Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 22, four days before the Washington Redskins travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.
Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bills
—It looks like the Redskins are peaking at the right time. Against a Bills defense that is more pedestrian than awful they posted their second highest total yards of the season and their most total passing yards. The defense is playing well; the final numbers on Sunday weren’t pretty but they didn’t give up much until it was 28-3. The Bills had one possession, their first one, with a chance to tie or take the lead. The Redskins not yet the team nobody wants to face in the playoffs but in a couple more games they could be.
—The Redskins appear to be back on track when it comes to converting third downs. After a three-game stretch where they went a combined 12 for 40 on third down (30.0%) they have converted on 14 of 23 (60.8%) over the last two games. On the season they have a conversion rate 43.6 percent, sixth in the NFL. That is a quantum improvement on their 31.5 percent conversion rate they had last year, which was 30th in the NFL.
—One reason for the solid improvement on third down is the play of Kirk Cousins. In the last two games is nine for 12 on third down for 100 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. That is a 127.1 passer rating. However, that isn’t all that impressive considering his rating on all passes over the last two games has been higher than that, a sizzling 131.6.
—I don’t normally get riled up over play calling especially in a game they won comfortably but I was a bit annoyed with the calls in the latter stages of the fourth quarter with the Redskins trying to run out the clock. When it was apparent that the Redskins weren’t going to be able to run the clock out by keeping it on the ground Gruden and McVay kept trying. The defense had been on the field a lot but a futile run was called twice in third and four situations. Certainly a pass to Jordan Reed or Pierre Garçon would have moved the chains and given the defense the rest of the day off. A small complaint in the big picture but if the game was a bit closer it could have been an issue.
—Losing to the Redskins doesn’t make the locals happy. Here is the start of my friend Vic Carucci’s rant in the Buffalo News:
Rex Ryan promised his team wouldn't quit. He lied. On the way to officially eliminating themselves from postseason contention for the 16th consecutive season, the Bills gave a pathetic effort, especially on defense. There was no point in this game where it even felt as if the Bills would be able to stop Kirk Cousins and the Redskins' offense, which produced touchdowns on its first three possessions. Cousins is a solid starter, but the Bills made him look like an absolute superstar.
At least Rex won’t get fired like his brother Rob did after his Saints defense was shredded by the “solid” Cousins.
—Today’s schedule: Player meetings; no media availability
—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 4; Redskins @Cowboys 12; start of NFL playoffs 18
In case you missed it
- Andre Roberts is one for the season
- Gruden reacts to Redskins fans chanting 'You Like That'
- One stat puts Cousins ahead of Brady, Manning, Brees, others
- B-Mitch: Jordan Reed could end up 'better than Gronkowski'
- Gruden on 'team-building' preseason brawl with Texans
- Where could RG3 land? Possible new teams for Robert Griffin III
- Cousins on contract: ‘I want to be where I’m wanted’
- Redskins fans need to get used to seeing Cousins behind center
- Tarik's Takeaways: 5 highlights from Redskins' win over Bills
- After big game, Jackson wants to go 'get it' in Philly
- Despite blowout loss, Eagles defender issues warning for Redskins
- Eagles' loss creates an alternate path to the playoffs for the Redskins
- Notes and numbers—Redskins match 2013-14 win total