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Need to Know: Redskins’ third-quarter woes have faded away

Nov 17, 2015, 5:14 AM EDT

Reed-TD-vs.-Bengals

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 17, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Carolina Panthers.

Final thoughts following Redskins 47, Saints 14

—I can accept fans and media saying that Kirk Cousins has not yet proven that he is a franchise quarterback. In fact, I tend to agree with them. But I don’t get those who can look at Sunday’s game and at the comeback win over the Bucs and still say he will never be a quality quarterback. Yes, I get that the Saints defense is bad and that the Bucs are a mediocre team. But the Redskins have played hundreds of games against bad teams over the years and a quarterback has never posted a perfect passer rating or led a comeback from 24 down. Such performances have signature significance.

—Meet your new starting safety, ladies and gentlemen. Rookie Kyshoen Jarrett played 37 of the 58 defensive snaps. Sometimes he played near the line as a strong safety, at other times Dashon Goldson was in the box and Jarrett was lined up in the middle deep like a free safety. Jeron Johnson played 20 snaps at safety. Trenton Robinson, who played virtually every snap of the first seven games at safety, didn’t get on the field for a single defensive play.

—It was good to see Alfred Morris get going, gaining 92 yards on 15 carries and catching three passes (!) for 15 yards. I doubt that he will be back next year but it will be better for all if he can make a strong case for himself to get a solid free agent contract on a team that emphasizes zone running. He wasn’t going to do that going into the line, finding no running room, and averaging less than two yards per carry.

—If you don’t like hearing about playoff tiebreakers in mid-November, skip this item. One thing that the Redskins have going for them is that three of their losses are to AFC teams. They have just two NFC losses while the Giants and Eagles have four each. Conference record is fourth in the tiebreaking priority after head-to-head, division record, and record in common games. So, as Bill Murray said, they have that going for them.

—Hey, remember a long time ago, like about a month or so, when there was major hand wringing over the Redskins getting outscored in the third quarter? The storyline was that the coaches weren’t making halftime adjustments or getting the players fired up and they were coming out flat. Well, I guess that the coaches stopped texting their buddies and checking on how their fantasy lineups were doing at halftime and started making adjustments. In the last three games the Redskins have outscored their opponents 24-3. It’s also possible that they’re not doing anything different and the performance is simply reverting to the mean, but that isn’t as good a story.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Player meetings, no media availability

Days until: Redskins @ Panthers 5; Giants @ Redskins 13; Monday night Cowboys @ Redskins 21

In case you missed it:

  1. abanig - Nov 17, 2015 at 5:19 AM

    Great news! If only we had this in weeks 1-6, we’d be at least 6-3 right now! :-(

  2. colorofmyskinz - Nov 17, 2015 at 5:48 AM

    We better start talking playoffs in November. We are power ranking of 14 and we have a huge 2 games in front of us. Panthers that lead the entire NFC as the only undefearlted team left, and the Giants after that who lead the NFC East.

    The Texans showed us a below average team can beat the one of the best teams in the conference. Panthers have more to lose than us. We are behinning to get our starters back with half the season to go – that is a blessing for us.

    We have big momentum going into the Panthers. If we beat them, I think we beat the Guants and many more. This game is our Super Bowl entrance to the playoffs. I am going to make a prediction.

    If we beat the Panthers we will be playing in the playoffs this year. Plain and simple.

    HTTR.

    • colorofmyskinz - Nov 17, 2015 at 6:02 AM

      Something tells me our defense is better than the Giants. We held NO to 14 points, Guants allowed 52 with NO. Both of our offenses scored in the high 40’s against NO.

      So I have us beating Giants if we played them right now.

      Playoff bound if we beat the Panthers.

      • abanig - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:03 AM

        Did the Giants have JPP in the saints game? And if it was I think it was his first game back also, Giants played the saints in New Orleans, everyone knows that’s a huge difference.

        I’d say our Ds are abt equal

        • sidepull - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:08 AM

          JPP was in the game and playing hard. He gave that D a lift. He will be chasing Cousins in a couple weeks thats for sure.

