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Need to Know: Bye week has not been an advantage for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Bye week has not been an advantage for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 6, two days before the Washington Redskins visit the New England Patriots.

Five stats you need to know for Redskins vs. Patriots

—Jay Gruden talked about the need for the Redskins to get off to a fast start against the Patriots. They have been doing that this year, at least defensively. They have allowed 59 first-half points; only five other teams have allowed fewer. The Redskins have outscored the opposition in the first half 73-59 (it should be noted that the first-half margin was much more impressive before their last game, when the Bucs outscored them 24-7).

—Kirk Cousins has completed 184 passes, the most in team history through seven games. Robert Griffin III had the second most, with 158 in 2013. By comparison, Tom Brady has 199 completions so far this year. Cousins’ eight interceptions are the same number that Griffin had through seven games in 2013. Twenty-four Redskins quarterbacks have had seven or more interceptions through seven games.

—There is plenty of talk that the Redskins will have to be able to run the ball to stay competitive with the Patriots. They had better improve over what they have done in their last three games. In that span, the Redskins have 135 yards on the ground. That is the third-fewest rushing yards over a three-game stretch in team history. Only in September-October of 1994 (127) and November of 1944 (104) have they gained fewer over three games.

—So, how about some big plays to hit the Patriots with a little bit of shock and awe? Last year through seven games they had 10 plays that gained 40 yards or more. This year they have two, a 42-yard Chris Thompson run and a 43-yard pass from Cousins to Rashad Ross. Both of those plays came in one game, against the Eagles. The good news is that six of 2014 big plays were to DeSean Jackson, who should play on Sunday for the first time since early in the season opener.

—The bye week has not been good for the Redskins of late. Since 2008 they have gone 1-6 after getting a week off, a .143 winning percentage. Their only win in that time came in 2012 and it was the start of a seven-game winning streak that got the team to its last playoff appearance.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00

Days until: Redskins @ Patriots 2; Saints @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Panthers 16

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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

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

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 24, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 78 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 23
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 70

The Redskins week that was

Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before—So you lost two coordinators and your top two wide receivers? Well, the Redskins gave him a two-year contract extension because they think he can deal with problems like those. Gruden will be cut zero slack.

Post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, offense—Sure, there will be plenty of lip service about everyone having a chance of making the 53-man roster. But this cake is very nearly baked. But the real competition in training camp will be for the 10 practice squad spots. I picked 25 offensive players to make it and I’m confident that 23, maybe 22 of the picks will be right. There seems to be more questions on defense (roster projection here) but even on that side of the ball, few jobs are truly up for grabs.

Redskins in a no-lose situation with confident Galette—We haven’t seen Junior Galette practicing in the spring before. Two years ago, he wasn’t with the team yet and last year he was held out so he could rehab his torn Achilles. That means we don’t have much comparison to make but he did look good. Next step is to do it with the pads on.

Snyder 'THRILLED' with ruling that should protect Redskins name—The legal part of the fight to get the Redskins to change their name is over after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They will not lose their trademark protection, which would effectively force them to change the team. However, it seems likely that the political and social battle will go on.

Is a Redskins-Cousins deal not only possible but probable?—One analyst thinks that the Redskins have too much to lose to not get a deal done by July 17. I think he’s right but I’m not sure if I’ll go along with his odds. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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