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Enemy Intel around the NFL, Week 6—Can the Cowboys pass another tough test?

Oct 15, 2016, 10:22 AM EDT


Here is my weekly Redskins-centric look around the NFL:

—The Giants hope to avoid a fourth straight loss as they host the Ravens, who have lost two straight. Both teams are in varying states of turmoil. Baltimore fired offensive coordinator Marc Trestman on Monday and he will be replaced by Marty Mornhinweg. The new OC has a good offensive mind but I’m not sure what he can do with an offensive line that is reeling with injuries. If WR Steve Smith Sr. (ankle) is out I’m not sure what he’s going to be able to do. Meanwhile, just as the Odell Beckham antics have faded to the background (but haven’t disappeared entirely), Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers shoved a member of the media in the locker room after New York’s latest loss. You go back to the game against the Redskins, where their losing skid started, and you have Beckham’s kicking net punching back and center Weston Richburg getting booted out of the game for multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. It points to a lack of discipline. Discipline was the calling card of for former coach Tom Coughlin. It does not appear to be a strong point of his replacement, Ben McAdoo.

—Last week the Cowboys handled what appeared to be their sternest test to date with ease as they ran out to a 28-0 lead over the Bengals. This week things could be significantly tougher as they go to Lambeau Field. It’s not just Aaron Rodgers, who is playing well but not All World well. It’s that Green Bay defense. They have averaged giving up just 2.0 yards per rush, the best in the NFL by a full yard. It is a little easier to pass against them but the Cowboys need to run to set up Dak Prescott’s passing. It should be noted, however, that the Cowboys have the best offensive line that the Packers have faced so we will have to see who controls the line.

Related: Doctson out, two starters questionable for Redskins vs. Eagles

—The Redskins visit Detroit after playing the Eagles. The Lions did the Redskins a favor by knocking off Philly last week, overcoming a number of injuries in order to do it. They could still be banged up next week. RB Theo Riddick (hip), DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), and TE Eric Ebron (ankle, knee) are all out against the Rams this week and we will see if they are ready for the Redskins on the 23rd.

—After coming home from Detroit the Redskins will return to Ashburn and assume their normal preparations through practice on Thursday. After that, they get on a plane and head to London for practice on Friday, a Saturday walkthrough, and a game against the Bengals at Wembley Stadium. Cincinnati has lost three of its last four and they play at the Patriots tomorrow. Fortunately for Marvin Lewis’ crew they get the NFL equivalent of an extra bye week, a home game against the Browns, before they leave for the UK.

Related: Crowder letting instincts take over on punt returns

—I had a true winning week last week, going 2-1 with wins with the Vikings over the Texans and the Cardinals over the 49ers. I lost with the Bengals giving one (!) to the Cowboys. I’m going to say that the Cowboys won’t pull off a second straight upset, going with the Packers over them giving 4.5, and the Steelers -7.5 over the Dolphins and the Seahawks -6.5 over the Falcons.

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  1. redskins12thman - Oct 15, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Love this weekly write-up Rich; helps prep me for the week’s games.

    I hope Riddick, Ebron and Ngata remain inactive for the Redskins game against the Lions.

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  2. snyderisanidiot - Oct 15, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Rich, I am sorry but you do not have a “True Winning Week” unless you truly win all the games you predict. Come on brah…

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  3. wvredskins - Oct 15, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    This is a huge game for us! I am hopeful that Reed plays, but I have my concerns. Reed would be a big asset against the Eagles considering how he torched them last year. With out him its going to be tough.

    We need to get Jackson the ball early and often!

    How nice would it be to get this win, then go to Detroit next week and get a win there to bring our record to 5-2! After starting 0-2 we could not ask for a better outcome!

    Bottom line two players who have to step their game up to the next level; Kirk Cousins and Ryan Kerrigan! Kirk is obvious, and like Rich pointed out in his last article, Kerrigan is going up against a Rookie. My thing with Kerrigan is that he has been non existent this year and he needs to start playing like we are paying him!


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    • snyderisanidiot - Oct 15, 2016 at 11:15 AM

      Never thought Kerrigan was that good. He is fast on the edge, a nice guy, a great football player, would start on many teams, but he is no dominate force or elite talent on the edge or anything. He is over paid based on production. I would never buy a Kerrigan jersey. Actually I am looking forward to Kerrigans replacement in the years to come.

      Bold Prediction Time: Eagles have over 210 yards rushing on the ground against the Redskins worse ranked run defense. Sproles looks amazing against the Redskins all around. The Eagles will run a lot and dominate the clock management department. It may seem like the Skins never have the ball. Kirk throws another untimely pick in zone coverage and this game is over and won by Philadelphia.

      I do not have a good feeling about this one at all. I would be shocked if we beat the Eagles. If we do in fact beat the Eagles it will be because Kirk Cousins torched their A$$ for 300 yards and 3TD’s. And do I think that will happen?! No..

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    • Trey Gregory - Oct 15, 2016 at 2:40 PM

      Kerrigan has not been non existent. There’s more to being an OLB than just sacks. An OLB could have a good game with 0 sacks and nothing that really pops off the screen. They need to set the edge vs. the run, keep the QB contained even on pass plays (sometimes just doing that hinders a sack), be good in coverage, tackle, and pressure the QB.

      Kerrigan isn’t having his best season and has yet to have a true breakout game. But he has a couple sacks and a forced fumble. He’s also been pretty consistent after the Pittsburg game. He can help this defense a lot just making sure his side of the field is locked up against the run. I’m not trying to say Kerrigan is an elite edge rusher but I know he’s not our problem. I don’t own a jersey and probably never will. Just not my thing. But I have named pets after London Fletcher and Alfred Morris. Ryan Kerrigan was next in line but my mom took it instead 😞.

