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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

Dec 18, 2015, 5:11 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 18, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Buffalo Bills.

Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

QB Kirk Cousins—He has played exceptionally well at home, posting a passer rating of over 100 in each of his last four games at FedEx Field with nine touchdowns and no interceptions. With a struggling running game unlikely to suddenly kick into gear, he will need to carry the offense.

RB Matt Jones—Even though Cousins will need to have a good day, he can’t do it without some help on the ground. Jones did a good job of powering for yardage against the Bears when there really wasn’t anywhere to run. We also could be do for a big gainer on the screen pass against an aggressive Rex Ryan defense.

C Josh LeRibeus—Yes, I know this is not a comforting prospect. But Trent Williams said today that Ryan will dial up cover zero blitzes at any point in the field in any situation. LeRibeus will have to be sharp on the line calls to keep Cousins upright.

ILB Will Compton—When he was with the Eagles LeSean McCoy had some great games with the Redskins and some no so great games. When the Redskins contained McCoy it was because they swarmed to him when he had the ball and made the tackles. It will be up to Compton to make sure that the front seven is where it’s supposed to be and he will need to make solid tackles.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Bills WR Sammy Watkins doesn’t have a ton of receptions (39) but he has made the most of them. The second-year player has averaged 18.4 yards per catch and has scored seven touchdowns. He has the size to go up and get passes in traffic and the speed to go long. Breeland is likely to be covering him most of the day and will need to prevent Watkins from making game-changing plays. Plus he has had his hands on the ball a few times over the last several games; holding on to one or two of them would help the situation.


Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Eagles 9; Redskins @Cowboys 17

In case you missed it

  1. colorofmyskinz - Dec 18, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    Agree I all here!! LeRibeus and I add long will be greatly challenged with gap zero pressure.

    That will be the key to this week. We need some serious running from Morris I might add. He needs to show us yards after first contact. We know Jones will step up and carry us. We need Morris to be dangerous to get the 2 headed monster going. Come on Mojo!!


    • ET - Dec 18, 2015 at 12:17 PM

      I’d prefer to see De La Puente in the game rather than pin any hopes on LeRibeus. Josh is consistently disappointing.

      • John - Dec 19, 2015 at 10:33 AM

        DLP is not in shape and has not shown signs of being ready or being able to beat out Josh. He and Long have not been bad considering JL has not played center til this year. The real problem with the running game is the tight ends (holding or blocking the wrong guy) that and Alfred (blocks are set and Alfred seems to have no clue as to which hole to go through). Pass pro has been good and Kirk has helped with that all year.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Dec 18, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    2 others we need to step up:

    We need Giants and Eagles to lose. To give us some comfort.

    • skinsgame - Dec 18, 2015 at 9:05 AM

      So the Redskins can back into the playoffs? No thanks. If the Redskins can’t win when the stakes are on the line like this, I’d rather not see them get in. Winning is part of the team developing and the Giants or Eagles losing doesn’t help the Redskins win.

      • colorofmyskinz - Dec 18, 2015 at 12:12 PM

        I get your point and agree. But still want them to lose…

      • ajbus1 - Dec 18, 2015 at 12:32 PM

        It helps them get in the playoffs. No matter who wins the division will likely be backing in. Why not the Skins? I’ll take it. Especially while we ARE developing.

  3. colmac69 - Dec 18, 2015 at 7:36 AM

    I like our chances in this game….we play solid football…..don’t bt ourselves with pens…..tackle well I don’t think bills can stay with us

    They may bring the house but that’s were cousins has excelled this yr if u check numbers….couple decent completions bills will have to alter their plan….some help from running game even better……..

    Defense tackle well….stay disciplined……double Watkins(looks like clay won’t play)……we b fine

    We got more on line than bills have……gd solid win////////loss by giants and eagles bring on nxt sat

  4. troylok - Dec 18, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    I’d like to see Jackson do a little more. I realize he was hurt a little last week, but they need him to stretch the field.

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 18, 2015 at 8:57 AM

    There isn’t a lot separating all the 6-7 teams in terms of talent.

    It’s a matter of being eager and ready to play or being flat.

    Let us be the first!

    • ajbus1 - Dec 18, 2015 at 12:35 PM

      I agree. The bills are very similar to us in talent and situation. We gotta come out strong.

  6. skinsgame - Dec 18, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    This is a lot like the Bears game where the teams are pretty even. It will come down to execution and I like the Redskins odds to do that. I am a little worried that Sean McVay will go into the “play not to lose” mode and underwhelm everyone with play selection.

    • ajbus1 - Dec 18, 2015 at 12:36 PM

      I don’t think he actually calls any plays.

      • skinsgame - Dec 18, 2015 at 7:37 PM

        What in Gods name does he do then??

  7. garg8050 - Dec 18, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    I have a bad feeling they will come out flat, knowing that the Eagles game is more important…really hoping I’m wrong.

