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Need to Know: Another bad debut for Meriweather

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Need to Know: Another bad debut for Meriweather

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, September 16, six days before the Redskins play the Lions at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. You have to wonder if we’ll see Robert Griffin III going Tom Brady on his receivers or linemen

I just not, you know, I’m not an a-hole. I believe in positive reinforcement. If something happens, I know he’ll make it up the next time he gets that chance. And that’s just the way I lead. If they want me to do that, you know, I’m fine with doing that . . . If that’s what we need to get over this hump and start winning games I’m definitely going to do it.

2. Alfred Morris had a pretty decent 107-yard game. He had two 32-yard runs which is great but that’s not really his game. Morris averaged just under five yards per carry on his other 11 attempts so that’s not bad. The big problem was the 13 total carries; that’s not enough for him to have a truly effective game. But the game situation took him out.

3. Maybe when Brandon Meriweather has recovered from his concussion and gets back into the lineup maybe he can play a solid game without incident. Last year he tore his ACL in the first game of the year he was able to play in. In his season debut on Sunday there was the concussion. Not only that, he’s likely to fined for the hit on the sideline that drew the flag and knocked him out of the game. And, even though it wasn’t flagged, he could get popped for the hit that knocked Eddie Lacy out of the game.

4. Now you can see how Aaron Rodgers could get sacked 51 times last year while the Packers still averaged 27 points per game. They got sacked on three out of four plays between their first two possessions but it didn’t matter. They got the field goal after the two Ryan Kerrigan sacks. After the Orakpo sack they punted and after a penalty the Redskins were back at the seven. Three and out for Washington and then a four-play TD drive to take a 10-0 lead. When you have Rodgers, you can recover.

5. The Redskins were called for seven penalties for 78 yards. Not sure if that’s better or worse than the 10 for 75 they drew against the Eagles, I’ll let you decide. But I will point out that three of them were on special teams and two were for unnecessary roughness (Nick Sundberg, Niles Paul). Considering that the kicking game contributed almost nothing positive, the field position lost on those plays was a big negative.

Stat of the day

—Griffin completed passes to 10 different receivers, tied for the most in team history. It’s now happened nine times in team history, the most recent before yesterday was January 3, 2010 against the Chargers.

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Timeline

—Days until: Lions @ Redskins 6; Redskins @ Raiders 13; Redskins @ Cowboys 27

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Mike Shanahan news conference 3:00 (telecast on Comcast SportsNet)

Griffin: I’m not an a-hole

In case you missed it

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

One of the longest eras in NASCAR will come to an end concluding the 2017 season.

Early on Tuesday morning, Hendrick Motorsports announced that 18-year veteran, longtime Redskins fan and popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. would retire at the conclusion of the current season.

Earnhardt, son of the late legendary seven-time champion, Dale Earnhardt Sr., told his No. 88 team members before the organization released the news.

Last season, the 42-year-old missed the final 18 races of the NASCAR season due to a concussion. The injury resulted in a 32nd place finish in the NASCAR standings and it was the first time he missed the association's 'playoffs' since 2010. 

Throughout his long career, Earnhardt captured 26 race wins, two being the elusive Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. Due to the legendary status of his father, he never quite lived up to the level many placed on the Earnhardt family name. His win total is roughly a third of his father's and has not won a championship. Best career points finish for Earnahrdt was third in 2003, and finished fifth three times (2004, 2006, 2013). Starting in 603 total races, he has finished in the top 10 in nearly half of those races, 253 times.

Despite the lack of a championship, he was named NASCAR's most popular driver 14 times, trailing only Bill Elliott who won that honor 16 seasons. 

RELATED: EARNHARDT FORCED TO RACE IN EAGLES-THEMED CAR

At the end of 2017, Earnhardt's contract with Hendrick Motorsports was set to expire after 10 seasons with NASCAR's most successful team. Prior to his tenure with Hendrick, he was a part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. for eight years where he won 17 of his total 26 race wins. 

Currently, Earnhardt is 24th in the NASCAR standings, 50 points behind the cut-off for the final playoff spot. There are still 18 races remaining in the season for him to make up the ground with some of his best tracks still on the docket. In addition, a win would boost Earnhardt up into a playoff spot due to NASCAR's playoff system. 

With Earnhardt Jr. retiring, there will be one Earnhardt remaining in the Monster Energy Cup Series to carry the family name. Grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr., and nephew of Jr., Jeffery Earnhardt is a regular in the series. 

Hendrick Motorsports announced in their release that they will not name a replacement for Earnhardt Jr. just yet. During his 18-race absence in 2016, he was replaced by a young prospect, Alex Bowman and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon.

It is anticipated either Bowman or 19-year-old William Byron, who Rick Hendrick signed to an Xfinity Series contract last season, will take his place. 

As a lifetime fan of the Washington football team, Earnhardt has been known to put his opinion of the team out there.

He was not happy with how the team handled Scot McCloughan situation, and publicly voiced his support of Kirk Cousins

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One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

Football coaches hate fumbles, and Jay Gruden is no different. Remember that Matt Jones had established himself as the Redskins lead running back despite persistent fumbling issues his first two years in the NFL. That was until a goal line fumble Week 7 in Detroit. Jones never played again in 2016. 

Fast forward to Thursday night's NFL Draft, and the buzz surrounding the Redskins interest in Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey could all boil down to fumbles.

Both Cook and McCaffrey visited Redskins Park, and both players possess the speed and game-breaking ability that could deliver big returns to the Washington offense. Since the NFL Combine, McCaffrey has emerged as the higher draft pick.

Their college statistics are fairly similar. Both players went for more than 5,000 total yards in three college seasons. The size is similar too, Cook gets listed at 6-foot, 209 lbs., while McCaffrey gets listed at 5-foot-11 and 203 lbs.

One area that's quite different: Fumbles. 

An average NFL running back fumbles once every 100 carries. Rich Tandler researched an incredible stat about the two players:

  • McCaffrey averages one fumble every 243 carries.
  • Cook averages one fumble every 63 carries. 

The difference is staggering. And it could be enough to keep the 'Skins away from Cook at 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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