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State of the Redskins Week 17: Start ’em or sit ’em?

Dec 30, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

Gruden-Cousins-sideline

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 17 of the NFL season.

Record: 8-7, clinched NFC East title
vs. NFC East: 3-2
vs. NFC: 7-4
vs. AFC: 1-3
Home: 6-2
Away: 2-5

Key stats changes from 2014-2015

 source:

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 348.3 (17th)
Defense (yards/game): 371.9 (24th)
Passer rating offense:  99.0 (6th)
Opp passer rating: 95.7 (22nd)
Yards/rush attempt: 3.6 (30th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.8 (31st)
DVOA through Week 16 (Football Outsiders): 0.6% (14th)

Top three storylines:

It’s in the bag—The Redskins took care of business in Philadelphia and wrapped up the NFC East title. They won going away and donned the hats and T-shirts in the locker room at the Linc. They still may finish 8-8 but nobody is going to apologize for grabbing a division title in a down year in the NFC East.

Start ‘em or sit ‘em?—They are locked into the four seed so the result of Sunday’s game in Dallas has no effect on the standings. There are some players, such as safeties Dashon Goldson and DeAngelo Hall, who probably will sit due to injuries. Jay Gruden’s dilemma is when it comes to players like Kirk Cousins or Jordan Reed, guys who are healthy now. Should the play them, risking injury? Or should he rest them, risking getting them out of the rhythm of playing every week.

Who’s coming to FedEx—It will be the Vikings, Packers, or Seahawks coming in as the Redskins’ first-round opponent. We won’t know the answer until we know the result of the Sunday night game between the Vikings and Packers. Here is the breakdown on what will happen with the various possible combinations of results on Sunday.

Last (regular season) game

Sunday @ Cowboys (4-10)—The Redskins ideal scenario would be to get some injured players the day off, get some players off the field after a few series of work, and come away with a win to finish the season at 9-7.

  1. firesnyder - Dec 30, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    The Washington Coach Killers need to play starters for the 1st half. After all, Kirk is still learning and needs the reps. Pierre Thomas, our future playoff starter, is still new to the offense and needs reps. Crowder could also use the reps as a rookie.

    If T Williams sits, I would be concerned about protecting Kirk’s blindside so I like the idea of Kirk and TWilliams sitting together if they do sit. Hopefully, we’ve built enough of a lead by the end of the 1st half that we can rest guys.

    Another thing to be conscience of, which nobody has mentioned, do NOT piss off Kirk by telling him he has to sit in a contract year. He may view this as an attempt to lessen hits stats so that we don’t have to pay him as much.

    • colmac69 - Dec 30, 2015 at 2:30 PM

      Cousins stated short time ago that he wants to play but will defer to the coach and what he wants…….don’t think cousins missing will make much difference to his performance in playoff game (basically a bye wk for guys rested)

      If McCoy starts b curious who is backup…..will they put rgiii as backup knowing that if he plays at all and gets inj they could b on hook for 16 mill….would rgiii get inj deliberately and ensure skins have to pay him on his way out door?

      Whatever happens the skins should have enough to bt dallas…..their offense is horrible….defense missing couple starters….if we lose without any key injs that just b fine and dandy because we have a gd chance in the playoff game regardless of who opponent is

      • ericstylezz - Dec 30, 2015 at 3:39 PM

        Now I’ve heard it all. Will rg3 get injured deliberately….lol man you would think we had present day pill popping Ryan Leaf on the team. Just let the guy leave man

        • colmac69 - Dec 30, 2015 at 5:38 PM

          That comment was tongue in cheek my friend…

          Very much doubt rgiii sees any action on Sunday. …on the hook for 16 mill I don’t think so altho it would b kinda funny if he played and scored winning td in last minute (maybe earn him contract from Mr jones)…..

          Time to move on from rgiii……cousins revolution has started….

          Incidentally writer thomas Boswells got very gd article bout cousins and comparisons to some of best qbs that’s ever played where these guys were at same stage as cousins…..

        • brucefan1 - Dec 30, 2015 at 7:18 PM

          “That comment was tongue in cheek my friend…”

          Even tho I kinda knew you were having a laff, I wasn’t totally sure! (Because at least one whack job we know of who posts here might actually accuse RG of that!!)

