Quick Links

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

amerson-pick-six-vs-raiders.png

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.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

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

Quick Links

Enemy Intel: Yes, Redskins fans, you need to root for the Cowboys again

Enemy Intel: Yes, Redskins fans, you need to root for the Cowboys again

Here is my weekly Redskins-centric spin around the NFL:

Before we get going, let’s line up the NFL wild card contenders by current seed and their remaining four games.

Giants (8-4): Cowboys, Lions, @Eagles, @Redskins
Bucs (7-5): Saints, @Cowboys, @Saints, Panthers
Redskins (6-5-1): @Eagles, Panthers, @Bears, Giants
Vikings (6-6): @Jaguars, Colts, @Packers, Bears
Packers (6-6): Seahawks, @Bears, Vikings, @Lions
Cardinals (5-6-1): @Dolphins, Saints, @Seahawks, @Rams
Saints (5-7): @Bucs, @Cardinals, Bucs, @Falcons
Eagles (5-7): Redskins, @Ravens, Giants, Cowboys

—The Redskins can knock the Eagles out of any practical chance of making the playoffs with a win on Sunday. An Eagles loss would mean they could finish no better than 8-8 and that is highly unlikely to get it done this year.

—For a second straight week, Redskins fans need to root for Cowboys to win. Or for their opponent to lose. Some wanted to make that distinction last week when Cowboys played the Vikings and the optimal outcome for the Redskins was a Dallas win. However you want to look at it, a Giants loss to Dallas could move the Redskins to within a half game of the No. 5 seed.

MORE REDSKINS: Assessing the four remainig opponents

—There should be no hesitation about pulling for the Saints to beat the Bucs. A Washington win and a Tampa Bay loss puts the Redskins back into playoff position with the No. 6 seed. The Bucs are 2.5-point favorites at home. They are the hot team, coming in with four straight wins while New Orleans has lost three of four. The Saints are on the fringe of contention but Redskins fans need to pull for the teams ahead of Washington in the standings.

—The Redskins can’t look for much help when it comes to the team immediately behind them in the standings. The Vikings visit the Jaguars, who are locked in to yet another season of double-digit losses. You might be tempted to look for the home underdog to put up a fight and they might. But Blake Bortles has thrown three pick sixes this year and the Vikings have returned two interceptions for TDs this year. Look for such a play to be decisive and for the Vikings to remain tight with Washington in the standings.

—The other team a half game behind the Redskins is the Packers. They host the Seahawks in what could be very snowy conditions in Green Bay. Seattle is a three-point favorite but if the weather gets crazy anything could happen. Redskins fans need to root for the Seahawks, for obvious reasons.

RELATED: Three Redskins out on Sunday, Reed questionable

—The Cardinals creeped back into contention with their win over the Redskins. That win and the fact that they have a tie on their ledger means that the Redskins do not want to finish with the same record as Arizona. This is one of the few situations where a tiebreaker would matter. It’s an easy call to pull for them to fall to the AFC Dolphins.

—I went 2-1 last week, winning with the Patriots over the Rams and the Seahawks over the Panthers. I have four NFL picks this week, all of them road favorites: the Redskins -1 on the road over the Eagles, the Cowboys -3 at the Giants, the Falcons -6 over the Rams in L.A., and the Seahawks giving three to the Packers.

Quick Links

Need to Know: Assessing the Redskins' four remaining opponents

Need to Know: Assessing the Redskins' four remaining opponents

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 10, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 14; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 22

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

Around Redskins Park

The Redskins have four games remaining on their schedule. Three wins would give them a record of 9-6-1 and a very good shot at the playoffs. Four will almost certainly get them a ticket to keep playing; two wins or fewer will have them needing a whole lot of help to make the postseason

Let’s take a look at the Redskins’ remaining four opponents and revisit the confidence level on the Redskins’ chances of beating each one of them. (I first did this exercise a few weeks ago).

@Eagles, 5-7, weighted DVOA via Football Outsiders, 15.3% (ranked 5th)
The Eagles looked like playoff contenders for about half of the season but they have taken a tumble back to earth, losing five of their last six. Right now the Redskins are the better team, although their long injury list is an area for concern. The Eagles appear to be in some degree of disarray after their coach accused some unnamed players of giving less than full effort. Confidence that the Redskins will win: High

Panthers, 4-8, DVOA -7.5% (25th)
They won’t be able to defend their NFC championship much longer. By the time this game comes around they could be either eliminated or on the verge of being mathematically out of the playoffs. Their problems are numerous including big issues at cornerback (too bad they didn’t have a guy who could have helped franchise tagged) and an offensive line that has been injury-wracked all year. Still, Cam Newton is a scary quarterback and he still has tight end Greg Olsen and receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Ted Ginn Jr. If the Redskins get into a shootout they could be in trouble. Confidence: Moderately high

@Bears, 3-9, DVOA -3.0%, (24th)
Matt Barkley is the Bears’ third starting QB this season and in most statistical categories he’s the worst of the three. The Bears have been hit by injuries as hard as any NFL team with multiple starters on injured reserve. They probably would have struggled even with those players healthy; without them they are one of the five worst teams in the NFL. The one thing to beware of is the late December weather in Chicago, which could randomize the outcome to an extent. Confidence: Very high

Giants, 8-4, DVOA 5.0%, (12th)
The new players on the Giants’ defense were just starting to gel when end Jason Pierre-Paul’s season ended after sports hernia surgery. Their defense, with the No. 7 DVOA (-9.6%), won’t collapse but it won’t be as strong. Eli Manning’s stats are down a tick from last year but as long as he has Odell Beckham to throw to the Giants won’t be totally stymied on offense. This one is hard to get a good feel for this far out, not knowing what might be at stake for either team. Confidence: Moderate

For comparison purposes, the 6-5-1 Redskins have a DVOA of 9.8% (10th)

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it