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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Packers

Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Packers

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 17, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field in primetime on Sunday night.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Joe Barry news conference 12:40 p.m.; Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden press conference and player availability after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 7; Redskins @ Cardinals 17; Redskins @ Eagles 24

Injuries of note
Limited practice:
WR Jackson (shoulder)
Full: OT Moses (ankle)
Wednesday injury report

Redskins vs. Packers
NBC 8:30 p.m., Mike Tirico and Chris Collinsworth
Line: Redskins -3

RELATED: RANKING THE BEST AND WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Five players who are under pressure against the Packers

—I was about to take QB Kirk Cousins off of this list even though he didn’t pass for 300 yards against the Vikings. But he did play very well and the Redskins won. I decided not to because it’s Aaron Rodgers on the other sideline and that is the company that Cousins eventually wants to keep. He wants to put on a good show.

—Yesterday I wrote about linebacker Nick Perry, who leads the Packers in sacks with six. He will be lined up against OT Morgan Moses. It’s likely that Moses will be playing in some pain with his ankle injury still not quite right. He also could face Julius Peppers, who has 3.5 sacks at age 36, some of the time as well.

MORE REDSKINS: TEAM CLOSE TO BEING FULLY HEALTHY

—It often turns into a chess match against Rodgers and the player responsible for adjusting to Rodgers’ adjustments is ILB Will Compton. He has to try to figure out what Rodgers is doing and move his players to counter it. That’s not easy against any normal QB but Rodgers, who has his master’s degree in this stuff, it’s even more challenging.

—Packers WR Jordy Nelson started off the year slowly after suffering a torn ACL in 2015 but he has heated up lately. In the last two games he has 19 receptions for 220 yards and two touchdowns. CB Josh Norman may or may not shadow the ninth-year veteran but he needs to get the job done when he is covering Nelson.

—Preston Smith had his breakout game so now OLB Ryan Kerrigan needs to have a big game to match. He is tied for the team lead in sacks but he needs to get into the takeaway game. He has forced just one fumble all year and that was the one in the season opener that the Steelers recovered.

MORE REDSKINS: NORMAN HAS PRAISE FOR AARON RODGERS

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Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

With NFL RedZone, All-22 footage and GamePass, it’s literally never been easier to access information about your favorite teams and players. Still, nothing can quite beat the actual players and coaches, especially those who drew up those plays in the first place.

Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was happy to share some insight on the touchdown pass Alex Smith threw to Vernon Davis to kick off the scoring against the Panthers in Week 6. 

The Redskins took over possession after a Carolina turnover, and the offense was ready to strike quickly. Smith found Davis wide open in the end zone and connected with his longtime tight end to give the ‘Skins an early 7-0 lead.

Interestingly, as Cavanaugh points out, the play was designed to clear out space for the team’s top tight end, Jordan Reed. Instead, the Panthers safety rolled towards Reed, who is generally seen as the more likely receiving threat. You can see in the video of the play that Smith does look towards Reed first, and then noticed the rolling safety leaving Davis wide open down the seam.

Cavanaugh also emphasizes how vital it is for the offense to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“When we’re not on the field and the defense creates a turnover and all of a sudden we’re back out there, we gotta be ready to score, particularly when we get the ball in that great field position. It’s huge, it obviously set the tone for the rest of the game for us.”

A one play, 22-yard drive certainly does show off an offensive unit ready to score quickly and without the benefit of a long possession to get into rhythm.

Hopefully Cavanaugh doesn’t give away too many of his X’s and O’s secrets, but it’s always fascinating to experience a behind-the-scenes look at important plays. It’s even more fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns, and it’s the most fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns that come in Redskins victories.

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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