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Road Warriors

Road Warriors

The 2008 schedule for the Washington Redskins was announced yesterday and, as usual, there are some quirks in it that are worth discussion.

In case you don't have it handy, here it is:

9/4 @NYG ThNF
9/14 NO
9/21 AZ
9/28 @DAl 4:15
10/5 @ PHL
10/12 STL
10/19 CLE
10/26 @DET
11/2 PIT MNF
11/9 bye
11/16 DAL SNF
11/23 @ SEA
11/30 NYG
12/7 @ BLT
12/14 @ CIN
12/21 PHL
12/28 @SF

The first thing that always catches my eye when I take an initial glance at a schedule is the distribution of the @'s. Are the road games clumped together or are the home and road games alternated for the most part?

What we see here is clumps of road games. Three out of the first five and three of the last four are away from FedEx Field. Those three road games in the early going are all against the team's division rivals, the Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys. Jim Zorn is going to have to hit the ground running.

The key in that stretch of the season is the home games against the Saints and Cardinals. Both of those teams are with the Redskins in the muddled middle of the NFL. If the Skins can take those two games then getting a win in any of the three division roadies will be a bonus. If they drop one, they're staring 1-4 right in the face.

The ending stretch does not look as daunting. None of their December opponents made the playoffs in 2007. The Ravens have a new coach, the Niners and Bengals' coaches are strapped to the hot seat for the year, and there are rumblings that Andy Reid has outstayed his effectiveness in Philly.

Not that December will be a cakewalk by any stretch, but if they have a shot at a decent season going into the last four games, at this point you'd have to feel pretty good about their chances of finishing it off.

The key words there are "at this point". Games that look like sure losses now could turn into ones that the Redskins should win by the time that they are played. Penciling in a "W" at any point is just as risky.

That's why any extended analysis of the schedule at this point is little more than offseason filler material.

Since the road games are clumped at the beginning and end of the year, there will be plenty of home cooking in October and November. The Redskins go on the road just once in a six-week stretch that includes their bye week. The off week is sandwiched between prime time home games against the Steelers (Monday night) and Cowboys (Sunday night).

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When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.

Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional. 

Straight like that

A photo posted by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box. 

No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores. 

MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus.