Quick Links

5 + 1: It's 'just win, baby' in Oakland for the Redskins

5 + 1: It's 'just win, baby' in Oakland for the Redskins

Five keys to Sunday’s Redskins-Raiders plus a prediction.

1. This game will be an Al Davis special—“Just win, baby”. Don’t look for many style points with the Redskins still searching for offensive consistency and struggling with some defensive fundamentals. They’ll probably have to settle for field goals far more often than most would like (all Redskins fans should drink to Kai Forbath’s health) and the defense could still bend and maybe break on occasion. A blowout win would be great for everyone’s morale going into the bye but a close, scuffling victory might just have to do.

2. If Terrelle Pryor is out and Matt Flynn is in for Oakland, the Redskins will be facing a backup quarterback as the starter for the other team for the fifth time since Mike Shanahan became the head coach. They are 2-2 in the previous four games. Both of the wins came last year against the Eagles’ Nick Foles. In 2011 they lost to Matt Moore of the Dolphins and in 2010 Jon Kitna led the Cowboys to a win over Washington. Perhaps that last one should have an asterisk since the Redskins started their backup Rex Grossman for that game.

3. Which Darren McFadden will the Redskins get? The one who averaged 6.8 yards per carry (19 carries, 129 yards) against the Jaguars? Or the one who averaged 2.8 a pop against the Colts (17 for 48) or a microscopic 0.8 (12 for 9) in Denver? McFadden has enough speed to pop a long run and boost his average substantially if the Redskins don’t solve their tackling woes quickly.

4. It’s hard to figure out what to make of the Raiders’ defense at this poing. They do have 10 sacks but they have yet to intercept a pass. They held the Colts to 274 total yards and the Jags to 248 before getting blasted for 536 yards against the Colts. You could look at their defensive numbers from last year and see that they ranked 18th in terms of yardage but they have turned over almost all of the starters from last year so that won’t tell you much about 2013. They look pretty active and aggressive and we’ll see about how Robert Griffin III and company can do against them.

5. And how well Griffin might play could depend on how well Alfred Morris runs. When the Redskins’ offense was rolling last year, Griffin throwing play-action passes after faking to Morris was a big part of it. An inconsistent running game this year has had ripple effects. The cure is 25 carries for Morris with him grinding out 4-6 yards each time he gets the ball. That will get the defense to cheat up and then we’ll see how ready Griffin really is.

Redskins 23, Raiders 14 

Quick Links

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Quick Links

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game. 

Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.

Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.

For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.

Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!