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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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Nate Orchard was installing windows prior to signing with the Redskins

Nate Orchard was installing windows prior to signing with the Redskins

A week ago, many Redskins fans were not familiar with the name Nate Orchard. But after No. 54's exceptional performance in the Redskins' Week 13 victory over Carolina, he's turned into a feel-good story in an otherwise tough season in Washington.

As many Redskins fans know by now, Orchard was signed just days before the Week 13 game. Due to injuries to linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat, as well as Ryan Anderson being ejected, Orchard was forced to play meaningful snaps towards the end of Sunday's victory. He finished with a sack, recovering a fumble, and two tackles for loss in the win.

The former star on HBO's Hard Knocks while he was with the Cleveland Browns had worked out for 10 (!!) teams this season, but none chose to sign Orchard until Washington did last week. It makes sense why he was so emotional postgame.

So, how was Orchard spending his time before joining the Burgundy and Gold? 

Orchard, who spent most Mondays and Tuesdays this season working out for NFL teams, was installing windows in Utah a few days during the week, according to 106.7 The Fan.

"A typical week for me, I would leave for a workout Monday, get back Tuesday night," Orchard said on 106.7's Grant and Danny"Wednesday morning, I'd hit the gym early, then go and install windows from 7 [o'clock] until about 3 [o'clock], then come back to my family and rest up. [I would] repeat that Thursday and Friday."

Orchard admitted that he questioned whether he should continue to train and wait for a call, but says his wife encouraged him to stay motivated and continue to workout.

They say hard work pays off, and Orchard's whirlwind of a season thus far ended up being very rewarding for him this past Sunday.


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Newly signed WR Jordan Veasy credits Colin Kaepernick for opportunity with Redskins

Newly signed WR Jordan Veasy credits Colin Kaepernick for opportunity with Redskins

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick held a workout in November for a handful of NFL teams with the hopes of returning to the NFL, but the workout helped someone other than the former Super Bowl QB get a job.

Little known 24-year-old wide receiver Jordan Veasy, whom the Redskins signed to their practice squad this week, was on the receiving end of a 50-plus yard pass from Kaepernick at the workout that went viral on social media.

Veasy was undrafted out of the University of California in 2018 and has spent time with the Titans, Jaguars, Colts and Bills organizations, but has never played in an NFL game. He had previously met Kaepernick in 2016, when the two took a class in black representation in pop culture at Berkeley, according to the Washington Post.

"It helped," Veasy said to the Washington Post on the workout that led to him getting another chance in the NFL. "That’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a part of it. Just being a part of the history of it, and I knew it was going to help me."

After being released by the Bills, Veasy had been training in his hometown of Gadsden, Ala., just two hours away from Atlanta, where the workout was held. It was an easy drive for Veasy, who figured that he might as well run routes in front of scouts when given the opportunity.

Just a week or so after the workout, the Cleveland Browns brought him to town, but Veasy left unsigned. He had not heard from any NFL teams since then until the Redskins called this week, according to the Post. 

While Kaepernick remains without a job, at least someone else was able to benefit from the workout.