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The O-line—A five-point plan

The O-line—A five-point plan

Milke Williams is unlikely to contribute so why keep him around?

The Washington Redskins' offensive line is getting to be like the weather—everyone wants to complain about it but nobody wants to do anything about it.

There are those who want the team to scan the available free agent list and sign a Jon Runyan or Levi Jones. I guess if you want to add even more age to a line that needs to get younger that might be a solution. I would call it a band-aid, one that may or may not stick. Joe Bugel and Jim Zorn need to just say no to age and implement the following plan:

  1. Cut Mike Williams—I've never heard of a player sitting out three years and returning to be an effective member of a team. Add in the 100-pound weight loss it took to get on the field and you have the impossible dream. The Redskins need to lose the illusion that this guy could help if needed and give the work to the players who can play.
  2. Bench Chris Samuels—Not for the regular season, for that meaningless string of glorified practices they call preseason games. Maybe get him out there to break a sweat but there is no sense in putting any more mileage on his body than is absolutely necessary. While he's riding the pine with his shoulder pads off identify his backup so that you don't have to put in your backup center if he goes out during a game. Devin Clark seems to be the first option right now, they need to see if he can get it done.
  3. Put Chad Reinhart in a right guard—That is what's happening now anyway with Randy Thomas nursing a knee injury. He also had neck surgery in the offseason. If Thomas can push Reinhart to the bench for the season opener, fine. But the chances of Thomas going 16 games are slim and Reinhart needs to be ready to go.
  4. Put Will Montgomery at center and leave him there—Not to supplant Casey Rabach but to see if he is capable of being the backup center. There are plenty of backup guards and we know that most centers could fill in a guard in a pinch anyway. He's 26 and although he may not be the long-term answer he could fill in until the Redskins draft a center (OK, I know the part about drafting a center is a bit farfetched).
  5. Treat Stephon Heyer and Jeremy Bridges as interchangeable parts—Neither one of them has demonstrated an ability to hold down a job so why pretend that one of them can? Figure on going with whichever one of them can keep Jason Campbell upright and stick with him until he breaks down. When (not if) that happens, put in the other guy. I know that this violates the cardinal rule that there are five starting offensive linemen and thou shalt not rotate or substitute unless one of them has a visible broken bone but this situation calls from some out of the box thinking.

Although I scoff at the idea of bringing in some veteran help, you might not. Vote in the poll and give your reasoning in the comments.

[polldaddy poll=1847496]

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Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

In the third quarter of the Redskins’ Week 3 game against the Giants, New York drove to a first and goal at the Washington 10. A Trent Murphy sack and two incompletions later, Josh Brown came in and kicked a field goal.

Since then, opponents have had goal to go situations 12 times. They have scored touchdowns on every one of them.

The stop against the Giants was one of just two all year. They had one against the Cowboys in Week 2. Their opponents’ goal to go success rate is 90.5 percent. That’s the second worst in the NFL.

The failures have been costly. On Sunday, the Cardinals recovered a Kirk Cousins fumble and returned it to the Washington 10. The Redskins led 13-10 at the time and coming out of that situation with the game tied would have been large. But on third and goal at the six Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd with a touchdown pass and the Cardinals had both the lead and the momentum.

Opponents usually haven’t had to work that hard. Teams have run 21 plays in goal to go and they have 10 touchdowns.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys got to goal to go three times. A stop on any one of them would have been a boost to the Redskins and would have changed the dynamic of the game. But Dallas was three for three.

The goal to go problems are a subset of the Redskins’ problems with red zone defense in general. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 27 of 40 red zone trips, a 67.5 percent success rate that puts the Redskins 30th in the NFL.  

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NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:

  1. The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
  2. It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
  3. Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous. 
  4. While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.

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