Washington beat the Vikings 26-20 and while there was some shuffling in the standings during the course of Week 10 Sunday, the Redskins ended up the day right where they started.
The win moved the Redskins’ record to 5-3-1. They started the day in position to be the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs and they finished it right in that same place.
There is a chance that the Redskins will move up a notch tonight. The Giants host the Bengals on Monday night football. If they lose they will be 5-4 and the Redskins would move up into the No. 5 slot, the top wild card team. That difference doesn’t mean much at the end of the season—it determines which division champ they would go visit—and it means even less now. But it’s better to be further up in the standings than not.
The other two NFC East teams were in action on Sunday and they both survived tough tests. The Eagles moved to 5-4 and stayed just a half-game behind Washington by beating Atlanta. And for the longest time it looked like the Cowboys might lose for the first time since Week 1 and fall to a game and a half ahead of the Redskins. But they rallied to beat the Steelers and they are now 8-1, the best record in the NFL.
Regardless of what the Giants do tonight, all four NFC East teams will go into Week 11 with winning records. At this time a year ago nobody in the division was over .500. The Giants led the division at 5-5, Washington and Philly were 4-5 and the Cowboys were bringing up the rear at 2-7.
We will know a lot more about how the Redskins will look going down the stretch in 10 days, after the Redskins play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. In between the Redskins host the Packers next Sunday night. Green Bay has lost three in a row and they are reeling. They will be fighting for playoff survival and Washington will be facing the proverbial wounded animal.
But for now they can check off one win in the four games without Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams and the first of possibly multiple games without speedy wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Redskins will take it and move on to their brutal stretch of playing two games in a 96-hour stretch.
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 22, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 50 days.
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 19
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 28
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 42
The Redskins week that was
A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics from the past week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com.
What would a fair Redskins contract offer to Kirk Cousins look like? As it turns out, the offer the Redskins made fell below “fair” territory. But perhaps they recognized that a deal never was going to get done, not this year anyway. Cousins is content to see things unfold in 2017 and decide on a longer-term destination next year. So, the team’s offer was not high enough but there really wasn’t an offer that was going to be sufficient.
Cousins explains why he's not offended by Redskins statement—Bruce Allen raised plenty of eyebrows by detailing some of the team’s contract offer in a statement. Clearly the intent of the statement, which revealed some details that weren’t very impressive under closer inspection, was designed to turn public opinion in their favor. Cousins, appearing on the radio the next day, didn’t have a problem with it and said that Allen had told him that he would do it. As expected, plenty of fans and media types decided to be outraged in his place.
Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room for possible Kirk Cousins offer—With the focus turning to 2018, the fact that the team will have about $60 million in cap space becomes relevant. It’s enough to give him the $35 million franchise tag and perhaps enough to match a front-loaded offer sheet if the Redskins use the transition tag. But the cautionary word is that they have at least a dozen starters and key contributors who also are set to be free agents next year. They will have to find money for them or their replacements somewhere.
Redskins depth chart preview--Safety—Cousins talk dominated the week but other topics did draw plenty of interest. The back end of the defense, with Su’a Cravens converting from linebacker and free agent D. J. Swearinger moving from being mostly a strong safety to playing free, will be under the microscope this year. Whether the defense gets better may hinge on the safety position.
11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins offense—Does Trent Williams make the All-Pro team? How many yards for Rob Kelley? One prediction for each projected offensive starter here including how many non-receiving touchdowns for Jamison Crowder.
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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In case you missed it
Matt Ryan spoke to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco about the loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and how the Falcons will rebound in 2017.
In the process, he took a shot at former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play-calling and put some of the blame on his style of coaching for the disastrous fourth quarter.
"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in," Ryan said. "As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.
"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."
Those are some harsh words from Ryan and not exactly a ringing endorsement of Kyle Shanahan. This loss will surely haunt him should he never get back to another Super Bowl.
"There's always going to be a little sting," Ryan said. "You never lose that. Hopefully we've got four Super Bowl victories after this one, but that doesn't mean we won't still be like, 'Damn, let's talk about the other one we should've had."
Redskins fans may be able to relate to Matt Ryan's pain as some were vocal about Kyle Shanahan's play-calling during his time in Washington. Maybe Kirk Cousins takes notice of Ryan's comments as well before he considers San Francisco next off-season.
MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS STATEMENT WAS A MISTAKE, BUT WON'T HAVE IMPACT ON THE FIELD