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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 25, four days before the Redskins visit the Raiders.

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Five things you need to know about the Raiders as they get ready to play the Redskins.

1. It was good news, bad news at quarterback for Oakland in their 37-21 Monday night loss to the Broncos. Terrelle Pryor had a solid night and he got it done with his arm, not with his legs. He completed 19 of 28 passes for 281 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he suffered a concussion near the end of the game and his status for Sunday is uncertain. It is possible that he will miss some practice time and his availability for the game is in question. Matt Flynn, who lost out to Pryor in the preseason QB competition after being brought in to be the starter, will go against the Redskins if Pryor can’t.

2. If whoever is quarterbacking can get the ball to one of their wide receivers the Redskins could be in trouble. In particular, Denarius Moore is capable of taking it to the house at any time. He caught a 73-yard touchdown pass last night, grabbing Pryor’s pass deep over the middle, breaking away from a couple of would-be tacklers and turning on the speed to the end zone. The Redskins’ coverage and tackling issues could come back to bite them here.

3. Running back Darren McFadden had a better night throwing the ball than he did running it. He threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Marcel Reece in the third quarter. That was a highlight play but he gets paid to run and he gained just nine yards on 12 carries. Yes, the Raiders did have to start passing fairly early but a 0.8 yards per carry average is not getting it done.

4. It’s not fair to judge the Raiders’ defense on what Manning did to them. They held the Colts to 21 points and had a fourth-quarter lead on the road before losing. And they did what an NFL team should do when they slapped around the Jaguars in Week 2, only allowing a field goal and a late, window dressing touchdown.

5. Among the spare parts they pieced together for their starting defense—10 of the 11 starters were with different NFL teams last season—is veteran DB Charles Woodson. He has been playing pretty well. The team does not have an interception.

Stat of the day

—The Redskins have given up 98 points this season. Last year through three games they had given up 101.

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Raiders 4; Redskins @ Cowboys 18; Bears @ Redskins 25

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15, Practice 1:00 (media can observe first 30 minutes), Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00) streamed on CSNwashington.com

Cofield talks about gaining confidence

In case you missed it

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Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.

Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.

“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.

But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?

Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.

So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?

It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”

There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it. 

MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 

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