Washington's offensive tempo in 2020

Terry McLaurin expects Scott Turner to increase Washington's offensive tempo in 2020

On defense, Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio are emphasizing an approach that's heavy on attacking. They want their personnel moving upfield and playing with aggression, something Montez Sweat became just the latest to reference on Thursday.

They aren't the only side of the ball in Washington that's trying to be more assertive, though.

Also on Thursday, Terry McLaurin explained that he thinks the offense will be speeding things up in 2020 as they, too, aim to gain more control of every game.

"I feel like when you’re on offense, you should be dictating the tempo," the star receiver told reporters on Zoom. "You should decide when you guys get up to the line, when you’re snapping the play, when you’re calling audibles and running motions and things like that."

A major instigator of that change, according to McLaurin, will be new offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

"It’s just some things that Turner does a great thing on, that versatility and unpredictability," he said. "I’m really excited to see his style of play calling and how it works."

That type of plan could really aid a unit that's coming off a season where it was the NFL's worst at putting up points and entering a season where expectations aren't much higher. For a bunch that's slated to feature a second-year signal caller and set to surround him with a mostly very young supporting cast, picking up the pace will be useful.

And it's something Turner is already discussing. A lot.

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"I have heard Coach Turner speak numerous occasions on having some tempo in the way we get in the huddle, the way we get the play so the quarterback has enough time to assess what’s going on defensively," McLaurin said.

In evaluating Turner's entire scheme beyond the desire for operating with more speed, McLaurin identified it as a "very concise offense" that doesn't force the players to think too much. If they're not thinking, of course, they can devote more energy to producing. That is what every coach wants to accomplish in their job.

Overall, it wasn't surprising to hear McLaurin bring optimism to his presser with the media, because he's an optimistic person to begin with and August is not the time to touch on the shortcomings of one's team. 

Even so, as McLaurin was describing the mentality that Turner is instilling on his group, it was fun to, just for a moment, consider an outcome where things do click and they do take opponents by surprise.

At the very minimum, he laid out a compelling picture of how it could all come together.

"Just that attack mindset, it starts obviously up front with how we run the ball with Adrian Peterson and the group of guys we have on the offensive line, and then our skill players we have on the outside making plays, and I feel like that really opens up our offense because I feel like you can’t really key in on one thing or the other," he said. 

Having that vision and introducing that vision beginning on September 13 are two very different tasks, but the vision on its own is a promising one. In 2019, Washington was both lifeless and toothless with the ball. In 2020, they should at least improve in one of those areas.

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Report: Seahawks cut CB Kemah Siverand for attempting to sneak woman into team hotel

Report: Seahawks cut CB Kemah Siverand for attempting to sneak woman into team hotel

As NFL training camps open, teams are taking every protective measure to ensure player safety. Extensive testing protocols agreed upon by the NFL and the NFLPA and daily testing until at least September 5 prove safety is the league's number one priority.

But in order for the NFL's plans to work, players have to do their part

On Thursday, the Seattle Seahawks cut rookie cornerback Kemah Siverand after he was caught trying to sneak a female visitor into the team hotel, according to Tom Pelissero. Siverand and the woman, who was wearing Seattle gear in an attempt to disguise herself as a Seahawks player, were both caught on camera.

The Seahawks' quick action shows how serious teams are handling COVID-19 protocols. Head coach Pete Carroll is sending a clear message that actions that put the entire team at risk will not be tolerated.  

Fans got a glimpse of what the NFL's safety protocols were like during Hard Knocks this week. The quick decision to cut Siverand shows that irresponsible action won't be tolerated as the NFL season approaches.

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