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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Eagles matchup

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Eagles matchup

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 13, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Here are five things you need to know about the Redskins-Eagles matchup:

1. The Eagles would be last in the league in yards allowed if the Dallas Cowboys’ defense wasn’t even worse. The pass defense is ranked 31st but that’s not as bad as it looks. They are only 13th in opponents’ passer rating and that’s generally a better measure of pass defense. You can run on them a bit; they are 19th in allowing 4.0 yards per attempt.

2. But the Eagles can put up some points and they can do it in a hurry. According to my man Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, the Eagles have had 25 touchdown drives this year (that’s drives, not counting any special teams or defensive scores) and the average time of those drives is 1:38. By comparison, the Redskins’ 23 offensive TD’s come at the end of drives that average exactly 4:00. The fast TD drives aren’t necessarily always a good thing, especially if it puts the defense back on the field quickly. But it’s the kind of offense that Chip Kelly wanted to install so in that he has been successful.

3. It remains to be seen if Nick Foles is really a stud QB in the making or if he’s just having a few good weeks. Seven touchdown passes in a game is not necessarily a mark of greatness. Yes, luminaries such as Peyton Manning and Y. A. Tittle have done it. So did career nonentity Adrian Burk, coincidentally a former Eagle. I suspect that Foles is more Burk than he is Manning but that doesn’t mean that he can’t light up the Redskins on Sunday.

4. It seems like you see inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans every time an Eagles highlight, grabbing an interception (he has two) or sacking the quarterback (two of those, too) or making a key stop. In the Eagles' win over the Packers, he had 13 tackles.  You didn’t see too much out of him last year, his first season in Philly after coming from Houston in a trade but maybe that's because the Eagles were a 2-12 nonentity. In 16 games last year, he had 81 tackles; in 10 games in 2013 he already has 74. Perhaps it was the shift back into at 3-4 defense, the scheme in which he made two Pro Bowls in six year with the Texans, that made the difference. In any case, Ryans is playing some good football.

5. The Eagles have lost an incredible 10 straight home games and receiver DeSean Jackson doesn’t like the boo-birds that Philadelphia is so well know for voicing their displeasure with the events. “We have a nasty trend going at home so whatever we need to do to fix that – all support, everybody in the stands just really encouraging instead of the opposite,” he said, via Sheil Kapadia of the Birds 24/7 Blog. That’s really more of what I meant by it. Just trying to get that energy to be on our side and not feel like it’s against us sometimes.” Might I suggest winning a home game or two?

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Stat of the day

—In the last two games, Pierre Garçon has caught 14 passes for 291 yards. The yardage is a Redskins team record for the most receiving yards in two consecutive games.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 4; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 12; Giants @ Redskins 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00; Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00); news conferences streamed line on CSNwashington.com.

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Kerrigan: Loss not season ending

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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

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!

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

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. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

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Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

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Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!