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OPEN THREAD: Pierre Garçon will catch ____ passes this season

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OPEN THREAD: Pierre Garçon will catch ____ passes this season

Pierre Garçon showed just how good he can be in the 2013 season, hauling in 113 catches for 1.346 yards on a bad Redskins team, leading the NFL in catches. Last season, with a new role in a new offense and a new coach, Garçon slipped statistically, bringing in 68 catches and 752 yards.

So which version of Garçon can Washington expect this fall?

Redskins coach Jay Gruden spoke this offseason about how hard Garçon works, and that the team needs to make more of an effort to get 88 the ball. It's foolish to discuss Garçon's stat slide without bringing up Washington's addition of DeSean Jackson, who last year joined the 'Skins and took over as the No. 1 receiver.

MORE REDSKINS: THESE ARE THE NUMBERS THAT MUST IMPROVE 

As an offensive coach, and with an offense that sputtered much of last season, Gruden needs to make sure both Jackson and Garçon get enough balls their way this season. Jackson is a true burner, a vertical threat, while Garçon works as a better possession receiver with the ability to run crisp downfield routes as well. Both WRs talents can put opposing secondaries in tough positions, and if the Redskins can better utilize both men this season, the results should improve.

Quarterback play also mandates mention in the discussion of Garçon, as last season the wideout caught passes from Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. Better quarterback play should bring better stats for receivers; that's fairly obvious. But better quarterback play means more than accuracy, it's RG3 understanding the offense and knowing where his wideouts will be before they get there.

Trying to figure out expectations for Jackson and Garçon is tricky, because few teams have that type of talent at WR with the type of questions at QB as the Redskins do.

The Green Bay Packers - with the best offense in the NFL and likely the best QB in Aaron Rodgers - had two WRs in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb that accounted for more than 2,800 yards and nearly 300 catches. Jackson and Garçon will not approach those numbers. The Chicago Bears perhaps offer a better example for Washington. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are top tier receivers though Jay Cutler ranks outside the top ranks of NFL quarterbacks. With the Bears, Jeffery and Marshall were both able to carve out big roles in the pass game, and each player's success made it easier for the other.

In eight NFL seasons, Garçon has averaged more than 50 catches per game. As a Redskin, those numbers are higher, averaging 75 catches a year in three seasons. Returning to the 75 catch mark, or even getting above 80, should be a benchmark for a successful Redskins offense. Garçon should be a player that converts third downs for Washington, a trouble spot in 2014.

How many catches for Garçon in 2014? How many does he need for the Redskins to succeed? Let us know in the comments.

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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