Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 15, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Rams in Los Angeles
Today’s schedule: Practice 11:35 a.m.; Jay Gruden and open locker room after practice
—Sunday night Raiders @ Redskins (9/24) 9
—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 17
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 44
What they’re saying about the Redskins
A spin around the internet to see what the media is saying about the Redskins. As you might guess, it’s mostly negative.
Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post
Or, given the last 25 years, you may want to look at this opening game with clear eyes, save yourself some heartburn and lower your expectations. Again.
I like Boswell and I agree with a lot of his column. But I just want to know who he has been talking to who had high expectations for the Redskins this year. Sure the organization put on a generally optimistic face all offseason, just like 31 other teams do. Last week I gave Jay Gruden a chance to pump up his team by telling him expectations were low. He did nothing to pump them up. Have you heard a single player predict a Super Bowl or even an NFC East title?
RELATED: NFL WEEK 1 POWER RANKINGS
This poll of the fan base a few days before the Eagles game doesn’t represent wild-eyed optimism:
Poll: How many games will the #Redskins win this season?— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) September 7, 2017
If you look at the replies there, a lot of fans wanted an 8-9 wins option. So, 80 percent of the fan base generally thinks this is a .500 team, plus or minus a game or two. High expectations? Where?
Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer
The Redskins aren’t very good. The Redskins lost a ton of key pieces this off-season and didn’t do a good enough job in replacing those losses. But they could be worse than I originally thought . . . Their running backs, who torched the Eagles on the ground a year ago, averaged just 2.6 yards per carry Sunday. Credit Jim Schwartz’s defense, but the Redskins offense was limp.
This was in a “what we learned” roundup by McLane. It’s an accurate one-game snapshot. If they play like they did on Sunday for 16 games they’ll be lucky to win four or five. Many think they’ll be at least somewhat better but it’s hard to argue with this one-game snapshot.
Kirk Cousins posted a 33.8 Total QBR in Week 1, his third worst since the start of 2015. Possible overreaction: Without Sean McVay calling the plays, Cousins will have games like this more often. A third straight winning season seems unlikely.
McLane also mentioned the absence of McVay possibly being a factor. Other than getting away from the run (which McVay did with great regularity), I didn’t have much of an issue with Gruden’s play calling. Run and pass blocking, Cousins’ execution, and a few drops by receivers were much higher on the list of issues. ESPN had the Redskins ranked No. 23, behind seven other 0-1 teams.
Much like Tom Savage, Andy Dalton, Brian Hoyer or Scott Tolzien, Kirk Cousins saw plenty of enemy jerseys in his face Sunday. Sacked four times, he was also forced to use legs on several other big plays throughout the day. And then came the deciding moment: the apparent-forward-pass-ruled-fumble that handed Philadelphia six and the win. Perhaps all the pressure caused some uncharacteristic Cousins misfires, too.
This is a much calmer assessment of the situation. Assuming the offensive line can do what it has done, Cousins should be fine. They also mention the bad call that cost Cousins and the team a chance to make up for all the issues that were on display during the game. NFL.com has the Redskins ranked No. 20, which seems to be about right according to the way these things work this early in the season.
Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
Tandler on Twitter
Doctson moving well. He made some harder cuts before I got the camera on. #Redskins pic.twitter.com/uWGvSFHBVJ— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) September 14, 2017
In case you missed it
- Gruden presser recap: Carries coming for Samaje Perine?
- Why do the coaches value Ryan Grant?
- Is Gruden frustration growing after Doctson is limited in practice?
- After another limited day, is Gruden frustrated with Doctson?
- Stat check: Where the Redskins must improve