Here is my prediction for the 53-man roster that will emerge from the final round of cuts:SpecialistsIn (3):P Sav Rocca, LS Nick Sundberg, PK Billy CundiffObviously Cundiff beating out both Neil Rackers and Graham Gano without making a single kick in a Redskins uniform was a surprise to most.DefenseDefensive backsCornerback (5): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Cedric Griffin, Richard Crawford, Brandyn ThompsonSafety (4): Brandon Meriweather, Tanard Jackson, Madieu Williams, DeJon GomesJordan Bernstine goes to the practice squad. Reed Doughty may give you more than Gomes this year but I think that last years draft pick stays with an eye towards 2013 and beyond.LinebackersOutside (4):Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson,Inside (5):London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson, Bryan KehlIts hard to cut an athlete like Markus White but Wilson is a more polished player and can be a huge asset on special teams.Defensive lineIn (6): Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Barry Cofield, Chris BakerThis has been set since Chris Neild went out with a torn ACL. Golston stays because the blocking in the middle of the line on field goals fell apart when he got injured last year. Doug Worthington goes to the practice squad.For a look at mypre-training camp 53-man prediction, go here.OffenseRunning backsIn (5):Roy Helu Jr., Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Darrell Young, Alfred MorrisNone of the four tailbacks is a stud but it would be hard to cut any of them, so Shanahan wont.Tight endsIn (3):Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Logan PaulsenThis was set when Chris Cooley was released on Tuesday.Wide receiversIn (6):Pierre Garon, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Dez BriscoeYes, Anthony Armstrong plays special teams and Briscoe doesnt or at least not very much or very well. But in 2010 Armstrong caught seven passes. Briscoe caught sixtouchdownpasses. Briscoe has been the better player in camp and in preseason games since learning the offense. Briscoe has to stay.If Brandon Banks staysand I dont think he willhe wont take a job away from one of the six wide receivers. If he does stay it will be as a return specialist and his roster slot will come from the offensive line or from a linebacker.QuarterbacksIn (3):Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk CousinsRex stays. Period.Offensive lineIn (9):Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Josh LeRibeus, Jordan Black, Adam Gettis, Maurice HurtAs noted above, the Redskins could decide to keep Banks and trim back an offensive lineman. They got burned last year keeping eight linemen when a rash of injuries hit so I think they will play it safe this year and keep nine.If they do decide to go with eight, Gettis seems to be the most vulnerable. Black is the swing tackle, LeRibeus can play guard or center, and Hurt can play guard or tackle. Gettis may develop versatility but for now he seems likely to learn on the practice squad.Willie Smith does have a shot at getting Blacks spot. He started camp and the preseason games slowly, something the coaching staff made no secret of. But he has performed better lately. But it looks like Black will get the nod.Breakdown: 26 offense, 24 defense, 3 specialistsAgree? Disagree? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @Rich_Tandler
Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 26, six days before the Washington Redskins play Chiefs in Kansas City.
Today’s schedule: No media availability
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 27
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 33
Last look at Redskins vs. Raiders
—I could fill up this entire post with numbers that demonstrate just how dominant the Redskins defense was on Sunday. Here’s one that impressed me—with the exception of two series that started with turnovers deep in Washington territory, the Raiders ran one play on the Redskins’ side of the field. Early in the second quarter, Derek Carr threw a short pass that Marshawn Lynch turned into an eight-yard gain to the Washington 48. On the next play, Kendall Fuller picked off Carr’s pass. That was it until Jamison Crowder muffed a punt, giving Oakland the ball at the Washington 21 with 47 seconds left in the third quarter.
—Kirk Cousins passed for over 350 yards with three or more touchdowns and no interceptions for the fourth time as a Redskin. It is the first time Washington quarterback to do that more than once; Joe Theismann did it in 1982 and 1983. Colt McCoy and Mark Rypien did it once each. Cousins is the only one of the group to complete over 80 percent of his passes in such a game; he was 25 of 30, 83.3 percent.
—Again, there are plenty of numbers but what set this game apart was the confidence and attitude on display, particularly on defense. The images that stick in my mind are plays like D.J. Swearinger leveling Marshawn Lynch, Preston Smith just dismissing a Lynch stiff arm to get the stop on third and two, Montae Nicholson getting a textbook legal hit on Michael Crabtree and Zach Brown sending ball carriers to the ground with a vengeance.
—Some are wondering if Mack Brown should be the main backup at running back when Rob Kelley returns from his rib injury, which could be this week. Samaje Perine seemed to miss some openings and at times he seemed to go down with a one-arm tackle. And he fumbled the ball away. But on Sunday night Jay Gruden said that once Kelley is back, Perine will be the backup and Brown is likely to return to the game-day inactive list.
—Let this sink in for a minute—prior to last night’s Cowboys-Cardinals game, the Redskins were fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts (90) and sixth in rushing yards (409). They are on pace to have 480 rushing attempts for 2,180 yards. Last year they ran it 379 times for 1,696 yards.
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In case you missed it
- Can the Redskins sustain the success they had vs. the Raiders?
- Redskins' best defensive performance since 1991
- Some amazing Redskins numbers vs. the Raiders
- Resetting the NFL's Power Rankings after wacky Week 3
- 3 stories not talked about enough from Redskins-Raiders
- Gruden praises Chris Thompson's work habits and production
After Week 2, it looked like the NFL was being divided into three tiers: The bottom feeders, the inconsistent squads and the leaders.
After Week 3, though, those tiers have largely fallen apart.
Blowouts came out of nowhere. Favorites lost to underdogs. And Joe Flacco looked good! (OK, only the first two happened).
After a classically wacky week in the league, how have the power rankings shifted? Click the above or below link to find out.