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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bills

Dec 20, 2015, 6:19 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 20, the day the Washington Redskins host the Buffalo Bills.

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bills

—Two Bills who were questionable on the final injury report, RB Karlos Williams (shoulder) and DE Mario Williams (illness), are both expected to play. Karlos, who has missed the last two games, provides some quality backup to LeSean McCoy with an average of 5.7 yards per carry. Mario was a first-team All-Pro last year with 14.5 sacks but he has just four in 12 games this year.

—The Bills give up an average of 104 yards per game rushing. I think if they were honest the Redskins would sign up for that right now. Sure, they would like 150 yards or more with either Matt Jones or Alfred Morris carrying the load and going over 100. But it’s too much to expect things to click in the running game all of a sudden. If Kirk Cousins is generally as efficient as he has been at home lately around 100 yards should be enough.

—One area where the Redskins have a solid advantage over the Bills is at tight end. Jordan Reed is coming off of one of his best games of the seasons with nine targets, nine receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. He will go up against a Bills defense that is 11th in the league in fantasy points given up to tight ends. The Bills will be without starting tight end Charles Clay (51 rec., 571 yards, 3 TD), who is sidelined with a back injury. Chris Gragg, who has 9 receptions for 115 yards, will play in his place.

—The Bills have lost three of their last four games. In those three losses they have turned the ball over a total of five times. They had no turnovers in five of their six wins this year. You don’t have to have an advanced degree in football analytics to see what the Redskins will have to do to win this one.

—I’ve been going back and forth all week on this one. The Redskins are playing well at home but they did lay an egg against Dallas the last time they were there. It’s reasonable to expect Cousins to have a good day against a Bills pass defense that can’t get pressure and is in the middle of the road. Tyrod Taylor also should be able to throw the ball and Sammy Watkins is a dangerous weapon. I think it will come down to the Redskins’ ability to stop the run. They have allowed less than 100 yards rushing in each of their last three games. If they can do that against McCoy, Karlos Williams, and the scrambling Taylor they should come out with a hard-fought win. If they go off for a buck fifty on the ground, the home team will be in trouble.


Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Bills 1:00 p.m. FOX

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 6; Redskins @Cowboys 14; start of NFL playoffs 20

In case you missed it

  1. garg8050 - Dec 20, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    I’m mostly worried about the team’s focus and intensity heading into this game. They haven’t fared well in every game this year that wasn’t a “must win”. And that game isn’t until next weekend. Assuming they come out focused and can protect Cousins, I see them winning 27-23. The defense will need to get some stops in the red zone and hold the Bills to multiple field goals. I do expect the Bills will be able to move the ball.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Dec 20, 2015 at 7:38 AM

    Bills are weak in protecting against the sweep, and better at stopping runs up the middle. We need to use this to our advantage. Bills are great with gap zero blitz. So it is very clear. We need to run the ball off the tackles to take their pressure off the middle, their strength. If we see Morris up the middle on the first few run sets I would be pretty pissed at Gruden. That is so predictable being we start almost every game that way. We need to play to the strength a start the game by unbalancing the middle. They are 29th in the NFL in protecting runs off the tackle.

    We better see Jones starting with runs off the tackles this game. That is Jones strength and it is the bills weakness. Morris up the middle on first possessions would be very poor game planning in my opinion.

    Now for defense. Bills are too ranked on releases to the edge as well on offense. Either by RBs or by Tyrod. We have to contain the edges and force them to come up the middle or we are in deep trouble. This plays to the strength of Murphy, not so much Preston. We will need to see more Murphy in the beginning to set the edge and be a tackling machine. We also need Kerrigan to come good on a quick sack from the other side to put Tyrod in his place to start the game.

    If we can do this on both sides we will win. God bless our skins!


    • bangkokben - Dec 20, 2015 at 9:20 AM

      The Redskins usually start the game with a stretch zone run to the right or left, Morris is always looking for a cut back lane. I see no reason that won’t be the starting play – no reason other than it being completely ineffective – what I really mean is I see no reason for the trend to end. I expect every one in the stadium to be expecting the same play. The ‘skins may try to run play action off this – as they did unsuccessfully against Dallas resulting in a sack – or they may try a bootleg that they have setting up all year with the same play but my money is a stretch run to the right where LeRibeus’ man gets penetration in the backfield resulting in no gain.

