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Redskins vs. Bengals Prediction

Redskins vs. Bengals Prediction

I'm not sure that the Washington Redskins can win the three games in a row necessary to give them a shot at securing a spot in the NFC postseason party.

I am very confident that they can win on game in a row in Cincinnati this Sunday.

The Redskins have been very good at taking care of business against the dregs of the league. The lone banana peel they've hit was in October against the Rams. Other than that, they have thumped the NFL's Little Sisters of the Poor.

And, make no mistake, the Bengals are bottom feeders. They are last in total offense and 24th in total defense. The Bengals' 1-11-1 record isn't all aces.

Their best player, quarterback Carson Palmer, has an elbow injury and has been on the sideline most of the season. In a move that only the Bengals organization would make, they have not put Palmer on injured reserve. Sunday's game will be the ninth straight that Palmer has missed and team was eliminated from the playoff picture before Columbus Day. Rather than pull the plug and put a player on the team that could, you know, help them, the Bengals let him languish. I truly that the thought of paying a player the millions that Palmer makes and not have him available for so much as the coin toss is abhorrent to the Bengals' basic way of doing business.

The coach of any other team that has steadily descended from a playoff appearance in 2005 to the mess that they are today would be on a seat so hot it could bring a giant pot of Cincinnati chili to a boil in a hurry. But Marvin Lewis' job is secure only because Mike Brown and company are too cheap to pay the balance of Lewis' contract, which has two years left on it.

OK, enough of beating up on the Bengals. Their own fans do enough of that. And the Redskins have their own problems, to be sure.

On top of that, Cincinnati has played the NFC East tough this year. They took the Giants to overtime before losing in the Meadowlands, were competitive in Dallas all the way and, yes Donovan, they tied the Eagles.

That and the fact that the Redskins have managed to keep all of their wins competitive into the very late going leads to the conclusion that they will do just enough to post the "W". With 40% their offensive line consisting of players who have either been totally inactive (RT Jason Fabini) or mostly in a reserve role (LT Stephon Heyer) this year the Redskins will grind it out with Clinton Portis on offense. Look for the Mouth That Roared to rumble for a buck-forty.

The Skins' one chance to turn this into a rout is to pick off a few of Ryan Fitzpatrick's passes. In the shocking stat of the day department, the Redskins are tied for 12th in the NFL with 12 interceptions. If they can get a few of those deep in Cincy territory. . .

But that's unlikely. More than likely it will be a lot of three and outs for the Bengals, they'll punt and the Redskins will have to embark on long, sustained scoring drives to put points on the board. Some will make the end zone, most won't. At this point in the season, you are what you are.

Redskins 20, Bengals 10

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Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan advising other teams in advance of NFL Draft, per NFL Network

Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan advising other teams in advance of NFL Draft, per NFL Network

Redskins team president Bruce Allen made clear at the NFL League Meetings that former general manager Scot McCloughan is free to work elsewhere in the NFL. Now it appears that's happening. 

Mike Garafalo of the NFL Network reported that McCloughan has advised multiple NFL teams in advance of the draft. 

McCloughan was let go by the Redskins in early March after a tumultuous few months following the 2016 season. A slew of reports pegged the GM's ouster on a combination of a power struggle with Allen and other outlets suggested problems with alcohol played a part in his firing. 

CLICK HERE FOR 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 11.0

In previous stops with the 49ers and Seahawks, alcohol played a large role in McCloughan's removal from front office jobs. Before he was hired by Washington in 2015, McCloughan was operating his own scouting service. 

Redskins director of college scouting Scott Campbell explained earlier this week that McCloughan played a part in setting the Redskins draft board. Campbell added, however, that much information on the board has changed since McCloughan was fired.

Outside of a small circle of people, it's hard to know exactly what transpired that led to McCloughan's firing. Regardless, it's not a surprise that he is back providing information about college prospects. 

MORE REDSKINS: 22 deep on possible Redskins first round picks

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Five things to watch during the NFL draft while waiting for the Redskins to pick

Five things to watch during the NFL draft while waiting for the Redskins to pick

The Redskins have the 17th pick in tonight’s first round. Things get underway when the Browns go on the clock at about 8 p.m. There are 10 minutes allotted between picks. If each team takes the maximum time the Redskins will pick sometime after 11 p.m. However, picks are usually in with a few minutes to spare so Washington will go on the clock sometime between 10 and 10:30.

So, what is there to watch for until then? In what everything thinks will be one of the wildest and most unpredictable first rounds in recent memory, here are five places where the decisions made could have ripple effects back to pick No. 17.

No. 1, Browns—The steaming hot rumor that has popped up in the last 24 hours is that QB Mitchell Trubisky, not DE Myles Garret, will be the top pick in the draft. Of course, that talk could be a steaming pile of, well, what comes out of the south end of a bull. If the Browns do go with Trubisky, who was expected to remain on the board through the first five picks, there could be a run on quarterbacks in the top half of the draft, with teams maneuvering to get their guy. That could push a solid defensive player back to the Redskins.

No. 4, Jaguars—Nobody is quite sure what is going on here. Leonard Fournette is the chalk pick but this is the team that drafted Blake Bortles completely out of the blue in the top five a few years ago. They have spent a lot of draft capital and free agent money on defense. They may be ready to move on from Bortles so a QB is a possibility, a move that would start or, if Trubusky goes to the Browns at No. 1, continue a run on quarterbacks.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

No. 8, Panthers—In a draft that is supposedly unpredictable, the constant in mock drafts over the last 10 days or so has been Christian McCaffrey to Carolina. It almost seems to be too simple to be true, especially if the top seven picks are loaded with surprises. The Panthers have plenty of needs and if they have a top safety or linebacker fall into their laps they could well bypass McCaffrey. That would put him in play for the Redskins at 17.

No. 13, Cardinals—We go back to quarterbacks here. Will the Cardinals, who have plenty of needs, take a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech to groom to replace Carson Palmer? If they do, that could force the a QB-needy team picking later in the first such as the Texans to move up to make sure they aren’t left out. That could have them on the phone to Ashburn offering their second-round pick to entice the Redskins to move down to No. 25.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

No. 16, Ravens—Picking immediately in front of the Redskins, the Ravens also have needs everywhere. Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster seem like the type of player the Ravens like so there is the possibility that the Redskins could see a very good player at a top area of need slide back towards them only to get snatched up one pick prior to them going on the clock. The good news may be that many analysts have Baltimore addressing wide receiver or offensive line at No. 16 and those positions are not likely to be of high interest to the Redskins in the first round.

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.