        • abanig - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:11 AM

          It was hit first and though. Either way, anyway you cut it we are t better than the Giants D when they have Akumara at CB. And they arent really better than us it’s a wash

  3. colorofmyskinz - Nov 17, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    Take a look at who the Panthers of played so far: steelers Jaguars Texans Saints Bucks Seahawks Eagles Colts Packers Titans . Only 3 of these tams are worth a crap. Steelers Seahawks and Packers.

    Not much strength and that schedule.

    • abanig - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:04 AM

      Steelers, Seahwks and Packers? Yeah, that’d be 3 losses for the Redskins right there buddy …

      • brucefan1 - Nov 17, 2015 at 3:43 PM

        Ya might not know that if you were monitoring Seahawk & Packer blogs this week! (Broncos too, btw.) How soon fans forget. How quickly they demand that heads roll! Haha

    • timwillhide - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:34 AM

      Are you saying none of the teams we beat are worth a craps? Because3 of the 4 teams we beat are on your craps list.

      A win is a win. Doesn’t matter how you get in as long as you’re in. (Playoffs)

      • brucefan1 - Nov 17, 2015 at 3:50 PM

        True, Tim; any win in the NFL is a big accomplishment.

        And the one the Skins had over the Saints was downright spectacular — even against such a woe-begotten defense. (Let’s not overlook how they limited a very good offense.)

        No NFL team should ever diminish ANY win due to style points.

    • bangkokben - Nov 17, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      If the Panthers played the Steelers, IT WAS IN PRE-SEASON!

      Nothing like misinformation catching like wild-fire. They beat what looks like an over-rated Packers and over-rated Seahawks team. Winning in Seattle is impressive although didn’t Detroit nearly win there or am I the one now spewing misinformation?

  4. sidepull - Nov 17, 2015 at 6:30 AM

    Redskins Panthers is a statement game for sure. It will give us a glimpse of what te Saints game represented, an anomaly, or a team that is on the rise and needs to be accounted for. Rex Ryan got fired right?. When the Redskins played the Pats we got a whole different look. When the Redskins play the Giants they just have a hard time winning and seem to fall apart. If they play the Panthers tight, or win, then maybe, just maybe we beat the Giants. I am really hoping that the Redskins just clobber the Giants. The Giants went toe to toe with the Pats, showed fire and grit and it was great seeing them get a dagger shoved in their heart with one second left. Redskins need to do that to them! HTTR

  5. bk70 - Nov 17, 2015 at 6:40 AM

    Rich says_I can accept fans and media saying that Kirk Cousins has not yet proven that he is a franchise quarterback. In fact, I tend to agree with them. But I don’t get those who can look at Sunday’s game and at the comeback win over the Bucs and still say he will never be a quality quarterback.

    Kirk Cousins needs to get a win on the road and play well against NFC East teams. Then it’s time to get him signed for the future as the Redskins starting QB. That should be a 3-4 year contract in place before this season ends. The GM can work that out without impacting Kirk’s play on the field for the remaining 2015 season.

    The 2015 Redskins have potential, let’s continue to build on that. HTTR

    • bk70 - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:11 AM

      The GM should also select a QB in the 2016 draft but not as his top selection.

      • abanig - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:31 AM

        Like a 4th round baller? That comes from a west coast system?

        • darcrequiem - Nov 17, 2015 at 9:58 AM

          I have to admit, I truly laughed out loud when I read that comment. Good one Abanig.

  6. skinsgame - Nov 17, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    The Redskins had a shot at a statement game earlier this season. At the time they had the leagues top rushing attack and were the top run defense in the league. I recall seeing Trent Williams in the pre kickoff rally huddle shouting for his team mates to “..show everyone who we are! Dominate!” and then the Giants thumped them. It’s hard to win in the NFL, even harder to win on the road.

    • abanig - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:08 AM

      I’d like to correct the person who said “Kirk has to win on the road” this is the wrong viewpoint. The team needs to win on the road. Kirk can’t just do it all hisnown. Coaching has to be entree on the road, running game has to be better, defense has to be better, receives need to catch the ball and yes Kirk needs to play better also, make good decisions and be more accurate.