      • colorofmyskinz - Dec 20, 2015 at 10:28 AM

        I would like to see some creativity today from Gruden. Come on Skins… Do not let up on any lead you get! Fight all 60 minutes!!!

        • brucefan1 - Dec 20, 2015 at 11:15 AM

          “I would like to see some creativity today from Gruden.”

          Me too!! What is up wit dat lack of surprise/creativity??!!

          Usually a team sticks with exclusively with what everybody assumes they’ll do either because they can force it down their opponents’ throats or they don’t feel confident they can do anything else. (I think I know what Gru’s reason is!)

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 8:12 AM

    Dalllas is done. HTTR!

  4. colmac69 - Dec 20, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    Been confident all wk and nothing changed…cousins will have big day if avoid t/o and pens…xpect reed to go 100+…..

    Defense can restrict run game enough and the big plays to Watkins just can’t see bills scoring enough especially with big TE missing as well

    This game is bout redskins and how much they want it…..they showed balls in fourth qtr last sun when they could fell apart and I xpect that to carry on today……jets put another nail in bills coffin last nite and redskins will nail it shut today

    Wash 27-14

    • brucefan1 - Dec 20, 2015 at 11:38 AM

      Agree with your points, colmac

      Always look at the state of mind with which I think the teams approach a game … especially in a close matchup like this one.

      As I posted this week, there seems to be a lotta discord in the Bills locker room against Rex; that he RUINED a great pass rush with wacky schemes. He has been called out in the media by the likes of MARIO WILLIAMS! Ouch! They’ve dropped 3 of 4 and may be in a tailspin, wondering if the weren’t better off with the clown who coached em last season. Will they have the fight in them to battle HARD for 60:00? That is a reasonable question.

      Now the Skins … they jumped another hurdle last week with a road win, and can get over another by winning TWO in a row. Dunno, but I think that matters to them. One BIG motivator might be that they’ve been installed as an underdog at home (yeah, here I go again!! My old “home dog” angle!) — where they usually play their best ball, to a faltering team that isn’t appreciably better then them (imho, at least). If that doesn’t motivate them to wanna go out and kick some assk-me-no-questions, and get some of that respect that is OBVIOUSLY eluding them league-wide, nothing will.

      And to me, motivation is as important as skill … or plan.

  5. JOHNNY B - Dec 20, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    At the end of today’s game the Redskins will be in 1st place still and at .500 in December. This is such a rare occasion and we should celebrate. I might be jumping the gun but this is a must win just like next week. With the way that we played against the Cowboys pass rush I think that is the game that we will lose. So this game is very important to win.

    • goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 12:49 PM

      Depending on what the Giants and Eagles do this game could be meaningless.

      • JOHNNY B - Dec 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM

        Know matter what winning this game keeps us in first place. It is not meaningless to be 1 game ahead if that happens all that we need to do is beat the Eagles. Then the Dallas game will be meaningless.

      • brucefan1 - Dec 20, 2015 at 1:01 PM

        I heard dat!

        If the Eagles win tonite, especially (and they do seem to on a “confidence” high, don’t they?), it may be Katie-bar-the-door!

        Game time!!


  6. JOHNNY B - Dec 20, 2015 at 12:45 PM


  7. goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    If we go by the Loss / Win , Loss / Win formula the entire season has followed we will lose to the Bills and Win against the Eagles.

    • brucefan1 - Dec 20, 2015 at 12:54 PM

      Formulas are meant to be broken, right? (or something like that . ;^} )

      Hopefully for the Skins throughout the last 3 games of this season, at least.

  8. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    You like that!!


  9. ericstylezz - Dec 20, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    KC is on today. The line is putting in that work! Reed is unstoppable.

    It also looks like they have no intention on taking their foot off the gas. This effort can win some playoff games, please just finish today!

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 2:13 PM

      We had the chance to really add to the lead, but Crowder muffed that punt in Buffalo territory. Did not expect such from him.

      • brucefan1 - Dec 20, 2015 at 2:27 PM

        But the Redskins hold and a GREAT goal line stand!! And then break off a BIIIGG run!
        (I don’t know, but the Bills look like a beat load to me right about now! Fingers crossed!)

