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A simple answer to the Redskins’ home vs. road mystery

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A simple answer to the Redskins’ home vs. road mystery

It’s been a feast and famine season for the Redskins. Everyone knows it. They eat well at home. The Redskins are 5-1 at FedEx Field with five straight wins after a season-opening loss to the Dolphins (which gets to be more of a head-scratcher as the season goes on). On the road, they starve, with a record of 0-5.

Rarely does a press conference or locker room media scrum go by without the subject of the home vs. road records coming up. It’s been the subject of countless blog posts and talk radio segments. But the disparity between the Redskins’ home and road record is no great mystery. In fact, it’s pretty simple.

By almost any measure, they have played better teams on the road than they have at home—much better, in fact.

Let’s look at the simplest measure of a team’s quality, their win-loss record. The six teams the Redskins have played at FedEx Field are the Dolphins (4-7), Giants (5-6), Eagles (4-7), Bucs (5-6), Saints (4-7), and Rams (4-7). That comes to an aggregate record of 26-40, a .394 winning percentage.

On the road, they’ve gone up against the Patriots (10-1), Jets (6-5), Giants (5-6), Panthers (11-0), and Falcons (6-5). That rolls up to at 38-17 record, a .691 winning percentage.

In short, the average road opponent is 8-3. The average home opponent is 4-7. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in football analytics to figure out the Redskins’ road schedule has been brutally tough while the home schedule has been relatively soft.

But if you want to dive into some other measures of how well or poorly a team is playing, let’s do it. Here some other stats with the average of the Redskins’ home and road opponents in each of them.

*Through Week 11

The last set of numbers may explain Kirk Cousins’ great split in his performances at home and on the road. At FedEx Field, facing pass defenses that are worse than average (the average NFL passer rating is 88.4) Cousins has 74.7 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions and a passer rating of 113.0. Playing on the road against pass defenses that are better than the norm in the league, Cousins has completed 61.9 percent of his passes, thrown five touchdowns and eight interceptions and posting a passer rating of 69.8.

The Redskins will go the rest of the regular season without playing a quality team at home. Their two remaining home opponents are the Cowboys (3-8) and Bills (5-6). That’s a winning percentage of .364. If they make the playoffs they likely would host a team that would test their home-field advantage but we will see about that down the road.

But if they finish the season winless on the road, they won’t be able to say they lost to all quality opponents. If they can’t get a win in Chicago (5-6), Philadelphia (4-7), or Dallas (3-8) you can genuinely say that something isn’t right when this team hits the road. In fact, it would be fair to question their roadworthiness if they don’t win two out of those three.

 

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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 24, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 78 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 23
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 70

The Redskins week that was

Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before—So you lost two coordinators and your top two wide receivers? Well, the Redskins gave him a two-year contract extension because they think he can deal with problems like those. Gruden will be cut zero slack.

Post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, offense—Sure, there will be plenty of lip service about everyone having a chance of making the 53-man roster. But this cake is very nearly baked. But the real competition in training camp will be for the 10 practice squad spots. I picked 25 offensive players to make it and I’m confident that 23, maybe 22 of the picks will be right. There seems to be more questions on defense (roster projection here) but even on that side of the ball, few jobs are truly up for grabs.

Redskins in a no-lose situation with confident Galette—We haven’t seen Junior Galette practicing in the spring before. Two years ago, he wasn’t with the team yet and last year he was held out so he could rehab his torn Achilles. That means we don’t have much comparison to make but he did look good. Next step is to do it with the pads on.

Snyder 'THRILLED' with ruling that should protect Redskins name—The legal part of the fight to get the Redskins to change their name is over after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They will not lose their trademark protection, which would effectively force them to change the team. However, it seems likely that the political and social battle will go on.

Is a Redskins-Cousins deal not only possible but probable?—One analyst thinks that the Redskins have too much to lose to not get a deal done by July 17. I think he’s right but I’m not sure if I’ll go along with his odds. 

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

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