    • jonevans511 - Dec 18, 2015 at 10:02 AM

      garg- Your concern is well founded considering the Skins of the last few years have had that very MO- worry about games in the near future and overlooking the current game. Maybe overlooking isn’t the right word, but certainly not preparing well. They come out flat as you mention, dig a hole for themselves, and then try to muster a comeback but run out of time.

      My only hope is they play 4 quarters. If they lose they lose, but I cannot accept anything less than full effort from a team fighting for their playoff lives. Say what you want about the Bears game, this team showed they have a lot of fight in them and I want that to carry over in to this week.

  8. Mr.moneylover - Dec 18, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    I think this should be talked about a lot…ppl forgetting that this is redskins depth that’s winning games the pass few weeks we are the most banged up team in the NFC east so whatever happens the next few weeks the should be proud of what they accomplished and that they will be better next year…missing guys like Niles Paul Logan Paulsen who use to make big blocks and plays and you imagine what if Niles Paul was healthy ppl forget Niles Paul had a breakout year before he got injured and Adam carriker who can block and got wide receiver speed if theses guys come back healthy redskins can potentially have the best TE group in the NFL niles Paul was hard to cover just like Jordan reed…defense junior gaullet can get you 10 sacks by self redskins defense got a total of 18 sacks of the season so I kinda laugh when the national media say redskins are a bad team we are in a good situation under crazy circumstances redskins havent had good depth in years and to see some of our depth winning games I totally agree with michael Robinson former seahawks player he is absolutely building a bully in Washington DC its only up to coach gruden to develope the players

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 18, 2015 at 10:28 AM

      Our depth on the O.L. should be awesome next year (although we’re still thin at center).

      Btw, the Giants can also claim to be the most banged up NFC East team.

    • bangkokben - Dec 18, 2015 at 4:34 PM

      The depth on this team has been HUGE and tested all year. It is so good to have a GM and legit football man running the show that it almost seems unfair. The Giants are banged up too but they are doing it with Eli and Odell while McC is patching together whatever breaks. Why the hell did it take so long to get a GM? As qualified as Gibbs and Shanahan are as football people, during the season their attention can only go to the present and then not on who’s out there that can help the team right now. If Niles Paul can make a complete return to form next year, I think we could really see this offense hum in both the run and the pass. Could be some dominant two TE sets like the league hasn’t seen since both Gronk and Hernandez were on the field together. With another solid draft and some health, this team could be dangerous next year.

  9. Mr.moneylover - Dec 18, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    I think jay gruden gonna throw this game…I dont believe they had a intense practice again…they fall off every time they win a game

    • ajbus1 - Dec 18, 2015 at 12:39 PM

      Throw it? DohKay

  10. timwillhide - Dec 18, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Cousins needs to throw down field with accuracy. This will open up the run game. Yes we all know it’s a west coast offense, but even in a west coast offense they throw the ball down field.

    • John - Dec 20, 2015 at 6:05 PM

      Another big game from Cousins. 4 TD passes, 300+ yards (6th this year, team record). A scramble touchdown. Upper 60s in completion percentage. Another long time consuming 13 play, clock eating 80 yard TD drive. 77 yard Touchdown pass. No interceptions. Yet no running game again?

      Car 54, I mean Tim, where are you? Buried deep in your Elias Sports Bureau stat book? I guess they’ll only score by throwing bombs on every pass. Not!

      Keep hiding Tim!

  11. ET - Dec 18, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    I think Compton will continue to deliver. He’s been impressive thusfar, and he has the smarts to play mike LB. He and Mason Foster are two of the nicest surprises this year. (On the flip, Keenan Robinson, WTF?)

    • John - Dec 19, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      Like many U Texas players he won’ hurt and is viewed as soft. On a team that is trying to get tough, you can’t be weak.

  12. metalman5150 - Dec 18, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    i’ll believe it when i see it

  13. kenlinkins - Dec 18, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    I think it is more of a case of these guys NOT taking a step backwards as 4 of the 5 have played pretty well. The main concern is at center with LeRibus. If he, Long and Scherff can work as a team in the middle and not allow the Bills to have a free run at Cousins the Redskins should win a close one. Knowing that 2 plays have cost the Redskins two games in 2015 tells me that the Redskins should be able to beat Buffalo if they limit mistakes. So, no backwards steps and the Redskins win their 7th games this year.

  14. JOHNNY B - Dec 18, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Yes Cousins needs to step up and find Jackson more. Even if they don’t connect it will open up Garson and the run game some. It’s all up to the play calling this game will it be good or bad. Gruden needs to find some plays in his book that can loosen up a defense. So I guess Gruden needs to step up also. He is getting better but there’s a few games I had to to my self (what were you thinking ).

    • John - Dec 19, 2015 at 10:46 AM

      Knowing you can hit the big play, other teams will try to take it away. They do pay the other guys to play and win, just like our guys Archives

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