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Need to Know: What are the chances of a winning season for the 2015 Redskins?

Need to Know: What are the chances of a winning season for the 2015 Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 19, 11 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

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Tarik El-Bashir and I did an over/under series last week. After looking at possibilities for Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, and other individuals, we looked at team success and, specifically, wins. The format didn’t allow us to go into much detail about the reasoning behind our picks so I want to expand on my thinking a little bit.

The line for wins was 6.5 and I took the under. As of right now I have them at six wins on the nose. But there are other possibilities, of course. I’m going to take the mythical $100 in casino chips and place them on the possible win totals for the 2015 Redskins.

0-3 wins, $15—I don’t see them sliding back in the wins column but with the organization’s recent track record it would be foolish to completely dismiss the possibility. If they don’t play well in home games against the Rams and Bucs in the first half of the season, this scenario could be in play.

4-5 wins, $30—This team was outscored by 137 points in 2014. They could show some very real improvement and not have it show up much in the wins column. If the Redskins are better but suffer from some bad breaks they could spin their wheels in terms of wins.

6-8 wins, $45—This just seems to be their zone this year. It will take some time for upgrade in talent on defense and revamped offensive line to gel but they should be able to pick up some wins against a fairly soft schedule early and score an upset or two in the tougher November and December portion of the schedule.

9+ wins, $10—I spent a while with the last $5 chip in my hand, deciding whether I should put it on the most pessimistic end or here. The team’s track record over the last six seasons was the deciding factor in putting the other fiver on 0-3 wins. But if the defense can get it together sooner rather than later and if Robert Griffin III can stay upright and perform competently, things could be looking up. But I think that a winning record is unlikely before 2016.

Timeline

—Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was born on this day in 1988 (27 years old).

—It’s been 203 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 56 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 11; Preseason opener @ Browns 25; final cuts 48

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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