The Redskins enter week 17 of the NFL regular season with a spot in the playoffs on the line.
A win against the New York Giants will moves the Redskins to 9-6-1 and reward them with a berth in the 2016 NFL Playoffs.
The Redskins have been a tough team to beat at times this season, but have lacked a tight consistency on defense needed to cement themselves as one of the NFL's truly elite teams.
One of the areas the Redskins need to improve the most is defending the run.
Through 15 games, Washington ranks 25th in the league in rushing yards per game allowed (117 ypg), and they've allowed the fourth most rushing touchdowns (18).
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In Ben Standig's first mock draft, he has the Redskins addressing this weakness by selecting Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell with the 21st overall pick.
McDowell, who stands at 6-6 and weighs 276 pounds, was named first-team All-Big Ten by the Associated Press and a second-team All-American by CBS Sports.
In his junior season he led the defensive line with 36 tackles, despite playing in just nine games.
Ziggy Hood and Matt Ioannidis currently line up on the interior of the defensive line and while they are fine players, McDowell would be an added boost. With defensive end Chris Baker becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2017 and Ricky Jean Francois hitting free agency in 2018, the Redskins need to begin addressing the future of the defensive line.
CBS Sports has McDowell ranked as the 18th best player in the country on their NFL Draft big board.
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NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.
Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.
“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”
The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”
“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”
Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.
“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.
In a thriller in Foxboro, the Patriots handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.
It wasn't pretty but the Rams slipped past the Broncos to remain the lone unbeaten in the NFL.
Remember when the Lions beat New England on Sunday Night Football and folks were ready to bury the Patriots? Yeah... how did that 'hot take' work out?
Will the real Redskins please stand up? A win over the Panthers moved the Skins up three spots. Give the Redskins this, they are consistently unpredictable.
The Ravens are on the rise and Marcus Mariota is happy the Titans won't have to play Baltimore again.
So the Cowboys have an offense now? Or does Jacksonville not have an elite defense anymore?
And the Bears let Brock Osweiler throw for 380 yards. Yes. You read that correct. 380 yards.
How far will the Bears drop because of that dreadful defensive performance?