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Five reasons Redskins fans should watch the Super Bowl

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Five reasons Redskins fans should watch the Super Bowl

Here is a bonus edition of Nickel Coverage, five reasons Redskins fans should watch the Super Bowl.

1. Free agent shopping—Many Redskins fans watching will be imagining Denver wide receiver Eric Decker and/or Seahawks receiver Golden Tate wearing burgundy and gold next year. Those players might be out of the Redskins’ price range but some practical acquisitions who will be on display today are Broncos G Zane Beadles, DE Robert Ayres, or S Mike Adams and Seattle CB Walter Thurmond.

2. Potential for Seahawks misery—Most Redskins fans have no love for the Seahawks, who have knocked their team out of the playoffs the last three times they’ve been there. There are many tales from Redskins fans being verbally and physically abused going to Seattle in 2007 with many of the taunts involving the recently deceased Sean Taylor. And many have the impression that the Seahawks, Richard Sherman in particular, did not take their win at FedEx last January gracefully, to say the least. And that whole 12th man thing is, well, tedious. The potential for Peyton Manning to get hot and rip through the Legion of Boom is out there. Either that or a last-second loss that rips the heart right out of that 12th man is an outcome worth rooting for.

3. A chance for Champ to be a champ—If you’re one of those who is still mad at Champ Bailey for leaving, skip to the next item. He was a heck of a football player for the Redskins and he wasn’t satisfied with how much the team was willing to pay him after his second contract. The Redskins franchised and traded him. Bailey really hit his stride and Denver but Mike Shanahan could never get him to a Super Bowl. Now he gets his chance and Redskins fans should be pulling for him to get a ring.

4. You bet it will be a great game to watch—It doesn’t matter how competitive it is, there are plenty of ways to bet on the game (for entertainment purposes only, of course). Starting with how long it will take opera singer Renee Fleming to sing the National Anthem (139.5 seconds is the over/under), you can bet on just about anything. The over/under on “Omaha” calls for Peyton Manning is 28.5 and Erin Andrews is a 55-45 favorite over Pan Oliver to be the first sideline reporters shown on FOX.

5. It’s the last football game of the season—This is the biggest reason for Redskins fans—make that all football fans—to watch. After the clock hits 0:00 at about 10 o’clock tonight it will be 213 days before another meaningful NFL games is played. That’s a long time. But you knew that and that’s why you’ll be watching.

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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