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State of the Redskins, Week 13: Gruden rolling the dice

State of the Redskins, Week 13: Gruden rolling the dice

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 13 of the NFL season.

Record: 6-4-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 4-3
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Home: 4-2
Away: 2-2-1

Rankings and changes from Week 12

Offense (yards/game): 426.4 (2nd, no change from Week 12)
Defense (yards/game): 369.6 (25th, -2)
Points for: 280 (9th, no change)
Points against: 264 (18th, no change)

Passer rating offense:  101.7 (6th, +3)
Opp passer rating: 93.8 (19th, -1)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (5th, +1)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.7 (31st, no change)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 9.7% (10th, -3)
Playoff chances per FO: 55.6%, -7.0% from last week

Trending the right way: The passer rating has ticked up three notches in each of the last two weeks. That’s what will happen when your quarterback passes for over 1,000 yards in three games with eight touchdowns and no interceptions.  

Trending the wrong way: Any loss is going to hurt your playoff chances but the loss in Dallas did minimal damage. The chances of postseason play did drop seven percentage points per Football Outsiders but they are still over 50 percent.

Top three storylines:

Gamblin’ Jay—Redskins coach Jay Gruden was hailed as a gutsy gambler when he had his team go for it on fourth and one in his own territory in the fourth quarter with a five-point lead. They got the first down, went in to score the touchdown, and won the game. When he called for a surprise onside kick against the Cowboys Dallas recovered and Gruden was panned for the decision. It will be interesting to see how aggressive he is in such situations the remainder of the season. No matter what, it seems likely that fans and many in the media will continue to judge such decisions strictly by the results and not by the logic and circumstances at the time.

Reed toughs it out—Jordan Reed left the Dallas game in the first half with a sprained shoulder. He came back and had a spectacular second half basically playing with one arm. His participation in practice this week and his status for the game on Sunday will need to be closely watched.

Now the hunted—Last year the Redskins were trying to catch up with the competition to make the playoffs. Now they are trying to retain or improve their status as a wild card team. Will Compton said he knows they will get other teams’ best shots.

Next three games

Sunday @ Cardinals (4-6-1)—This looked like a game that was going to be Mission Impossible for the Redskins when the schedule came out. Now it certainly looks winnable, although playing them on the road will be very tough.

December 11 @ Eagles (5-6)—The Redskins handled them well in October but the Eagles will be fighting for their playoff lives when this one comes around. For that matter, the Redskins might be, too.  

December 19 vs. Panthers (4-7)—The Panthers’ chances of defending as NFC champs are very slim and they may well be eliminated by the time they play at FedEx Field on Monday night. Regardless, the Redskins have had a tough time handling Cam Newton, who is 3-0 vs. Washington.

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Exploring the different scenarios between the Redskins and Trent Williams

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Exploring the different scenarios between the Redskins and Trent Williams

Training camp comes for the Redskins near the end of July, and in mid-June, not much looks overly worrisome. Except for the Trent Williams situation.

As fans well know, Williams missed all of mandatory minicamp amid reports that the seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle was upset with his contract. There are also reports that Williams is upset with the Redskins medical staff, and one report that the former Top 10 pick "vowed" never to return to Washington. 

That's serious stuff.

Jay Gruden rotated between calling Williams the Redskins best player and one of the team's most important players when the coach spoke about the situation during minicamp. Regardless of the exact assessment, Williams is obviously important to the Redskins plans for 2019, and how good the team can possibly become. 

Looking to the fall, there are a few probable outcomes for the Williams situation to end. Here's a look at the possibilities:

  1. Redskins trade Trent Williams - This seems like quite a long shot, but not impossible. Williams has started 119 games in Washington since 2010, but just two playoff games in that time. He's a very valuable player, one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, and could obviously draw interest around the NFL. A trade seems quite unlikely, but if a contending team wanted to move for Williams, he might actually want to go. This doesn't seem likely until closer to Week 1, and it doesn't seem likely anyway. The Redskins won't be able to get close to equitable value for Williams on the trade market. 
  2. Redskins cut Trent Williams - There is zero chance this happens. Zero. ZEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
  3. Redskins make it work with Trent Williams - The reality of pro football doesn't bode great for Williams. He's under contract for two more seasons and the salary structure of the NFL means there isn't much money without game checks. All of that suggests Williams arrives for the Redskins somewhere in mid-August, perhaps after training camp in Richmond but well before Week 1 in Philadelphia. That doesn't mean, however, that the 'Skins couldn't make a goodwill offer to Williams. His deal in 2020 holds barely any guaranteed cash, and perhaps making more of his salary a certainty could help him come back to the fold. 
  4. Trent Williams never returns - This seems highly unlikely, but has been reported. Williams seems very angry at the Redskins medical staff based off his Instagram posts, and if he can't trust the doctors, maybe he can't play for the organization. Williams has made a tremendous amount of money during his NFL career, with nearly $100 million in career earnings, so never say never. 



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In addition to being an NFL player, Bryce Love can now call himself a Stanford graduate

In addition to being an NFL player, Bryce Love can now call himself a Stanford graduate

Bryce Love hopes he'll have the opportunity to carry many footballs in his NFL career. But this past weekend, the running back picked up something that'll be just as, if not more, valuable than the attempts he'll be getting on Sundays.

How's a college diploma from Stanford sound? Pretty solid, right?

Oh, how about a college diploma from Stanford in human biology? Yeah, probably something worth hanging up on the ol' fridge, huh?

Well, that very hard-earned and impressive degree is what Love is now in possession of:

Drafted by the Redskins in late-April and walking across the stage at Stanford in mid-June, Love is doing well for himself recently. He passed up the chance to enter the draft early to ensure he graduated, and now he has.

His college GPA isn't known, but once you find out his high school GPA was 4.5 (that's apparently possible) and add that to the fact that he was able to finish up school out west while also churning up yards for the Cardinal, you can imagine it was very, very good. And if his yards-per-carry average as a pro matches or exceeds it, then the Redskins will be thrilled.