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Reading the tea leaves on Garçon

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Reading the tea leaves on Garçon

Ever since wide receiver Pierre Garçon was essentially shut down following the Redskins’ Week 5 game against the Falcons the thinking around Redskins Park has been that Pierre Garçon would return from his toe sometime between this upcoming game with the Eagles and the Monday night game against the Giants on Dec. 3.

As this week has unfolded, the consensus has been shifting towards Garçon returning sooner rather than later. There were some indications that the Redskins plan on playing their prize offseason free agent acquisition on Sunday.

For one thing, he seemed to be practicing harder than he has been. When he has been out there in recent weeks he has either been a spectator during the portion of practice that we can watch or running pass patterns without the sudden stops and cuts that are needed to play wide receiver in an actual game.

Things have been different this week. Garçon has been planting his foot and running patterns at something close to full speed.

“That’s a big plus because he hasn’t been doing that for a long time,” said Mike Shanahan on Garçon’s practices.

On Monday when asked if he would play against the Eagles, Garçon said the decision was up to the coach. Shanahan, as is his usual practice when talking about players coming back from an injury, would not say any definitive.

But Robert Griffin III may have let something regarding the receiver’s status slip. When asked if it looked like Garçon would be ready to play, Griffin first cautioned that he wasn’t the coach so it wasn’t his decision. But he continued in a vein that seemed to be telling.

“It will be good to have him back,” he said. “He’s looked good. Like I told him, we’re going to have many great seasons, many great games together. We might as well go ahead and start it now.”

Note the lack of “if” or other qualifiers in his statement.

The quarterback thinks that he and Garçon will pick up the chemistry they had going during the preseason and for the early phases of the season opener in New Orleans.

“The whole week we’ll work on our timing—getting that back,” said Griffin. “I threw to him all offseason, so it’s just a matter of getting that channeled back in. I think we’ll be able to do that.”

Even if he does play, that does not mean that Garçon is as good as new. He said that the toe was not 100 percent and that “it’s a pain all the time.”

“By no means is he 100 percent,” said Kyle Shanahan.

However, that doesn’t mean he will stay sidelined. “He does not have to be 100 percent to play,” said the offensive coordinator. “He still did some things in those games he played in that helped by just having him out there.

“We wanted to get him to 100 percent but now we’re not sure if he’ll get there and we’d definitely rather have him out here (at less that full capacity) than not at all because he can help regardless of where he is (in his rehab).”

Despite the way things look right now, there is no guarantee that the Garçon will suit up and play on Sunday. There could be a setback or they could decide that the toe isn’t quite ready to go. I am not much of one for giving fantasy advice but I would keep him on the bench unless you are out of alternatives.

But do not be surprised if Garçon ends up playing.  

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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.

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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