      • bk70 - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:15 AM

        My statement was “get a win on the road”. Of course it would be a team win. But remove doubt as the leader with that team inspired win on the road.

        • abanig - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:41 AM

          One win on the road does that? The bottom line is the skins just have to get confidence and get in a rhythm and in sync like in 2005, 2007 & 20012. They have to take on the mentality as a team that no matter where they play no one can beat them.

          One road win won’t change that, but you have to start somewhere I guess.

    • brucefan1 - Nov 17, 2015 at 3:56 PM

      “then the Giants thumped them”

      That is one bugaboo the Skins need to conquer if they are really going to move forward — they’ve gotta get the Giants outta their head (and that sense of superiority outta the Giants’ head!).

      Busting THAT bully square in the nose should give the B&G a huge shot of confidence. Now they just gotta go do it.

      • hk2000 - Nov 17, 2015 at 6:36 PM

        That is so true, for some reason, We play very poorly against the Giants. I think that applies to the Patriots as well- had the team been mentally prepared for that game, they wouldn’t have dropped a ton of balls, glad we don’t have to face them every year because the Redskins looked very intimidated and scared, it’s like they were hypnotized or something.

  7. ericstylezz - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    this is what happened in 2012, we got some good wins and the confidence grew. I remember how solid our D was that year and this unit is better especially if we really start getting in sync. I don’t care who plays QB but if they can keep making similar game plans for Kirk we can put up at least 28 a game. If we knock off Carolina its on

    • abanig - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:34 AM

      The D wasn’t solid in 2012, but DeAngelo Hall, London Fletcher, Rob Jackson and Kerrigan forced turnovers.

      Still, statistically the 2012 D was far worse than the 2011 D

  8. bangkokben - Nov 17, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    As for the fourth tie-breaker. I like the way you worded it, Rich. But anyone seeing this as an advantage (Kevin Sheehan) is missing the 3rd tie-breaker where going 0-3 in the AFC East counts, along with the NFC South (2-1 with the Panthers on tap), and the six division games. So right now the Redskins are 3-5 in common games as the Rams game was an ‘uncommon’ game – Chicago coming up – while both the Eagles and the Giants are 4-5 in common games. The Giants beat San Fran and will play the Vikings later; the Eagles will play the Lions and Cardinals.

  9. brucefan1 - Nov 17, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    “Well, I guess that the coaches stopped texting their buddies and checking on how their fantasy lineups were doing at halftime and started making adjustments”

    LOL! So THAT”S what was behind those atrocious third quarters??!! We knew it hadda be something. Guess Gru & Crew just need we posters to REAL REDSKINS to wake them up!!

    Kidding aside, it seems the coaches have figured out SOMETHING in the past few weeks in regards to their third quarter woes (besides our “encouragement”) — and they also apparently did something different last week to get this team as fired up and FOCUSED as they were on Sunday.

    IF they can continue to do that (although it seemed like Jay was unable to explain exactly what it was that “clicked” in practice last week; was it something the coaches did/said … something the players themselves did? Unsure.) I think it will go a loooong way toward continued success throughout the second half of the season. (That, and improved health.)

    I’m a big proponent of the belief that team that is better prepared and more focused has a big leg up in any game … no matter WHAT the “numbers” might say.

    • bangkokben - Nov 17, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      Jamison Crowder was asked how it was a good week at practice and his response was that the team didn’t have to re-do the plays as much – they weren’t making mistakes running the plays in practice where the coaches had to say run it again. More focused.

      • brucefan1 - Nov 17, 2015 at 3:36 PM

        Also, now that I recall, Jay did mention that it was good to have so many starters back for a full week of practice, too. That seemed to help, both with the intensity of the work and the spirit they brought to it.

        Whatever it was, I hope they figure out the recipe, bottle it, and take a healthy dose of it before every game! ;^}

        I know its not easy to bring that level of relaxed concentration and focus (that “zen”?) to bear every game — or else they’d ALL be doing it — but if the Skins CAN find a way to do that some consistency I think the results would be awesome.

        Zen?! Too mystical? LOL

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