Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 11, five days before the Redskins take on the Browns in Cleveland.
Flags flying again
After committing 13 penalties in both the Carolina and Philadelphia games, the Redskins were on relatively good behavior for two weeks. Against the Cowboys they were hit with five penalties for 41 yards and four for 56 against the Giants. The two penalty totals were their lowest totals of the year.
But they were back in their usual form with the yellow flags flying against the Ravens on Sunday. They were hit for eight penalties for 70 yards.
The only player flagged twice was Robert Griffin III but only one of his infractions was enforced. His first intentional grounding flag was offset as Haloti Ngata was penalized for roughing Griffin on the play, offsetting the grounding.
Winning the takeaway battle
The Redskins resumed another old pattern against the Ravens, only. After beating the Giants despite turning the ball over more than they took it away, the Redskins again won the turnover battle.
Prior to the New York game, the Redskins had more takeaways than giveaways in every game they had won. But they beat the Giants despite losing a fumble and not getting any takeaways.
The Redskins did lose another fumble against the Ravens but they recovered a fumble themselves and picked off a Joe Flacco pass. They converted both scores into field goals.
On the season, Washington is tied for fifth in the NFL with a plus-12. This represents a vast improvement from last year when they were tied for 30th at minus-14.
The Redskins have made a solid improvement on the takeaway end of the equation. With three games to go this year they have 24 this year after getting 21 in 16 games a year ago.
But they have made a quantum leap when it comes to giving the ball away. A year ago John Beck and Rex Grossman combined to throw 24 interceptions and the team lost 11 fumbles for a total of 35 giveaways. This year through 13 games the Redskins have thrown six interceptions (RG3 with 4 and Kirk Cousins with 2) and have lost six fumbles.
If you want to point to one reason for the Redskins improvement from five wins last year to seven and counting this season, you don’t need to look further than right there.
Off day, no media availability
In case you missed it
The Redskins are still on the outside of the playoffs looking in
Days until: Redskins @ Browns 5; Redskins @ Eagles 12; Cowboys vs. Redskins @ FedEx Field 19; 1st round of NFL playoffs 25