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 2:32 PM

          Yes, a huge hold for the D.


          John Keim ‏@john_keim 4m4 minutes ago

          Moses injured his left foot. Has limped to the locker room. Questionable to return

          Left foot was the one he had the Lisfranc surgery on, too. (I’m no doctor, I don’t know if this makes it worse or not.)


        • brucefan1 - Dec 20, 2015 at 2:57 PM

          “Bills look like a beat load to me right about now”

          Gotta check myself! Still some fight in the Bills.

          Btw, wonder how many guys named “Bill” are offended by Buffalo’s nickname? Ya know … “I am MAN — not a MASCOT!!” (Is that too flippant?!)

          That Skins run defense footage tighten up!

          Oops … there goes DJAX!! Burying the Bills! (This is kinda like live tweeting Gotta laugh!)

        • brucefan1 - Dec 20, 2015 at 2:59 PM

          “footage” ??

          Whatever. Going back to just watching!

      • colmac69 - Dec 20, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        Great first half….defense can’t stop redskins offense….Taylor bn only threat….

        However huge mistake from crowder…that bn game there and then….great stop by defense on goalline

        Mistake free football second half and game is ours

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 3:06 PM

        The Foot Age came after the Ice Age, maybe.

        Ice Up, Son!

  10. kenlinkins - Dec 20, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    What a very nice first half of football (when your biggest concern was a rookie muffing a punt). That goal line stand sent a message that maybe the Redskins are coming together as a team at the right time. Wil Compton seems to be the guy who fires these guys up. Even the young guys are holding their own. Let’s see if the Redskins can put this game away!

  11. gasngo14 - Dec 20, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    Who’s Robert?

  12. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    I really liked that Cousins throw to Garcon. Garcon had man coverage, Cousins threw the jump ball before Garcon even turned, Garcon made the play.

    • colmac69 - Dec 20, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      Gd win….defense fell away third qtr…..offense with big drive to put game away…last td was garbage time….injs b real concern today

      That performance from cousins should finally shut up any doubters (altho doubt it)….with reports before game looks like skins think cousins gonna b the guy…..

      Massive game nxt wk…hopefully carolina can hold on

  13. goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 3:57 PM

    YEEAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!@!#@#@! FUUCCKKK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Back to .500 fellas!!!!!!! YOU LIKE THAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  14. goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    Kirk ‘Franchise’ Cousins contract is starting to look more like 3 Years, 56 Million, with 18 Million guaranteed.

    • gasngo14 - Dec 20, 2015 at 4:07 PM


      I finally heard them chants from the crowd ……” YOU LIKE THAT ” .” YOU LIKE THAT ” .” YOU LIKE THAT “

  15. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 4:07 PM


  16. kenlinkins - Dec 20, 2015 at 4:30 PM

    The Redskins cross a few more things off their “TO DO” list. Finally win 2 in a row, finally get to 500% and beat a AFC East team for the first time in 7 years. That’s 7 wins and counting with two NFC East teams still on the schedule. Can the Redskins close out the NFC East title and get a play off game? I do not know but I know next Saturday’s game vs. the Eagles should be a good one to watch. You have to give this team credit as they keep fighting and seem to be holding their own. Another step taken, one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward guys and good things will happen.

    • goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 4:39 PM

      Cousins has really turned his play around. He now has 2X TD to INT ratio which I harped on all year long. If he can stay 2X then he and the Skins will be fine. Cousins is making all the throws, the deep ball, the floater, the play action pass, the tight window pass, it has truly been amazing to see him develop into what the ‘Experts’ are now calling an above average QB.

      Where in the world did all the Rg3 fans go!? Its quiet as hell around here when we win! Rob will get his chance next year somewhere else and you Rob fans can go with him to his new place. HTTR!

      WAY TO GO SKINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • gasngo14 - Dec 20, 2015 at 5:27 PM

        REALLY??? YOU goback was one of the biggest trash talker towards Kirk …….and BTW i finally heard them chants you were calling for daily … bad it was ” YOU LIKE THAT” not RG3 RG3 RG3 who is he anyways? HA!!

        • goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 5:43 PM

          I am not afraid to admit I once criticized the Legend out of Michigan State Captain Kirk Cousins. Let us not forget a lot of people were criticizing him at one point. However, he has made a believer out of me. I have been reborn by his play. I did not think he had it in him, but he has really shown some really nice things of late.
          If he can continue to grow and develop I think this offense will be closing in on top 10 next year.
          It is exciting to see the Redskins are certainly moving in the right direction. So much so, I am coming from Charlotte (I live minutes from Bank of America Stadium) to FedEx field next year to see these guys up close.
          Very good win! I am very excited and have my Skins flag hoisted up 25 feet on the pole out front outside right now!

        • gasngo14 - Dec 20, 2015 at 6:25 PM

          glad to see you finally support him and our team not just one player :))

  17. goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 4:44 PM

  18. squawonthewarpath - Dec 20, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    Can’t help it but to all the RG3 Lovers, Negative Nancys, Mr $$$$ Lover, Greed, Hope Tim Stays Hidden etc I wish to say……..YOU LIKE THAT???!!!!!!!!!

    • John - Dec 20, 2015 at 6:25 PM

      Where is Tim today? Must be buried in his Elias Sports Bureau stat book. Can’t fat him how they won without throwing bombs all game?

      Another big game from Kirk.

      Here’s some stats for you Tim…

      4 TD passes
      1 rushing TD
      300 plus yard (6th time – team record)
      60+% completions
      Another 13 play, time consuming, 80 yard TD drive
      77 yard TD pass play

      That enough for you? YOU LIKE THAT!

      Tim, Car 54, where are you?

  19. colmac69 - Dec 20, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    I believe win nxt wk clinches div even if philly win tonite cause we would have sweep…..btwn philly/giants/wash we b 3-1 with Nyg 2-2 and philly 1-2 so they could only b 2-2……

    Loss nxt wk we still got chance altho we would nd to bt dallas and philly lose to arizona and giants

    Think that’s scenario

    • bangkokben - Dec 20, 2015 at 5:34 PM

      Eagles have to lose two of next three or just against the Redskins; then ‘skins are in with one with.

    • brucefan1 - Dec 20, 2015 at 5:40 PM

      Philthy loses tonite, it just might break their spirit.

      They are on an emotional high right now — especially after knocking off NE. They get knocked off that pedestal tonite and watch em come out at least a skoach flat next week.

      But after today’s showing, I’m pretty sure the B&G will be able to take care of the own “biddness” the rest of the way.

      • YOU LIKE THAT - Dec 20, 2015 at 5:57 PM


      • bangkokben - Dec 20, 2015 at 6:01 PM

        Win or lose tonight. Philly controls it’s destiny. Beat Redskins then Giants, and they have the tiebreakers.

      • colmac69 - Dec 20, 2015 at 6:04 PM

        Just imagine how scary this offense could b if they could get running game cranked up

        Incidentally that’s two x kickers (gano and forbath) kicked game winners in final play vs giants……bonus on the way to those guys (esp gano as he is from scotland)

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 5:48 PM

      We need to go to Philly and beat Philly.

      They’re trash, it’s the right thing to do.

  20. goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 6:07 PM

    Big question is going to be the status of Moses and Leribby. Definitely do not want to piece together more of the offensive line facing the Eagles defensive front.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 20, 2015 at 7:46 PM

      Agreed, but one good thing about us needing to throw Tom Compton and Ty Nsekhe into the fire (albeit as tight ends) so much:

      At least they have those game experiences under their belts.

    • John - Dec 20, 2015 at 9:36 PM

      Moses said the foot is fine during the quick post game interview with Doc Walker.

  21. gasngo14 - Dec 20, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    Captain Kirk 1 tenth of a point shy of another perfect passer rating this season! WOW KIRK, WE LIKE IT!!!!!

    • goback2rfk - Dec 20, 2015 at 11:41 PM

      It is almost hard to believe but Captain Kirk “franchise” Cousins is now rated as a top10 QB in the NFL going by stats. Close to the 10th spot but hey it is great to see solid QB play from the Quarterback position.

      • JOHNNY B - Dec 21, 2015 at 4:07 AM

        He is 1st in completions, 8 in yardage, and 9th in qb rating. A top 10 qb this year

  22. goback2rfk - Dec 21, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    And let us not forget who got us Kirk Cousins. Can someone say Lobster Face!?! Someone needs to give Mike Shanahan an apology letter. Archives

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