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State of the Redskins, Week 17—Back in the driver's seat

State of the Redskins, Week 17—Back in the driver's seat

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 17 of the NFL season.

Top three storylines:

Back in the driver’s seat—Everything fell into place after the Redskins took care of business against the Bears. The Buccaneers and Lions lost and all of a sudden Washington is win and in, barring a tie in Lions-Packers.

Reed still a question mark—The Redskins sure would feel a lot better about their chances against Giants on Sunday and in the playoffs if they get there if Jordan Reed can play at the same level he did earlier this season. It’s been a month since he suffered a Grade 2 sprain of the AC joint in his left shoulder. Since then he has missed two games and play a combined 29 snaps in two others. Is that enough rest for the Redskins to be able to get a productive 40 snaps out of him on Sunday?  

Norman vs. Beckham—The last time they faced off the only physical violence came when Beckham hit the kicking net and it hit back. In Week 3 the individual rivalry, or feud, or whatever you want to call it, was the headline; this week there are much more important matters at hand

Record: 8-6-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 3-2
vs. NFC: 6-5
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Home: 4-3
Away: 4-3-1

Rankings and changes from Week 15

Offense (yards/game): 411.3 (3rd, no change from Week 15)
Defense (yards/game): 380.9 (29th, no change)
Points for: 386 (9th, +1)
Points against: 364 (22nd, +2)

Passer rating offense:  98.8 (6th, -1)
Opp passer rating: 91.5 (20th, +3)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.6 (7th, +5)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.6 (27th, no change)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 13.5% (8th, +2)
Playoff chances per FO: 59.0%, +38.2% from last week

Trending the right way: The Redskins moved up to No. 8 in Football Outsiders’ weighted DVOA. They are the fourth best team in the NFC per this metric.

Trending the wrong way: Not much after this week. The team passer rating went down a tick as Kirk Cousins didn’t need to have a super statistical day for the Redskins to beat the lowly Bears.

Final regular season game

New Year’s Day vs. Giants (10-4)—The Redskins must win. The Giants want to get the taste of a subpar performance against the Eagles out of their collective mouths. What that adds up to will determine if the Redskins’ season will continue.

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Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Scott Turner was asked about quarterback Dwayne Haskins' growth this offseason during a Zoom call with local media earlier this week, and the new Redskins offensive coordinator explained he was pleased with both Haskins' physical and mental progress.

Besides raving about the second-year quarterbacks imposing size and natural arm strength, Turner also dove into specific detail about one other thing that really stood out to him about Haskins: his ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver a throw without much space.

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter on Friday, tweeting out two video examples from Haskins' rookie season where the quarterback demonstrated the qualities Turner raved about.

The first example was a clip from the Redskins Week 11 contest against the Jets. The play went down in the scorebook as a 24-yard completion to Kelvin Harmon, but what the quarterback had to do in order to make this play successful was quite impressive.

For this play, Orlovsky explained how Haskins identified where the pressure was coming from pre-snap, causing him to shift the entire protection to the left. After the running back missed his block, Haskins didn't panic. The then-rookie QB stepped up in the pocket and fired a dart to Harmon on the in-route as the receiver broke open in the middle of the field.

"This is one of my favorite plays by him last year," Orlovsky explained. "It really is an example of the intellectual aspect of quarterback play with the feel aspect of quarterback play."

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The second clip was from Washington's clash in Green Bay last season. On this particular snap, Haskins showed his mastery of the Packers' defense.

Haskins' initial read was to the right side, where Harmon was running an inside post route. But once the quarterback saw his first read was covered, he continued to look right, forcing Packers' safety Darnell Savage to slide in that direction. The passer then immediately turned to his backside, which created an open throwing lane to find Terry McLaurin in the middle of the field.

"It really shows a complete understanding of what the defense is, what the coverage is, and then a complete understanding of who on the defense he needs to move with his eyes to open up a window," Orlovsky said.

It's fair to mention that the Redskins would not win either of these games and that the rookie passer had his struggles in each of these contests. It's no secret that Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, and there were examples of such in each of these matchups, too.

But Haskins did finish the season playing the best football of his young career, giving some hope for the future. Count Orlovsky in on those who are optimistic about the quarterback as he enters his second season with the team and his first as the team's true starter.

"There are so many examples on his tape that show how smart he actually is," Orlovsky said. 

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Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2020, according to Forbes.

Cousins, who came in as the ninth highest-paid athlete overall, is the top-ranked NFL athlete on the list, coming in one spot above Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Forbes estimated the Vikings QB's earnings at $60.5 million, with $58 million coming from his salary and $2.5 million from his endorsements.

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In March, Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension with the Vikings, one that included a $30 million signing bonus. The signal-caller originally signed with the Vikings in 2018 on a three-year, fully-guaranteed $84 million deal that at the time made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Vikings signal-caller has earned over $130 million in his career thus far, according to OverTheCap.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with the Redskins, with three of those years as the team's starter. The quarterback set the franchise's single-season passing yards record in 2016 when he threw for 4,917 yards for Washington. His 29 touchdown passes in 2017 were the second-most by any Redskins quarterback in a single-season.

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