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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—rebuilding the defense

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—rebuilding the defense

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 13, 11 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

The Redskins week that was

A look at five of the most popular posts of the week here at Real Redskins and at CSNmidatlantic.com:

Why haven't the Redskins released RG3? —Some have complained that this post was unnecessary but when I get a question asked over and over again in the comments and on social media, I figure it’s best to write a post to flesh it out and send people to that. Over 100,000 people have read it so obviously there are plenty of people still wondering and/or interested in the topic.

Despite 2015 success, Vegas not high on 2016 Redskins—Those of you who like it when the Redskins are underdogs and under the radar should be happy this offseason. The Super Bowl odds discussed in this post come from Bovada.lv and they have the Redskins with worse odds than every other team in the NFC East. I think that a healthy Romo (not a sure thing for 16 games) will help Dallas but I find it hard to see the Eagles and Giants, both with rookie head coaches among other issues, as favorites over a fairly stable Redskins team.

Who has the best chance of being the Redskins' first pick?—Interest in the draft is high even though we are still almost two weeks away from the NFL Combine, which is more than two months before the draft. I can see the Redskins going to just about any position in the first round with the exception of quarterback, tight end, and offensive tackle. There would have to be a real steal at some positions like outside linebacker but it’s possible.

Jarrett: 'He's a mature guy for a rookie'—Kyshoen Jarrett was one of the most pleasant draft surprises in years. He was expected to play some special teams and fill in at safety here and there. But he became a Swiss Army knife, playing 616 snaps nickel corner, corner, and safety. If you can find one or two of those a year is the difference between good drafts and excellent drafts.

Will McCloughan try to build the Redskins' defense through free agency?—I got an interesting question from a reader on Scot McCloughan’s plans for free agency. Last year he tried to build up the defense through some signings and they experienced mixed results. Will he give it another go and bring in veterans to bolster a defense that ranked 28th in yards allowed and in the bottom third in many other statistical categories? Or will he want to add some draft picks to the mix and have Joe Barry and company focus on developing them and some of the young talent already on the roster? A mix of both is likely but I suspect it will be more of the latter than the former.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 34 days ago. It will be about 211 days until they play another one.

—About 166 days until fullbacks and safeties report to Richmond.

Days until: NFL Combine 11; NFL free agency starts 25; 2016 NFL draft 75

In case you missed it

 

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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

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USA Today Sports

The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

Madden 19 won't be released to the public until August 10, but the player ratings for the top players on each NFL team have been released.

The video reaches the Redskins a little after four minutes in. The top nine players on the Redskins, according to their Madden 19 overall ratings are as follows:

  1. LT Trent Williams, 91
  2. RG Brandon Scherff, 88
  3. FS D.J. Swearinger, 86
  4. MLB Zach Brown, 85
  5. CB Josh Norman, 84
  6. RB Chris Thompson, 83
  7. WR Paul Richardson, 83
  8. QB Alex Smith, 81
  9. WR Jamison Crowder, 81

The list has Washington's two best linemen up top followed by its best skill position players and Zach Brown. Beyond Williams and Sherff, there's some debate to be had. Both Richardson and Crowder can make a serious case to be the team's best receiver. Crowder had 22 more receptions and 86 more yards than Richardson in 2017, but Richardson had six touchdowns to Crowder's three.

Smith is coming off arguably the best season of his career with Kansas City. He put up over 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, posted career bests in quarterback rating, touchdown passes, interception percentage and completions. His rating as the fifth-best offensive player behind two other skill position players seems off.

These rankings will change throughout the season as more updates become available, but this is what there is to work with right now.

MORE REDSKINS COVERAGE

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Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the game against the Jaguars. 

Week 15 December 16, TIAA Bank Field

2017 Jaguars: 10-6, First in AFC South, lost AFC championship game 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 9

Early line: Redskins +8

Key additions: G Andrew Norwell, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Donte Moncrief, 

Key losses:WR Allen Hurns, WR Allen Robinson

Biggest questions: 

  • QB Blake Bortles was very inconsistent during the season and there was talk of the team looking for a replacement for him prior to their run in the playoffs. Does he have what it takes to get the team back into serious contention. 
  • The team also got an inconsistent season out of RB Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 pick in the draft. Can he put together the monster season that would justify his draft status and help elevate the Jaguars to elite status. 
  • The Jaguars went from 25thin scoring defense in 2016 to second last year. Will they fall back to the pack this year?

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 5-1. The Jaguars only win against them came in 2002.

Series notables

The first time: September 28, 1997, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium—In the second game ever played at the Redskins’ new stadium, Jacksonville took a 9-0 lead in the second quarter, but then-Jags QB Mark Brunell threw a pair of interceptions that set up two Washington touchdowns and the Redskins won 24-12. Gus Frerotte threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns and Terry Allen gained 122 yards on 36 carries. 

The last time: November 14, 2012, FedEx Field—Jay Gruden got his first win as the Redskins’ head coach in this one. Robert Griffin III went out of this game early with an injury and Kirk Cousins passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his place. It was the defense that dominated this game, racking up 10 sacks, tying the team record set in 1977. Ryan Kerrigan got four of those sacks, tying the team individual record for sacks in a game. The Redskins won 41-10.

The best time: October 1, 2006, FedEx Field—A taught, exciting game came to an explosive end when Santana Moss snared a pass that Mark Brunell perhaps should not have thrown and streaked to the end zone, giving the Redskins a 36-30 overtime win over Jacksonville.

The reason the throw was risky was that two defenders were near Moss as Brunell fired it to the speedy receiver. Somehow both of them missed it. Moss grabbed it, spun around and bolted the rest of the way to complete the 68-yard game winner.

It was Moss’ third touchdown reception of the day. In the first quarter, he caught a long pass from Brunell and executed a nifty spin move near the goal line to complete the 55-yard touchdown play. An eight-yard Moss TD catch early in the third quarter put the Redskins up by 10 but the Jags battled back to tie it with six seconds left. That set up Moss’ overtime heroics. 

The worst time: November 10, 2002, Alltel Stadium—The Redskins came into the game riding a two-game winning streak and at 4-4 they were squarely in playoff contention. A strong running game had been their best asset during their surge to .500 and, with the Jaguars sporting the worst run defense in the NFL, there was every reason to believe that the Redskins would take the land route to another win.

But coach Steve Spurrier had different ideas. "I was dumb enough to think we could throw it up and down the field," Spurrier said. "We ran a little bit here and there. We had a little success there early, and I got away from it too much. The second quarter, I kept thinking at midfield, we could throw the ball from there. But we didn't do it very well. So, looking back, I called a lousy game."

His defense didn’t play very well either. The Redskins scored first but the Jaguars scored 26 unanswered points and came out with a 26-7 win.

Redskins schedule series

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