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State of the Redskins, Week 10—Strong NFC East leaves little margin for error

State of the Redskins, Week 10—Strong NFC East leaves little margin for error

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 11 of the NFL season.

Record: 5-3-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-1
vs. NFC: 3-2
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Home: 3-2
Away: 2-1-1

Rankings and changes from Week 10

Offense (yards/game): 407.8 (4th, no change from Week 10)
Defense (yards/game): 365.4 (21st, +1)
Points for: 212 (16th, -2)
Points against: 209 (17th, +2)

Passer rating offense:  95.1 (12th, +3)
Opp passer rating: 91.7 (16th, -3)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (9th, -2)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.2 (28st, +3)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 8.5% (8th, +8)
Playoff chances per FO: 45.7%, +15.5% from last week

Trending the right way: The Redskins’ DVOA, an overall measure of team efficiency compiled by Football Outsiders, jumped up eight spots from last week from 16th to 8th. It should be noted that there are a few head-scratching DVOA rankings this year, including the standing of the Eagles, the last-place team in the NFC East, as the top team in the metric.

Trending the wrong way: Opposing quarterbacks have been dinging them lately. Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton and Sam Bradford all passed for 250 yards or more and their opponent passer rating has suffered.    

Top three storylines:

Questions about Jackson—DeSean Jackson has nursed a variety of ailments this season but he had not missed a game until he sat out against the Vikings with a shoulder injury. According to a media report he could be out this week, too. You have to wonder how a lack of availability this year will play into the team’s plans for him when he becomes a free agent next spring.

Division looking strong—After Week 10 a year ago, no team in the NFC East had a winning record. Now, every team in the division is over .500. With only two wild card spots available it’s possible that one pretty good team from the division will stay at home. The Redskins don't have much of a margin 

Looking for Smith to stay on a roll—Last year Preston Smith got six of his eight sacks in the second half of the season. He got his stretch run off to a good start with two sacks and his first career interception against the Vikings. If he can continue getting sacks and creating takeaways the Redskins defense will be markedly better.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Packers (4-5)—The Packers are reeling, coming in off of a three-game losing streak. But keep in mind that when they came to FedEx Field for the wild card playoff game they had lost two straight to fall from the division lead to the wild card spot. They got well in a hurry.

Thanksgiving @ Cowboys (8-1)—The Redskins had a chance to drop the Cowboys to an 0-2 start back in September but they couldn’t take advantage of some red zone chances and Dak Prescott rallied his team to a win. This one will be critical if the Redskins have any slim hope of chasing down the Cowboys for the NFC East title.

December 4 @ Cardinals (4-4-1)—This is one game where head to head results could come into play in a tiebreaker. The Redskins will want a head-to-head win in their pockets should they find themselves with the same record as the Cardinals when the season is over.  

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NFL players react to news that Andrew Luck is retiring

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NFL players react to news that Andrew Luck is retiring

NFL players took to Twitter on Saturday to send well-wishes to Andrew Luck after news broke that he is retiring from the NFL. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Luck was 'mentally worn out' after years of battling injuries. Luck confirmed the news in an emotional press conference on Saturday night.

"Andrew luck I understand you 100% brotha," wrote Dez Bryant. "... take your time ... I wish you the best."

Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins reacted to the news with emojis.

Former player turned ESPN analyst Emmanuel Acho posted video of Colts fans booing Luck as he walked into the locker room. "Coach always said, 'the pats on the back eventually turn into stabs,'" he wrote.  

"That's bad to boo that man," added former Redskins player Chris Baker.

Former Ravens and current Carolina player Torrey Smith tweeted that anyone in the sport understands.

Jaguars long snapper Matt Overton wrote he was "shook."



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Falcons safety Keanu Neal says no 'ill intent' for big hit on Jordan Reed

Falcons safety Keanu Neal says no 'ill intent' for big hit on Jordan Reed

Jordan Reed took a major blow to the head in the Redskins third preseason game in Atlanta, and the blow eventually landed Washington's stud tight end in the NFL's concussion protocol. 

Falcons safety Keanu Neal delivered the hit, and while it was clearly illegal and resulted in a penalty on the field, he took to Twitter to defend his play. 

It's hard to judge intent under the incredible speed that plays happen during pro football. When a player goes in for a tackle, ball carriers can also move, and plays that look dirty in slow motion can look reasonable in full speed. Still, it's undeniable that Reed took a major shot in the helmet from Neal, and it definitely seemed unnecessary. And it's not a secret that Reed has dealt with serious head injuries throughout his NFL career. 

There has been no update on Reed's condition beyond that he's in the NFL concussion protocol. Reed also stayed in the game after the big hit from Neal before his concussion symptoms showed up at halftime. 

Neal is a fifth-year safety out of the University of Florida. He missed most of the 2018 season with an ACL injury. Reed also attended the University of Florida.