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Need to Know: Redskins' offense has to find a way

Need to Know: Redskins' offense has to find a way

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 22, the day the Redskins play the Lions at FedEx Field.

Redskins-Lions final checklist

—That the Redskins lost to the Packers was not surprising. That they were non-competitive in the process was. They never trailed by over 18 points at any point in any game last year.

—The good news was that the Kai Forbath injury didn’t matter much since the game didn’t come down to a field goal. But it looks like they might have to go with John Potter again this week as it was reported that Forbath did not kick on Saturday.

—I said it in long form earlier this week and I’ll say it quickly here: there is no way the Redskins should bench RG3 even if he is ineffective today. He has to work his way through his issues. And even if everyone on the outside believed it should happen, there is simply no chance that Mike Shanahan will do it.

—If I had to guess, I’d say Brandon Meriweather plays today. He seemed to be good to go when we talked to him on Friday and if there wasn’t a setback he’ll play in two straight games for the first time since December of 2011. If he can’t go, look for Reed Doughty to start at strong safety with Jordan Pugh active to take some snaps there.

—The other game time decision is on the Lions. It appears that Reggie Bush, who has an injured knee, made the trip with the Lions so we won't know his status until the inactives are announced. If I had to bet I'd say he plays but it's far from certain.

—Yes, it is odd for a starter like Fred Davis to play only 16 snaps at tight end no matter what the game situation is. It’s fine to talk about but all I’ll say is that it’s a long season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Davis play a key role before it’s over. By the way, nobody knows much about Davis’ ankle injury that made him a Saturday addition to the injury report but it will be a surprise if he doesn’t play.

—Not all issues with a football team all of a sudden go away but I don’t think it will take long for the Redskins to start tackling like a real NFL team. It’s simply a matter of the fact that they can’t continue to be that bad.

—You know, even if Griffin can’t run the ball the coaches have to come up with a way for the Redskins to move the ball anyway. There is some offensive talent on the team and the coaches are too well paid for them to fail to come up with a better plan to deal with whatever the deficiencies of the quarterback are. It wasn’t this bad with Rex Grossman.

—There is certainly good reason for Redskins fans to be fearful of what Calvin Johnson can do. But before being concerned that he will dominate and lead the Lions to a huge win consider the fact that he set the NFL record for receiving yards last year and the Lions won all of four games. One man can’t get it done.

In case you missed it

Sunday 09.15

Monday 09.16

Tuesday 09.17

Wednesday 09.18

Thursday 09.19

Friday 09.20

Saturday 09.21

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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

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. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

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!