Quick Links

Fan questions: Will the 2014 Redskins be pass happy?

screenshot-2014-06-25-05-42-05.png

Fan questions: Will the 2014 Redskins be pass happy?

I got a ton of good questions on both Twitter and on the Real Redskins Facebook page so we're going to do a two-part post here. If you don't see your question answered here, check back tomorrow. Let's get rolling.
@Rich_TandlerCSN @Snide_Remarks think the Skins will be a pass 1st offense this year? Avg 35+ attempts per game?

— Jeffrey Gordon (@jeffhokies) June 24, 2014
Actually, 35 pass attempts per game would not really make them "pass first". The NFL average last year was 35.4 attempts per game so in those terms a 35 pass per game pace would make them relatively balanced. Last year the Redskins averaged 38.2 passes per game, while Jay Gruden's Bengals averaged 36.6. Mike and Kyle Shanahan did not want to pass that much but game situations forced them to do so. But the Shanahans didn't have DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. If the Redskins play to their strengths, they should pass more often than the average team. I'll put the over/under at 37.5 pass attempts per game.

For a long time it looked like Moss might be gone. It was a surprise to many when he re-signed with the team at the start of free agency. But it appears that Gruden wants him around. During OTAs, Gruden had some high praise for Moss, who turned 35 earlier this month. "I like having guys like that, veteran guys who are great examples for rookies and also can help you win in big games," said Gruden. "You know the game’s not too big for them because they’ve been there and done that. He’s another one that’s going to help this team out.” To be sure, good words in June do not guarantee a roster spot to a player in September. But it sure sounds to me that Moss will be around and will compete with Leonard Hankerson (if healthy) and Aldrick Robinson (if he's polished his game) for that first receiver off the bench spot.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Rich, how do you think Jay Gruden and the offense will perform this yr? And weakest position as of now? #redskinstalk

— #⃣〽️R.〽️⭕️RGAN⚡️ (@_CountUpMOB) June 24, 2014
We'll have to see about the offense. The potential is there but I need to see it come together out on the field before I'm ready to proclaim that they have a top-10 offense. As far as the weakest position, it's (still) safety. They have two starters that nobody else seemed to want in Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather, two untested players in Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas, and one player who has not played in two years in Tanard Jackson. They will need a heck of a pass rush to survive that group.

I'd say probably but not certainly. He seems to be confident that he will be sufficiently recovered from last year's microfracture surgery to get on the field by the start of training camp. But players are often more confident than their actual physical condition should warrant. If he really is out there on July 24 in Richmond he should be able to contribute enough to earn a roster spot. If Bowen starts camp on the PUP list, all bets are off.
Hey Rich, how does practice squad eligibility work? Which players might we see on it?@Rich_TandlerCSN #RedskinsTalk

— Steven Wilson (@stevenedwilson) June 24, 2014
To be eligible for the practice squad a player must have no prior Accrued Seasons in the NFL (An accrued season is six or more games on the active roster) or have one prior Accrued Season in which the player was on the 46-man active roster for fewer than 9 games. A player can be on the practice squad for up to three seasons and it should be noted that a player must pass through waivers before signing on the PS. Of course, all of the rookies are eligible so you might see TE Ted Bolser there. It might be a good spot for safety Akeem Davis, who has some potential but faces a full depth chart at his position. Chase Minnifield and Brandon Jenkins are among other players who have PS eligibility.
@Rich_TandlerCSN if Andre Roberts fields kicks and punts, what position group gets an additional body? WRs, DL, OL? #RedskinsTalk

— Crystal AC (@itscryspybetch) June 24, 2014
I think you're assuming that if Roberts is not the returner that they will take up a roster spot with a return specialist. I don't see that being the case. Roy Helu could return kickoffs and he's going to be on the roster as a running back anyway. If Richard Crawford is healthy enough to be the punt returner he will be one of five cornerbacks on the 53. We will see, but I don't think that Roberts being the returner--and I think that's likely to be the case--frees up any other roster spots.

Quick Links

Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: 5 things to know with Jordan Reed out

Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: 5 things to know with Jordan Reed out

The Redskins moved the ball well against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, but continued red zone woes again sent Washington home with a loss. While the late November schedule proved brutal for the 'Skins, playing two games in five days, now the Redskins come to Arizona for an early December game with fresh legs and ample rest. Played indoors at University of Phoenix Stadium, weather will not be a factor for the 4 p.m. EST kick, but all the action starts on CSN with Redskins Kickoff at 3 p.m. Here are five storylines to watch:

