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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Jets

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Jets

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 18, the day the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets.

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Jets

—Yes, I know. The injuries, the injuries, the injuries. Yes, there is a reason that Trent Williams ($10.6 million) has a cap number about 20 times higher than that of Ty Nsekhe ($510,000). He's a lot better. But every week in the NFL players who haven’t played much before come in for injured players and get the job done, getting in and out of the lineup before the other team can figure out his strengths and weaknesses. We will see if Nsekhe is one of those guys.

—The defense is largely intact with the exception of CB Chris Culliver. The pressure will be on the defense to get the job done. DE Jason Hatcher and NT Terrance Knighton said during the week that they were looking forward to going up against the straight-ahead power running scheme of the Jets after chasing Devonta Freeman in the zone stretch against the Falcons last week. If they can do their part and bottle up Chris Ivory it will be tough for Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat them.

—We could find out if the one-back theory that has been fodder for discussion on talk radio and on the web (including here) has any validity. It seems likely that Matt Jones will be either inactive or available on a limited or on an emergency basis only. That could mean the 20-plus carries for Alfred Morris that everyone has been looking for. It is likely to be tough sledding against the Jets’ defensive front with the Redskins’ banged-up offensive line no matter who carries the ball. But we should get a limited feel for whether or not Morris does do better once he gets into a “rhythm” and warmed up or if that is one of those myths floating around out there.

—The Jets have 13 takeaways and they have played only four games. The Redskins have six in five games. Taking a closer look at the Jets’ numbers, they have forced eight fumbles and recovered seven of them. Their ability to recover them isn’t all training and skill; there is an element of luck involved as well. Over time, every NFL team will recover about as many balls on the ground as the other team does. But even though New York’s luck is likely to run out at some point, it’s not necessarily going to happen against the Redskins.

—If the defense can get it done—meaning holding the Jets to around 14 points—the Redskins will have a shot. Washington has not won a game scoring fewer than 14 points since September 12, 2010, the first game of the Shanahan error, um, era. If the defense or special teams can log a score (DeAngelo Hall scored a touchdown on a fumble return in that 2010 game), the chances will be better. I think the offense goes ultra conservative so Tress Way will have to have to boom punts from deep in Redskins territory and artfully drop them inside the 20 when he’s called upon to do that. Kirk Cousins will need to avoid multiple turnovers. In the big picture it’s like drawing to an inside straight flush. A Redskins win is possible but the odds are very much against it.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Jets, 1:00 p.m., FOX

Days until: Bucs @ Redskins 7; Redskins @ Patriots 21

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

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

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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