Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 21, 36 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 171 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 81 days.
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 26
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 50
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 73
The five best quarterbacks the Redskins will face in 2017
The Redskins took steps to bolster their pass defense, getting a new pair of safeties and making moves to improve the pass rush. Here are the five best quarterbacks they will have to stop in 2017 (ranked by 2016 passer rating).
Dak Prescott, Cowboys, passer rating 104.9—Yes, Prescott had a lot of advantages, including a top offensive line and the league’s leading rusher. But as a rookie fourth-round pick he still had to learn an NFL offense and remain calm enough to execute it. Per the eyeball test I’m not sure he belongs at the top of this list but he has a place on it.
Drew Brees, Saints, 101.7—This is more like it. He’s 38 but there is no suggestion that he is close to slowing down. Nine times a quarterback has passed for more than 5,000 yards in a season. Brees has five of those seasons. The 16-year veteran got his most recent 5K last year while completing 79 percent of his passes.
Sam Bradford, Vikings, 99.3—Bradford is the definitive dink-and-dunk passer in the game today. He completed 71.9 percent of his passes, setting an NFL single-season record. But he averaged just 9.8 yards per completion, 29th in the NFL. Bradford isn’t going to put up huge numbers on you but he can get you with death by a thousand paper cuts.
Derek Carr, Raiders, 96.7—When the Redskins and Raiders last played in 2013 Matt McGloin was the Oakland quarterback. The next year they drafted Carr in the second round and he has been the starter from Day One. Virtually all his major stats have improved from year to year. He will come to Washington for a Sunday night game with either a big new contract extension or a desire to earn one as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks, 92.6—Wilson is coming off of a career-worst passer rating but he played with one of the worst offensive lines in the game and, in a related matter, he was banged up a lot. He posted a career-best rating of 110.1 in 2015 and I anticipate seeing that Wilson when the Redskins visit Seattle in Week 9.
The rest: In all, the Redskins play six games against five quarterbacks who finished in the top half of the league in passer rating. They will play 10 games against eight QBs who finished in the bottom half in passer rating. It would be a mistake to underestimate quarterbacks like Eli Manning (twice), an improving Carson Wentz (twice), and the perennially productive Philip Rivers.
Tandler on Twitter
The 2017 Redskins will face five of the top 15 QBs (2016 passer rating) this season and four of top 15 RBs (2016 rushing yards).— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) June 20, 2017
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