          The written word is so much harder to gather innuendo from that the spoken word, right?! To avoid further confusion I’ll let you in on my “secret” (yeah … REAL secret. LOL) by paraphrasing The Graduate, and say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening?

          Emoticons…

          ;^}

        • John - Jan 1, 2016 at 11:55 AM

          Whatever happens RG3 will be gone. Now that Kelly is out of Philly he won’t be there. With a top 5 pick, Dallas will.probably grab Goff or one of the other QBs in the draft. He could go to Cleveland, aka football helland keep being the legend that wasn’t.

      • berniebernard666 - Dec 30, 2015 at 6:10 PM

        you are silly. Even if Kirk starts and breaks his leg on the first play…and on the 2nd play Colt is sacked and his head falls off and he dies….RG3 is not going to be injured because he is not even going to be ACTIVE.

        You may see Pierre Garcon handing the ball off every play, but Griffin is done won’t even be in uniform while in Dallas.

      • timwillhide - Jan 1, 2016 at 12:19 AM

        You would think he would Ball Out so he could get more on his next contract. Obviously you have never read anything that RG3 actually said because if you did you would know he is an upstanding young man that has a great understanding on how a great person should be

  2. goback2rfk - Dec 30, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    There is no reason to think Kirk will sit. Playing Kirk the entire game along with Pierre Thomas and company sounds like a good idea. I hope Jay Gruden wants to keep Kirk in rhythm. I would also like to see Cousins grab that Redskins passing title. I say go in there and air that sh|t out.

    • babyteal1 - Dec 30, 2015 at 3:13 PM

      Agreed…paly to win the game!!!

    • brucefan1 - Dec 30, 2015 at 7:48 PM

      “I would also like to see Cousins grab that Redskins passing title”

      I’d be a little more impressed with that record if he was swiping it from Sammy Baugh, or Jurgy, or Joey T … but Jay Schroeder??!! LOL

      (Maybe I’ll root for Cuz to get it just so we can expunge Jaybird from the Skins’ record books!)

      Man, that was a one-hit wonder who crashed and burned just about as soon as he got off the ground. (Yikes! Better not contemplate such a scenario too much at this point in Skins history!)

      Best thing “#10 The First” did for the B&G was get himself traded for JIM LACHEY! (Another genius coup by the great Bobby Beathard.) What an OT that dude was! Should get some HOF love, imho.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 30, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    Treat it like a preseason game: play starters for a quarter or so to keep them sharp and work on things, then bring in as many backups as you can.
    ~

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 30, 2015 at 4:25 PM

      Rich Tandler Verified account@Rich_TandlerCSN

      Rich Tandler Retweeted DJE 10-15

      Trent Williams: “We’re all professionals, we’re all grown men. I don’t believe in the whole getting rusty thing.”
      =============

      Sounds like a TWill vote for “rest some starters.”
      ~

      • brucefan1 - Dec 30, 2015 at 7:59 PM

        No one’s worried about your “getting rusty” Trent … more like keeping that sharpness you’ve all honed yourselves into.

        You didn’t attain that easily — but it can go away easily. Such as edge has frequently proven to be a very fragile thing … especially for an overachieving(?) squadron.

        But if you NEED the game to recuperate, then by all means recuperate.

      • Skulb - Dec 30, 2015 at 10:28 PM

        Well he’s wrong. Coming off the bye the receivers dropped every single stinking pass thrown to them until some time in the second quarter. If they had been less pathetic then maybe they would get the benefit of the doubt now. Since they were not less pathetic they need to go to Dallas and mop the floor with their three feet tall QB and make sure to look as if they belong in the playoffs. Being swept by Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore is utterly unacceptable and I don’t care if it is a preseason game.

        A winning record matters. Momentum and confidence matters. Not looking like chumps the week before the WC game matters. If they can get up by three scores early they can rest some guys and give the backups some reps. McCoy in particular should play because we might need him in the playoffs. But not in the first half.

  4. berniebernard666 - Dec 30, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    I know the Redskins and I think I know Scott M pretty well at this point. Enough to make some predictions.

    Trent Williams will not play AT ALL. Jordan Reed very limited…maybe one drive. Desean Jackson will probably not even be active. Cousins will play about a half. Kerrigan will be riding the pine. And the Redskins will be running the football more than any time this season. Run Run Run. It’s practice time to RUN THE ROCK.

    If he is healthy, I expect Matt Jones to have a record number of carries in a meaningless game.

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