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Nothing new from Campbell—consistency the key

Nothing new from Campbell—consistency the key

Jason Campbell

So far, so good.

The Washington Redskins' starting offense has gone from totally unproductive against the Ravens to showing signs of competence vs. the Steelers to resembling an actual NFL offense last night with the Patriots in town. Progress is what you're looking for and that's what we've seen.

Jason Campbell demonstrated that he can be decisive and make accurate throws. He also displayed his underrated running skills when he faked out a Patriots defensive back with a pump and scooted four yards for a touchdown.

But, then again, we already knew that Campbell can do all of that. If he's going to take the next step and become a solid starter he needs to do all of that consistently. His failure to do so in his 36 games as an NFL starter is why he has yet to earn the full confidence of the organization and it's why he's still working on his rookie contract instead of having been granted an extension.

Campbell's inconsistency is why he is such a polarizing figure among Redskins fans. The fans who believe that Campbell can lead the Redskins to the playoffs have plenty of plays and games that indicate that Campbell is capable of being a very good, if not great, NFL quarterback. The dump-Campbell crowd has its share of indisputable visual evidence that he'll never be anything better than mediocre.

Don't get me wrong—he deserves kudos for bouncing back after a couple of brief, uninspiring outings. But he can't continue to be the Comeback Kid. At some point he has to get it done play after play, game after game, month after month.

All of this means that we'll just have to do what many of us hate to do—wait and see. We can't microwave an answer here; we'll have to see how it plays out over the coming weeks.

Some are concerned about the way that the defensive secondary got carved up in the first half. To be sure, they didn't look good, especially DeAngelo Hall, but last night's performance was fairly low on the worry meter. Tom Brady and Randy Moss will do that to a lot of teams and they are not on the regular-season schedule. Actually, I was much more concerned last week when Charlie Batch was consistently converting third and long situations.

The defense as a whole has yet to show signs of becoming the takeaway-generating wrecking ball that many think it will be. Once again, that long-lost commodity, patience, is called for here.

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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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