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Need to Know: Redskins pile up yards but losses mount, too

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Need to Know: Redskins pile up yards but losses mount, too

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 18, seven days before the Washington Redskins host the San Francosco 49ers.

Nickel coverage

Five notes from the Redskins 24-16 loss to the Eagles on Sunday:

1. The Redskins were outscored 7-0 in the first quarter, making their cumulative first-quarter deficit for the season 51 points (81-30). The last time they had such a bad first-quarter margin through 10 games was in 1959 (52 points). That team went 3-9 and was last in the NFL in both scoring and points allowed.

2. Washington piled up 427 yards of total offense, marking the third game in a row that they have gone over 400 yards of offense. That was the first time they had done that since Weeks 7-9 of the 1983 season. The ’83 Redskins went 2-1 in those three games, the current team was 1-2.

3. Washington had four net passing yards in the first half (Robert Griffin III had 26 yards passing minus 22 yards lost on three sacks). That was their fewest net passing yards in the first half since the Steve Spurrier era. Patrick Ramsey passed for 32 yards in the first two quarters against Dallas in Week 9 in 2003. But the Cowboys sacked him four times for 43 yards in losses, putting the net passing yardage at minus-11.

4. The Redskins had 160 yards rushing at intermission with Alfred Morris leading the way with 86, Griffin with 39, and Roy Helu with 24. Only one other time in the last eight years has a team had 160 or more rushing yards in the first half of a game. In Week 17 of the 2011 season the Falcons amassed 186 yards rushing in the first half. Atlanta led the Bucs 42-7 at intermission that day; the Redskins trailed 17-0 at halftime yesterday.

5. With 41 yards receiving Santana Moss pushed past 10,000 yards receiving for his career. He becomes the seventh active player to surpass that mark (Tony Gonzalez, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin).

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Timeline

—Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 7; Giants @ Redskins 13; Chiefs @ Redskins 20

—Today’s schedule: Mike Shanahan news conference 3:00, telecast on Comcast SportsNet

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Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.

Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”

This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.

“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”

Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.

“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”

It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.

“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”

You can see both of the plays in question here.

We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.

“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.

But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

As usual, answer the poll and either rely on Twitter or come back here and hit the comments section.