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State of the Redskins, Week 10: A shuffle coming in the secondary?

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State of the Redskins, Week 10: A shuffle coming in the secondary?

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 10 of the NFL season.

Record: 3-5, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 1-1
vs. NFC: 3-2
vs. AFC: 0-3
Home: 3-1
Away: 0-4

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 329.0 (29th)
Defense (yards/game): 272.9 (21st)
Passer rating offense: 82.6 (24th)
Opp passer rating: 97.6 (24th )
Yards/rush attempt: 3.6 (30th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.8 (30th)
DVOA through Week 9 (Football Outsiders): -8.8% (19th)

Top three storylines:

Code Red redux—After the expected loss to the Patriots, the Redskins sit at 3-5, the same record they have at the midway point last year. In 2014 they promptly lost six straight games and rapidly fell out of competition for anything. They can get off to a good start to avoiding a repeat of last year by beating the 4-5 Saints on Sunday. A win could have them within a game of first place in the NFC East. A loss with a trip to Charlotte to play the undefeated Panthers coming up next could trigger another slide.

Still getting ground up—The Redskins have had problems both running the ball and stopping the run. Oh, wait, you’ve heard that before? Well, it will continue to be a storyline here until the results change.

Shuffle in the secondary—It looks like changes are coming to the secondary. Some, like the returns of Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall to the field, are health related. Others, like the possibility that Jeron Johnson will get a shot at string safety, are coaches’ decisions. In any case, if the secondary gets stronger maybe Joe Barry will feel more comfortable sending extra pressure at opposing quarterbacks and we may see more big plays.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Saints (4-5)—The Saints had a nice little winning streak going until the lost to the Titans (1-6 going into the game) at home, allowing rookie Marcus Mariota to throw four TD passes in the process. Historically they are not as good a team playing outdoors on grass; we will see.

November 22 @ Panthers (8-0)—They have let blowouts turn into close games in each of the last two weeks but they beat the Colts and Packers to remain unbeaten. Cam Newton isn’t lighting it up statistically in the passing department but he is in the MVP conversation because he is getting it done with his legs and in the clutch.

November 29 vs. Giants (5-4)—The Giants are just a bad matchup for the Redskins. New York has won six of the last seven games between the two teams and most of them haven’t been competitive. Home division games are always important and this one will be no exception, particularly if the Redskins lose at Carolina.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: How many game balls go out after dominant win over Raiders?

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: How many game balls go out after dominant win over Raiders?

JP Finlay, Rich Tandler and Mitch Tischler give their instant analysis from FedEx Field in the immediate wake of Washington's dominating 27-10 win over Oakland.

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 27-10 win over the Raiders:

This was the Redskins best defensive performance since 1992. That was the last time they held an opponent to under 128 total yards. They were physical, smart, determined and they made plays. If not for two turnovers they would have had a shutout. Oakland did not cross the Washington 48 without the benefit of a gift. Just dominant. 

With a strong defense, you can do what you want to on offense. I asked Kirk Cousins how much running for a couple of yards a pop as Samaje Perine was doing early in the game helped the offense. He answered in part by saying that the offense can afford to run for a low average per carry when the defense is playing so well. That's true. A punt isn't a bad play when you are confident that you are likely to get the ball back three plays later. 

Chris Thompson just keeps getting better every week. His patience when he has the ball in his hands and his ability to burst into the opening when it's there are textbook excellent. Oh yeah, his open field speed, which he gets to show off after being patient and cutting, is also amazing. Even the smaller plays, like two near the end of the half, when he wove his way through the cracks in the defense and then got out of bounds after gaining everything he could, are fun to watch. He is the Redskins' offensive MVP so far. 

Doctson showed why the Redskins drafted him on one flash. Nobody is going to give Josh Doctson an MVP award but we did see his potential when he went up and took that deep pass away from David Amerson for the touchdown. Plays like that make you see why the Redskins drafted him in the first round and why they have been patient with him. He will need to develop consistency but in the meantime, splash plays like that help a lot.

It’s hard to find fault in this one. Normally in these posts, I try to find a positive in a loss and something to be critical of in a win. But it’s really hard to find much to be critical about in the immediate aftermath of this one. Jamison Crowder’s muff of a punt certainly was an issue and perhaps Samaje Perine could have made more out of the line’s blocking for him. But from the defense to Cousins to Thompson to Zach Brown to D.J. Swearinger and many more, it was as dominant a game as we’ve seen from this team in a while. Can they keep it up? Tune in next Monday from Arrowhead Stadium and we’ll find out.

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.