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Need to Know: Redskins losing the turnover battles, winning the wars

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Need to Know: Redskins losing the turnover battles, winning the wars

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 18, five days before the Washington Redskins travel to Detroit to play the Lions.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Redskins @ Lions 5; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 12; Vikings @ Redskins 26

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

—This is one game that is going to be hard to put in the past since the Redskins played so well in so many facets of the game. The running game was spectacular, the defense was solid, and there were some good plays passing. But life in the NFL moves on quickly and the Redskins are already focusing on the Lions. We might take another look back here over the next day or two but the team is moving on.

—How good was the running game? The Redskins had five running plays of 15 yards or longer. They now have 10 such plays through 16 games this season. All last year they had 13 runs of 15 yards or longer. Pounding it out three or four yards at a time can be fun, depending on the circumstances. But if you have backs who take a handoff and roll 57 (Matt Jones) or 46 (Robert Kelley) yards, then you have something. The Redskins are averaging 4.8 yards per rushing attempt, fourth in the NFL and more than a full yard than what the averaged last year (3.7).

—For two straight weeks, the Redskins have lost the turnover battle and still won the game. Their only takeaway in those two games came when the defense wasn’t even on the field, the C. J. Mosley fumble after he picked off Cousins against the Ravens. So, for all of the talk when the team was 2-2that the defense was reliant on takeaways, not considered to be a sustainable way of stopping the other team, now they have allowed 10 and six points in the last two weeks without any real benefit of takeaways.

—If Jay Gruden wants to find something from this game for his team to work on besides pooch kickoff coverage he can look at penalties. The Redskins were flagged nine times for 75 yards. The most damaging was the celebration penalty on Vernon Davis. He also had a holding penalty. The others were a mixed bag off illegal blocks, false starts, and the like. None besides the celebration were game-changing but still something the team needs to work to clean up.

—Is there a changing of the guard at strong safety? Against the Eagles, Duke Ihenacho, who started the game, had 17 snaps. Donte Whitner, who has been in town for about two weeks, played 40. It doesn’t seem like Ihenacho did anything wrong during his time in there and he played pretty well last week. But that’s a big disparity in snaps; this will be something to monitor in the coming weeks.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

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Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Plenty of Redskins fans wanted the team to interview Rex Ryan for defensive coordinator.

Well, a report shows they aren't talking to Rex, but instead, his brother Rob, according to Albert Breer of MMQB

Rex Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is very impressive.

Rob Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is, uh, less impressive. 

In 12 seasons as a coordinator, first in Oakland and then with Cleveland, Dallas and New Orleans, Rob Ryan has two Top 5 finishes in yards allowed. He also has finished 31st out of 32 teams in the league in yards allowed three times.

Below is a chart from Pro Football Reference showing his defensive ranks from 2004 when he became coordinator in Oakland all the way through his last job as a coordinator in New Orleans in 2015.

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The results aren't pretty.

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It should be noted that in 2016, Rob Ryan served as assistant head coach in Buffalo on his brother Rex's staff.

That team's defense finished 19th in yards allowed. 

Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine have interviewed with the Redskins for their vacant defensive coordinator opening.

Washington is also reported to have reached out to Wade Phillips, who took the same position with the Rams, and Steve Wilks, who took the same position with the Carolina Panthers. Internally, outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky also seems to be under some consideration for the position, and a report last week linked former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula with the Washington defense.

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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Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

With the 2017 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2016 in the coming days.

That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

We’ve picked our top coaches and the Special Teams POY. Today we select the Defensive Player of the Year.

Tandler: This is tough because there were no real standouts on a mediocre unit. Ryan Kerrigan was the only defensive representitive to the Pro Bowl and had 11 sacks but his impact plays were few. You could make a case for Chris Baker, who was the only consistently effective player on the defensive line.

The pick here is Josh Norman.

He also was invisible for long stretches for good reasons. The only quarterback to throw his way more than seven times in the last half of the season was the Bears’ Matt Barkley and Norman made him pay with two interceptions. A Norman pick set up the clincher in the Browns game and he forced a fumble that put the Packers game beyond even an Aaron Rodgers miracle.

Outside of that, he set the tone during the week, staying out a minimum of 30 minutes after every practice, working on his craft.

If the defense can get two or three more players just like Norman they’ll be fine.

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Finlay: Norman is a strong pick, but since Tandler stole that selection from me, I will go with Kerrigan.

I've heard the lack of impact plays argument, and don't agree. His strip-sack to end the Eagles game, a win the reeling Redskins desperately needed, was probably a Top 5 defensive play this season. Without that sack, Philly had all the momentum and a chance to knock the 'Skins out of playoff contention. He also played through a number of injuries, starting every game for the sixth straight season.

Baker's name deserves recognition, as does Trent Murphy. The best part of Murphy's eight sack breakout campaign: Excellence is expected of Norman and Kerrigan. With Kerrigan, the expectations are so high that 11 sacks is almost dismissed by some fans and media. Murphy emerged as a viable sack threat for Washington this season, something that he can build upon next year. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!