Washington Redskins

Quick Links

Inspired by the solar eclipse, here are five players who'll be tough to block for the 2017 Redskins

Inspired by the solar eclipse, here are five players who'll be tough to block for the 2017 Redskins

On Monday, the moon did something that probably made Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan very proud: it blocked the sun.

That's right — matched up one-on-one with one of the most feared things in space, the moon displayed great technique and a solid anchor, and in turn, treated much of the country to a thrilling solar eclipse. Hopefully, guards, tackles and centers of all ages took note of it, too.

In honor of the momentous event, let's take a look at the five most intimidating players who the 2017 Redskins will be forced to block in the upcoming season. The best part of these battles, by the way? They won't require glasses to view them.

MORE: WHAT DOES REED'S RETURN MEAN FOR THE OFFENSE?

5) Danielle Hunter (Vikings)

Hunter's name isn't as recognizable as the rest of the names on this list, but if he has another year like he did in 2016, it soon will be. The Vikings found themselves a gem in the 2015 third-rounder out of LSU, and the Redskins will see him in Week 10. He had 12.5 sacks as an NFL sophomore after six as a rookie.

4) Joey Bosa (Chargers)

A strange contract battle with the Chargers was followed by a hamstring injury during Bosa's rookie year, but neither of those prevented him from showing out in his first pro season. In just 12 games, the Ohio State product racked up 10.5 sacks, and he should easily surpass that total in a full 16-game season. He'll be the Redskins' problem in Week 14.

3) Aaron Donald (Rams)

Donald is currently staging a contract holdout and hasn't appeared at Rams' training camp. Every team on Los Angeles' schedule surely wouldn't mind if that issue carried into the regular season. Donald can wreck games on his own and has averaged 10 sacks a season through his first three years with team. The powerful defensive tackle is slated to face the Redskins in Week 2; perhaps they'll be lucky enough to avoid him.

RELATED: WHAT'S UP WITH WASHINGTON'S RUNNING GAME?

2) Khalil Mack (Raiders)

You know you're an elite pass rusher when you record 11 sacks and it's considered a step back. That's the number of takedowns Mack had last season, after 15 the year before. The days of people wondering whether the college competition he faced at Buffalo would hinder his development in the NFL are way behind us. Now, the Burgundy and Gold are left to wonder how they will block him in their Week 3 matchup vs. the Raiders.

1) Von Miller (Broncos)

Miller's been a Pro Bowler in five of the last six seasons and posted 13.5 sacks in 2016 (and that's after not notching one in any of his final four games in the regular season, too). Kirk Cousins, Trent Williams and the rest of the Redskins' offense will have the unenviable task of handling him when the Broncos come to town in Week 16. 

Quick Links

Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

derek_carr_usat.png
USA Today Sport Images

Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 20, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Raiders at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1:45; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 3:30

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 12
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (11/23) 23
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 39

First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

—This tweet seems a bit audacious. It’s from Vic Tafur, who writes about the Raiders for the pay site The Athletic.

They are second in the NFL in offensive yards and first in points scored. Oakland is fourth in rushing yards and 13th in passing yards. QB Derek Carr is third in the NFL with a stellar 126.5 passer rating and Marshawn Lynch has a bruising 121 yards rushing. They’re good but I would reserve phrases like “doing whatever they want” for teams like the Greatest Show on Turf or the ’07 Patriots. The Raiders aren’t there yet.

—Defensively, the Raiders are just OK, especially considering they have played a Titans team that is solid but not an offensive juggernaut and the putrid Jets. They are 17th in yards given up and tied for 11th in points allowed. They haven’t intercepted a pass although they have two fumble recoveries. They have five sacks, one more than a Redskins team that talks a lot about a need to get to the quarterback. Khalil Mack has one sack and Bruce Irvin hasn't tallied one yet. But they could explode at any time and the Redskins' pass protection will need to be on point. 

—Carr and Kirk Cousins have very similar numbers in the two seasons plus two games that they both have been starters. One area where Carr has an edge is in the touchdown passes column. Carr has 65 while Cousins has just 46. The Raiders have some quality receivers in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. But Cousins could throw to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon up until this season and Washington also has tight end Jordan Reed. It’s at least a wash in terms of quality of targets if not an advantage to the Redskins. It is something that Carr has solved that Cousins has not. Carr’s ability to get the ball into the end zone helped him become the NFL’s highest-paid player, albeit temporarily.

—Although the Raiders’ offense is not going to make history, the Redskins still need to be prepared to be in a shootout on Sunday night. To be sure, the Redskins defense has improved but it’s hard to see the Raiders scoring less than somewhere in the mid to upper twenties. That means that the Redskins will have to score at least as many points as they did against the Rams, maybe more. They started and ended well in LA; to win next Sunday they probably won’t be able to get away with zero second-half points until after the two-minute warning.

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.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

giants-evan-engram.png
USA Today Sports Images

Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

It took the New York Giants a full game and another quarter before they scored their first touchdown of the 2017-18 NFL season.

Giants rookie Evan Engram was the recipient of their first touchdown of the season, scoring the first of his career on Monday Night Football.

Naturally he began to celebrate his accomplishment, but perhaps his celebration was too natural. 

NFC EAST UPDATE: COWBOYS TUMBLE, GIANTS STILL STRUGGLE

In the clip, right in front of the cameraman, the 23-year-old proceeds to dance with a finishing move crotch grab in the midst of his teammates.

Apparently the loosened NFL celebration rules from this off-season did not take out any sexually suggestive actions. 

It resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kick-off for the Giants.

With the ball then kicked out of bounds the Lions had the ball at their own 45-yard line.

RELATED: WEEK 2 NFL POWER RANKINGS

Likely the grab will give Engram a fine from the NFL.

Last season Antonio Brown was fined for a similar celebration, by twerking following a score.

The touchdown remains the only time New York has found the end-zone through two games.

With only 13 points it is the lowest scoring two game start in 70 years for the franchise.