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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

MORE REDSKINS: IS RUNNING THE KEY TO SOLVING RED ZONE WOES?

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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Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

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USA TODAY Sports

Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

More than 100 days remain before the Redskins take the field in meaningful NFL action.

Any and all excitement needs to be tempered, significantly, because what happens on a practice field in May without pads does not represent what will happen in September, October and beyond. 

Still, the Redskins group that took the field this week for OTAs showed promise. 

New quarterback Alex Smith looked crisp, connecting with a variety of wideouts and commanding the huddle. New wideout Paul Richardson made the best play of the session when he streaked down the field past rookie cornerback Greg Stroman and hauled in a deep pass from Smith. The play showed Smith's ability to identify open receivers downfield, as well as Richardson's ability to go up and grab a contested catch. Even Stroman, the seventh-round rookie, positioned himself well, he just fell victim to a perfect pass and tremendous athleticism.

That was only one play in a two-hour session. Again, don't take too much from May, when players don't wear pads or engage in any of the violence that the NFL is predicated upon. But the OTAs do serve a purpose, both for players and coaches, and there were nuggets to absorb and try to project for the fall. Here they are:

  • Jay Gruden made clear he's not concerned about the health of his offensive line. Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are recuperating from offseason surgery, but Gruden believes both are on track for when things start to matter. It's a good thing the coach isn't concerned because this was the 'Skins line in OTAs (left to right): Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, John Kling. Should that lineup take the field this fall, there will be trouble. 
     
  • The Redskins lost Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason, and the secondary depth will be something to watch throughout training camp. At OTAs, newly signed veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick lined up opposite Josh Norman in the team's base 3-4 defense. In nickel and dime coverage, Quinton Dunbar lined up opposite Norman and Scandrick moved to the slot. As things progress, it will be interesting to see if Dunbar surpasses Scandrick in base coverage, and what becomes of 2017 third-round pick Fabian Moreau. Stay tuned.  
     
  • Rookie running back Derrius Guice looked every part of the first-round talent many judged him to be before draft season rumors caused him to slide to the late second round. Guice cuts with authority and is able to see holes before they form and patiently wait to hit the open space. Guice also looked fine in pass-catching drills, one area that was a question coming out of LSU (but that says more about LSU's prehistoric offense). Watching the Redskins offense work, it seems clear Guice will be the heaviest used runner this fall.
     
  • That said, don't count out Robert Kelley. He looks leaner and plenty quick, showing a few impressive runs during the session. Byron Marshall also looked good, and Gruden pointed out his success in his post-OTA press conference. The running back group will have plenty of competition all the way through Richmond. 
     
  • Jonathan Allen has switched jersey numbers from 95 to 93. Rookie Daron Payne is now wearing 95. Payne and Allen both went to Alabama, both are huge, and both play defensive line. The number switch will take some getting used to. 
     
  • Zach Brown missed the OTA session as he was moving, and interestingly in his spot with the starting defense was Josh Harvey-Clemons. The second-year pro out of Louisville showed impressive speed in coverage, and remember he played safety in college and performed quite well. He has ball skills and great size to be a coverage linebacker. Some were surprised when the Redskins kept JHC last season at the cut to 53, but his development appears to be paying off for the organization. 
     
  • Another linebacker that made a play was Zach Vigil. He impressed for the Redskins late last season and was running the Washington second-team defensive huddle. At one point, Vigil broke through the line of scrimmage and blew up a run play. That prompted D.J. Swearinger to yell from the sideline, "OK Zach. OK ZACH!"
     
  • Speaking of Swearinger, the Redskins defensive captain seemed in midseason form when it comes to yelling encouragement on the field. Nobody hypes up the defense like Swearinger, particularly when the secondary makes a big play. On one pass Dunbar made a nice diving play to break up a pass, and Swearinger and Josh Norman got very fired up, shouting and jumping around. The entire defense responded. Little stuff like that helps disrupt the monotony of offseason work. 
     
  • Jamison Crowder looks jacked and quick. The end. 

 

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

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NBC Sports Washington

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 25, 62 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Trades, misses and mistakes explain Redskins' dead cap—This post does a good job of outlining where the Redskins’ dead cap came from. It should be noted that dead cap is a part of the cost of doing business in the NFL and the Redskins have done fairly well managing it this year. Only about a dozen teams have less dead cap on the books than the Redskins $5.2 million. 

Tandler's Take—The best- and worst-case scenarios for the 2018 Redskins—I received some comments saying that my worst-case scenario, a 6-10 finish, is not low enough. Since we’re talking about events that won’t begin to happen for about three and a half months, I can’t really argue with them. But it’s just hard for me to see them dropping more than a game from last year when they were hit harder with injuries than any other team in the NFL. 

Pre-OTAs Redskins player one-liners, defense—An extension for Matt Ioannidis seemed preposterous a year ago, now it seems like a good idea. How many sacks for Lanier? When will Ryan Anderson get his first sack? Plus offensive player one-liners here

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp—You can’t tell everything from OTAs, but you can tell some things. Taking another look at this post, I gave a good, detailed look at the session, but I didn’t really mention the overall feel, which was fun and energetic. 

Tweet of the week

Certainly, Derrius Guice is the fan favorite of the rookie class. But the great reaction to this tweet shows that there is plenty of love for Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, last year’s top pick. 

In 2016, the starting defensive line consisted of Ricky Jean Francois, Chris Baker, and  Ziggy Hood. The top reserve was Cullen Jenkins. They all had their good qualities and made some plays. But Baker was the youngster of the group and he turned 30 during the season. It clearly was a group on the decline. 

Two years later, the picture is quite different. Payne and Allen lead a younger group that will get better over the next few years. Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Tim Settle, and Stacy McGee should round out the group. McGee is by far the senior member of the group at age 28. None of the others have celebrated his 25thbirthday yet. 

Fans should perhaps temper their optimism with the knowledge that potential doesn’t always develop into performance. But unlike years past there is something to look forward to. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 18
—Training camp starts (7/26) 62
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 76

The Redskins last played a game 145 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 107 days. 

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