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Need to Know: Five who need to step up for the Redskins to beat the Bucs

Need to Know: Five who need to step up for the Redskins to beat the Bucs

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 24, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

5 who need to step up for the Redskins to beat the Bucs

It’s “code red” as the Redskins take on the Bucs. In order for the Redskins to avoid going into the bye with the taste of a home loss to a mediocre opponent, a few players need to step up.

QB Kirk Cousins—He needs to have a game good enough to halt the chatter that he should be replaced. The backup quarterback, whether it’s Colt McCoy or Robert Griffin III, has already become very popular with some fans and at some point an alternative could start looking good to Jay Gruden. Throwing for 225 yards with two touchdowns and no picks in a win would go a long way towards quieting things down and help the Redskins pick up a badly needed “W”.

OL Josh LeRibeus—The fourth-year player didn’t get embarrassed in his first start at center against the Jets but he wasn’t very good, either. His contract is up after this season and if he can’t prove that he is capable of starting or at least being a viable backup there isn’t much point in keeping him around. The Redskins need to run the ball if they are going to win and if they are not strong up the middle against the Bucs that will be difficult to accomplish.

RB Matt Jones—Since rushing for 123 yards in Week 2, Jones has run for a combined 69 yards in three games. He appears to be recovered from the toe injury that kept him out last week and if Chris Thompson (doubtful, back) can’t go Jones will have to step in and take on the third-down role. The Redskins are 33 percent on third-down conversions over the last two weeks so we’ll see if Jones can help turn that around.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Most of the players on this list are struggling to one degree or another. You can’t say that about Breeland, who would have been up for defensive player of the week honors after his three-takeaway game against the Jets had the Redskins won. But he needs to keep it up and continue to create turnovers while covering either 6-5 receiver Mike Evans or 6-5 receiver Vincent Jackson.

LB Ryan Kerrigan—We’re a little over one-third of the way through the season so his 3.5 sacks almost have him on pace for a double-digit total. It’s not like he has disappeared this year but more is expected out of him. A couple of sacks of Bucs rookie quarterback Jameis Winston and a few hits and hurries on top of those would help the Redskins do what they need to get done defensively.

 

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park; no availability

Days until: Bucs @ Redskins 1; Redskins @ Patriots 15; Saints @ Redskins 21

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Best of Ryan Kerrigan's Q&A: favorite foods, Carl Winslow, and making a playoff push

Best of Ryan Kerrigan's Q&A: favorite foods, Carl Winslow, and making a playoff push

Prior to the Redskins' Wednesday afternoon practice, defensive lineman Ryan Kerrigan joined CSN Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay on Facebook Live to talk about all things football, Week 14 vs. the Eagles and a host of other subjects, presented by Paisano's Pizza.

Kerrigan, who is tied for third in the NFL with 10 sacks, discussed staying mentally sharp late in the season, what improvements the defense can make, his favorite food, and 90's TV shows.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Washington Redskins fans - Ryan Kerrigan taking your questions now!

Posted by CSN Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, December 7, 2016

0:33 - After a tough loss in Arizona, where is the team's collective mindset? How do the players feel about their playoff chances?

1:20 - Gameplanning for Carson Wentz: What are the keys to getting to the Eagles quarterback and making his day difficult?

2:05 - Kerrigan and the rest of the team is excited to get Trent Williams back. How would Kerrigan rate the team's performance in Williams' absence? Is Williams the most difficult left tackle Kerrigan has had to face?

3:20 - Kerrigan details his favorite food and why he doesn't get to eat his favorite food as much as he would like. 

4:45 - Gheorghe Mureșan reference!

6:20 - The Redskins have struggled recently to put together solid back-to-back seasons. What does Kerrigan think is the key to finishing the post-NFC title season strong?

8:30 - Favorite 90's television show. Kerrigan is a big "Doug" fan, also enjoyed watching Carl Winslow and Steve Urkell on 'Family Matters." BONUS: 'Diehard' reference, which makes sense since it is the holiday season.

9:45 - Who was Ryan Kerrigan's favorite player growing up? Does he have any football heroes?

11:27 - How important is it to Kerrigan to finish the season as the NFL leader in sacks?

13:30 - How many bars of the "Saved By The Bell" theme song can Kerrigan sing?

14:09 - What is Josh Norman like off-camera and away from the media? The answer might surprise you.

15:10 - Kerrigan details his favorite Christmas gift of all time and why important gift presentation is important.

17:25 - Shoutout to Muncie, Indiana, Ryan Kerrigan's hometown and top vacation spot on "Parks & Rec."

18:10 - Kerrigan's final Facebook Live request: How many bars of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme can Kerrigan sing?

Be sure to join us again soon when Paisano's Pizza poresents Ryan Kerrigan on CSNMA Facebook Live.

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Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

When you’re fighting for a playoff spot, it’s not only about what happens to you. It’s also about what happens to the teams you’re competing against for that playoff spot. And one of the Redskins’ main competitors got some very bad news this morning.

The Giants, who are in the No. 5 spot in the NFC, the first wild card spot, got word today that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had sports hernia surgery. The recovery time is at least four weeks, probably more like six. The Giants’ season is likely to be over by the time six weeks elapse, barring a playoff run without one of their best defensive players.

Pierre-Paul has helped solidify what was a shaky Giants defense last year. He has seven sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. He has been heating up down the stretch with 5.5 sacks in his last three games.

His loss is a big blow for the Giants. They are a game ahead of the Buccaneers, who hold the No. 6 spot, and a game and a half ahead of the Redskins, who are currently seventh.

The Redskins play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins have to pick up just one game on the Giants over the next three to have a shot at passing them in the season finale.

The chances of that happening looked pretty good with Washington playing playing three teams with losing records in the Eagles, Panthers, and Bears and the Giants going against division leaders Dallas and Detroit in addition to the Eagles. With the Giants now without Pierre-Paul, the Redskins’ probabilities got tilted in their direction a little bit more.

Just finishing a win ahead of the Giants wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot but it would come close. It would mean that the Redskins would have at least nine wins and the Redskins’ tie means that two teams would have to get to 10 wins to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bucs have to win three more games to get to nine wins and the Packers and Vikings would have to run the table.