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Need to Know: RG3, free agency and O-line posts among week's top five

Need to Know: RG3, free agency and O-line posts among week's top five

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 23, 15 days before the start of offseason workouts.

Nickel coverage

Here are our five most popular posts from the week that was.

1. RG3 won’t wear a knee brace in 2014—Talking to Tarik El-Bashir in Baltimore, Griffin said that he will ditch the brace that he worse last season after undergoing reconstructive surgery in January of last year. There is some controversy over whether or not it actually hampered his play but we will get an idea of that in September.

2. Cap space dwindling but Redskins have room to maneuver—The Redskins continued their free agent acquisitions and their supply of available salary cap space is beginning to dry up. But the tank is far from empty.

3. Donald Penn at Redskins Park—This shows that it’s not all about RG3 among Redskins fans. There was plenty of interest in the offensive tackle who wound up signing with the Raiders.

4. RG3 approves of approach to free agency—OK, well, a lot of it is about RG3 still. But it’s understandable since we haven’t heard much from him or about him this year compared to last year and the “offseason of recovery”. He talks about a “new energy” in the building at Redskins Park.

5. Five reasons why the Redskins haven't signed your favorite free agent—No, it’s not because they hate you. There are many factors going in to whether or not there is mutual interest between a particular free agent and a particular team and this post looks at some of them.

The best of the rest from the week:

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Timeline

—It’s been 84 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 168 days until they play another one.

—Days until: Offseason workouts start 15; NFL Draft 46; Training camp starts 122

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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 6, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 19; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 26

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Postgame injury report

Last look at Redskins vs. Cardinals

Turning point: I have feeling that Sunday was a pivotal point in the season. When it’s all over the Cardinals game will either be looked at as the beginning of the end of their playoff run or as the low point that preceded a streak that got them into the playoffs.

A one-man show? One question raised on Sunday is whether the Redskins can win without a stellar performance from Kirk Cousins. His completion percentage of 56.8 on Sunday was his worst in any game this season. He made some nice passes but all in all he was not the guy who has carried the team for the past six weeks. If they are going to make the playoffs and perhaps do something when they get there the defense and running game are going to need to pitch in.

Pass happy play calling: The Redskins’ first four plays were passes. Then Rob Kelley went up the middle for 13 yards. The next five plays were passes. It was foreshadowing; during a game they never trailed by more than one score the Redskins called 39 passes and 17 runs. Kelley got 63 yards of 14 carries and Chris Thompson got 24 yards on two. Doing the math, the running backs averaged 5.4 yards per carry. I’m not one to nitpick the play calling but perhaps a few more handoffs would have helped move the ball more effectively.

Snap count spot check: Vernon Davis played every offensive snap but one. On defense, Duke Ihenacho played 64 snaps, his second-highest total of the season. They were in nickel a lot—Kendall Fuller played 55 snaps—but Su’a Cravens played only 37 snaps, about half.

Potpourri: If Dustin Hopkins was in a slump it looks like he’s out of it after booming a 53-yard field goal and pounding all six of his kickoffs for touchbacks . . . Although Davis did catch five passes for 47 yards with Jordan Reed out, he is missed as a second option when Reed can’t play . . . With Tyrann Mathieu, who usually covers the slot receiver, out Cousins tried to go to Jamison Crowder but he caught just three of the eight passes targeted to him . . . Like many games, we could stop all analysis of this game after seeing that the Redskins turned the ball over twice and didn’t manage to take it away.  

In case you missed it

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Redskins release Dashaun Phillips, again

Redskins release Dashaun Phillips, again

Cornerback Dashaun Phillips had a very short return to the Redskins’ active roster.

Phillips, who started the season as the nickel cornerback before being benched and eventually released and moved to the practice squad last month, was re-signed to the roster on Friday. He made the trip to Arizona but he was inactive for the game. The Redskins announced today that he has been released again.

It is possible for Phillips to return to the practice squad if he clears through waivers.

The transaction clears a roster spot for the return of offensive tackle Trent Williams, who has been suspended for the last four games.