Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 22, 16 days before the Redskins start their offseason workouts.
Here are the five most talked about Redskins this week:
Robert Griffin III—His appearance here is noteworthy mostly because he hasn’t been talked about much this offseason. That, of course, is in stark comparison to last year’s “offseason of recovery” when we heard from Griffin and about him constantly. He made some news early in the week when he told our Tarik El-Bashir that he won’t be wearing a knee brace this season. Griffin also said that with Jay Gruden now in charge there is a “new energy” at Redskins Park.
Brandon Meriweather—We didn’t hear a whole lot about him when free agency started as the Redskins were looking for someone to replace him. But they couldn’t land Mike Mitchell and with Ryan Clark not willing to play for what the Redskins were offering so they turned to last year’s starting free safety.
Santana Moss—Many were wondering if he’d be back with the Redskins but he never had any doubt that he would re-sign. However, there is some doubt about whether or not he will make the team when the cut to 53 is made in late August.
Tyler Polumbus—The Redskins worked hard to try to bring in Donald Penn to replace him at right tackle but he ended up signing with the Raiders. The question is, can Polumbus and the rest of the holdovers on the offensive line breathe easy now or will changes be coming at some point in time before September?
Akeem Jordan—This could be the Redskins’ best under-the-radar signing of the offseason. He not only is a solid option to start beside Perry Riley at inside linebacker but he can be a force on special teams as well.
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—Redskins offensive lineman Kory Lichtensteiger was born on this date in 1985.
—It’s been 83 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 169 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Offseason workouts start 16; NFL Draft 47; Training camp starts 123
In case you missed it
In the third quarter of the Redskins’ Week 3 game against the Giants, New York drove to a first and goal at the Washington 10. A Trent Murphy sack and two incompletions later, Josh Brown came in and kicked a field goal.
Since then, opponents have had goal to go situations 12 times. They have scored touchdowns on every one of them.
The stop against the Giants was one of just two all year. They had one against the Cowboys in Week 2. Their opponents’ goal to go success rate is 90.5 percent. That’s the second worst in the NFL.
The failures have been costly. On Sunday, the Cardinals recovered a Kirk Cousins fumble and returned it to the Washington 10. The Redskins led 13-10 at the time and coming out of that situation with the game tied would have been large. But on third and goal at the six Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd with a touchdown pass and the Cardinals had both the lead and the momentum.
Opponents usually haven’t had to work that hard. Teams have run 21 plays in goal to go and they have 10 touchdowns.
On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys got to goal to go three times. A stop on any one of them would have been a boost to the Redskins and would have changed the dynamic of the game. But Dallas was three for three.
The goal to go problems are a subset of the Redskins’ problems with red zone defense in general. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 27 of 40 red zone trips, a 67.5 percent success rate that puts the Redskins 30th in the NFL.
The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:
- The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
- It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
- Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous.
- While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.
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