Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 9, nine days before the Redskins take on the Eagles.
Misery loves company
In case you haven’t noticed, the Redskins aren’t the only NFC East team that is not having the kind of season it hoped for. The Cowboys and Eagles are both 3-5 and facing criticism from both the outside and inside. They play each other on Sunday. That means that one of them will fall to 3-6 and will be in a last-place tie with the Redskins.
The Redskins play both the Eagles and Cowboys in a four-day span when they return from the bye. They will have the opportunity to improve their season outlook considerably with a win or two in those games.
The part of the Redskins schedule that came after the bye was supposed to be the tougher part of the schedule. Of their first nine opponents, five have records of .500 or better. In their remaining seven games, five are against teams with losing records.
An “easier” schedule is no guarantee of success, of course. The 1-6 Panthers coming in to FedEx Field and controlling the Redskins is proof of that. This year and in years past the Redskins are just what the doctor ordered for a team in disarray.
We will see if the Redskins really have made the “tremendous strides” that Mike Shanahan claims that they have. If they are an improved team, they should be able to further a reeling team’s misery, not be the cure for it.
Luck vs. RG3
Andrew Luck had another solid game against the Jaguars last night and now just about everyone is ready to proclaim that the Colts’ rookie quarterback is superior to Robert Griffin III not only right now but for the rest of their careers.
And that may well end up being the case. Luck is very good and will be great.
But RG3 also is very good and also will be great.
Earlier in the season, Griffin was the flavor of the day, getting all kinds of attention from the national media. In the past month or so Luck has become the object of SportsCenter’s affection.
There is a very good explanation for Luck’s sudden hot streak and for Griffin struggling somewhat lately. Let’s take a look at the pass defenses each of them has played against in their past four games.
Luck’s Colts have played the Browns, 23rd in passing yards allowed, Titans (27th), Dolphins (30th), and Jaguars (25th, prior to last night’s game).
RG3 and the Redskins have gone up against the Vikings (9th), Giants (26th), Steelers (1st), and Panthers (13th).
Running the numbers, we see that Luck’s average opponent in his last four games is ranked 26th while Griffin’s ranked 12th.
Again, Luck is very good but going up weak defenses week after week has helped him look much better. Griffin has cooled off and that could have been anticipated by looking at the quality of defenses he has had to face. And that has led many to leap to conclusions about each player's career based on a small sample size. That is almost always a mistake.
Bye week, no availability
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Tarik and Tandler grade the special teams
Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 9; Thanksgiving Redskins @ Cowboys 13; Monday night Giants @ Redskins 24; Ravens @ Redskins 30