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Madden '16 views Redskins quite differently than pundits do

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Madden '16 views Redskins quite differently than pundits do

BY PETER HAILEY

We already have a decent idea about where the 2015 Redskins stand right now: The team has a Terrance Knighton-sized question mark at quarterback but boasts a deep receiving corps and an improved defense. Does Madden '16 view the franchise in the same light, though? 

Well, according to MaddenSchool.com, a site that goes in depth into how to use each team on the video game's gridiron, it would appear that the virtual Burgundy and Gold are different from the real-life Burgundy and Gold. In fact, you could say in a lot of respects, they're pretty opposite. 

The site recently released their guide on how to play with the 2015 Redskins, and a lot of it contrasts what NFL pundits have said about the team. For example, the strengths and weaknesses they assign to the Madden Skins are essentially flip-flopped when compared to the real Skins.

In the world of Xbox's and PlayStations, Washington's strength is their offense. "Robert Griffin III is still one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in Madden 16," MaddenSchool says. "His speed forces opposing defenses to focus on him which opens up a lot of possibilities for the rest of your offense."

Of course, finding a critic that would call actual RGIII "one of the most dangerous quarterbacks" in the NFL would be almost impossible. Just yesterday, he was named No. 31 on a list ranking the league's 32 QBs.

In a game like Madden, however, a place where using speedy signal callers like mid-2000's Michael Vick is much easier than picking apart defenses from the pocket, saying the team's offense is their strength is semi-understandable. But MaddenSchool's opinion about the Redskins' biggest weakness? That's harder to comprehend.

"Front 7," MaddenSchool says. "Ryan Kerrigan can get after opposing quarterbacks and Terrance Knighton can do a decent job stopping the run, but other than that the Redskins have much to be desired up front."

The decision to name the Redskins front seven as the team's most glaring hole is somewhat surprising, considering almost everyone whose looked at the organization's offseason has praised the changes made to the defensive line. But, apparently, Stephen Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean-Francois and Keenan Robinson aren't as impressive in Madden as they are in real life.

As far as an overview on Washington, MaddenSchool again makes a claim that not many pundits would agree with: The site's expectations for the virtual Redskins sound more promising than the expectations people have for the real-life Redskins.

"The Washington Redskins are a middle of the road team in Madden 16," they said. "They will be able to hold their own against 90% of the teams."

Maybe it's time for Redskins fans to root for the virtual Burgundy and Gold over their real-life counterparts, because it sounds like those guys could be pretty decent. 

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Six most likely quarterback options for the Redskins after Alex Smith's gruesome injury

Six most likely quarterback options for the Redskins after Alex Smith's gruesome injury

Alex Smith's brutal leg injury suffered in the third quarter of the Redskins’ 23-21 home loss against the Texans on Sunday shook up the lineup, and opened up long-term quarterback questions.

There’s also the immediate need at backup now that Colt McCoy moved into the starter role. There’s no QB on the practice squad so scratch that possibility.

Let’s go through some potential free agent options:

Sam Bradford – Probably the cleanest candidate among the available free agents, which also perhaps says something about the available free agents. Arizona signed Bradford to a one-year, $20 million contract during the offseason hoping the former No. 1 overall pick would serve as a bridge while 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen developed. That plan last three games as the Cardinals went 0-3. Bradford threw four interceptions and two touchdowns while posting a QB-rating under 60 in two of the three losses. However, Bradford threw for 3,000 yards as recently as 2016 and would likely be ready to play rather quickly. It’s possible he even emerges as the starter depending on how the Cult of Colt fares.

Paxton Lynch – The 2016 first-round selection flamed out after two seasons with the Broncos. The 6-foot-7 passer posted video game statistics at the University of Memphis, but entered the NFL with raw skills. His game didn’t develop with Denver, leading the AFC West squad to cut bait and sign free agent Case Keenum this offseason. Lynch, 24, worked out for the Redskins earlier this season and had a good workout, according to one source. If nothing else, Washington could get a look at a young passer.

Matt Moore – Longtime NFL backup spent the previous seven seasons with the Dolphins. Moore provided instant offense when called upon over the years. At 34, he might be cooling off. Moore threw for 861 yards, four touchdown and five interceptions in four games last season. Miami lost both of his starts.

Josh Johnson – Johnson last played in 2015, but has served as a backup in different spots as recently as 2017 with the Texans. The Raiders released the 32-year-old in May. He is listed as a quarterback for the San Diego Fleet in the upstart Alliance of American Football League. So, why does Johnson deserve consideration? He played for the Bengals in 2013 under then offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

Ryan Mallett – The strong-armed passer had nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions over 21 games for the Patriots, Texans and Ravens. He played two games for Baltimore in 2017.

Colin Kaepernick – If we’re talking best available quarterback, Kaepernick’s name tops this list. The irony of him replacing Smith on the active roster is evident. Kaepernick’s rise led the 49ers to benching Smith and then trading him to the Chiefs after the younger QB directed San Francisco to the 2013 Super Bowl. Kaepernick’s remaining time in the Bay Area was spotty, but he had 16 touchdown passes with only four interceptions in 2016.

He hasn’t played an NFL game since. Obviously, there are numerous factors involved with that scenario beyond talent, namely Kaepernick’s stance on police brutality nationwide turning him into a political topic.  Teams across the league lack viable backup options. Some struggle with their starter. Yet Kaepernick remains waiting for a job. The wait likely continues. All we know for sure is the Redskins need another quarterback.

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NFL world sends well-wishes to Alex Smith

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NFL world sends well-wishes to Alex Smith

Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Texans.

On the field, players from both teams went up to the veteran quarterback to offer an encouraging word as he was carted away with his leg in an air cast. 

Reaction poured in immediately across Twitter - including a chilling reminder from Joe Theismann about his own brutal injury.

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