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
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Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.
Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional.
As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box.
No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.
So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores.
MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable
The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.
They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.
Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.
The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.
Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.
Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.
Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus.