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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles—Not a must win but close

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles—Not a must win but close

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 16, seven days before the Washington Redskins travel to Detroit to play the Lions.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m., FOX

Days until: Redskins @ Lions 7; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 14; Vikings @ Redskins 28

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—This isn’t a “must win” game for the Redskins but it is very, very important. For one thing, they have a chance to finish the first half of their NFC East schedule with a winning record. They lost to the Cowboys and won at the Giants and holding home field against the Eagles would be a big boost. The game also marks the end of the first half of the Redskins’ home season. Their remaining home games are against the Giants and three teams that made the playoffs last year, the Vikings, Packers, and Panthers. It’s hard to make a playoff run without having a winning record at home. That’s going to be a big ask in any case but it will be almost impossible if they go into that Week 10 Vikings game 1-3 at home.

—Jordan Reed’s absence from the lineup with a concussion is not at all surprising to anyone who has been paying attention. He wasn’t even cleared to practice even with no contact all week and it would have been nearly impossible for him to get through the concussion protocol in time to play. His situation, with this being his fifth diagnosed concussion, certainly bears watching. Su’a Cravens also was downgraded to out with a concussion. That’s a surprise from the perspective of midweek. There was a lot of optimism on Wednesday and Thursday when he was on the field participating in individual drills. But when Friday rolled around and he still wasn’t cleared it began to look more like he’d sit again. He didn’t have a setback, he just never progressed to the point where he could play.

—The last time these teams met with at least four games gone in the season with both of them sporting a winning record was back in November of 2000. Washington, 7-4, hosted the game against the 8-4 Eagles. Of course the game was loaded with playoff implications. Philly won 23-20 as an Eddie Murray field goal try missed in the last two minutes. It was Norv Turner’s next to last game as Redskins coach; he was fired after losing to the Giants the following week. This game has nothing to do with Turner or Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb (well, unless it ends up in a tie) but it does point out that it’s infrequent to see both of these teams doing well in the same season.

Related: Crowder letting instincts take over on punt returns

—Before the Ravens game over half of the Redskins’ offensive possession had ended in a score. That stat took a hit in Baltimore but they are still at a respectable 43.4 percent, sixth in the league. The Eagles are now second in the league, scoring on 51.2 percent of their drives, second to the Falcons (via Pro Football Reference). One reason why is that they have the shortest field to work with. On average, their drives start at their own 33.7 yard line, the best in the league by a comfortable margin.

—I’d actually feel much better about the Redskins’ chances of winning this game if it was in Philadelphia. I think they have that road warrior mentality now, with five straight wins away from FedEx Field. But it’s in Washington so I find myself more dubious of their chances. But I’m still going with the Redskins. I don’t think that the Eagles are quite as good as their record (although they are a quality team) and the Redskins are playing well despite dealing with some injury issues. Get ready for another close one, Redskins fans.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.

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Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 4, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Cardinals 4:25 pm

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 7; Panthers @ Redskins 15; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 20

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals

—It needs to be a Ryan Kerrigan day if the Redskins are going to win. Or a Preston Smith day, something rarely seen this year. Or perhaps Arizonan Trent Murphy will get a couple of sacks for his friends and family. Carson Palmer has been ineffective this year because he has been under constant pressure. Washington needs to keep that up.

—It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Josh Norman and Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals don’t just put Fitz into the slot as a wrinkle; they do it all the time. Norman isn’t comfortable covering in the slot but Joe Barry and Jay Gruden will be very uncomfortable if Fitzpatrick dominates Kendall Fuller. Maybe they will try to start off with Norman on the outside but they will adjust quickly. I know I’ve been back and forth on this all week but the Redskins will not use their base defense very often since the Cardinals like to spread the field so much. There will be no “standard” set for this game.

—The Redskins gain 6.4 yards per play, second in the NFL. The Cardinals allow 4.7 yards per game, first in the NFL. As usual, Washington may have to get their score into the upper 20’s to win. That might require a takeaway or a big special teams play.

—A lot of running backs would like to be in a “slump” like the one David Johnson is in now. After gaining at least 83 yards in five straight games, including going over 100  yards in three straight, Johnson has a combined 240 rushing yards in his last four games. Sixty yards per game is respectable but not dominant. The Redskins will gladly sign up for that going in but the Cards will want to get him going against Washington’s leaky rushing defense.

—I think the Redskins will be able to pressure Palmer but Johnson probably has a big day on tap. Unlike some other teams who have played the Redskins this year, if the Cardinals get a good running game going they won’t abandon it. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins’ offense will be slowed down but not shut down. My prediction, which I make with no hesitation but without much confidence:

Redskins 27, Cardinals 21

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