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Need to Know: Can Redskins' Kelley get going against Packers' D?

Need to Know: Can Redskins' Kelley get going against Packers' D?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 20, the day the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs Packers, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 4; Redskins @ Cardinals 14; Redskins @ Eagles 21

Injuries of note
Questionable:
LS Sundberg (back), WR Jackson (shoulder), OT Moses (ankle)
Full Redskins-Packers injury report

Redskins vs. Packers
Line: Redskins -3
Weather: Clear, gusty winds, low near 30

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Packers

—There was an interesting article in the Green Bay papers on how much Mike McCarthy preaches the importance of turnovers. From 2006, the year McCarthy arrived in Green Bay, through 2015 the Packers were plus-92 in takeaways, second in the NFL. In that time span the Redskins were 30th at minus-37 (Redskins numbers via Pro Football Reference). But this year the Packers are at minus-4 and the Redskins are even. If the Redskins maintain their edge they have a pretty good shot at winning. But it should be noted that Washington has turned the ball over at least once every game this season.

—The Redskins have been running the ball well, rushing for at least 100 yards in five of their last six games. Green Bay has allowed 100 rushing yards in just two games this year. But during their current three-game losing streak the Packers’ rushing defense has not been quite as stout, giving up an average of 109 yards per game. If Rob Kelley can get going and the play action passing game works the Redskins will be in good shape on offense.

—The Packers have allowed Aaron Rodgers to be sacked 22 times this year and from what I’ve seen in a few of their games Rodgers has evaded quite a few more sacks with his legs. With 226 yards on the ground he is the Packers’ leading rusher among the team’s active players (behind Eddie Lacy, who is on injured reserve). He has all three of the team’s rushing touchdowns. The Redskins must be disciplined in their pass rush or Rodgers will take off for a first down and more. Of course, teams have been saying that for years and he gets free anyway.

—I think that the pass rush pressure shows up in the form of Rodgers’ stats not being as good as they usually are. He is completing 63 percent of his passes, down from 65 percent for his career coming into the season. Rodgers’ passer rating is 93; it was 103 coming into this year. And he is averaging 6.5 yards per pass attempt compared to 8.0 since he came into the league in 2005. Clearly the Redskins can’t sleep on him but he’s not what he used to be.

—If this was almost any other team coming into FedEx Field a game under .500 and on a three-game losing streak with the last two losses coming at the hands of the Colts and Titans I wouldn’t hesitate to predict a Redskins win. But we saw this movie earlier this year with a Packers team that came in for a playoff game on the heels of a two-game losing streak and a struggling Rodgers. We know how that one ended. This is a better Redskins team with an offensive line that has it together and Josh Norman in the secondary, among other things. The Packers don’t have Lacy and James Starks, who rushed for 53 yards in the playoff game, has been ailing. Although the ghosts of last January are still there, I’m taking the Redskins in a typical Redskins type of game.

Redskins 28, Packers 24

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Jay Gruden returns to NFL as Jaguars offensive coordinator

Jay Gruden returns to NFL as Jaguars offensive coordinator

Jay Gruden has found a new team in the NFL as he was named the Jacksonville Jaguars' newest offensive coordinator for the 2020 season, the team has announced.

This will be Gruden's return to the league after he was fired as the Washington Redskins head coach earlier this year. He was relieved from his duties after an 0-5 start, the team's worst start under his tenure. 

The offensive mind, that was previously an offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals during their playoff runs with Andy Dalton, will now look to rejuvenate the Jaguars' offense. For years Jacksonville has had one of the least productive offenses in the entire league.

Strapped to Blake Bortles for several seasons and then signing Nick Foles has not paid dividends for head coach Doug Marrone and his staff. Aside from their improbable run to the AFC Championship in the 2017 season, the team has finished as one of the bottom seven offenses in the league under his tenure. 

Gruden also takes this new job as the Jaguars quarterback position is unsettled.

Nick Foles was signed to a four-year $88 million deal last offseason but struggled after an injury derailed his season. When he returned, he eventually was benched after two straight weeks without a touchdown pass. Rookie Gardner Minshew filled in for Foles' place and put together an admirable 6-6 record as a starter, accounting for all six of the team's wins. 

While directing the offense in Cincinnati, Gruden led the Bengals to three straight seasons as one of the top-13 offenses in the league. Their best season they were ranked as high as fourth. However, that did not fully translate to Washington. The last two seasons saw the Redskins offense fall to one of the bottom four in the league. Their record was not much better under his guidance at 35-49-1.

He likely takes this position with a short leash as John DeFilippo was fired from the same position after one year on the job. 

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Report: Dan Snyder petitions state of Maryland for gambling license for new stadium

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USA Today Sports

Report: Dan Snyder petitions state of Maryland for gambling license for new stadium

As a return to the old RFK Stadium site for the Redskins seems less likely, Washington owner Dan Snyder appears to be moving forward with a new plan: Staying in Maryland but adding a gambling license. 

Snyder met with a number of Maryland lawmakers to discuss sports betting and acquiring a license for a new Redskins stadium, according to The Washington Post. The report contends Snyder wants to use "sports betting as part of an overall plan to build a domed stadium that could include hotels, offices and training facilities."

The story also suggests Snyder could build the stadium with his own money. 

The Redskins currently play their games in Maryland at FedEx Field and their lease runs through 2027. The stadium is dated and Snyder has openly talked about wanting a new facility for his team to play.

For years, publicly, Snyder has opined that his team belongs back in D.C. at the RFK site. At various times in the last two years that seemed plausible, but political red tape from the federal government continues to hold things up. The stadium sits on federal land, and while the city has tried to regain control of that site, it hasn't happened. Until the city takes control, which is far from happening, it seems unlikely the Redskins get back to the site. 

So if it's time to move forward with Maryland, it requires a bit of a fresh start. The Redskins and the state were holding talks about a land swap to build a new stadium near the MGM National Harbor along the Potomac River, but those talks stalled when it became obvious the team preferred a return to D.C.

Legalized sports betting in Maryland seems likely to hit the ballot this fall, and considering the state already has fully operational casinos, there's little reason to think the vote wouldn't pass.

That's the first step for the Redskins to get a sports betting license for their new stadium. The idea isn't novel; Ted Leonsis has been quite open about adding a sports book to Capital One Arena and already has an agreement with William Hill bookmakers to run the gambling operation. Similar deals are expected at Audi Field and Nationals Park. 

It remains a bit of a surprise that Virginia politicians seem willing to sit out the courtship of a new Redskins stadium. Former Governor Terry McAullife actively flirted with the idea of building a new Redskins stadium in the Commonwealth, but current Governor Ralph Northam almost seems disinterested in the idea. 

The Redskins practice facility is in Loudon County and the team holds training camp each summer in Richmond. The training camp deal is soon to expire and some believe if and when a new stadium facility gets built, that could also house training camp and practices. Currently, no professional sports teams play in Virginia, and the Commonwealth does not appear as near legalized sports gambling as Maryland or the District. 

Like anything with a gigantic project in a region with three different local governing bodies and the omnipresent specter of the federal government looming, a new Redskins stadium will require significant legislative hurdles and deal-making. Stay tuned. 

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