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Redskins-Giants Injury Report, Predicitons

Redskins-Giants Injury Report, Predicitons

The Washington Redskins should not have to worry about covering Plaxico Burress on Sunday. The New York Giants may or may not have to worry about tackling Clinton Portis.

Burress, who torched the Washington secondary with 10 catches for 113 yards in the season opener, is listed as out with a hamstring injury. As has been the case for the last two weeks, Portis is questionable with a knee sprain. Linebacker Marcus Washington is out with a high ankle sprain.

Portis has a lot of company in being designated as questionable, with a 50-50 chance of playing. Andre Carter, Cornelius Griffin, London Fletcher, Kedric Golston, and Chris Samuels are questionable for the Redskins while running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs and defensive tackle Fred Robbins are in that category for the Giants.

Regardless of the status of the banged up players, I don't see this game as being an impossible challenge for the Redskins. Washington will not have to score a ton of points to win. As I seem to have to keep reminding people, the Redskins have a damn good defense. It's a balanced defense, third overall, fourth against the pass and seventh against the rush, fifth in scoring defense. Yes, they don't get the sacks and they don't get the turnovers but they still make it difficult for the other team to gain yards and score points.

The magic number for the Redskins is 17. If they can get to there, they can win or at least get it into the last minutes or into overtime. It's probably asking too much for the Redskins offense to post 17 on its own given that the unit has difficulty posting 20 against normal to mediocre defensive units. That doesn't describe the Giants D, which is highly ranked and gets the sacks and gets the turnovers.

So, that leaves it up to the defense or special teams to score or set up a touchdown. It might happen, but there is nothing that would indicate that it's likely.

Giants 17, Redskins 13

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Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

In the third quarter of the Redskins’ Week 3 game against the Giants, New York drove to a first and goal at the Washington 10. A Trent Murphy sack and two incompletions later, Josh Brown came in and kicked a field goal.

Since then, opponents have had goal to go situations 12 times. They have scored touchdowns on every one of them.

The stop against the Giants was one of just two all year. They had one against the Cowboys in Week 2. Their opponents’ goal to go success rate is 90.5 percent. That’s the second worst in the NFL.

The failures have been costly. On Sunday, the Cardinals recovered a Kirk Cousins fumble and returned it to the Washington 10. The Redskins led 13-10 at the time and coming out of that situation with the game tied would have been large. But on third and goal at the six Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd with a touchdown pass and the Cardinals had both the lead and the momentum.

Opponents usually haven’t had to work that hard. Teams have run 21 plays in goal to go and they have 10 touchdowns.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys got to goal to go three times. A stop on any one of them would have been a boost to the Redskins and would have changed the dynamic of the game. But Dallas was three for three.

The goal to go problems are a subset of the Redskins’ problems with red zone defense in general. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 27 of 40 red zone trips, a 67.5 percent success rate that puts the Redskins 30th in the NFL.  

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NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:

  1. The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
  2. It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
  3. Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous. 
  4. While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.

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