Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 16 of the NFL season.
Record: 7-7, 1st in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 6-4
vs. AFC: 1-3
Key stats changes from 2014-2015
Rankings (through Sunday’s games)
Offense (yards/game): 343.3 (22nd)
Defense (yards/game): 370.0 (25th)
Passer rating offense: 97.0 (8th)
Opp passer rating: 96.2 (21st)
Yards/rush attempt: 3.7 (29th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt: 4.9 (21st)
DVOA through Week 15 (Football Outsiders): -3.0% (15th)
Top three storylines:
The magic number is one—The Redskins are one win away from a playoff appearance that nobody predicted back at the beginning of the season when many had them ranked anywhere from 30th to 32nd in their power rankings, picking first in the 2015 draft, and looking for a new coach and quarterback by now. Regardless, any combination of Redskins wins and Eagles losses totaling one will clinch the division for the Redskins.
You like that!—They appear to have found their quarterback, at least for the next year or two. Kirk Cousins has done what you want an inexperienced quarterback to do, get better as the year goes on. He has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the game since Week 7, completing 77 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns and three interceptions and a passer rating of 115.0.
Jackson heating up—It is no coincidence that Cousins’ production started to ramp up when DeSean Jackson got back in the lineup after missing six games with a hamstring injury. He picked a good time to have his best game of the season against the Bills. If he can keep it up the Redskins could be a dangerous team in the playoffs.
Last two (regular season) games
Saturday @ Eagles (6-8)—The only thing this game means is everything. The Redskins take the NFC East with a win. They are still alive if they don’t but this is last call to get in through the front door without any help.
January 3 @ Cowboys (4-10)—This game could be critical for the Redskins or it could be the January equivalent of a meaningless preseason game. We know it won’t mean anything for the Cowboys.
RICHMOND—The Redskins reportedly have been looking to trade running back Matt Jones since just before the draft. They may be able to find a partner just up I-95.
The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a running back after Kenneth Dixon suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this week. Terrance West, who gained 774 yards on the ground last year, is healthy and returning but the Ravens want more depth at the position.
That is where Jones could come into play. The 2015 third-round pick of the Redskins was the unquestioned starter going into last season. But fumbling and other issues prompted Jay Gruden to make him inactive the last nine games of the season. Jones further fell out of favor by skipping OTAs this year, a move he made on the advice of his now-former agent.
RELATED: Is Cousins overrated?
Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh said last year that he liked Jones “a lot” in the 2015 draft and he could well still be intrigued by his size and speed. ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley said that Jones could be a good fit for the Ravens in their current situation.
It should be noted that Hensley seems to be engaging in informed speculation and not relaying anything he heard from the team’s decision makers. He also speaks of the possibility of Baltimore picking up Jones after the Redskins release him.
But there could be some incentive for the Ravens to talk trade with the Redskins rather than waiting for Jones to hit the waiver wire. For one thing, getting their new back in sooner rather than later would benefit the Ravens, allowing the player to get acclimated to his new quarterback and offensive line. While the Redskins are inevitably going to cut Jones, they have no incentive to do so before the final cuts just before the start of the season. Perhaps the Ravens will want to give up some minor compensation, something like a swap of sixth- and seventh-round picks, to get Jones in for the start of training camp.
MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update
Hensley also mentions the possibility that the Ravens will look at former Redskin Alfred Morris for depth at running back. He currently is buried on the Cowboys’ depth chart behind All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden. However, there is the possibility of a domestic-violence suspension on the horizon for Elliott. While the suspension is likely to be brief the Cowboys probably don’t want to depart with any running back depth until the matter has been settled.
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.
At CSNmidatlantic.com we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offense, defense) right after minicamp. Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.
The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2017 Redskins. No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings over the next few weeks.
Today we’re updating the list with the players we ranked from 1-10. Here are some of the players in our latest update:
—A 2016 free agent who needs to make more big plays.
—A rookie expected to bolster one of the weakest units on the team.
—Each of the five highest-paid players on the team.
—What you won’t find: Any players who will be over the age of 29 in Week 1.
Go here to see our ranking of the 2017 Redskins, players 1-53.
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.