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Quick Take on 2005 Schedule

Quick Take on 2005 Schedule

Week 1 vs. Chicago

There were suggestions that it would be appropriate for New York to play Washington to open the season on September 11, but the NFL chose to pit the Skins against da Bears. A rematch of one of 2004’s most forgettable games, one that featured Mark Brunell and Chicago’s Jonathan Quinn combined to go 18 for 44 passing for 160 yards (3.6 yards per pass). Neither QB should be in the lineup for the opener.

Week 2 Monday night at Dallas

A major confluence of jinxes here with Washington having problems with Dallas in general , Parcells having it over Gibbs (eight straight), Gibbs’ mediocrity on Monday night (9-15). The Redskins haven’t won in Dallas since Heath Shuler led them to a 24-17 win there in 1995.

Week 3 Bye

Bye should be favored by a field goal. Sorry, an old one there. Pretty early for a bye, not many bumps and bruises to heal or regrouping to do. The schedule makers have been pretty good about having it more towards the middle of the year in the past, so they were due to get the early on.

Week 4 vs. Seattle

Since about 2000, the Seahawks have supposedly been the NFL’s up and coming team. If they are 1-2 coming in to this one, the deathwatch could already for Mike Holmgren’s coaching tenure.

Week 5 at Denver

Portis vs. Bailey. Of course, it won’t come to an individual matchup between the two, but that’s what will be talked about endlessly prior to the game.

Week 6 at Kansas City

The second of tough back-to-back road games against the AFC West. The Redskins have never won in KC and they haven’t even come close since 1971.

Week 7 vs. San Francisco

If the Niners do draft a quarterback with the first overall pick, this could be either Aaron Rodgers’ or Alex Smith’s first NFL start. San Francisco will be coming off of their bye week and assuming that Tim Rattay isn’t getting it done through the first five weeks, this would be a good time to make the switch.

Week 8 at NY Giants

Washington’s season took a decided turn for the worse at the Meadowlands in Week 2 last year. Patrick Ramsey threw three picks after coming in for an injured Mark Brunell.

Week 9 Sunday night vs. Philadelphia

The last three Eagle games at FedEx have been prime-time affairs. The first two were Eagle blowouts by a combined 68-14. Last year the Redskins had a chance to take the lead late, but Ramsey threw an interception and Philly was able to hang on.

Week 10 at Tampa Bay

Gibbs and Bucs coach John Gruden both have Super Bowl rings and both have tough roads to hoe to get another one. Which son of a quarterback will be calling the signals for Tampa Bay—Brian Griese or Chris Simms?

Week 11 vs. Oakland

This is the first of two straight home games against head coaches fired by Dan Snyder. Norv Turner returns and there’s no doubt that the Raiders will play awfully well, at least according to Norv.

Week 12 vs. San Diego

Following the Norv Bowl is the Marty Bowl. Perhaps if he’d abandoned his ultra-conservative style sooner he would still be coaching the Skins. The only Redskins team ever to lose to the Chargers was coached by Marty Schottenheimer.

Week 13 at St. Louis

In 2000 Norv Turner’s Redskins went into the house of the defending Super Bowl champion Rams and came out with a 33-20 win to raise their record to 7-4. They lost the next four in a row, costing them the playoff spot that seemed certain and costing Turner his job.

Week 14 at Arizona

Dennis Green’s team is aiming for the division title. Of course, in the NFC West that means a .500 record.

Week 15 vs. Dallas

This is the first of three straight division games to close out the season. If the Redskins are going to make the playoffs, or even have a respectable season, they will have to win this one.

Week 16 vs. NY Giants

It was against the Giants at FedEx that Ramsey got his first win as a starter under Gibbs last year.

Week 17 at Philadelphia

Perhaps the Eagles will have clinched everything that they can clinch and the Skins will be playing against Koy Detmer instead of Donovan McNabb.

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You probably don't realize how effective Kirk Cousins is as a runner

You probably don't realize how effective Kirk Cousins is as a runner

Back at the 2012 NFL Combine, Kirk Cousins ran his 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds.

