CHICAGO—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 24, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the New York Giants. .
—Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Bears 1:00
—Days until: Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 8; Wild card playoff round starts 14
Injuries of note:
Out: LB Cravens (upper arm), CB Dunbar (concussion)
Questionable: TE Reed (shoulder), LB Compton (knee), OLB Kerrigan (elbow), DE Baker (ankle)
Final injury report
Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bears
Reed likely out, spotlight on Davis: On Friday, the Redskins listed TE Jordan Reed as questionable. That designation means that there is better than a 50% chance the player will play. But according to multiple reports Reed will not suit up for the game. That is not surprising considering that he did not practice all week and that just five days ago he was in agony because of the shoulder. Vernon D,avis, who has had 10 receptions for just 71 yards in the three games that Reed has been out or limited and had a few drops against the Panthers, will need to step up.
Searching for takeaways: The Redskins have had one takeaway in their last three games and being on the minus side of the turnover ledger played a big part in them losing two of those games. Bears QB Matt Barkley has thrown seven interceptions in his five game appearances including three last week against the Packers. Also, Chicago has lost nine fumbles on the season. There will be opportunities there and the Redskins need to take advantage of them.
Improving their chances: As of right now, the website FiveThirtyEight.com has the Redskins with a 26 percent chance of making the playoffs. If they beat the Bears that chance goes up to 42 percent. A win over the Giants on New Year’s Day would boot that to 72 percent. A lot of fans have checked out in the team’s playoff chances but they have a good percentage of their fate in their own hands. For the record 538.com has the Redskins with a 62 percent chance of beating the Bears
Prediction: Before last Monday night, I would have picked the Redskins to win today without hesitation. But after they laid that egg against the Panthers I have to hesitate. Even though each game, as Kirk Cousins likes to say, is its own entity it’s easy to see how there will be some carryover effect. I think that the night game-short week-road game cycle affected them against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was evident today. But I think that the Redskins will find a way to slog through it. The Panthers have not been bad since their Week 7 bye, going 5-3 since then. The Bears have lost five of six. Rob Kelley gets 100 yards rushing, Cousins throws for about 250 and the defense does enough of the bend but don’t break thing to get the job done.
Redskins 24, Bears 20
Tandler on Twitter
Poll: Who will win Redskins vs. Bears? #WASvsCHI— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) December 23, 2016
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