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Need to Know: Redskins vs. Vikings by the numbers—Crowder get reception No. 100

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Need to Know: Redskins vs. Vikings by the numbers—Crowder get reception No. 100

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 14, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Jay Gruden news conference

Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 10; Redskins @ Cardinals 20; Redskins @ Eagles 27

Injuries of note: Moses (ankle), returned to game Davis (abdomen), returned to game

Redskins vs Vikings by the numbers Stat comparison Total yards: WAS 388, MIN 331

Rushing yards: WAS 128, MIN 47

Passing yards: WAS 260, MIN 284

Takeaways: WAS 1, MIN 1

Stats of note —The Vikings came into the game giving up an average of 15.8 points per game, the lowest average in the NFL. The Redskins scored a season-high 26 points against them. —Linebacker Preston Smith had two sacks and an interception. Since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 only three Redskins—Marcus Washington (2005), Shawn Springs (2004), and Monte Coleman (1993)—have had multiple sacks and at least one interception in a game. —Smith becomes the third player with multiple sacks and an interception in a game since he entered the league in 2015, joining Calais Campbell of the Cardinals and Jerrell Freeman of the Colts. —Smith now has six career sacks of Sam Bradford. Before the two on Sunday he recorded four against him last year. —Trent Murphy got his seventh sack of the season in the fourth quarter. He had six career sacks coming into the season. He has at least a half sack in seven of the team’s nine games. —RB Rob Kelley set career highs in both rushing attempts with 22 and rushing yards with 97. —With Jamison Crowder’s first reception today went for a four-yard touchdown. It was his 100th career reception in his 25th game. He got to 100 catches in fewer games than anyone but Gary Clark (22 games) and Charlie Brown (23).

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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