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Need to Know: Amerson's pick six Redskins' defensive highlight

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Need to Know: Amerson's pick six Redskins' defensive highlight

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, September 30, 13 days before the Redskins visit the Cowboys on Sunday night.

Nickel coverage

Five things to know about the Redskins defense yesterday:

1. Before we get too deep into this here, it must be noted that the Raiders’ offense isn’t one that will terrify opposing defense when all of the key members were playing. Throw into the evaluation the fact that they were playing with journeyman Matt Flynn at quarterback with Terrelle Pryor out with a concussion and that Darren McFadden left the game after just five carries with a hamstring and you have an even more ineffective unit.

2. The Redskins got seven sacks, the most they have had in a game since Week 4 of the 2011 season. Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, and Barry Cofield got two each. Cofield had only 2.5 sacks all of last season. Some of the takedowns of Flynn were the result of quick pressure while others happened thanks to solid coverage that left the quarterback with no place to go.

3. Rookie David Amerson made the most of his first career interception, taking it back 45 yards for the Redskins’ first touchdown of the game. It was the longest pick six by a Redskins rookie since Champ Bailey took one 59 yards to the house in 1999. The Redskins also took the ball away in the fourth quarter when Kerrigan got a sack and strip of Flynn and Barry Cofield recovered the ball. For the first time this year Robert Griffin III did not throw an interception. The Redskins lost one fumble and they had a positive turnover ratio for the first time this year.

4. After giving up an average of 488 yards per game in their first three games, the most in NFL history to start out a season, the Redskins gave up 298 to the Raiders. Oakland garnered just 130 yards of offense in the second half. The Raiders’ one scoring drive lasted 10 players. Other than that they didn’t run more than seven plays on any other their other 13 possessions.

5. If you factor the seven sacks and the 33 yards lost on them, the Raiders gained just 5.0 yards per pass play. The Redskins had allowed a league-worst 8.5 yards per pass play coming into the game. Flynn’s passer rating for the game was a pedestrian 83.7 compared to the opposing passer rating of 120 for the season to date, also the worst in the NFL.

Stat of the day

—Through four games, Pierre Garçon has 29 receptions, the most by a Redskin through the team’s first four games in the Super Bowl era.

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys 13; Bears @ Redskins 20; Redskins @ Broncos 27

—Today’s schedule: Mike Shanahan news conference 3:00, telecast live on Comcast SportsNet.

“They had to start somewhere”

In case you missed it

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Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

RICHMOND - Jordan Reed will start Redskins training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. 

The team's PR informed the media that Reed is experiencing pain and soreness in one of his big toes. The move to PUP was characterized as precautionary and they want to ensure that issues don't linger into the regular season. 

DeAngelo Hall, Houston Bates, and practice squadder Kendal Thompson will join Reed on the PUP list. 

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER

For Reed, an integral part of the Redskins offense, there is a long history of injuries. In 2016, he missed time with a separated shoulder and a concussion.

Before Redskins fans freak out, remember Reed took part in minicamp and looked dominant. The PUP list also allows the Redskins to activate Reed once he's capable of practicing. 

Reed did not take part in voluntary OTAs with the Redskins in May, but was a full participant with the team at June's minicamp. 

Asked about injured players taking part in practice during Wednesday's press conference, head coach Jay Gruden opened up:

I think the injured guys are injured guys. We’re never going to change how we treat them. It’s the trainers’ job to tell us when they can go. I’m not going to keep a guy out of practice just because I think he might be injured. It’s up to the trainers and up to that player to let me know whether they can go or not. But like you said, we do have a luxury of having 88 or 87 healthy bodies where we can practice and function without somebody who is injured. That’s the trainers’ job​.

Expect much more on this development.

UPDATE:

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Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

RICHMOND - Jay Gruden expects the same effort and production from Kirk Cousins, regardless of the now two-year long contract saga between the quarterback and the Redskins.

"The thing about Kirk is you’re never worried about his preparation. It’s not going to vary from day in to day out," the coach said. "He’s not going to come in and be a different guy every day. He’s the same guy every day. [He’s] a great competitor, wants to get better."

Talks between Cousins' represenatives and the Redskins seemed more congenial this offseason, though the result remained the same. Cousins will be paid $24 million this year on the franchise tag, after making $20 million in 2016 on the same tag. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Redskins team president Bruce Allen explained in a statment that his organization made an offer to Cousins that included $53 million guaranteed. Considering the funny money nature of NFL deals, the offer really only guaranteed another season at about $28 million for Cousins before a series of advantageous terms for the franchise. The deal had no chance of completion considering Cousins' leverage.

Still, Gruden thinks his quarterback will deliver. 

"He has a lot of room for improvement and he wants to be coached and it’s fun to coach him."

If Gruden sounds confident in Cousins' ability to compartmentalize, he should. The quarterback did just that last season, passing for nearly 5,000 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. 

The Redskins, and Cousins, struggled in the red zone in 2016, and that's something Gruden wants to see improved. 

"The contract status will take care of itself eventually, hopefully, but right now it is what it is and we’re happy to have him for 2017."

Long-term deal, or not, it's time for Gruden to coach and Cousins to quarterback.

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