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Need to Know: Looking at over-unders for 2016 Redskins

Need to Know: Looking at over-unders for 2016 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 19, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 5; Redskins @ Cardinals 15; Redskins @ Eagles 22

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

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

Around Redskins Park

The Redskins are one game past the midway point of the season. Here I take a look at some individual player statistical marks and whether the player will end the season over or under the number.

Want to disagree? Set up your own over-under prediction? Hit the comments and fire away. 

Kirk Cousins 27.5 TD passes (currently has 14)—This is the one statistical area where Cousins has lagged behind his 2015 production. There are two keys here. One is the red zone, a much-discussed area where improvement is needed. The other is that of their remaining seven opponents, three are in the top 10 in pass defense DVOA while the other four are below average. Cousins can take advantage of the weaker defenses to build up his TD stat. I think it’s a tough go. Under

Rob Kelley 800 yards rushing (currently 287)—Kelley would have to hold on to the starting job, which seems to be likely as long as he stays healthy and continues to protect the ball. Then he would have to average around 75 rushing yards per game. That will be tough as five of the remaining seven opponents are currently in the top 10 in rush defense DVOA. He would need to have a couple of big games against the other teams. I think he comes close but doesn’t quite get there. Under

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Jamison Crowder 84.5 receptions (currently 44)—Some are under the impression that Crowder was targeted more than usual last week when DeSean Jackson was out but actually, his six targets against the Viking were his fewest since Week 6. So it doesn’t really matter who else is in the lineup, Crowder should continue to get passes thrown his way and as long as he continues to catch 70 percent of passes targeted to him (he’s caught 44 of 63 so far) he should make it to 85 receptions or more. Over

Trent Murphy 10.5 sacks (currently 7)—There is no great mystery here. Murphy came to the Redskins two years ago and it took him two mediocre seasons to get things figured out. The remarkable thing about him this year has been consistency. Many pass rushers are streaky. Murphy has at least a half a sack in all but two of the Redskins’ nine games this year. The Redskins have two teams left on their schedule who are in the top 10 in protecting the quarterback (sack percentage). Three are in the middle of the pack and two, the Panthers and Cardinals, are in the bottom 10. It will be tough but I think that Murphy’s consistency gets him through. Over

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Josh Norman 2.5 interceptions (currently 1)—Anyone who expected a ton of interceptions out of Norman this year wasn’t paying attention. His career high in a season is four, and that came last year when he was named first-team All-Pro. But it is reasonable to think that he will get more than the one pick he currently has. He’s had his hands on a few passes this year, including two against the Bengals in London that might have turned that tie into a win. They have four games left against quarterbacks who have thrown seven or more interceptions but I think he just gets one more. Under

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After years of neglect on defensive line, Redskins continue smart moves with Matt Ioannidis deal

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After years of neglect on defensive line, Redskins continue smart moves with Matt Ioannidis deal

For two decades the Redskins bounced back and forth between neglect and negligence along their defensive line. 

Prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, Washington hadn't selected a defensive lineman in the first round since the 1990s. The team just did not invest in the draft in the interior of their defensive line. During that time, there were some big-name free agent acquisitions up front, but those didn't work out either. In fact, the Albert Haynesworth contract might be the worst in the history of the sport. 

The result, largely, was bad play along the defensive front and an inability to stop the run, and that largely coincided with losing football teams. There is a direct correlation. 

In the last two seasons, however, the Redskins dramatically changed their approach.

In 2017, Washington selected defensive tackle Jonathan Allen out of Alabama in the first round. In 2018, Washington again took an Alabama defensive linemen in the first round in Daron Payne. The team also added fifth-rounder Tim Settle out of Virginia Tech. 

This week news emerged from Ashburn that the 'Skins took care of another defensive linemen, 2016 fifth-rounder Matt Ioannidis, with a three-year contract extension with $14 million guaranteed. 