  1. Keep it moving - Kirk Cousins showed he likes to get hot in the second half of the season during 2015. The quarterback's play late last year won the 'Skins the NFC East, and while a division title is out of reach with the Cowboys already at 11 wins, Cousins again looks to be on a heater. In three games since the bye, Cousins has thrown for more than 1,000 yards to go with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. The No. 1 story for the 'Skins is Cousins, and if he keeps his hot streak going, Washington should find itself in position to win in Arizona.
  2. Missing in action - This will be the final game of a four-game suspension for left tackle Trent Williams, and the Washington offensive line has performed admirably in his absence. Arguably more important this week will be the absence of tight end Jordan Reed, who suffered a serious shoulder injury in Dallas. What's wild about Reed - he came back to play in the second half against the Cowboys - and score two touchdowns - while playing with a separated shoulder. Reed did not practice this week, and Jay Gruden said his range of motion in the shoulder is just too limited to go against the Cardinals. 
  3. Consider the source - The Redskins offense might be the most potent group in this game, but Washington would be foolish to sleep on the Cardinals. Arizona was widely considered a Super Bowl contender coming into the season, and though they are in the midst of a disappointing year at 4-6-1, a win against the Skins could get the Cards back on the playoff track. Arizona running back David Johnson is the 3rd leading rusher in the NFL with 921 yards on the ground, not to mention an additional 613 yards receiving. Gruden on Johnson, "He is probably the best all-around back there is in the National Football League right now as far as being able to move outside, be a great route runner but also run between the tackles and run outside with his speed. So it’s going to be a matchup problem." Defensively, the Redskins ranks 25th in the NFL at stopping the run. Watch out for David Johnson.
  4. Problems don't just go away - Look at just about any metric on the Redskins offense, and the results are impressive: No. 2 in yards-per-game, No. 2 in yards-per-play, No. 2 in pass yards-per-game. But for all the yards, the 'Skins don't score at a corresponding clip as they rank 9th in the NFL in points. The culprit? Red zone troubles. "There are so many good things we’re doing on offense to put a damper on what they’re doing offensively with the red zone. It’s hard to do, but it’s something that is a glaring weakness of this football team right now," Gruden said of his team. The best road to wins for the Redskins is by scoring, ideally at least 30 points, and that will require some success inside the 20s.
  5. The harder they fall - If the Arizona offense has an Achilles heel, it's their offensive line. Carson Palmer has been sacked 16 times in the Cards last four games, and the 'Skins need to focus on bringing Palmer down. Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy - who will be playing in his hometown - have been the leaders at getting sacks for Joe Barry's defense, and Preston Smith could be in line for another big game. Getting to Carson Palmer should be among the defense's top priorities, as that can slow Larry Fitzgerald and the Cards pass game.

Numbers & Notes:

  • DeSean Jackson's 67-yard reception in Dallas was a season long and his longest since a 77-yard touchdown vs. Buffalo in Week 15 of the 2015 season.
  • Kirk Cousins' 3,540 passing yards in 2016 now rank 10th-most in a single season in team history, and he still has five games left to play.
  • The Redskins offense ranks first in the NFL in percentage of fewest 3-and-out drives at 9.5 percent.
  • If Pierre Garçon can gain 137 receiving yards on Sunday, he will pass Michael Westbrook for 10th-most career receiving yards in team history.
  • With nine sacks, Ryan Kerrigan is one sack away from becoming the fifth member of the Redskins (Dexter Manley, 4; Charles Mann, 4; Andre Carter, 2; Brian Orakpo, 2) to post multiple 10-sack seasons since the NFL adopted sacks as an official statistic in 1982.

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!

Quick Links

Enemy Intel: Sunday games have playoff implications galore for Redskins

Enemy Intel: Sunday games have playoff implications galore for Redskins

As the Cowboys take their long week off after consecutive Thursday games the Redskins, Giants, Eagles, and other wild card contenders are in action. Here is Tandler’s weekly Redskins-centric spin around the NFL.

—The Giants are on a six-game winning streak and while that’s not easy to do against any level of competition it needs to be pointed out that their slate was squishy-soft with the last five wins coming against teams that currently have losing records. Now things get real with a trip to play the Steelers and a home date against the Cowboys. I’m not really sure how good the Giants are but if they split these two games I’ll be more impressed with them than I am now.

—The 5-6 Eagles travel to play the Bengals, who are just about out of contention for a sixth straight playoff appearance at 3-7-1. In fact, the Eagles might be just about out of it, too. Their big problem is 3-6 conference record, which puts them behind several other wild card contenders in this tiebreaker. It’s important because that is the second tiebreaker behind head to head. It’s better for the Redskins if the Bengals win but it probably won’t matter much. The consensus in Philadelphia seems to be that the Eagles are a rebuilding team that got off to a hot start, kindling some unrealistic hopes and expectations for the rest of 2016.

—The team is the hottest pursuit of the Redskins is the Buccaneers, who travel to San Diego to play a game that starts at the same time as Washington-Arizona. The Chargers are 5-6 but they are buried in last in the tough AFC West. This game is a coin flip. Redskins fans should root for the Chargers. If the Bucs lose, the Redskins would still hold the second wild card at the end of the day even if they should lose to the Cardinals.

—The 5-6 Saints are on the fringes of the wild card picture. They host the Lions, who are leading the NFC North by a game and a half over the Vikings and two games over the Packers. It’s probably best if the Lions win, which would just about eliminate the Saints. Still, there is a scenario where the Lions go into a minor tailspin, lose the division to either the Packers or Vikings but have a good enough record to take the second wild card. So like with most games within the NFC until the dust settles some more, there is some upside and some downside no matter which team wins.

—That scenario where the Lions fade from the division lead become a whole lot less likely if the Texans can go to Green Bay and beat the Packers. This is an interconference game so it’s an easy call to pull for Houston.

—Seattle, with a three-game lead in the NFC West, hosts the Panthers, who are on the outer fringe of the wild card race at 4-7. Another loss likely would ensure that Carolina won’t be able to defend its NFC title. This isn’t a pivotal game but probably better if the Seahawks win to end it for the wounded but potentially dangerous Panthers.

—My one loss last week was the Seahawks giving 5.5 on the road to the Bucs. I won with the Saints over the Rams and the Falcons over the Cardinals. This week I’m giving the Seahawks another go, giving 7 to the Panthers, and I’m taking the Patriots -13.5 against the Rams (the loss of Gronk doesn’t do much to equalize these teams) and the Saints giving 6 to the Lions.

MORE REDSKINS: Betting on the Redskins' playoff chances