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Holiday wish list: Five things the Redskins should ask for

Holiday wish list: Five things the Redskins should ask for

In honor of the holiday season, we're making wish lists for every local team. The Redskins have been relatively blessed this season, but that doesn't mean there's nothing left to ask for. 

Here are the five things that should be on Washington's wish list for the most wonderful time of the year. 

1. Jordan Reed recovers and stays healthy down the stretch: Reed is a game-changer for both the Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins. He's suffered a concussion and shoulder injury this year and sometimes played hurt. A fully healthy Reed is capable of multi-touchdown games, as he's done twice this season. With Washington is on the fringes of a playoff berth, 100-percent Reed could be the difference. 

2. Jerry Jones pushes starting Tony Romo in the playoffs: Nothing would please Redskins fans more than to make the postseason, then face a Tony Romo-led Cowboys. Fans should cross their fingers that Jerry keeps undermining Dak Prescott's confidence, only to pull the switcheroo once the playoffs start. 

3. Goal-to-go touchdowns: Kirk Cousins has performed well on the whole this season. But whether it's Cousins on the offense, he's only completing 29.41 percent of his passes inside the oppenent's 10-yard line. That number is worst among starting quarterbacks. He has the 5th most passing attempts inside the 10, but only the 21st most completions. A few more touchdowns in these situations would be nice.

4. Average 3rd down defenseThe Redskins have the second worst third down defense in the league, allowing their opponents to convert 48.19 percent of their third down attempts. Over the last three games, that number is 54.76 percent, worst in NFL. Washington hasn't invested a ton in its defensive line and doesn't have a bunch of Pro Bowl players in the front seven, but improving to league-average third down defense (around 38 percent) over the last three games could be good enough for the playoffs. 

5. Reasonable schedule: Hey NFL schedule makers, the Redskins were tangibly disadvantaged this season. Do better for 2017. 

Stats courtesy of ESPN.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com and TeamRankings.com 

MORE REDSKINS: Matthew McConaughey on Cousins: I've seen enough, let's sign him

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Amari Cooper calls Week 2 score against Redskins the 'easiest TD I've ever had'

Amari Cooper calls Week 2 score against Redskins the 'easiest TD I've ever had'

The Redskins defense performed poorly against the Cowboys, but the plan wasn't to give up the easiest touchdown of Amari Cooper's career. 

Still, according to Cooper, that's what happened.

Early in the third quarter of Washington's 31-21 loss to Dallas last Sunday, Cooper grabbed a 10-yard touchdown pass from QB Dak Prescott. The play capped off a nine-play, 75-yard drive for Dallas, and while the catch didn't look hard and Cooper only needed to make one man miss before he scored, it didn't seem quite as easy as the former Alabama star described it either. 

"Boy, that was the the easiest touchdown I've ever had," Cooper said. "I had space. [Defender] wasn't over there."

"I'll take it."

Cooper's comments came from a Cowboys produced video on Twitter with players and coaches mic'd up. You can watch the full video below; Cooper's comments come at about the 3:10 mark.

Whether it was Cooper's easiest score ever or not is debatable, but it does underline an issue for the Redskins secondary through two games: blown coverages. 

The players and coaches have talked about communication issues to open the season, and fans tend to focus on deep pass plays as the prime examples in those situations. 

On Cooper's TD, it seems miscommunication struck the Redskins secondary yet again. 

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Cole Holcomb and Mitchell Trubisky were college roommates. On Monday, they'll be NFL opponents

Cole Holcomb and Mitchell Trubisky were college roommates. On Monday, they'll be NFL opponents

Stopping Mitchell Trubisky on Monday night will be very key for the Redskins in Week 3. Luckily for them, they've got one defender who knows the Bears quarterback quite well.

Rookie linebacker Cole Holcomb, who seized a starting job in the season opener and who's been a major contributor so far, was college roommates with Trubisky at North Carolina for two years. In an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, Holcomb explained what he learned about the signal caller during that time.

"He's a competitor," Holcomb told JP Finlay. "He hates losing. He's one of those perfectionist people. Maybe if we can rattle him up a little bit, get him nervous back there, we'll be able to make some things happen with him."

Holcomb caught the attention of Redskins coaches early in training camp thanks to his devoted studying habits, so it sounds like he's a perfectionist, too. Even so, the two have made room in their schedules to chirp at one another.

"Yeah, we've been texting all week," Holcomb said. "We've got a group chat with a bunch of the teammates. They're all like, 'Oh, it's Mitch vs. Cole this week. It's Mitch vs. Cole this week. What's going to happen?'"

Hopefully for Washington, what's going to happen is that the Burgundy and Gold will "rattle" Chicago's starter like Holcomb wants to. Through two contests, the Redskins have the second-to-worst pressure rate of any defense in the NFL.

If they can fix that starting Monday, that bodes well for them notching their first win of 2019. If not, on the other hand, then the heat will be turned up even more (if that's even possible) on Holcomb's boss, Greg Manusky, and Manusky's entire unit.

Perhaps Holcomb can have a mid-game reunion with Trubisky in the Bears' backfield and help that cause. Pregame, though, they'll likely catch up, and in that catch-up, Holcomb will probably refer to Trubisky as "Mitch."

But according to Holcomb, shortening his friend's name doesn't work everywhere. It turns out Holcomb picked up something about his ex-roommate's mom as well back at UNC.

"I call him Mitch when it's just me and him," he said. "I don't say it around his mom, though. You say it around his mom, you might get punched."

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