Of all the moves to bolster the defensive line, the new deal for Ioannidis should make 'Skins fans the most excited. 

When Allen slipped to middle of the first round in 2017, it was a no-brainer to pick him. When the Redskins added Payne last season, he was the highest player on their draft board at a position of need. 

Those moves were good, but obvious. 

Inking Ioannidis to a contract extension was anything but obvious, and that's why this move looks so good. 

This is a late-round pick out of Temple, hardly a football factory like Alabama. Ioannidis was cut as a rookie after his first training camp, and the team signed him back to their practice squad. Eventually, he made the active roster in 2016 and played sparingly in parts of 10 games. He finished that year with seven tackles. 

Then, something happened.

The Redskins developed a late-round pick, and while Ioannidis deserves a ton of credit for turning his body into 300 lbs. of bull-rushing muscle, the organization deserves credit too, particularly defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. 

In his second NFL season, Ioannidis logged 4.5 sacks an 27 tackles in 14 games. Last year, he got 7.5 sacks and 31 tackles in 14 games. 2018 marked the real turning point for Ioannidis. Early on, he ws a beast, and his sack-per-snap numbers ranked among the best in the league. 

Injuries have been an issue for the 25-year-old, but beyond that, Washington was wise to lock Ioannidis up now. 

2019 would be the final season on his rookie deal, and if he performs similarly this year as he did last year, his potential free agent market would have been hot. If he improves this fall, Ioannidis would have commanded a significantly higher deal next offseason than the one he just signed to stay in Washington. 

There's also the precedent that the Redskins front office can identify their valuable young talent and take care of those players. The last two offseasons, Washington has let a number of draft picks walk in free agency. Players like Jamison Crowder, Preston Smith, Ryan Grant, Trent Murphy and Spencer Long are just some of the names. Getting an extension done with Ioannidis reinforces for other players in the 'Skins locker room that the money will come if they work hard and play well. 

Don't forget either that it was head coach Jay Gruden that pushed hard for the team to draft Matt Ioannidis back in 2016. While the head coach faces significant pressure this fall to find a playoff bid, this is a good example of the coach's personnel acumen. 

There's also some long-term roster construction in play. 

The Redskins have three more years of contractual control for 24-year-old Allen, and four more years for the 21-year-old Payne. Now, Ioannidis is under contract for four more seasons. 

That's three high impact players on the defensive line, all under 25 years old, that will be in Burgundy and Gold through at least the 2021-22 season. 

It wasn't long ago that the defensive line was by far the Redskins worst position group on the team. In 2016, they had the worst run defense in the league. 

Credit to the team for fixing that, finally. 

And credit to the team for recognizing young talent, and proactively getting a deal done before Ioannidis hits free agency. 

Redskins fans often say they want their team to do what the good teams do. Here's the formula: find hidden talent late in the draft, develop that talent, sign them long-term. 

With the Matt Ioannidis contract extension, that's exactly what Washington just did. 

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Amidst Jags controversy, Landon Collins goes full Suge Knight to recruit Jalen Ramsey to Redskins

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Amidst Jags controversy, Landon Collins goes full Suge Knight to recruit Jalen Ramsey to Redskins

Even during this relatively quiet period of the NFL calendar, there's still plenty of controversy around the league.

Take Jacksonville for example, where Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has been firing back at executive vice president Tom Coughlin for saying he wants every player to attend the team's voluntary offseason workouts. Ramsey, as you may have already guessed, has elected to skip these workouts. 

Seeing an opportunity, new Redskins safety Landon Collins invited Ramsey to Washington via Twitter, going into full Suge Knight "Come to Death Row" mode to make his pitch. 

Ramsey seemed quite amused by the prospect, but also didn't seem totally opposed to the idea of teaming up with Collins in D.C. 

While it's unlikely Washington trades for Ramsey, nothing's stopping you from firing up the NFL Roster Builder and putting the two-time Pro Bowler in burgundy and gold, Redskins fans! 

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