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Need to Know: Is Reed pushing Davis out?

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Need to Know: Is Reed pushing Davis out?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 19, three days before the Redskins play the Lions at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. The Redskins have their kicker health issues but the Lions seem to be the less healthy of the two teams. Three Lions starters didn't practice on Wednesday—Reggie Bush (left knee), FS Louis Delmas (knee) and RT Jason Fox (groin). The absence of Bush would be a big blow to the Lions’ offense; they had difficulty moving the ball when he left the game after hurting his knee last Sunday against the Cardinals.

2. I gave you some incomplete information here yesterday. I said that the last team to start a season 0-2 and still make the playoffs was the 2008 San Diego Chargers. That same year the Vikings started 0-2 but finished the season 10-6 to take the NFC North. And the ’08 Dolphins also went winless in their first two games but rallied to finish 11-5 and take the AFC East title.

3. I think the defense has bigger issues but the offense is a little ways off. Here’s what Robert Griffin III said:

“I feel like, just as a group, we’ve all been off a little bit. We’ll figure that out and we’ll get it going. We’ve been hitting in practice, in the games at times we are hitting, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a problem. It’s showing up, especially on third down, we just have got to execute better and we will.”

4. A week ago Jim Haslett was a bit testy during his weekly press conference last week (although it wasn’t a potential Coors Light commercial as some outlets inferred). After another game where his defense got torched, it will be interesting to see if his mood has improved.

5. Is Fred Davis being relegated to a reserve role? It’s too soon to tell but the situation bears watching Against the Packers he played just 16 snaps while rookie Jordan Reed played 29. Shanahan was asked why and he spoke generically but it was clear why Reed got the call and Davis watched most of the game.

“Most of the decisions we make are based on how people practice and what gives us the best opportunity to win. So if a guy goes into those situations, it means that he’s done a great job during the week and we feel like he deserved that opportunity. Or it could be a guy drops a ball during a game, the other’s guy is hot, and you go in that direction. There are a lot of factors that are involved. You’re trying to do what you think gives you the best chance to win.”


Stat of the day

—On average the Redskins have started their possession on their own 22-yard line; their opponents have started their drives at the 33.

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Timeline

—Former Redskins running back Larry Brown was born on this day in 1947

—Days until: Lions @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Raiders 10; Redskins @ Cowboys 24

—Today’s schedule: Player availability in locker room 11:15; Jim Haslett press conference 12:00; Practice 1:00 (closed to media after first 30 minutes); Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00; streamed on CSNwashington.com)

Shanahan: There’s room for everybody to improve

In case you missed it

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Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley. 

The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.

In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs. 

As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.

As their power running game vanishing, mirrored their prospects for winning the game.

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!

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State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Record: 6-5-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 4-4
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Home: 4-2
Away: 2-3-1

Rankings and changes from Week 13

Offense (yards/game): 418.6 (2nd, no change from Week 13)
Defense (yards/game): 369.6 (23rd, +2)
Points for: 303 (10th, -1)
Points against: 295 (20th, -2)

Passer rating offense:  99.8 (8th, -2)
Opp passer rating: 95.0 (22nd, -3)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (5th, no change)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.6 (29th, +2)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 9.8% (10th, no change)
Playoff chances per FO: 41.5%, -14.1% from last week

Trending the right way: Not much, really. Their ranking in rushing defense improved a couple of notches but mostly because other teams got worse, not because the Redskins put the clamps down on the rushing game.

Trending the wrong way: For the first time in a few weeks the Redskins’ playoff chances are below 50 percent. Two straight losses will do that.  

Top three storylines:

Letting them have it—Jay Gruden is usually supportive of his team after a loss but that was not the case following the Cardinals game. He could be heard speaking to the team in angry tones in the locker room following the loss. We will see if this rare tirade jump-starts the Redskins’ stretch run.

Dealing with injury issues—Not only do the Redskins have to be concerned about the condition of Jordan Reed, whose status is unclear as he rehabs from a shoulder injury he suffered on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, their starting center is in the concussion protocol. If Spencer Long can’t go the Redskins may have to add a center to back up John Sullivan.

Help wanted—The Redskins need other teams to lose if they want to make the playoffs. They need a little help if they win out to finish 10-5-1; they need more help if they finish at 9-6-1. Scoreboard watching starts at 4:25 on Sunday when the Bucs, a half-game ahead of Washington, host the Saints and continues on Sunday night football with the Cowboys at the Giants.

Next three games

Sunday @ Eagles (5-7)—The Redskins handled them well in October; the final score did not indicate how Washington dominated the game. The Eagles look more like a rebuilding team than a playoff contender and the Redskins could elimate them for all practical purposes

December 19 vs. Panthers (4-8)—The season of the defending NFC champs officially came off the rails on Sunday night when Cam Newton started the game on the bench because he didn’t wear a tie and he ended it looking at the wrong end of a 40-7 beatdown by the Seahawks. Still, the Redskins have never beaten Newton so this is not one that will come easily.

Christmas Eve vs. Bears (3-9)—There is no such thing as an easy game in the NFL but if the Redskins can’t manage to win this one they don’t deserve to make the playoffs.