Redskins-Bears Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 24-21 win at Chicago that I watched about half of.

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Winners

Kirk Cousins — The Skins won on the road, and Cousins posted a decent game away from home too! The 104 rating and 300 yards are nice, but he threw two of the worst passes you’re ever going to see, one of which was picked and one of which was a miracle. He still comes away smelling like a rose.

Jordan Reed — Nine catches on nine targets for 120 yards and what should’ve been two touchdowns. Didn’t commit a penalty either, which is progress. Has officially put together one of the best TE seasons in franchise history.

Matt Jones — Eighty-six total yards, and he could be excused for that weird fumble.

Ryan Kerrigan — Picked up another sack, his fourth in four games.

Terrance Knighton — Got his first sack of the season. Just seemed to be tearing shit up.

Trent Murphy — Second straight week with a sack. Forced a fumble this time, too.

Jay Gruden — Six wins. They could lose out, which would suck, and this season would still qualify as a success. Win two of the last three, though, and we’re talking about a smash hit.

Losers

Alfred Morris — Twenty-four yards on 11 carries. Is now averaging a pitiful 3.4 yards/carry this season. Did score his first TD, though.

The offense after turnovers — HOLY SHIT IT’S FREE MONEY JUST PICK IT UP

The Redskins social media dept.Oops.

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Pierre Thomas — Nice to see a midweek pickup contribute right away, even if it was just one catch. My favorite part about the acquisition? He had 4.9 yards/carry and an 82% catch rate with New Orleans last year. My second favorite part? The Redskins offense now has two guys named Pierre.

Redskins-Bears Predictions

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As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for Week 14. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

Todd Davis: Redskins, 22-21

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I honestly think this team has gotten to the point where it’s underrated and definitely better than its record. They give us one more week at least.

Matt Terl: Bears, 28-16

They lose a close one this week and then pack it in to coast to the end of another miserable season.

JP Finlay: Redskins, 24-22

After last week it’s hard to imagine they win again this season. But this team rarely does what’s expected (like last week), and might actually respond. I think the offense looks different this week, and the Bears D wont know the Skins scheme as well as Dallas did. Alshon Jeffery will probably have a monster game, though. They haven’t won on the road, but they also haven’t lost two in a row since Week 6.

Andy Peden: Bears, 23-19

Season ends in failure. Finish up at 6-10 while the Eagles win the division at 8-8.

Chris Mottram: Bears, 24-16

This is it. This is the one. The Falcons are in a free fall, but are still in the Wild Card hunt with a ton to play for. It’s a rivalry game, the Panthers have already locked up the division, and Atlanta is capable of being a great team, as we saw earlier in the season. Carolina loses, but who cares, keep pounding.

Jack Kogod: Bears, 27-20

Daaaaa Bears! You know, like the old skit? Yeah, love me some Bears football.

Jamie Mottram: Bears, 24-16

Whatever. Let’s go back to a happier time in Skins-Bears lore.

Composite prediction: Bears, 24-19

Redskins-Cowboys Predictions

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As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for Week 13. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

Todd Davis: Cowboys, 17-16

This is the inevitable soul-crusher. Only thing I’d take the over on here is DJax post-game comments re: play calling.

Matt Terl: Cowboys, 22-21

My head says maybe Washington should win this one, but my gut agrees with Todd: this has “crushing loss to underwhleming Dallas backup QB” written all over it. I’m setting the over/under on Clint Longley references from Friday through Tuesday at 76.

JP Finlay: Redskins, 30-21

Don’t think the bad loss comes this week. Skins win and cover. But watch out in Chicago …

Andy Peden: Redskins, 27-10

It’s going to be one extreme or the other. Either we crush Dallas something like 27-10 or we give away this game because of turnovers to lose 21-20. My gut says the Skins are not the Skins of old and we are actually headed in the right direction, which means everyone should take the other option.

Chris Mottram: Redskins, 31-17

It’s a rivalry game, so you never know what to expect, but I just don’t see this one being close. I mean, the Saints are awful this year. No way they hand the Panthers their first loss. It won’t even be close. The worst 11-0 team in the history of the universe will be 12-0, but still not very good and led by a fraudbaby overrated quarterback, according to the Internet.

Jack Kogod: Redskins, 20-13

I think I’m going to make chili this weekend with RedZone on in the background.

(Ed. note: The Redskins-Cowboys game is on Monday Night Football.)

Jamie Mottram: Redskins, 24-13

If the Skins win this one, as they should, pack it up — this season will have already been a smash hit. Not sure I could jinx it any harder than that.

Composite prediction: Redskins, 24-16

Redskins-Giants Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 20-14 win over NY.

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Winners

Kirk Cousins — On the first drive, Cousins floated an out to the left sideline. Watching live, it appeared the Giants CB cut on the ball and caught it going the other way for a pick-six. In that moment, things had gone to pot real quick, just like the last Giants game. Fortunately, he dropped the ball. Cousins went on to complete 69% of his passes for 302 yards and a 114 QB rating. Wish he’d play like this on the road. (His rating at home is a Brady-esque 111; on the road it’s a Foles-esque 71.)

Quinton DunbarThe undrafted WR-turned-CB made a big INT in the end zone, then shrugged off a finger injury in which the bone was sticking out. NO BIG DEAL.

Alfred Morris — Nothing spectacular, but he was well-fed (23 carries). It’s good when he’s well-fed.

Matt Jones — No fumbles! Also took a screen pass 45 yards.

The O-line — Did you see the blocking on that 45-yard screen? Also gave up no sacks and got the run game going a little bit.

