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Need to Know: Redskins have contained Peterson

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Need to Know: Redskins have contained Peterson

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 6, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Minnesota Vikings.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from the Redskins locker room:

1. David Amerson may have saved the Redskins season by knocking running back David Woodhead out of bounds just short of the goal line late in Sunday’s game against the Chargers. But being a hero did not cross his mind at the time. “I wasn't thinking about trying to save the game or whatever,” said the rookie cornerback. “I just, I can't let him get in this end zone. I'm going to do everything in my power to keep him out. That was my mentality.”

2. The Redskins gained some nice yardage with a few new offensive wrinkles including a couple of 18-yard runs out of the triple option. Robert Griffin III says that the benefit of such plays can go beyond the immediate yardages picked up. “I think it can be a little confusing for a defense,” he said. Nothing that such plays can “mess up guys’ keys”, Griffin said that you might just need one big play. “All you need is a few, a couple of big plays every game to kind of help you establish yourself and get into a rhythm as an offense,” he said.

3. The Redskins have done a pretty good job of containing Adrian Peterson over the years. He has played in four games against them, including one in 2007 before the current coaching staff was in place. He has 180 yards on 44 carries, an average of 45 yards per game and 4.1 per carry. Both averages are well under his career numbers of 98 yards a game and 5.0 per carry. They do need to watch for him catching some passes out of the backfield, however. He has 12 receptions for 119 yards against Washington.

4. On Tuesday the Redskins practiced in the bubble wearing no pads or helmets. With the short week the focus now in more on film work and other such preparation rather than going through physical reps. “A lot of it right now is mental preparation—watching a lot of film over the next 48-plus hours,” said Mike Shanahan. “It’s not really physical coming off of that game we just had, especially going into overtime. You take all those factors into consideration in a short week.”

5. NFL players have tremendous focus, often to the point where they don’t know things that most fans and media members just assume they know. After Sunday’s game, Griffin knew the Redskins were playing the Vikings next but he didn’t know who they played the week after that (it’s the Eagles). And when asked about the possibility of a letdown against a 1-7 Vikings team, Brandon Meriweather replied: “Honestly, I didn't know even know their record. I try to take it one game at a time. We was 3-6 last year and made the playoffs, you really can't overlook anybody in this league.”

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Stat of the day

—With a win tomorrow night the Redskins will improve to 4-5. Their playoff chances will get better but, historically, they will still be a long shot. Since 1990, 14 out of the 122 teams to start 4-5 made the playoffs (11.5%).

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Vikings 1; Redskins @ Eagles 11; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: Practice 10:30; Player availability, Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, and Jim Haslett news conference after practice (approx. 12:00)

In case you missed it

“How could we overlook them when we’re not that good?”

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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys who can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys. The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.

Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation.

The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.

 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

RELATED: COWBOYS WR LUCKY WHITEHEAD'S DOG REPORTEDLY HELD FOR RANSOM