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Need to Know: Alfred Morris ahead of 2012 rushing pace

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Need to Know: Alfred Morris ahead of 2012 rushing pace

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 9, eight days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Five Redskins numbers of interest

825—After nine games, Alfred Morris now has 825 yards rushing. That puts him ahead of his pace last year when he had 793 yards through nine games. He currently leads the NFL in rushing pending the Sunday games. In 2012 he set the team record with 1,613 yards rushing in a single season.

510—The Redskins are giving up an average of 31.9 points per game, putting them on pace to give up 510 points this season. That would shatter the post-merger team record of 421 yielded in 1998. Only three teams in NFL history have given up over 500 points in a year—the 1966 Giants, the 1981 Baltimore Colts and the 2008 Lions.

21—Washington has 21 sacks through nine games. That represents a 50 percent improvement over 2012, when the had 14 sacks after their ninth game. Last year the team finished with 31 sacks.

0—The Redskins committed no turnovers against the Vikings, their first giveaway-free game of the year. In their first nine games last year they had four games with no turnovers.

57—When Robert Griffin III attempts 57 more passes, which likely will take place between now and around halftime of the 49ers game, he will have attempted more passes than he did all of last year. The fewest passes he has thrown in a game this year is 29. Last year he threw 29 or fewer passes in a game 11 times.

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 8; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 16; Giants @ Redskins 22

—Today’s schedule: Team off, no availability

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Shanahan: We have to put complete games together

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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 6, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 19; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 26

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Postgame injury report

Last look at Redskins vs. Cardinals

Turning point: I have feeling that Sunday was a pivotal point in the season. When it’s all over the Cardinals game will either be looked at as the beginning of the end of their playoff run or as the low point that preceded a streak that got them into the playoffs.

A one-man show? One question raised on Sunday is whether the Redskins can win without a stellar performance from Kirk Cousins. His completion percentage of 56.8 on Sunday was his worst in any game this season. He made some nice passes but all in all he was not the guy who has carried the team for the past six weeks. If they are going to make the playoffs and perhaps do something when they get there the defense and running game are going to need to pitch in.

Pass happy play calling: The Redskins’ first four plays were passes. Then Rob Kelley went up the middle for 13 yards. The next five plays were passes. It was foreshadowing; during a game they never trailed by more than one score the Redskins called 39 passes and 17 runs. Kelley got 63 yards of 14 carries and Chris Thompson got 24 yards on two. Doing the math, the running backs averaged 5.4 yards per carry. I’m not one to nitpick the play calling but perhaps a few more handoffs would have helped move the ball more effectively.

Snap count spot check: Vernon Davis played every offensive snap but one. On defense, Duke Ihenacho played 64 snaps, his second-highest total of the season. They were in nickel a lot—Kendall Fuller played 55 snaps—but Su’a Cravens played only 37 snaps, about half.

Potpourri: If Dustin Hopkins was in a slump it looks like he’s out of it after booming a 53-yard field goal and pounding all six of his kickoffs for touchbacks . . . Although Davis did catch five passes for 47 yards with Jordan Reed out, he is missed as a second option when Reed can’t play . . . With Tyrann Mathieu, who usually covers the slot receiver, out Cousins tried to go to Jamison Crowder but he caught just three of the eight passes targeted to him . . . Like many games, we could stop all analysis of this game after seeing that the Redskins turned the ball over twice and didn’t manage to take it away.  

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Redskins release Dashaun Phillips, again

Redskins release Dashaun Phillips, again

Cornerback Dashaun Phillips had a very short return to the Redskins’ active roster.

Phillips, who started the season as the nickel cornerback before being benched and eventually released and moved to the practice squad last month, was re-signed to the roster on Friday. He made the trip to Arizona but he was inactive for the game. The Redskins announced today that he has been released again.

It is possible for Phillips to return to the practice squad if he clears through waivers.

The transaction clears a roster spot for the return of offensive tackle Trent Williams, who has been suspended for the last four games.