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Need to Know: Five rule changes the NFL should make

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Need to Know: Five rule changes the NFL should make

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 3, eight days before the start of NFL free agency.

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Packers CEO (and former Redskins safety) Mark Murphy revealed a list of rule changes that the competition committee will consider at the upcoming owners meetings. Here are five rule changes the NFL should make; the first three come from Murphy’s list, the other two have been kicked around for a while but aren’t necessarily under consideration.

Eliminate the point-after touchdown—With a 99.6 percent success rate, what’s the point (see what I did there)? Make the TD worth seven with an option to gain another point by passing or running over the goal line or lose a point if you try and fail to do so.

Expand the playoffs—Actually, I’m for seven teams in each conference making the playoffs if and only if they take some of the revenue and eliminate two preseason games. High stakes at the bottom of the playoff hunt and at the top as teams will fight for the one and only bye in each conference.

Centralize replay review—There is no point in the delay of having the ref go and stand under a hood for an eternity right in front of a large crowd that is screaming for him to either uphold or overturn the call. Have a crew in New York and let them make the call quickly and without crowd pressure.

Make everything reviewable under challenge—If a coach wants to use one of his challenges to say that pass interference wasn’t committed on a play or that his player did not go helmet to helmet on that defenseless player, or anything else, let him do it. If there’s indisputable video evidence, change the call. If not, don’t. This would correct obvious errors like the 49ers fumble recovery in the NFC title game. But to avoid four-hour games this should apply only on coaches’ challenges. When replay appeals go to the central location in New York, only current situations can be challenged.

Eliminate the spike to stop the clock—The spike is almost always a bad idea anyway. Teams use it way too often when running out of time is not an issue. But in any case the ability to trade a down for a quick stoppage of the clock should not so automatic. Make the offense run a play and throw a pass that is intended for a receiver.

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Timeline

—It’s been 64 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 188 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Free agency starts 8; Offseason workouts start 35; NFL Draft 66

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Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 5, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 17; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 25

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Long's concussion could force roster move

First look at Redskins vs. Eagles

The last time: The Redskins won 27-20 at FedEx Field in Week 6 in a game that was not really as close as the score indicated. The Redskins outgained the Eagles 4923 yards to 239 and had the ball for 10 more minutes. Philly scored on a kickoff return and an interception return in a three-minute span in the second quarter and that was about all they had. The Redskins have now beaten the Eagles four straight times. 

The Eagles leaders: Quarterback Carson Wentz got off to a hot start, posting three passer ratings of over 100 in his first four games. In eight games since his passer rating is 70.1 and his high in a game is 91.4. Leading rusher Ryan Matthew had his first 100-yard game in Week 10; he shares the load with Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. Jordan Matthews (57 receptions, 686 yards) is expected back after missing last week with an ankle injury. Sacks leader Brandon Graham (5.0) has only one sack in the last six games.

Be on the lookout: The Eagles have been getting it done on special teams for years. This year they have two kickoff return touchdowns and Darren Sproles averages 13.7 yards per punt return including a 66-yarder.

Hodgepodge: A Washington win would put them 2.5 games ahead of the Eagles with three to play. Barring a Philly win out/Redskins lose out scenario the Redskins would be out of last place in the NFC East in consecutive years for the first time since 2002-2003 . . . The Redskins already are ensured of avoiding double-digit losses in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001-2002 . . . The Eagles have allowed over 400 yards of offense in two of their last three games.

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When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

The Redskins best pass cacther did not play in a loss to the Cardinals, and it appears there is still no clear timeline for Jordan Reed's return to the field. 

"Jordan will be day-to-day," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "You know, we just have to wait and see."

Gruden issued the same statement on Reed last week, and the tight end proceeded to miss all Redskins practices for the week and was announced out for the Arizona game on Friday. Reed's injury came on Thanksgiving in Dallas when he separated his shoulder diving in the end zone for a Kirk Cousins' pass during the first half.

Incredibly, Reed returned in the second half and caught two touchdowns while playing in immense pain. Gruden and Cousins used words like 'stunned' and 'surprised' talking about Reed's return in the Dallas game, but looking forward to Philadelphia, it's hard to know what to expect from the tight end's shoulder.

"Everybody is different with these types of injuries and hopefully he is a fast healer but we’ll take him day-to-day, get him his treatment and go from there," the coach said. "I can’t predict it."

For the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns in just nine games. Reed missed two games earlier this year after sustaining a concussion against the Ravens.

Without Reed in the lineup against the Cardinals, the Redskins offense dipped in production. Cousins threw for less than 300 yards for the first time in three games, though backup tight end Vernon Davis had five catches for 47 yards. 

If Reed practices Wednesday, even in a limited role, would be a good sign for the 'Skins tight end. 

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