      One of the big problems with our pass rush is we don’t have a true speed rusher. Kerrigan actually isn’t particularly fast off the edge. That’s what Galette was supposed to provide. But he’s hurt and now we have 3 talented guys who are similar rushers. Kerrigan doesn’t have Von Miller’s athletic gifts but wins with power and great technique. I love that. Get him a speed rusher as a bookend next year and all these guys will look better.

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      • snyderisanidiot - Oct 15, 2016 at 5:10 PM

        I find it interesting that you do not own a Redskins jersey. If you could have any jersey past or present which player would you get?

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        • Trey Gregory - Oct 16, 2016 at 2:30 AM

          Ummmm. That’s kind of a tough question. I own about 50 Redskins shirts and beanies. My home office and above my TV is basically a shrine to Washington with a little Baylor mixed in. Jerseys just aren’t my thing.

          But if I had to…. John Lynch and Brandon Marshall (the WRs) might be my favorite football players of all time. But I would never be caught dead wearing another team’s jersey. I’m a huge Ryan Kerrigan fan if it wasn’t obvious. I also think the world of Trent Williams. I also love the guys who nobody thought much of. Like Baker. Crowder is also winning me over big time. But I would probably say a 6th round pick who made a pro bowl, set franchise records, was a perfect example of how to be a pro, and rode his bike to work would be my guy. So Alfred Morris. Kind of ruins it since he’s a Cowboy now. But I’ll always be a fan of his. If I was going to buy one today thought it would probably be Williams, Kerrigan, or Crowder. The first two don’t fit that underdog mold but I love the trench guys and Trent Williams is maybe the single most gifted athlete I’ve ever watched. Plus he punched Sherm in the mouth on a real bad night for me 😉.

      • COSSkinsFan - Oct 15, 2016 at 9:14 PM

        I have a Kerrigan jersey. I actually think twice before buying jerseys because when I buy one the player tends to tank or leave: Brad Johnson, champ, Bruce smith, Frerrotte, and rg3 to name a few. My survivors are DG, Cooley and of course ST. I think Kerrigan has been fine, without the splash plays he has made. Those plays will come, they usually do for him. He is the least of our defensive worries. When we extended him, i dont think we expected him to be elite, just a guy who brings it every week and gives maximum effort, which us what im still seeing. He does need a big game due to playing against a rookie in his first start.

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    • COSSkinsFan - Oct 15, 2016 at 9:26 PM

      I was just thinking the same thing, 5-2 is possible and I think we could all be LIKE THAT. Maybe we could get some respect although I’m sure ppl will bring up how our opponents made mistakes, we should’ve lost games we won and how we’re the worst team in the division. Lol Cowboys and Eagles are going down. My BOLD prediction is sometimes numbers don’t add up, Philly should run on us all day long but we will play the run well like we did against Dallas and come out with a W. It’s a gut feeling and probably wishful thinking, but if I’m right I’ll look like a genius. Lol Cousins will have a big game and use Schwartz not knowing who he is as incentive. We score 40ish and keep then under 24. HTTR!!!!

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  4. mtskins - Oct 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Good point on Coughlin and the lack of discipline the Giants have displayed this season. Beckham is obviously a temperamental personality and it takes a strong head coach to handle that type of player. I might not have liked Coughlin but I certainly respected him. I think I remember you saying in the spring that we will see how Eagles and Giants did with two rookie head coaches. So far the advantage goes to Pederson over McAdoo.

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  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 15, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    Fortunately for Marvin Lewis’ crew they get the NFL equivalent of an extra bye week, a home game against the Browns, before they leave for the UK.

    Watch them lose it.

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    • Trey Gregory - Oct 15, 2016 at 2:42 PM

      It’s not a real game but it’s a division game with an in-state rival. If the Browns win 1 game this year it will be against Cinci. And, in my opinion, we want Cinci to win and have a GREAT game. Because teams coming off back to back losses have a way of bouncing back with a fury. Especially if it was an embarrassing loss.

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      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 15, 2016 at 4:56 PM

        I’d agree it’s better for us if they don’t come out of that game all fired up.

        I tried looking for the stat, but I my google-fu failed. I think teams about to head off to London have a noticeably worse performance against the spread. Obviously, this also applies to us in our game at Detroit.

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  6. sidepull - Oct 15, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    Hope GB trounces Dallas. Toss up to me. That is a pretty good looking Dallas team early on here. Lest see a well established winning team an coach game plan Prescott. Show us how it done.

    Hope the Giants fall flat on their face against Bmore. Doubt it though. I think OBJ goes off against that secondary.

    And I pray that Kirk does his annual dismatelining of the Egirls tomorrow. God knows I hate that team with a passion. Never, never, ever let those low lifes get a SB trophy…Just never. I have always hated the Giants, especially when McConkey was jumping all around and I have always hated Dallas, well just because, but the Egirls, the smack talking fans, the body bag game,hitting Santa…I just hate them mothertruckers. Just kick their freaking a$$ tomorrow please!

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    • redskins12thman - Oct 15, 2016 at 8:02 PM

      x 2.

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    • Trey Gregory - Oct 16, 2016 at 2:33 AM

      I think one of the most underrated stories of this season has been Green Bay’s run D. People say they haven’t played anybody. But whatever, they’re all NFL team and they held AP to about nothing on double digit carries. I think Dallas is more of a test for Green Bay’s run D than the other way around. But if they hold up then it will put pressure on Dak to win and maybe, just maybe, we start to see him crack.

      Sam Shields is still out though so I don’t know. Green Bay’s secondary doesn’t look great.

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  7. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 15, 2016 at 8:20 PM

    “Redskins rule Reed, Cravens out for Sunday”

    Time to really find that fire in the belly, gang!

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