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Five observations on the Redskins 27-20 win over the Rams

Five observations on the Redskins 27-20 win over the Rams

LOS ANGELES—Here are my five key observations from the Redskins’ 27-20 win over the Rams:

You have to run the ball to run the ball—The Redskins didn't have much traction in the running game last week against the Eagles. Sunday they ran early and often, setting the tone for the game. In the preseason Trent Williams often preached patience, saying that the running game needs time to wear down a defense. They never had a chance to do that last week. But in LA they got it rolling with 39 rushing attempts. They don’t need to rush that often every game but something in the 25 or more range will help.

Defense got the quick shut down—In four games last year the Redskins’ opponent need a touchdown in the last two minutes to win the game. They won three of those games, against the Ravens, Eagles, and Vikings but not before the Redskins had to survive a drive into the opponent’s territory. Sunday, a potential game-tying drive in the last two minutes was shut down immediately with Mason Foster’s interception. That’s the way good defenses do it. I’m not sure in the Redskins are there yet but it’s a good start.

RELATED: INSTANT ANALYSIS OF REDSKINS' WIN

Getting a win with a subpar game from Cousins—The Redskins have had trouble winning if Kirk Cousins is not on the top of his game. He wasn’t awful vs. the Rams—he didn’t turn the ball over unlike last week when he had two fumbles lost and an interception—but he wasn’t good enough to win without the strong running game. To his credit, he came through at the end, completing four of four passes on the winning drive with two completions to convert third downs including the game winner to Ryan Grant.

The Rams are an improving team—It’s early but it appears the Sean McVay has the Rams on the right track. You could argue that Jared Goff was the better of the two quarterbacks on the field in this matchup despite the interception. Todd Gurley had 88 yards rushing, his best game since December 13, 2015. I don’t see them as playoff contenders or anything but they will battle everyone on their schedule.

MORE REDSKINS: REPORT: KELLEY SUFFERS FRACTURED RIB

The Redskins needed this win, badly—As I said coming in, it wasn’t a must-win game but an 0-2 start would have been miserable and alarm bells would have started to go off. Now they can look to a pair of matchups against the AFC West with a degree of confidence. If they can win at least one against the Raiders or Chiefs they would be no worse than 2-2 going into the bye week. And it’s too early to pay that much attention to division standings, but after the Cowboys and Eagles lost they will be in either a three- or four-way tie for the division lead, pending the result of the Giants game Monday night.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

The Redskins' joint practices with the Jets have been nothing short of entertaining.

Day 1 of practice brought a couple of brawls between the two teams, with one spilling into the sideline where fans were standing. 

Day 2 was relatively calm, but Day 3 has brought another altercation, this time between former teammates Terrelle Pryor and DJ Swearinger. 

During a one-on-one rep, safety Monte Nicholson broke up a pass to Pryor. As Pryor started walking back to the sideline, a very hyped-up DJ Swearinger had more than a few things to say about it. As the two inched closer, Swearinger fakes a punch, causing Pryor to flinch and creating roars from the Redskins sideline. 

It's clear the Redskins' DBs have strong feelings towards their ex-teammate. Back in June, inside linebacker Zach Brown said the 'Skins would "have it out" for Pryor during their joint practices. 

While Pryor won't be playing in Thursday's preseason game, let's hope the competition continues over nonetheless.

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Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

RICHMOND—Orlando Scandrick’s career with the Redskins ended without him even playing a game.

Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed reports that the team has released Scandrick on the last day of training camp. He did not play in the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Patriots last Thursday.

While reasons for the release will become clearer with time, it is apparent that the Redskins have a great deal of faith in their young cornerbacks, particularly second-year player Fabian Moreau. With Scandrick on the team, Moreau was slated to be the backup slot corner. With Scandrick now gone, the Redskins likely will go with Moreau as the slot cornerback.

The team also apparently has confidence in Quinton Dunbar to start opposite Josh Norman. They also like rookies Greg Stroman, Adonis Alexander, and Danny Johnson. As of now, those three are the backups at cornerback.

Scandrick signed a two-year, $7 million contract in March. The only guaranteed money was a $1 million signing bonus. The move will save the Redskins $2.1 million in cap space this year. They will take a $500,000 dead cap hit next year to account for the prorated portion of the signing bonus.

Redskins 2018 training camp news

-Teammates react: Thompson gets emotional talking about Guice
-Redskins-Jets brawl: A dangerous situation

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

This article has been updated from a previous publish.