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Defense Could be #1

Defense Could be #1

The Redskins’ defense has virtually locked up the #1 ranking in the NFC and has a good shot at being first in the entire league.

 

Through 14 games, the Redskins have allowed 3,655 yards. In second in the conference is Tampa Bay, which has given up 3,981. That’s a difference of 326 yards. For the Bucs to catch the Redskins, they would have to hold their opponents in the last two games, Carolina and Arizona, to 163 yards per game less than the Redskins do. That’s a tall order.

 

Pittsburgh holds the NFL lead at 3,619 yards, an advantage of just 36 yards or 18 yards per each of their remaining games. The Steelers play Baltimore and Buffalo. This is so tight that it could hinge on a meaningless draw play in garbage time.

 

The fact that it might happen at all, however, is nothing short of amazing considering the turmoil and injuries that the unit has faced this year.

 

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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. 

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Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

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