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What Redskins Fans Should be Thankful For

What Redskins Fans Should be Thankful For

Redskins fans have plenty to be thankful for on this day:

  • The Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles—This seems a bit odd, but stay with me. The Redskins get to play six games a year against three of the most storied teams in the entire NFL, teams with long traditions (well, except the Cowboys) of championship-caliber play (well, except the Eagles). How could you get pumped up for games against Detroit or Cincinnati twice a year? An NFC East game is never, ever just another game.
  • Ryan Boschetti—This guy is an all-time, all-effort football player, and that's not even the best thing about him. He is the consummate team player. I'll never forget talking to him in training camp when Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery were rookies. He told me that he was spending a lot of time with them both in practice and in meetings, teaching them about the pro game and about the Redskins' defense. The two rookies made the roster, Boschetti was cut. It's great to have him back.
  • London Fletcher—Calling him a student of the game is faint praise. He's the professor of the Redskins defense, sometimes even giving coaches tips on how it needs to be run. His anticipation for the play at times makes you think that he lined up in the other team's huddle and that this radio headset is also tuned into the frequency of the offense. As soon as the ink was dry on his contact he became the team leader on defense.
  • Chris Horton—The rookie burst onto the scene with a three-takeaway performance in a game that he didn't even know he was starting until that morning. While the takeaways have not come as easily lately, Horton is learning on the job, he's not getting beaten in coverage often, and he displays a great nose for the football. Not bad for a seventh-round pick.
  • Clinton Portis—Clearly, he brings on a lot of the criticism he takes himself with comments like the one he made about the offensive line. But his productivity speaks for itself. Did you know that his average of 113.5 yards per game from scrimmage is the fourth-best of all time? Only Jim Brown, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Barry Sanders have better averages. Sometime next year Portis will surpass 10,000 career rushing yards. And in the what have you done for me lately category, he leads the NFL in rushing and is the engine that makes the offense of the 7-4 Redskins run.
  • Jim Zorn—The stay-medium but play suddenly, judiciously dice-rolling, hip-hip-hooraying head coach of the Redskins appears to have been quite a find for the Redskins. Few are describing him as the worst hire in the history of the NFL as they were last February when he got a quick promotion from offensive coordinator to head coach. He has scaled back his brutal honesty with the press to some degree, not wanting to alienate himself from his players, but he still makes conversations interesting. His offense still is learning on the job and needs a few new pieces but Zorn has a vision and he is working towards it.

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

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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Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.