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Redskins camp countdown: 22 field goals made

Redskins camp countdown: 22 field goals made

We’re counting down to the start of training camp here by looking at some numbers that will be keys to the Redskins’ 2014 season.

22—Successful field goal attempts

Please forgive the obvious point here but if the Redskins are going to win more games this year they are going to have to score more points. Earlier this week we looked at a couple of aspects of them not being able to finish drives (here and here). As noted in the posts, the Redskins were ninth in the league in yardage gained but 23rd in scoring. A more precise measure of offensive efficiency is yards per point. The Redskins had 17.7 yards of offense per point scored. The most efficient team, the Cowboys, had 12.4 yards per point (h/t @rickoharrison for pointing out the site with that data).

The Redskins not only need to finish off drives but they need to finish them off with the maximum number of points. And that’s where kicking 22 field goals—one more than they had in 2013—comes into play as a key number. They don’t want to score more points by kicking more field goals, they want to score more by finishing drives in the end zone.

Last year the Eagles kicked 23 field goals. Only five NFL teams kicked fewer. They were second in the NFL in scoring, however, because they finished second in offensive touchdowns scored with 51. If the Redskins want to keep up with Philly, the reigning division champ and solid favorite to repeat, they will need to get into the end zone a lot more often than they kick field goals. If they end up booting much more than about 22 field goals, they’ll have trouble scoring as much as they need to.

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Ricky Jean-Francois signs with the Packers, per report

Ricky Jean-Francois signs with the Packers, per report

Before last season with the Redskins, Ricky Jean-Francois had made the playoffs five consecutive times, doing so twice with San Francisco, twice with Indianapolis and then once with Washington.

Now, the veteran — who was released by the 'Skins on March 15 — has given himself a strong chance of getting back to the postseason again in 2017 by reportedly signing with the Packers on Thursday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that Jean-Francois and Green Bay agreed to a one-year, $3-million contract.

MORE REDSKINS: DESEAN JACKSON ON WHY HE CHOSE TAMPA BAY

The 30-year-old lineman visited with the Bears and Seahawks before choosing to sign with Green Bay. Former Redskin Chris Baker, now in Tampa Bay, had also attempted to recruit Jean-Francois on Twitter to join him with the Bucs.

By cutting Jean-Francois last week, Washington will save $3 million toward their 2017 salary cap. Some have also speculated whether his criticism of the franchise was a factor in the transaction.

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DeSean Jackson chose Tampa because he wanted a young QB with 'a lot of upside'

DeSean Jackson chose Tampa because he wanted a young QB with 'a lot of upside'

Kirk Cousins is a 28-year-old quarterback, which is pretty youthful by NFL standards, and he's thrown for 4,100+ and 4,900+ yards in the past two seasons, suggesting that his career is on the rise.

But when DeSean Jackson was evaluating where to ink his next contract during his time on the open market, he saw another passer who is younger than Cousins and, in his mind, has more potential than Cousins, too.

And that is one of the main reasons why Jackson left the Redskins and signed with the Buccaneers.

"I think it was a great fit, a great opportunity, a great up-and-coming, young team," the receiver said during an interview on ESPN's First Take. "Jameis [Winston], obviously, in my decision making, I really wanted to go with a young quarterback, someone who had a lot of upside to him and I think he was the one to fit that position."

Like Cousins, Winston has been a full-time starter for two seasons in the league, and like Cousins, he's posted some gaudy numbers.

Most of the numbers, however, don't stack up to Washington's QB. Cousins edges out Winston in touchdowns, completion percentage and yards, and has also taken fewer sacks and thrown fewer picks than the former Heisman Trophy winner, in the last two years.

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With those stats in mind, it's safe to say the Michigan State product is superior to the Florida State product today. But after hearing Jackson say he valued Winston's "upside," it's not hard to take that a step further and conclude that Jackson believes Winston's ceiling is higher than Cousins' ceiling. On top of that, the latter's contract situation probably was a factor to some extent.

Speaking of Cousins, the pass catcher was asked to talk about his old signal caller. His response was complimentary — but also quite short.

"I think he has what it takes," Jackson said. "At times, we probably needed more out of him and everybody else on the team as well, too. Kirk Cousins, obviously his numbers are off the charts. He had crazy numbers. But moving forward man, we're in Tampa now." 

It was a speedy answer from a speedy player. And while that speedy player did speak highly of Cousins, he's opting to wind down his career with Winston instead, which basically declares that he decided Winston must have "what it takes" more than Cousins.

Jackson is certainly moving forward in Tampa, but whether his production will move upward with Winston isn't as certain.

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