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Can RG3 do it again in St. Louis?

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Can RG3 do it again in St. Louis?

If the Redskins are going to go on the road and win in a hostile dome again, it would help if Robert Griffin III can come close to duplicating what he was able to do last Sunday in New Orleans. But history shows that it difficult for a rookie to repeat a stellar stat line such as the one Griffin posted against the Saints. In fact, its hard to even come close.In his NFL debut Griffin passed for 320 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Since 1990, just five other rookie quarterbacks have passed for 300 yards or more in a game (any game during their rookie seasons) with at least one touchdown and no interceptions. And none of them came close to duplicating that performance the following week.Here are the quarterbacks, dates, opponents, and yards-touchdowns-interceptions for their statistical gems and then what they did the following week.Andy Dalton91811@DEN332-2-0
Andy Dalton92511SF157-0-2Sam Bradford112810@DEN308-3-0
Sam Bradford12510@ARI187-0-1Matt Ryan101208CHI301-1-0
Matt Ryan102608@PHI277-2-2Byron Leftwich10503SD336-2-0
Byron Leftwich101203MIA256-0-3Chris Weinke122301STL312-1-0
Chris Weinke123001ARI223-1-1In those first weeks, the five rookie quarterbacks averaged 318 yards passing and 1.8 touchdowns. The week after the average was almost a hundred yards less at 220 with only Ryan (2) and Weinke (1) throwing touchdown passes. All five threw at least one interception with the average coming in at 1.8.This doesnt mean that Griffin will automatically throw an interception or will fail to throw a touchdown against the Rams. Thats a fairly small sample size there so anything could happen. But based on the evidence we have, the other teams defense is likely to have something ready for him.A good day by Griffin would help the Redskins beat the Rams but he shouldnt have to pull the freight by himself. He could be a little off from his historic debut and the Redskins could still pull out a win.St. Louis has upgraded its pass defense by signing veteran Courtland Finnegan to a free agent contract and by drafting Janoris Jenkins with the second-round pick they got from the Redskins in the trade for the Griffin draft pick. But their rushing defense, 31stlast year in terms of yards allowed, remains suspect.That could mean good opportunities for Alfred Morris with perhaps Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr. against the Rams. And even Griffin might get in on the act and kick in 40 or 50 yards on the ground.Defensively, the Redskins have to do what they did to the Rams last yearkeep the pressure on Sam Bradford. They sacked him seven times last year with Brian Orakpo getting credited with 2.5.Despite that, the Redskins had a difficult time putting away the Rams a year ago because they couldnt score points and Rex Grossman threw two interceptions. This offense seems to have some more life in it even if the new triggerman isnt quite as efficient as he was a week ago.Redskins 30, Rams 17

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Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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

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Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

There hasn't been much good news out of Redskins Park lately, as the team deals with pending free agency for QB Kirk Cousins and others combined with rumors of infighting among the front office. So video of 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson running and cutting comes at a great time for beleaguered 'Skins fans. 

Doctson posted the video to his Snapchat account. When he last spoke after the Washington season ended, Doctson made clear he was feeling much better and that '100 percent health' is his main goal this offseason.

His rookie year, however, was a different matter.

The receiver out of TCU missed all but the first two games of the year. Even in those games, he played a very reduced role. Drafted 22nd overall, he had just two catches all year as an obscure Achilles' injuries landed him on the injured reserve. His plight could not be figured out by a slew of doctors and specialists, and the team finally decided to sit down their prized rookie.

A breakout year in 2017 would serve Jay Gruden's squad well, as the team stands to lose DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garçon to free agency. It looks likely the 'Skins will lose at least one of their starting WRs, and losing both is a distinct possibility. That could result in more than 2,000 receiving yards leaving the Redskins offense, and the team will need Doctson to pick up a good chunk of that production.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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!