Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 11, 59 days from the start of NFL free agency.
Here are five areas on offense where Jay Gruden’s Cincinnati Bengals ranked considerably better than the Redskins in 2013:
1. Sacks per pass attempt: Andy Dalton was sacked on 4.9 percent of his pass attempts, the third-best in the league. Redskins QB’s were sacked on 7.0 percent of their attempts, 13th in the league.
2. Passing yards/play: This takes yardage lost to sacks into account. The Bengals averaged 7.05 yards/pass play, 10th in the NFL while Washington averaged 6.14, 23rd.
3. Fourth down conversion percentage: This is not a major category but these are usually critical plays and a team frequently converts them as much on the play call as they do on physical talent. Cincinnati converted 12 of 21 (57.1%), 11th in the league. The Redskins were 6 of 20 (30%), ranked 28th.
4. Red zone percentage: The Bengals shined in this area, converting 73.9 percent of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns. That was second in the league. The Redskins converted 52 percent of the time, tied for 20th.
5. Goal to go percentage: When the Bengals got a first down at the ten yard line or closer they were close to automatic, getting at TD 84 percent of the time, best in the NFL. The Redskins managed to punch it in 73.1 percent of the time, 13th in the league.
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—It’s been 13 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 239 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL free agency 59; Offseason workouts start 86; 2014 NFL Draft 117
In case you missed it
Gruden talks about his humble beginnings
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. 6 worst play of 2016
Redskins at Cardinals Week 13
3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23
David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).
Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation
Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.
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Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.
10 best plays countdown
10 worst plays countdown
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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!
Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.
Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.
Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards.
The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.
Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.
It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade.
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!