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The state of the Redskins, Week 4

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The state of the Redskins, Week 4

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 3 of the NFL season.

Record: 1-2, T-2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 1-1
vs. AFC: 0-1
Home: 1-1
Away: 0-1

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 371.7 (12th)
Defense (yards/game): 277.3 (2nd)
Passer rating offense: 81.3 (22nd)
Opp passer rating: 96.3 (20th)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.6 (5th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 3.6 (11th)
DVOA through Week 14 (Football Outsiders): 6.1% (13th)

Top three storylines:

A season on the brink?—Last year the Redskins started 1-1 but a four-game losing streak followed and the season essentially was over before the middle of October. This year they have a chance to right their season at home at the expense of a scuffling division rival in the Eagles. They need to take advantage of it.

Changing of the guard—Left guard Shawn Lauvao was playing well, frequently pulling and leading the way on successful runs to the left. Now he is out for the season and either Spencer Long or Arie Kouandjio will get his first NFL start on Sunday. It’s not an ideal situation but if you are going to have an inexperienced player on the line, guard is the place to have him.

In search of takeaways—The Redskins are turning the ball over more than they should—six times in three games. But they could partially mitigate those issues by take the ball away more frequently on defense. They have just one takeaway, the fumble that Preston Smith forced and recovered in the opener. Obviously, that needs to change.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Eagles (1-2)—Right now it looks like Chip Kelly deserves the dunce cap more than the genius label. His three highest-profile offseason acquisitions, running back DeMarco Murray, quarterback Sam Bradford, and cornerback Byron Maxwell, have been disappointments in the early going. We will see if they can right the ship against the Redskins

Oct. 11 @ Falcons (3-0)—Kyle Shanahan has Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the rest of the Atlanta offense rolling and Dan Quinn has the team believing. In their last two games they have overcome double-digit deficits on the road to win against the Giants and Cowboys the last two weeks.

Oct. 18 @ Jets (2-1)—Former Redskins safety Todd Bowles (1986-1990, 1991-1992) has the Jets playing pretty well. They are getting it done the way the Redskins want to get it done, with a stout defense, a game managing QB, and a stout rushing attack.

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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 24, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 78 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 23
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 70

The Redskins week that was

Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before—So you lost two coordinators and your top two wide receivers? Well, the Redskins gave him a two-year contract extension because they think he can deal with problems like those. Gruden will be cut zero slack.

Post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, offense—Sure, there will be plenty of lip service about everyone having a chance of making the 53-man roster. But this cake is very nearly baked. But the real competition in training camp will be for the 10 practice squad spots. I picked 25 offensive players to make it and I’m confident that 23, maybe 22 of the picks will be right. There seems to be more questions on defense (roster projection here) but even on that side of the ball, few jobs are truly up for grabs.

Redskins in a no-lose situation with confident Galette—We haven’t seen Junior Galette practicing in the spring before. Two years ago, he wasn’t with the team yet and last year he was held out so he could rehab his torn Achilles. That means we don’t have much comparison to make but he did look good. Next step is to do it with the pads on.

Snyder 'THRILLED' with ruling that should protect Redskins name—The legal part of the fight to get the Redskins to change their name is over after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They will not lose their trademark protection, which would effectively force them to change the team. However, it seems likely that the political and social battle will go on.

Is a Redskins-Cousins deal not only possible but probable?—One analyst thinks that the Redskins have too much to lose to not get a deal done by July 17. I think he’s right but I’m not sure if I’ll go along with his odds. 

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.

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