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State of the Redskins, Week 13: In the driver's seat

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State of the Redskins, Week 13: In the driver's seat

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 13 of the NFL season.

Record: 5-6, T-1st in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-1
vs. NFC: 5-3
vs. AFC: 0-3
Home: 5-1
Away: 0-5

Key stats changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 339.5 (25th)
Defense (yards/game): 366.6 (22nd)
Passer rating offense:  91.4 (13th)
Opp passer rating: 94.6 (21st)
Yards/rush attempt: 3.8 (25th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.7 (29th)
Weighted DVOA through Week 12 (Football Outsiders): -4.7% (15th)

Top three storylines:

Leading the race—The Redskins are tied for the NFC East lead and have an edge over the Giants based on tiebreakers. A lot can happen over the next five games but it seems likely that a 3-2 finish will be good enough to give the Redskins their first playoff berth since 2012 and the home playoff game that comes with winning the division. Sure they would be 8-8 but a franchise that has twice won 10 games and failed to make the playoffs in the past should feel no need to apologize. The Redskins do have their playoff chances in their own hands; if they win out, they are in.

Special teams an asset—Remember two years ago when the Redskins’ special teams were not just bad but historically awful? They have rebounded nicely with Dustin Hopkins pounding kickoffs, Tress Way learning how to control his powerful punting leg, and the coverage units executing fundamentals. Football Outsiders has the best overall measure of special teams units and they rank the Redskins fifth in the NFL this week. That’s quite a turnaround.

Quinton Dunbar—As training camp started the ceiling for Quinton Dunbar was thought to be practice squad wide receiver. But in late November he lined up in press coverage on Odell Beckham Jr., deflecting three passes, and making a key interception to help propel the Redskins to the top of the division. Shows how much we know. Now the focus of the injury reports this week will be Dunbar, who had to leave the game with a badly dislocated finger.

Next three games

Monday night vs. Cowboys (3-8)—It got ugly early against the Panthers on Thanksgiving and it got worse late when Tony Romo’s season ended with another broken collarbone. The Redskins aren’t good enough to beat anyone without playing well and they will need to beware against a Dallas team that has nothing to lose.

December 13 @ Bears (5-6)—The Bears were in disarray early in the season and Jay Cutler was either the joke or the punch line. But coach John Fox righted the ship and they have gone 5-3 since their 0-3 start. Their most recent win, over the Packers on the road, was quite impressive. Cutler has thrown just six interceptions after leading the league with 18 a year ago.

December 20 vs. Bills (5-6)—The Bills’ defense was supposed to be dominant but that hasn’t materialized. LeSean McCoy, who burned the Redskins on occasion when he was with the Eagles, seems to be healthy and is playing better the last four games than he has all year. We will see what Rex Ryan brings to town in a few weeks.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - How freaked out should Redskins fans be after Arizona loss?

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USA Today Sports

New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - How freaked out should Redskins fans be after Arizona loss?

JP Finlay and Rich Tandler address the most important question for Redskins fans after two straight losses - is it time to freak out?

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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Redskins don't request roster exemption for Williams

Redskins don't request roster exemption for Williams

Trent Williams’ suspension ended on Monday and the Redskins did not wait to get him back on the 53-man roster.

NFL teams often request roster exemptions for players who return from suspensions that last multiple games. Such requests routinely are granted for the week leading up to the next game. It gives the team an extra player in practice while the formerly suspended player rounds back into shape.

But the Redskins apparently are going to throw Williams right into things. On Monday, they waived cornerback Dashaun Phillips and cleared a spot for Williams right away.

Yesterday, Jay Gruden confirmed what has been widely reported, that Williams will return to his left tackle spot. Leaving Ty Nsekhe, who did a solid job filling in while Williams was out, at left tackle and putting Williams at left guard is something that will remain something for fans and media to speculate on but not something that will happen on the field.

The Redskins managed to go 2-2 during Williams’ suspension. Perhaps one upside is that Williams may be fully healthy down the stretch after having five weeks off, including the bye week that preceded his suspension.