Quick Links

Tuesday Take: The bad with the good

Tuesday Take: The bad with the good

The Washington Redskins enter the second half of the 2008 season with plenty of classic good news/bad news scenarios.

Good news: The Redskins are 6-2. No other NFC team has won more games; they are a half game out of the NFC East lead and a game up in the race for a Wild Card spot.

Bad news: They haven't played particularly well lately. Mistakes, including fumbles, at key times are stalling offensive drives. They lost to the then-winless Rams and struggled to beat Cleveland and Detroit.

Good news: Nobody seems to be satisfied with the performance of the team. There is not a Norv-like "what we do works" mindset at Redskins Park. After his defense held the opposition to 274 yards, including just 57 yards rushing, 13 first downs, and 17 points in a win, Greg Blache likened the performance of his unit to "the South end of a North-bound skunk". Jim Zorn said, "We have to play more sudden. We have to know our assignments and know the technique. . . Were almost getting there – we just need to fix those little things."

Bad news: The injury bug is biting this team hard. Five starters—Chris Samuels, Cornelius Griffin, Jason Taylor, Shawn Springs, and Chris Horton—missed the Detroit game. Taylor and Springs already have been ruled out for Monday night's game and none of the other three is 100% certain to go against the Steelers. Clinton Portis and Santana Moss got dinged up later in the game and, at best, their practice time will be limited this week.

Good news: It could be a lot worse. These injuries are day to day, week to week issues. There hasn't been a season-ender or even a multi-week injury (typed with one hand while knocking on wood with the other). The bye week is coming after Monday and that's not a moment too soon.

Bad news: For the next four weeks, the schedule gets tougher than a three-dollar steak. There are contests against the two of the legitimate Super Bowl favorites in the Giants and Steelers. Another game is against the preseason favorites, the Dallas Cowboys, who will be coming off of a bye with Tony Romo back under center.

Good news: All three of those games are at home. On top of that there is the aforementioned bye coming in between the Steelers and Cowboys so Dallas has no advantage in terms of being rested.

Bad news: The Redskins will pay for all of that November home cooking by hitting the road for three of their four December games.

Good news: Two of those games are against teams that are flat-out bad, the Bengals and 49ers, and the other is against the up-and-down Ravens. It's never easy to win on the road in the NFL but it's unlikely that the Redskins will be facing stadiums packed with amped-up fans in Cincy and Frisco.

Quick Links

Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan spoke to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco about the loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and how the Falcons will rebound in 2017. 

In the process, he took a shot at former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play-calling and put some of the blame on his style of coaching for the disastrous fourth quarter.

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in," Ryan said. "As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

Those are some harsh words from Ryan and not exactly a ringing endorsement of Kyle Shanahan. This loss will surely haunt him should he never get back to another Super Bowl.

"There's always going to be a little sting," Ryan said. "You never lose that. Hopefully we've got four Super Bowl victories after this one, but that doesn't mean we won't still be like, 'Damn, let's talk about the other one we should've had."

Redskins fans may be able to relate to Matt Ryan's pain as some were vocal about Kyle Shanahan's play-calling during his time in Washington. Maybe Kirk Cousins takes notice of Ryan's comments as well before he considers San Francisco next off-season.

MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS STATEMENT WAS A MISTAKE, BUT WON'T HAVE IMPACT ON THE FIELD

Quick Links

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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