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Need to Know: Running of Redskins RB Jones best thing to come out of Browns game

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Need to Know: Running of Redskins RB Jones best thing to come out of Browns game

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 4, five days before the Washington Redskins go up the road to play the Ravens in Baltimore.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Lions 19; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 26

Final look at Redskins vs Browns

—The best thing that happened all game was Matt Jones’ running. He didn’t always pick the right place to go but when he decided he committed and the results were good. He is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, an improvement of over a full yard over his 3.4 average in his rookie season. And the average hasn't been padded by any long runs; Jones' has a 25-yard run as his long and his second-longest is only 16 yards. He is earning that average. We are still early in the season so it’s too soon to proclaim that the Redskins have their next star running back. But the calls for a veteran running back and/or for Robert Kelley to get more carries have faded. We will see what Jones can do.

—I looked at the disputed Duke Johnson fumble several times in slo-mo, back and forth and I think the Browns may have received the wrong end of the call. After the ball came out it looked like Will Compton got two hands on it quickly. But his knees weren’t down. If he has possession and a knee down it doesn’t matter if Johnson comes up and grabs the ball; Compton would be down by contact. The ball gets lost in the pile, however, and you can’t see if Compton still has it by the time his knees hit. Johnson comes up with it pretty quickly. This is one of those situations where the replay system is flawed because it's hard to prove a negative, that the Redskins never had possession of the ball down by contact. You lose sight of the ball. If I had to make the call from just the video I’d award the ball to the Browns. The call on the field stood properly because there was no evidence to overturn it. But a call that stands on replay isn't necessarily the right one and I don't think this one is.

—Did the call lose the game for the Browns? They were moving the ball and they were past midfield. But they had managed to finish off only one extended drive with a touchdown all game, on their second possession of the day. There was no guarantee that they would have made it in for the go-ahead touchdown or even a tying field goal. And the Redskins did not score on the ensuing possession. However, getting the ball near midfield did flip field position. Tress Way punted down to the two yard line and a few plays later Cody Kessler threw the interception to Josh Norman and the Redskins scored their clinching touchdown after that. The missed call wasn’t decisive but it did help Washington.

—By scoring four touchdowns in five red zone opportunities the Redskins’ efficiency there jumped from 21.4 percent to 36.8 percent. They are still 29th in the NFL but if they can get their percentage up in the 40’s they will be fine. As you might suspect, they ran the ball a lot more in the red zone on Sunday. In the first three games they threw 23 passes and ran 10 times in the red zone. That translates to 70 percent passes. Against the Browns they passed five times and ran eight, 61 percent runs.

—Kendall Fuller had a solid NFL debut. He played 45 snaps (62%) and led the team with seven solo tackles. The rookie was solid in coverage. If he remains competent Dashaun Phillips will have a tough time getting his nickel corner job back.

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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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