Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 11, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles.
—Today's schedule: No media availability
—Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Lions 12; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 19
Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Ravens Next man up comes up big
—In 2013 the Redskins special teams were a disaster, the worst in the league by a long shot. Enter Ben Kotwica and in 2014 the kicking units were merely bad. Last year they made a few negative plays but the team did score three special teams touchdowns, albeit in blowout losses. Now, in 2016, the special teams have been excellent (fourth in the NFL through Week 4 per DVOA) and yesterday they got a punt return for a touchdown that was the difference in the game. The gradual improvement is a tribute to Kotwica and to the Redskins for sticking by him through some tough times, realizing he had a huge task when he got here after the disasters of 2013.
—One under discussed area of improvement for the Redskins on Sunday was in penalties. There were four accepted penalties against them for 46 yards. The majority of the yards, 26 of them, came on a very shaky pass interference call against Will Compton. It didn’t look like there was any contact with the receiver until the ball arrived. There were no false starts called against the offensive line during the road game; the only flag for that infraction was drawn by wide receiver Jamison Crowder. Like many other aspects of the team's performance both good and bad this is a week to week thing but still a positive thing to note.
—There were 16 players who participated in at least a third of the defensive snaps against the Ravens. Of those, seven played little or not at all during the season opener against the Steelers. Some, like Will Blackmon and Kendall Fuller, were inactive. Others, like Greg Toler and Quinton Dunbar, played only on special teams. Matt Ioannidis was on the practice squad and Cullen Jenkins wasn’t even on the team. You hear “next man up” all the time; this is that mantra in action and with solid results.
—I never thought for a second that Marc Trestman would be the savior of the Bears and I was unimpressed when the Ravens brought him on board as their offensive coordinator. He always seemed to want to out-clever the opposition rather than just designing a solid scheme and calling it well during a game. Not only did he abandon a running game that was working well in the first quarter, he stayed away from it even though it worked well even as the Ravens ran very little (8 carries, 44 yards, 5.5 average in last three quarters). The Ravens are better off without him.
—Redskins fans should be used to their team winning close games, at least when they're not playing a certain hated division foe. Going back to Week 4 of last season the Redskins have won six out of nine games decided by one score. Two of the three losses, of course, were to the Cowboys, losses the team will not be able to avenge until Thanksgiving Day.
Tandler on Twitter
After averaging a league-low 5.3 yards per punt return last year Jamison Crowder now leads the NFL at 27.7 yards per return. pic.twitter.com/YlCVTT3jse— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) October 9, 2016
In case you missed it
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- Josh Norman on hand injury: It was excruciating
- Ryan Kerrigan records his 50th career sack
- Gruden: Redskins not signing Knighton, or anyone else, right now
- Redskins report card—Crowder, Norman among aces
- 'Pot Roast' Knighton among Redskins D-Line tryouts
- Redskins in the thick of things
- NTK: Breaking a 108-game punt return drought