Now, as far as QB 40-yard dashes go, that's not a bad number at all, but it's definitely not blazing, either. Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, for example, ran his in 4.77 seconds that same year (while weighing 84 pounds heavier than the Michigan State signal caller), and 13 out of the 20 passers invited to the event topped Cousins' time.

That, plus the facts that Cousins isn't physically imposing and he clearly prefers to operate within the safe confines of the pocket, would lead you to believe that he's not much of a threat as a runner. But a stat — and this stat is far from an advanced one or a hidden one — indicates otherwise.

MORE: PLAYING OVER/UNDER ON SOME KEY KIRK COUSINS STATS

Over the last two seasons, Cousins has the third-most rushing touchdowns amongst quarterbacks. Cam Newton has 15 (not surprising), Tyrod Taylor checks in with 10 (also not surprising), and then there's Cousins, who rushed for nine scores in 2015 and 2016, which is good enough for a bronze medal on this particular podium (that's quite surprising).

Washington's starter has actually found the end zone with his legs more than peers like Andy Dalton (7), Alex Smith (7) and Aaron Rodgers (5) since taking over the primary gig in D.C., and all of those guys have reputations as runners that exceed Cousins'.

In fact, no one on the Burgundy and Gold has crossed the goal line as a ball-carrier more than the 28-year-old in the past 32 contests; Rob Kelley and Matt Jones are both three short of the man who lines up in front of them on Sundays.

Of course, Cousins isn't going to flatten defenders like Newton does, and he won't run around them like Taylor does. He also won't rip off big-gainers down the sideline when opposing team turns their back on him in man coverage.

But as the following highlights show, he hasn't just cashed in on one-yard sneaks the last couple of seasons, either:

All three of those plays were designed runs, and Cousins, while not exactly resembling Madden 2004 Michael Vickexecuted them perfectly. He doesn't really rack up yards — the numbers vary depending on which site you use, but the consensus is he's picked up about 150 total since 2015 — but Jay Gruden and Co. have developed a tremendous feel of when to use Cousins' feet instead of his arm in the red zone.

Sure, he's not going to show up on your Twitter timeline juking out a corner, and he won't scamper for much more than 10 yards at a time. But in a few games in 2017, Kirk Cousins is going to finish a drive with an impressive touchdown run instead of a throw, and that might shock you — even though it really shouldn't.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER FROM BOTTOM TO TOP

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins talk, back end of D

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins talk, back end of D

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 22, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 50 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 19
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 28
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 42

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics from the past week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com.

What would a fair Redskins contract offer to Kirk Cousins look like?  As it turns out, the offer the Redskins made fell below “fair” territory. But perhaps they recognized that a deal never was going to get done, not this year anyway. Cousins is content to see things unfold in 2017 and decide on a longer-term destination next year. So, the team’s offer was not high enough but there really wasn’t an offer that was going to be sufficient.

Cousins explains why he's not offended by Redskins statement—Bruce Allen raised plenty of eyebrows by detailing some of the team’s contract offer in a statement. Clearly the intent of the statement, which revealed some details that weren’t very impressive under closer inspection, was designed to turn public opinion in their favor. Cousins, appearing on the radio the next day, didn’t have a problem with it and said that Allen had told him that he would do it. As expected, plenty of fans and media types decided to be outraged in his place.

Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room for possible Kirk Cousins offer—With the focus turning to 2018, the fact that the team will have about $60 million in cap space becomes relevant. It’s enough to give him the $35 million franchise tag and perhaps enough to match a front-loaded offer sheet if the Redskins use the transition tag. But the cautionary word is that they have at least a dozen starters and key contributors who also are set to be free agents next year. They will have to find money for them or their replacements somewhere.

Redskins depth chart preview--Safety—Cousins talk dominated the week but other topics did draw plenty of interest. The back end of the defense, with Su’a Cravens converting from linebacker and free agent D. J. Swearinger moving from being mostly a strong safety to playing free, will be under the microscope this year. Whether the defense gets better may hinge on the safety position. 

11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins offense—Does Trent Williams make the All-Pro team? How many yards for Rob Kelley? One prediction for each projected offensive starter here including how many non-receiving touchdowns for Jamison Crowder.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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