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Need to Know: A light workload for Redskins' offense vs. Eagles

Need to Know: A light workload for Redskins' offense vs. Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 13, six days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 6; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 11; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 19

Injuries of note:
LB Compton (PCL sprain), LB Cravens (muscle flexor), RB Brown (concussion)
Latest injury report

Last look at Redskins vs Eagles

A good (not great) quality win—I’m getting a laugh out of fans who think that a five-point road win in the division is somehow inadequate. The Redskins were favored by just a point and the people who set those lines don’t draw them out of a hat. Washington is better, but not by that much. It’s not a huge win over another playoff contender but it shouldn’t be taken for granted, either. The Redskins aren’t good enough for that yet.

Working part time: The Redskins ran just 48 offensive plays against the Eagles. According to Pro Football Focus that is the fewest snaps they have had in a game since at least 2006 (that’s as far back as their records go). For perspective, the NFL average this year is about 64 snaps per team per game. Considering that, it is somewhat remarkable that they managed 334 yards of offense and scored four touchdowns. Kirk Cousins was the model of efficiency with just 14 pass completions good for 234 yards (16.7 yards/completion) I’m not sure if it’s a formula for success that they can replicate but every once in a while it comes in handy.

The Everett hit: Deshazor Everett will almost certainly get fined for his hit on Darrel Sproles. I doubt that a suspension will be coming. To paraphrase my friend @BurgundyBlog from Twitter, it certainly was a reckless play by Everett. He was out of control. But it was flat out stupid of Sproles not to call for a fair catch. The Eagles fans and media who want Everett to be banned or put in jail need to get a grip.

Should Thompson have taken a knee? Fans could have been spared a ton of anxiety if Chris Thompson had taken a knee somewhere inside the five-yard line instead of scoring on his 25-yard run just after the two-minute warning. The Redskins could have run down the clock (the Eagles had just one timeout left) and taken a field goal attempt as time expired. But there was too much risk involved. Thompson mentioned to me Dustin Hopkins’ short miss against the Bengals in London. And other stuff, anything from a fumbled quarterback exchange to a bad snap on the field goal try, could go wrong, too. It was better for Thompson to finish the play and make the Eagles get a touchdown for the win. The fact that they nearly did doesn’t make scoring the TD a bad idea.

Hodgepodge: Jordan Reed played just 10 snaps. It was good for the Redskins to be able to win essentially without him . . . The Eagles put the ball on the ground two other times before Wentz’s final fumble in the last minute. This is what I wrote last week about how they are not recovering fumbles at the same rate they were last year . . . The most underrated offensive play of the game for the Redskins was the 33-yard pass from Cousins to Crowder that got the game-winning drive jump-started. Nice touch on the thrown a difficult catch executed by Crowder, and a good decision to challenge by Gruden. If the incomplete ruling had stood, the Redskins would have been facing third and 10 at their own 23 and who knows what would have happened after that.

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Remembering Sean Taylor on his 37th birthday with 5 incredible highlight videos

Remembering Sean Taylor on his 37th birthday with 5 incredible highlight videos

April 1st comes every year with a somber reminder of a life taken far too early. April 1st marks Sean Taylor's birthday, and Wednesday would have been his 37th. 

Of course Taylor was tragically murdered in November 2007 while at home defending his family from an armed robbery. The story is so sad, but birthdays are meant for celebration, so let's remember the incredible football player Taylor was. 

He only played four seasons in the NFL, all with Washington, but in those four seasons he made an indelible impact on Redskins fans and the sporting world. 

You're missed ST21. The below plays are presented in no particular order, rather just a way to remember greatness.

1) Taylor brings the wood to Terrell Owens

2) Remember this FG-block return that resulted in a win over the Cowboys?

3) Eagles wideouts were always scared of 21.

4) Two picks of Brett Favre in one game. Favre is in Canton. Taylor would have been.

5) Imagine being a rookie, and being able to run with Randy, and being able to out-Moss Randy Moss. Imagine that.

Thanks to Warren Sharp for many of the video clips - for the full thread click here

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Three key takeaways from Thomas Davis' first media session as a Redskin

Three key takeaways from Thomas Davis' first media session as a Redskin

Thomas Davis was at the gym during his first chance to chat with local reporters since joining the Redskins, and before anyone freaks out about him not being responsible, it's necessary to point out that the gym is in his house. 

That, according to the linebacker, will be instrumental in his effort to stay physically fit during an uncertain stretch for everyone, including pro athletes. And it was far from the only interesting topic covered in Davis' media session.

Here are three of the more valuable takeaways from his time on the phone:

1) Ron Rivera wasn't the only reason he signed with Washington

Of course, Rivera being in charge of the Burgundy and Gold was "first and foremost" on the 37-year-old's list of factors that brought him to the NFC East. There were others, though.

"You look at all these guys and you feel they have the makings of becoming a really good team," Davis told reporters, touting a group of defensive linemen he feels is loaded with options capable of "completely wrecking a game." 

He's also enthusiastic about having the opportunity to mentor the Redskins' younger members of the roster and even likes the idea of simply suiting up to prove to himself he still can. Sure, it's going to be his 16th year in the NFL, but it sounded like he still feels very fresh and motivated.

2) He kept coming back to one idea over and over

Davis' time in Carolina, which spanned 14 seasons (eight under Rivera), featured six playoff runs and a Super Bowl appearance. That's a lot of success.

So, what was the the primary driver of that success? 

"We came together, we worked hard, we knew we had good coaches and we bought into the system," he said.

That last point, where he mentioned buying in, came up at other parts of the session, too. It might've been the concept he talked about the most, in fact. It likely won't be the last time you hear him bring it up.

While Rivera surely thinks Davis can still contribute as a linebacker, the coach also probably looks at the veteran as a very valuable mouthpiece for his debut campaign in Washington. That phrase can sometimes have a negative connotation, but it doesn't here. 

Rivera will need his new players to invest in his way of doing things. Davis is someone who has and who'll get others to as well. That'll make just as much of a difference as his tackling and his on-field experience.

3) He's just as unsure about the next few months as you are

Davis answered all sorts of questions about the Redskins and their upcoming year, but a weird part of the call — and a weird part of basically any conversation regarding the sport that Davis is a part of — is that no one really knows if that upcoming year will carry on like normal. Coronavirus could certainly affect it, like it has every other major league.

Personally, Davis isn't jumping to any conclusions.

"We all can speculate and say that the season is going to happen when it's supposed to happen and that we're going to be able to go in and do the things that we need to do," he said. "But I think this next month, from what I've been seeing, is really critical in seeing what's going to happen moving forward."

He also urged that folks continue to take the virus seriously, already showing some of the revered leadership he'll bring with him to his new organization.

"It's important right now for people to really listen and understand that this is not a game," Davis said. "This is something that we all need to pay attention to and we need to stay at home. There's nothing more important right now than your own life and the lives of the people that are around you that can be affected if you're out partying, if you're out doing unnecessary things that can possibly spread this virus."

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