Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 3, 10 days before the Redskins visit the Cowboys on Sunday night.
A little something different during the bye since we’re lacking the usual newsy nuggets that go here—the top five most valuable Redskins so far this season. We’ll count them down 5-1 here:
5. Barry Cofield—Jim Haslett called him the best nose tackle in the business and less biased observers agree that he’s right up there. And if you don’t have a nose tackle, you don’t have much of a 3-4 defense.
4. Pierre Garçon—Garçon is on pace to shatter the Redskins’ season record for both receptions and yards but they probably won’t end up passing enough for him to continue that pace. But even if they don’t pass he’s still valuable since he’s a fierce run blocker.
3. Robert Griffin III—Yeah, I know that he’s having an off year. But QB is the most important position in any sport. And plays like the scramble and pass to Helu in the fourth quarter make me think that the best is yet to come and it’s coming soon.
2. Ryan Kerrigan—Five sacks and 12 pressures of the quarterback have helped out the defense immensely. Brian Orakpo owns a piece of this because we’re seeing what an experienced Kerrigan can do with a legit threat on the other side.
1. Trent Williams—He has the raw power to drive a big lineman like the Packers’ Johnny Jolly 12 yards downfield and the finesse to guess wrong on an opponent’s pass-rush move and still move back into position to protect the quarterback.
Stat of the day
—Per Pro Football Focus, the Redskins have dropped 14 of Griffin’s passes. Only the Rams’ Sam Bradford has had more of his passes dropped. That puts the Redskins on pace to have 56 drops this year; they had only 35 all of last year.
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—Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys 10; Bears @ Redskins 17; Redskins @ Broncos 24
—The Redskins are on their bye, no availability this week.
3 and Out: Can the Redskins win the NFC East?
In case you missed it
As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.
No. 6 worst play of 2016
Redskins at Cardinals Week 13
3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23
David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).
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Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.
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Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.
10 best plays countdown
10 worst plays countdown
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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!
Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.
Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.
Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards.
The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.
Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.
It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade.
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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!