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Redskins fans should root for Ravens

Redskins fans should root for Ravens

If fans of the Washington Redskins are looking for a rooting interest in the NFL playoffs, they should look about 32 miles to the north of FedEx Field to M&T Bank Stadium.

They should think purple.

Yes, Redskins fans should be rooting for the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl.

I know that the idea is anywhere from repulsive to uncomfortable to most. It's just not natural to want to root for the team from the neighboring city. It certainly doesn't feel right to me, although the feeling is more towards uneasy and less towards physically ill.

But Redskins fans should set aside such feelings out of pure self-interest.

Huh?

Stick with me here. This is about Dan Snyder and the mix of insecurity, jealousy, and competitive fire that drives him.

Should the Ravens win the Super Bowl that will make two titles in the time that Snyder has owned the Redskins. Two titles in a period of time when Snyder's team has won a grand total of two playoff games. Two titles in a period of time during which anyone associated with Snyder's team would have to buy a ticket to attend so much as a conference championship game.

The Redskins owner clearly would be the owner of the inferior team in the region. It wouldn't even be debatable. Actually, it's not debatable that the Ravens are the superior team and organization right now, even if they were to lose to the Titans this weekend, but another championship would convince even those wearing glasses with lenses of the deepest shades of burgundy and gold of that fact.

It might even convince those with a vested interest in the way the Redskins do business to reconsider the way things work in Ashburn.

The Redskins and the Ravens couldn't be more different when it comes to football operations. Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti offers encouragement and signs checks but otherwise stays out of the way. He lets Ozzie Newsome, his fine, talented general manager, draft the players and make the other player personnel decisions.

Snyder also offers encouragement and signs checks but he does not otherwise stay out of the way. While the extent of his involvement in player personnel decisions is unclear, the fact that he's involved at all is not good. Vinny Cerrato, one of the least talented and respected men in an NFL GM-type role, has some authority and that also is not good.

The Ravens, by and large, build through the draft and they build from the lines out. The Redskins think flashy skill players first and their plan for building consists of whatever seems like a good idea at the time.

The Ravens, in other words, have the traditional NFL setup and build in the traditional NFL way. The methods are traditional because they work.

Should there be a parade in downtown Baltimore in early February, Snyder would look up north with that mix of jealousy and desire to win. Steve Bisciotti holding up the Lombardi Trophy would be a life-altering moment for him. It would force him to take a serious look at the way he does things.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Snyder would be loathe to flatter the Ravens by immediately restructuring the Redskins organization and revamping its philosophy. But certainly a Ravens title would be a hard nudge in that direction and that would be a positive development.

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The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 7 worst play of 2016

Giants at Redskins, Week 17

4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10

Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN 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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Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

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What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!