Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 15, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Buffalo Bills.
Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bears
—The Redskins sort of got their running game going on Sunday, They came a mere yard short of hitting the 100-yard mark, picking up 99 yards on 33 carries. They would like to do better, of course, but a hundred yards a game is about in the middle of the NFL pack in terms of an average on the season. They need to have at least a token threat to keep the defense off balance and to make defenses honor play-action fakes. A hundred yards a game represents that token level of a running game.
—Kirk Cousins targeted 11 different players against the Bears, including Pierre Thomas, who has been on the roster for a little more than 48 hours. He has done a pretty good job of distributing the ball this year. Nine different players have been targeted at least 20 times and seven have over 200 receiving yards.
—Joe Barry has put together a pretty good bend but don’t break defense. Yesterday the Redskins were outgained by three yards (377 yards to 374). But they allowed just two touchdown drives, not counting the 21-yard Bears drive after Cousins’ interception. That’s after allowing 2 TD’s to the Giants and one to Dallas, with the one against the Cowboys coming after a 15-yard drive following DeSean Jackson’s fumble on an ill-advised punt return. They are 21st in the league in yards allowed but ninth in takeaways with 21.
—Not that Matt Jones didn’t make a mistake when he tossed the ball aside after his third-down catch with four minutes left, but Jamison Crowder goofed a bit, too. He came up behind Jones when the back was on the ground and tagged him, just like a defender would make contact to get a runner who had gone to the ground on his own down. Jones couldn’t see Crowder so he made an assumption that he perhaps should not have made, thinking he was down and the flipping the ball to the side. Fortunately he got the ball back. Bottom line was there was no harm and perhaps two rookies learned valuable lessons. Jones needs to hold on to the ball until he hears the whistle and Crowder needs to make sure he’s not imitating the actions of a defensive player in a situation like that.
—I looked at the playoff position in some detail yesterday. Now that we have the result of the Giants game I’ll do a deeper dive sometime later today or early tomorrow. My gut feeling is that they will go 2-1 in their last three games. Barring some big upsets like the Giants beating Carolina, that should be enough to make them an 8-8 division champion.
—Today’s schedule: Player meetings; no media availability
—Days until: Bills @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Eagles 11; Redskins @Cowboys 19
In case you missed it
- Gruden on Kerrigan: 'He’s getting back in the flow'
- Gruden thinks Cousins could have avoided his interception
- EL BASHIR: Redskins show their fight in gutty win over Chicago
- Cooley 'would love a chance' to play for 'Skins down the stretch
- Gruden wants better pass rush from Redskins
- Developing a list of possible future suitors for Kirk Cousins
- OPEN THREAD: Why the fuss after a Redskins win in Chicago?
- Carrier's knee injury thins out an already hampered tight end group
- Third down conversions vital in Redskins' win
- Redskins-Bears stats to know: Cousins, Kerrigan in esteemed company
- Redskins playoff scenarios—Resting the starters in Dallas?
- Redskins notes and numbers: Another big day vs. Bears for Reed