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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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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!