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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.

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!

 

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Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

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