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Need to Know: 11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins defense

Need to Know: 11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins defense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 13, 14 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 193 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 59 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 4
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 28
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 51

11 predictions for the Redskins’ defense

Not all of these can be characterized as bold, but here goes with one prediction for each of the 11 anticipated 2017 defensive starters for the Redskins.

DE Jonathan Allen—He’ll post six sacks and two forced fumbles. I think he’ll get off to a slow start as he adjusts to the NFL and gradually become a force in November and December.

NT Phil Taylor—The bold prediction here is that he makes the team and starts. Assuming he has been able to get his knees into shape during his two years on the sideline, he’s the most viable candidate.

DE Stacy McGee—He will break his career high in sacks. That’s not saying much because his best sack season came last year, when he had 2.5. But he will be a solid addition to the line.

OLB Preston Smith—He triples his career interception total, getting two more picks. Coverage is not necessarily his strength but I can see him batting one in the air at the line and picking it off and getting another one like he had against the Vikings, when the QB thought he was throwing it past him but Smith made the play with his length.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—The least bold prediction I will make in this post is that he will get to double-digit sacks this season. He’s done it two of the last three years and missed out in 2015 by just a half.

ILB Zach Brown—He had a good season making plays last year but he was better as a rookie with the Titans. I’ll take the under on the three interceptions he got that year but I’ll go over on the two fumble recoveries and 5.5 sacks.

ILB Will Compton—He will start 16 games but play fewer snaps than Brown and Mason Foster. They like his smarts and ability to play chess at the line with the opposing quarterbacks. But they want more speed on passing downs and Brown and Foster provide that.

CB Josh Norman—Norman works hard to fix his flaws and he will get better at catching the ball. Put him down for six interceptions and a Pro Bowl selection.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Breeland has at least two interceptions in each of his three NFL seasons and he had three last year. Put him down for another three.

S Su’a Cravens—It’s hard to get a handle on him with the position change. But if he can get an interception as a nickel linebacker I have to think that he can get three at strong safety.

S D. J. Swearinger—He has forced one fumble in the last two season combined. Swearinger forces three this year.  

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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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

 

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 24, eight days before the Washington Redskins play Chiefs in Kansas City.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 CSN; Redskins vs. Raiders 8:30 NBC

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 29
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 35

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

—With Rob Kelley out and Jordan Reed unlikely to play, per Adam Schefter, Samaje Perine will get his first NFL start and Jeremy Sprinkle will be active for the first time. Perine got rolling as the game went on vs. the Rams. In quarters 1-3 he had 11 carries with an average of 2.2 yards per. In the fourth quarter, the rookie carried 10 times for a respectable 4.3 average. If he can get that 4.3 average all game and carry between 15 and 20 times, the Redskins will be fine on the rushing front.

—It was in Week 3 last year that Kirk Cousins got rolling. After throwing one touchdown and three interceptions in his first two games he threw two TD’s and no picks against the Giants. His pattern as the starter has been to start slowly and then pick up steam as the season gets going. Looking at the injury situation and at a Monday night game at Arrowhead Stadium looming next week, today would be a great day for him to get going. The talk in Oakland is that the Raiders will load up to stop the run and challenge Cousins to beat them through the air. Cousins will need to take them up on that challenge.

—The Redskins have four sacks in two games. It will be difficult for them to add to that total today because Raiders QB Derek Carr gets rid of the ball so quickly. The best way to get pressure on a quarterback like that is to take the shortest route. It will be important for Jonathan Allen to get some push up the middle and perhaps Greg Manusky will send Zach Brown or Mason Foster blitzing into the A-gap occasionally. The pressure is also on the secondary to make sure tackles after Carr gets those short completions to make sure they don’t turn into big plays.

—I was skeptical of the impact that Oakland RB Marshawn Lynch would have in his return at age 31 after a poor (417 yards) 2015 season followed by a season in retirement. And although there may be reasons to wonder about his durability over the course of a 16-game season, right now he’s healthy. The Redskins’ worst nightmare would be for Lynch to get 15 carries and grind out four to five yards per pop. That would set up Carr to do whatever he wants to do.

—This looked like a tough one even when it appeared that the Redskins would be at full strength on offense. If Kelley and, especially, Reed are out, the game looks to be an even more daunting task. The Washington defense is going to have to step up and force Carr to make decisions sooner than he wants to. Offensively, the Redskins are going to need to keep Carr and company off the field by controlling the clock. They did it last week against the Rams. If they can take time of possession 35 minutes to 25 again they have a chance to pull off the upset. It’s possible but I’m going to go against it happening.

Raiders 28, Redskins 21

2017 predictions record: 1-1

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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Report: Rob Kelley out vs. Raiders, Reed unlikely to play

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Report: Rob Kelley out vs. Raiders, Reed unlikely to play

The Redskins could be without two key offensive players against the Raiders tonight, according to a report.

According to ESPN, Redskins starting running back Rob Kelley (rib) is unlikely to play and that Jordan Reed (chest) is a game-time decision but it also is probable that he will sit out. Bot players were listed as questionable on the final injury report on Friday.

RELATED: CRAVENS JERSEY GIVEAWAY A BIG HIT

Kelley was having a career day against the Rams last Sunday before he left the game in the second quarter with a rib cartilage injury. He practiced on a limited basis all week.

Reed, a key target for quarterback Kirk Cousins, missed some snaps after sustaining the injury to his sternum during the game against the Rams. He was out of practice on Wednesday and limited on Thursday and Friday.

Rookie Samaje Perine saw his first NFL action last week and he likely will get his first NFL start in Kelley’s spot tonight. If Reed can’t play, Vernon Davis will start and rookie Jeremy Sprinkle, who was inactive the first two games, will be in uniform.

MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED

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.