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Need to Know: Five areas where the Redskins have improved this season

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Need to Know: Five areas where the Redskins have improved this season

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 27, seven days before the Redskins host the Eagles.

Five areas where the Redskins have improved this season

The Redskins are 1-2 and what they have done wrong has been discussed and rehashed in great detail. But they have been doing some things right and at this point, just under a fifth of the way through the season, the numbers are beginning to take on a degree of statistical significance. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Third down conversions—The Redskins have converted 44.4 percent of their third downs, compared to a pathetic 31.5 percent last year. Their rushing game has helped but even against the Giants, when they struggled to run, they converted at a 40 percent clip (6/15).

Opponent passer rating—Last year even average quarterbacks played like Ben Roethlisberger against the Redskins as they had a 108.3 passer rating against them. This year they guys they play against are more like Derek Carr. A 96.3 rating isn’t quite where they want it to be but it is a significant improvement.

Points allowed per game—After giving up 27.4 points per game last year, nearly a touchdown per quarter, they are down to 19.7. Their current average ranks eighth in the NFL.

Sack percentage (offense)—Kirk Cousins has plenty of flaws and the offensive line still has to gel but between them they are doing a much better job at avoiding sacks. Last year the Redskins were sacked on 9.6 percent of their pass drop backs. This year the rate is 3.6 percent. That has undoubtedly helped them with their third down conversions (see above) since they don’t have as far to go.

Red zone scoring—The Redskins have scored a touchdown on 66.7 percent of their red zone possessions. Last year they punched it in for six from inside the 20 just 47.9 percent of time.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Off day

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 7; Redskins @ Falcons 14; Redskins @ Jets 21

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Draft talk, Ihenacho out

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Draft talk, Ihenacho out

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 25, 33 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 23
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 48
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 60
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 112
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 160

The Redskins week that was

Ihenacho's Redskins career appears to be over—This is based on some tweets he sent out; the team has said nothing officially or unofficially. Duke Ihenacho started 10 games at safety for the Redskins and they still don’t have enough at his position to fill out a depth chart. But apparently, they believe that Ihenacho is not part of the solution going forward and they will not offer Ihenacho, an unrestricted free agent, a contract. I think he’ll get another shot somewhere; he turns 28 in June and when he’s healthy he can play a role on defense and do some special teams.

Will the Redskins shift to drafting for need? Scot McCloughan always preached drafting the best player available rather than drafting for need. However, no GM drafts purely BPA and none draft strictly for need. How will the Redskins go with Bruce Allen having the final say and with Jay Gruden likely to have a strong voice in the draft room? Check out the post.

2017 NFL Mock Draft 6.0—A good job by Ben Standig here although I’m kind of skeptical of his first-round pick for the Redskins for reasons outlined here. And I kind of like his second round pick but I’d think he would be better in the fourth.  

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

Could Miami's Kaaya be the Redskins' heir apparent at quarterback? I think that some Redskins fans have their fingers stuck in their ears and are yelling, “I can’t hear you” when it comes to the quarterback situation. The reality is that there is a very good chance that Kirk Cousins will be gone in 2018. Why wait until he’s gone to start developing his replacement? You can argue that Kaaya is not the guy but there has to be a plan.

Setting the odds on the Redskins' first-round draft pick—Mock drafts are all over the place with the Redskins picks, which is to be expected with pick No. 17. While I respect any analyst who can do a full first-round mock draft, it’s just impossible for them to be up on every team’s depth chart and thinking. As noted, nobody is sure how the dynamic of Allen and Gruden (and we could throw in college scouting director Scott Campbell there as well) will work in the draft room. While things might clear up as April 27 approaches, a big surprise at No. 17 wouldn’t be a surprise, if you know what I mean.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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What's cuter than the way Kirk Cousins found out his baby's gender? Nothing

What's cuter than the way Kirk Cousins found out his baby's gender? Nothing

What's the cutest thing you've ever seen in your whole, entire life? Whatever that thing is, be prepared for it to slide down to the second spot, because what you're about to see is absolutely going to move up to No. 1 (and then stay there forever).

Two weeks ago, Kirk Cousins and his wife, Julie, announced that they were expecting. That announcement, which was posted on Julie's Instagram, was really adorable in its own right — Mrs. Cousins shared a photo of the couple's dog, Bentley, who was wearing a sign that read, "Mom & Dad are getting me a human!"

On Friday, though, Kirk put up a video on his Instagram that revealed their future child's gender. What else did that video do, you ask? Well, it only made every future gender reveal irrelevant, since none will ever top what the Cousinses did.

MORE REDSKINS: VERNON DAVIS "CAN'T FATHOM" NFL'S CELEBRATION RULES

Gender Reveal! Had to stand close so it wouldn't get intercepted... and still almost missed ha! IT'S A...

A post shared by Kirk Cousins (@kirk.cousins) on

OMG. O. M. G. OMG.

The regular season may be months away, but with that toss, Kirk Cousins is already 1-for-1 (yes, the pass was low, but a completion is a completion) with a perfect quarterback rating.