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Bold Predictions Redskins vs. Cardinals

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Bold Predictions Redskins vs. Cardinals

I’ve been following the NFL since 1967 and I’ve never wanted anything that the Cardinals had, either in St. Louis or as Phoenix or Arizona. Until now, that is. Here is the artist’s rendition of their new stadium, which will finally open next season:

No, it’s not the retractable roof. I’m not real wild about those contraptions. Besides, it looks like when it’s open that the sun will shine on the field in disruptive patterns like you find at Texas Stadium.

The cool thing is what you see sticking out in front of it, the retractable field. Yes, a retractable field. From the brochure describing the stadium:

The first completely retractable field in North America, it will be positioned inside the stadium on game days to offer the preferred natural-grass playing surfact for football and outside the stadium for the remaining 350+ days of the year to receive sunlight and watering. The field tray will be powered by electric motors mounted on steel wheels rifing on tracks embedded in the concrete floor.

Now that’s cool. You don’t have to use fake grass and still have your semi-dome. It just goes to show you what you can do if someone backs up several dump trucks full of public money for you to build your stadium with. The brochure does note that the Cardinals “contributed” $120 million to the project, which will have a price tag in the vicinity of a half a billion dollars. Mighty big of you, Bill Bidwell. It probably about covered the cost of the retractable field.

The Cardinals’ owner is notorious for throwing around nickels like they were manhole covers. They are under the salary cap every year. For 2006 they are some $30 million under the projected cap. It will be interesting to see if he will put the cash that his mostly taxpayer funded palace into the team or into his pocket. The betting is that the manholes don’t travel far from Bidwell’s pocket.

The Redskins are a game behind a group of 7-5 teams that are fighting for the last Wild Card playoff spot. While it was pointed out here earlier this week that they might be able to afford one more loss and snare a playoff spot with nine wins, this is note one of the games that they can afford to lose. They have to build something called a winning streak, something they haven’t done since the first three games of the season. And you just can’t lose to the Cardinals, one of the worst teams in the league.

Out of the five phases of the game—passing, pass defense, running, run defense, and special teams—Arizona is respectable in one of them, the first one. Kurt Warner is finding Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin often enough to be able to string together four 300-yard passing games in his last five outings. Their special teams play was very good, especially the kicking, until Neil Rackers pulled a calf muscle in practice and wound up on the shelf. But they are dead last in the NFL in running the ball and mediocre at best defensively.

Washington hopes to be able to keep Warner and company off the field and control the clock by running Clinton Portis left, right, and up the middle. Look for them to go with the pitchout to Portis, the play that resulted in his 47-yard touchdown run in St. Louis, a bit more often than they have been.

The Redskins won against a mediocre team on the road last week somewhat easily. The game was not quite as close as even the 24-9 final score would indicate. They should be able to do the same this week. Unlike some times in the past when the Redskins have had the superior team and have gone into Arizona or St. Louis expecting to win easily only to be trapped, they won’t get caught looking past this game.

Redskins 28, Cardinals 14

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Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

All signs point to the Redskins starting Arie Kouandjio at left guard this weekend against the Eagles, and the coaching staff knows it's a big chance for the second-year man.

Incumbent starter Shawn Lauvao injured his groin last week against the Cardinals, and has not practiced all week. Assuming he doesn't play, this would mark Kouandjio's second start this season. He also got the start against the Browns in Week 4.

Washington coach Jay Gruden did not speak glowingly of Kouandjio's play against Cleveland, but it wasn't a negative review, either.

"He’s played one game, he played OK," the coach said. "He has another great opportunity for him. He’s waited his turn, done what’s asked of him. Practiced hard, played hard, and it’s a great opportunity.”

With center Spencer Long currently in concussion protocol and backup John Sullivan started to go in the middle of the Redskins offensive line, the group will have a number of new faces against the Eagles. The right side of the line, with guard Brandon Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses, will be the same as its been all year, though both of those players are nursing ankle injuries. 

"We have confidence in the guys that if some of those guys that are backups need to step up and be ready to roll," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. 

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!

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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!