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Need to Know: Redskins spoil Eagles’ season but still have a long way to go

Dec 21, 2014, 7:57 AM EDT

Forbath-winning-FG-vs-Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 21, seven days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Three and out—Redskins 27, Eagles 24

1. All week long Jay Gruden and the Redskins players downplayed the angle that a win could put a serious dent in the Eagles’ playoff hopes. The company line was that they just needed a win to get themselves a win. But after the game there was a lot of talk about playing the Grinch and stealing Christmas away from their division foes. The phrasing was too similar for it to be a coincidence. Playing the spoiler may not have been a theme all week but Gruden worked it in somewhere prior to kickoff.

2. The Redskins will finish the season with at least one more win than they did last year and they won’t finish the year on an eight-game losing streak. That’s progress, I suppose. It’s like you went out in the car and wrecked it for the second straight time but you did a little less damage this time. The object is to drive the car without getting into a wreck. The object in the NFL is to be in the playoff hunt most years. With progress at this rate it will be 2020 before the Redskins get into playoff contention.

3. Alfred Morris rushed for 83 yards, his sixth best rushing game of the season. Robert Griffin III was the starting quarterback. You can no longer say that it’s a coincidence that Morris is more productive on the ground when Griffin starts at quarterback. Griffin was the starting quarterback in all six of Morris’ best rushing games this season. Morris has averaged 95 yards per game in Griffin starts. If you project that out to all 15 games this season, Morris would have 1,425 yards on the ground this season.

Out: It’s also not a coincidence that the Redskins won and Griffin only threw 23 passes. In only one other game in which he took most of the snaps did he throw fewer passes and they had a chance to win that game against the 49ers. Griffin also stayed in the pocket for the most part, a key to his development—perhaps redevelopment is the more apt term—as a quarterback. The organization still has a lot of decisions to make but at this point in time it looks like Griffin is a work in progress, better than the disaster he seemed to be after the Bucs and 49ers games. But he still has a long way to go.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden conference call 3:00 p.m.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 7; 2015 NFL Draft 130; 2015 NFL season opening Sunday 266

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I’ll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. penz84 - Dec 21, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    Some easy fixes to get the Skins competitive before 2020, fix the O line, get a new D coordinator and GM who know what they are doing , bingo back in the mix again. Just look around the league, almost every team has a significant weakness, its not like the 80’s were there were 4 or 5 power houses in the NFC alone. Oh yeah, Gruden needs to hire a QB coach for Griffin, he’s got enough on his plate as head coach.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 21, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Well yes, it’s been another season from hell. But we got a chance to sweep the Cowboys, that would be very nice.
    ~

  3. kenlinkins - Dec 21, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Delayed Reaction? (let’s hope so). Rich, you wrote earlier about the culture being a problem for the Redskins but never really defined it. Maybe Lazy, cutting corners, leaving early?, etc, but IMO the Redskins seem to have a MOB mind set. They seem to wait for someone else to make a play that changes the odds in their favor before joining in (i.e. Kerrigan’s sack, D Jackson pass, Breeland’s INT). Almost like a group of bullies that wait for one kid to be pushed down and then they all jump on him. Until that happens, these Redskins are going thou the motions, leaderless and allowing themselves mistakes (i.e. the “my bad” or “that’s on me” statement) without any downside (unless you were B. Rambo). But once the MOB mind set kicks in these Redskins can fight, be tuff, play hard, avoid mistakes and make a game of it with most NFL teams. So, this begs the questions: How can a coach make this mind set work for him if he can not change it and how long should it take to change it? ALSO

    • mr.moneylover - Dec 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      If they dont have the same mind set the coach most likely might cut the player…when djax on that field hes always a bully same as p.garcon…jay gruden said it him self we need more guys like them

  4. goback2rfk - Dec 21, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Dude if RG3 could read defenses and understand things like when there is a safety over the top and when there is not and do things like changing the play on the line once he see’s what the defense is in, he would be an awesome quarterback. Lets hope he hits the film room hard during the off season and comes out like Peyton Manning next season.

    Biggest Disappointments this year: Andre Roberts, Orakpo, Trent Williams, Jordan Reid, Niles Paul, Garcon, Amerson,

    Biggest Stars: Kerrigan, Breeland, D. Jackson, A. Morris, Thomas, Tress Way, Keenan Robinson(when not injured)

    • mr.moneylover - Dec 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      I disagree wit u on trent Williams and p.garcon….p.garcon been getting open all year long but havent had a qb to throw to him…and trent Williams been battling injuries half the season but look better then all the olinemen we got…if you woulve said chris chester then I totally agree wit you

      • goback2rfk - Dec 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Unfortunately, I can only go by on the field production for Garcon and his number are half of last seasons, so by default I have to call Garcon’s season a disappointment regardless of the QB.

