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Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-Eagles game

Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-Eagles game

Before the Redskins turn their attention to Week 2's showdown with the soon-to-be Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams, there are a few smaller storylines worth looking at that have been lost amongst the discussion of Kirk Cousins' unfortunate start and that last fumble that everyone definitely agrees about and no one is at all upset over.

Here are five things that aren't being talked about enough following Washington's Week 1 loss to Philadelphia:

1) Jamison Crowder was held in check... again

Here is the number of catches Jamison Crowder has had in each game since Week 13 of last season: 3, 2, 4, 1, 2 and 3, with that last number coming Sunday vs. the Eagles. And in those same games, he posted 42, 37, 24, 3, 16 and 14 yards, respectively.

This isn't to suggest that Crowder should be ceding snaps to Brian Quick, but it's a bit worrisome that a player as talented as he is has now turned in six very quiet contests in a row.

2) The Redskins top three corners all stood out

Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller all broke up passes that would've been huge chunk plays for Carson Wentz and the Philly offense. Norman was also credited for two other deflections, and Fuller was a huge reason why the Redskins registered their first turnover of 2017 (also a huge reason for that: The Eagles randomly deciding to throw a backwards pass when they here humming along).

Norman is due for a better second year with the 'Skins, but if Breeland and Fuller also improve, Greg Manusky will have three very good corners for his defense.

MORE: TWO MISTAKES RUIN TERRELLE PRYOR'S DEBUT

3) Junior Galette looked like the old Junior Galette — on one play, at least

The play didn't count in the end, but it was still promising. Pass rushers aren't normally recognized for their jukes, but check out this doozy Junior Galette came up with on Sunday:

Ryan Anderson lined up offsides so the sack didn't stand, but that footage indicates Galette can still offer plenty as long as his body allows him to.

4) Ryan Grant was actually quite solid

2016 Ryan Grant had 76 yards in 16 games. 2017 Ryan Grant has 61 yards in one game.

Yes, the offense will be more dangerous when Josh Doctson earns the trust of his coach and QB and becomes someone who's targeted often. But at least against the Eagles, Grant was useful and looked much better than he did at any point last season.

RELATED: BLAME THE OFFENSE FOR WASHINGTON'S LOSS

5) LeGarrette Blount took a shot at the FedEx Field crowd

Road opponents love to comment on the atmosphere at FedEx Field. Count LeGarrette Blount among them.

"Our fan base travels well," he said. "That's a big thing for us. Like you said, they drowned out all the Washington Redskins. All I heard was Eagles cheers throughout the game and throughout the process."

Philadelphia athletes can't help but talking about processes, apparently. He is right, though — there was tons of green in the stadium, and plenty of those fun, never annoying "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!" chants near the end of the fourth quarter.

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Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes

Annually, Forbes releases the worth of all professional sports franchises in the world. Once again, the Washington Redskins are sitting near the top. 

This year the Redskins are ranked the fourth most valuable NFL franchise at $3.1 billion. 

That marks a five percent worth increase from a year ago. They leapfrogged the San Francisco 49ers for a spot in the top four after placing fifth in 2017. They still trail the Dallas Cowboys ($4.8 billion), the New England Patriots ($3.7 billion), and the New York Giants ($3.3 billion).

Compared to other leagues and franchises, the Redskins jumped into the top-10. They are tied for the tenth overall value with the Golden State Warriors who are coming off of their third NBA title in four years.

From year-to-year there is never much movement from the top of the ranking. Once again, the Cowboys are the top team in the world by over $600 million. They were followed by three European soccer teams. In total four NFL teams made up the top-10, the most of any sport. 

2018 Top-10 World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams according to Forbes:

1. Dallas Cowboys, $4.8 billion (NFL)

2. Manchester United, $4.123 billion ( Soccer)

3. Real Madrid, $4.09 billion (Soccer)

4. Barcelona, $4.064 billion (Soccer)

5. New York Yankees, $4 billion (MLB)

6. New England Patriots, $3.7 billion (NFL)

7. New York Knicks, $3.6 billion (NBA)

8. Los Angeles Lakers, $3.3 billion (NBA)

8. New York Giants, $3.3 billion (NFL)

T-10. Golden State Warriors, $3.1 billion (NBA)

T-10. Washington Redskins, $3.1 billion (NFL)

Next five NFL franchises:

13. San Francisco 49ers, $3.05 billion

T-14. Los Angeles Rams, $3 billion 

17. Chicago Bears, $2.85 billion 

T-19. Houston Texans, $2.8 billion

21. New York Jets, $2.75 billion

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Additions: Pernell McPhee (free agent)
Departures: Junior Galette (free agent)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Other roster locks: Ryan Anderson, McPhee
On the bubble: Pete Robertson

How the outside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: By any measure, the Redskins had a top-10 pass rush last year. They were tied for seventh with 42 sacks and they got a sack on 7.3 percent of pass attempts, also seventh in the league. Looking forward to this year, Pro Football Focus has them ranked as the sixth-best pass rushing team for 2018. Ryan Kerrigan is showing no signs of slowing down as he approaches age 30 and Preston Smith is about to hit his prime. After the departure of Galette, the depth is questionable, and we’ll deal with that next. Even without Galette, it’s still one of the best units in the NFL. 

To the 2017 Redskins: Some downplay the decision to let Galette walk in free agency, saying he had just three sacks. But his value went beyond that. He had 9 QB hits and 25 hurries, both second-most on the team, in just 258 pass rush snaps. Someone will have to step up and replace that pressure. The spotlight will be on Anderson, who had no sacks after being a second-round pick. He will need to step up for this year’s Redskins pass rush to be as good as last year’s. 

2018 outside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: Since the 2015 season, only one NFL player has at least 20 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three interceptions and it’s Preston Smith. His consistency is an issue but even when he is going for a few weeks between sacks he is getting pressure on the quarterback. Still, there is more ability there. Smith could set himself up for a big payday by breaking through with a double-digit sack season while continuing to make big plays in his contract year.

Most to prove: To be fair, Anderson did not get a whole lot of chances to rush the passer last year, playing just 81 pass rush snaps. Still, there are reasons to be concerned about how much he can produce after a zero-sack, one-hit, three-hurries 2017 debut season. Anderson was not expected to make a splash as a rookie, but more was anticipated. He was drafted where he was in part because of his work ethic. The Redskins hope he will work his way into a significant second-year leap. 

Rookie watch: There are no rookie outside linebackers on the roster. 

Bottom line: The main concern about the Redskins’ defense this year revolves around the cornerback spot following the departures of Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland. The best way to manage problematic cornerbacks is by getting a strong pass rush. The Redskins need to Smith to have a true breakout season and for Anderson or McPhee to be a strong contributor off the bench. Along with the improved defensive line, the pass rush could transform the defensive line into a quality unit in 2018. 

2018 Redskins Position Outlook Series