        Yeah Trent has been injured, however, he is a pro bowl tackle and this has been one of his worsts seasons. He just was not that dominate guy he usually is year after year and for that I am going to call it a disappointment. He looked fine, he looked average, he just did not look Trent

    • mr.moneylover - Dec 21, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      That was micheal vick biggest issue was reading defense …but rg3 IQ is way up there ..when you gotta study a whole knew playbook it takes you away from the film room you gotta learn on the fly and thats what hes doing now…rg3 biggest down fall will be if he totally get away from football and not get in the film room and learn how to read defense

  5. jscx3 - Dec 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    A good win to build on, RG looked a little more comfortable. I like some of the young guys on defense, just need to add that playmaker . We have playmakers on offense, just need to get better protection. Remember first year for everybody in this system. Next year if RG gets in film room solid draft and free agency, they could compete. Split with eagles, if we sweep cowboys 3-3 in division that we got swept in last year.

    • goback2rfk - Dec 21, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      Will be an interesting off season. The most important areas I hope they hit hard on is the offensive line and to get a decent safety. I actually hope we can somehow keep Garcon I think he can help the Redskins in the long run. I would like to see a different 3rd WR or Slot Guy like a Julian Edleman or Wes Welker type of guy.

      When your QB is strugglin and he gets you the ball and it hits you in the hands, Andre Roberts you have to make that catch. You have too, there is no other way around it, he dropped that ball when RG hit him and he has had quite a few of those this year. He had a chance to make himself an important guy and he did not.

      Want to see a new KR + PR also.
      Summary: Offensive Line, Safety, Corner, Punt+Kick Returner, Slot man or 3rd WR.

  6. mr.moneylover - Dec 21, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    The redskins not that far off from what ppl think…they gotta be aggressive in this free agency and draft smart…they just got average or bad guys in key places…if they hire rex ryan then he might can fix this defense…phillip thomas made some good plays last night and improve I think he will be our starter next year…im calling this first you herd it first from me if deangleo hall is healthy bought time the season start on the other side of deangleo next year breeland …david amerson will come off the bench breeland will start over david amerson…david amerson been getting exposed while breeland showing fight and wont back down to nobody something that jay gruden loves about him…before trent murphy got injured the first time he went four games in a row getting a sack he can get more if he put on more muscle in the offseason thats what ryan kerrigan did and he progress every year…this defense can be good I just dont trust the coaches developing these young players ever since I herd rambo picked off aaron Rodgers twice…idk what raheem morris coaching these DBs but they lacking some things they should know…breeland is doing good cause him and ryan clark are the first players studying tape in the morning ryan clark teaching these young guys what to look for and ever since Phillip thomas been in the starting lineup ryan clark been helping out the young guy…and the guys hes helping showing progress….breeland gonna be picking ppl off next year…like deangleo hall said its all in the hips and feet if u can flip ya hips and quick on ya feet you give ya self a better chance to get a int… yea he could’ve picked off a qb a few times but he couldn’t hold on to the ball

    • goback2rfk - Dec 21, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      I like what Thomas has done at the end of the year, he did look good. I think that guy can be great, he shows potential and for that he made my star list for this year. I think Kennan Robinson is going to be great also. There are some players on the defense is just needs to be tweaked up a little bit.

      Kerrigan is a beast, he is playing on an Orakpo level but getting paid like a Ryan Kerrigan. lol

  7. goback2rfk - Dec 21, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    Wow Congrats to Dallas for winning the division this year. Been since 2009 that Dallas has won the division. Strong team, will be competitive for the for see able future.

    Still think they will tank 1st or 2nd game of playoffs.

  8. goback2rfk - Dec 21, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    The domestic violence commercials that the NFL is putting out now is retarded. Those commercials are ridiculous. No real man needs a sttupid commercial too know how to treat a woman

  9. ajbus1 - Dec 22, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Great perspective as usual Rich. Hopefully they show as much effort next week.

    And I hope all the Chicken Littles out there got some reassurance that we have a couple good pieces to build on. We’re all out of patience but we have to give Gruden and RG time. Constant turnover never gets you anywhere. Hopefully Allen doesn’t have anymore bad FA signings this offseason, they draft A LOT of lineman (o and d), and RG hits the filmroom more. HTTR

  10. Skulb - Dec 22, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    I`d be very surprised if there isn`t another disappointment vs Dallas. Really, this headline might as well read “Eagles spoil Eagles` season” with all the disastrous penalties they took. Positives include no QB melt down, some decent defending and a running game. But as usual it took the other team shooting themselves in the foot to get a close win. I doubt Dallas will be as generous.
    Still, 4-11 is improvement so I guess we should be happy about that. See you at another one and out PO game in 2022!

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