Bashaud Breeland — Odell Beckham Jr. got his, but Breeland went toe-to-toe with the NFL’s best.

The whole dang secondary — Not sure how this patchwork bunch did it, but they picked Eli Manning three times, holding him scoreless through three.

Ryan Kerrigan — Looked great and picked up two sacks. Now on pace for 9.5, exactly in line with his 2011-14 average.

DeSean JacksonScored a 63-yard TD, after backpedaling across the goal line, as one does.

ODBSuch a bad man.

Jay Gruden — It’s December, and the Redskins are in first place. Holy shit.

Losers

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Jordan Reed — Three penalties in the first quarter. Also eight catches on nine targets for 98 yards. Now has a career high in yards (541) and is catching 73% of balls thrown his way.

Special teams — Allowed a blocked FG. It’s been awhile since they gave us much to complain about.

Redskins-Panthers Predictions

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As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for Week 11. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

Note: Predictions have been edited for brevity. Otherwise there would’ve been way too much shit about Star Trek and craft beer in here.

JP Finlay: Panthers, 24-20

I’m having a tough time with a read on this game. Part of me thinks the Skins will compete, but I fear that’s a residual effect of seeing the blowout win over the Saints. The Saints defense would be the worst in the ACC. And while Carolina is good, like somebody else said, they’re not gonna run the table, a loss is inevitable. Plus, the Skins almost made things interesting in New England. (If Gruden had kicked the FG instead of going for it on 4th & 11 they would’ve covered. But I’m not still mad. Promise.) I’m not sure this game will ever be as competitive as the final score will indicate, but I like Skins to cover.

Chris Mottram: Skins, 24-17

This one always tears families in our hometown of Charlotte apart — Grandpa remains loyal to the Redskins, the only team the area had pre-Panthers, but us younger fans who have been with the Panthers since birth bleed Black and Blue. I have a bad feeling about this one. The Redskins will hand Carolina its first loss. But it’s OK; at least Grandpa will be happy. He deserves to be happy. .

Matt Terl: Panthers, 27-15

I can’t shake the feeling that we’re due for the return of Bad Kirk.

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Todd Davis: Panthers, 23-17

This is actually not a terrible matchup for the Skins. Washington can’t cover anyone, but even though Cam’s playing great, the Panthers have literally no receivers outside of Olsen (who will surely have a billion catches). Of course, Cousins getting baited into an INT by Davis/Kuechly when the game’s on the line is the most obvious thing of the season. Love Wicked Weed, but if you want to watch a game at a brewery in Asheville, Asheville Brewing is the better choice — that’s where I’ll be for this one.

Jack Kogod: Panthers, 27-17

Panthers > Redskins, BUT 3 Stars > Wicked Weed. WHO WANTS TO FIGHT?

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Andy Peden: Panthers, 23-17

If the Skins win, then it’s a week of playoff talk which is unusual for late November. Obviously, Carolina isn’t running the table, but I don’t think the Skins are the team to beat them. BTW, who drinks beer anymore?

Jamie Mottram: Panthers, 20-17

It’s been a hell of a week.

Composite prediction: Panthers, 23-18

The Redskins Don’t Seem Like Playoff Longshots

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According to the fanciest of fancy stats web sites, FiveThirtyEight, here’s how the NFC East playoff chances look entering Week 11:

*Giants 46%
*Eagles 44%
*Redskins 17%
*Dallas 3%

How are the 4-5 Redskins closer to the 2-7 Cowboys than the 4-5 Eagles or 5-5 Giants? The Giants and Eagles do have more net points (20 and 28, respectively) than the Redskins (-4), but that’s hardly enough to make such a big difference. Plus, the Skins have a pretty favorable schedule.

I think what’s happening here is that the Elo model, which FiveThirtyEight’s projections are based on, takes last season into account. As we know, the Skins were not very good! They won four games. New York won six, Philly 10 and Dallas 12.

Other playoff predictors don’t seem to take that into account. For example, PlayoffStatus.com:

*Redskins 39%
*Giants 38%
*Eagles 30%
*Dallas 1%

Now that’s what I’m talking about. That said, I’ve never heard of PlayoffStatus.com, so let’s turn to an old reliable, Football Outsiders, and their playoff odds, which are based on their well-regarded DVOA metrics:

*Giants 42%
*Eagles 40%
*Redskins 24%
*Dallas 2%

Not great, but certainly better than FiveThirtyEight, and you can bet your ass I would’ve taken a 24% chance back when the season started. Hell, I would’ve taken it a week ago. And I’ll take it now, even if I still don’t understand how Philly is so damn high.

Redskins-Saints Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 47-14 (!) win over New Orleans.

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Winners

Kirk CousinsThe perfect game.

Jay Gruden — That first half was incredible. Washington had eight plays of 20 yards or more, matching their total from the first eight games of the season. The second half wasn’t bad either. Biggest win of Gruden’s 25-game career? Maybe, and it maintains the Redskins’ relevance in the mediocre NFC East for at least two more weeks.

Joe Barry — The defense has been terrible for weeks. The Saints scored easy touchdowns on their first two drives. Then they got shutout the rest of the way while Washington put 33 straight points on the board. Unbelievable.

Jamison Crowder — Scored the first touchdown of a long and very good career that I’ve already imagined for him.

Matt Jones — Fourteen touches for 187 yards, one touchdown and plenty of reminders that Matt Jones is a beast in space.

Jordan Reed — Two TDs today, six TDs in seven games this year.

DeSean Jackson — Only two catches on five targets, but one of them was for 42 yards on the opening drive. Set things up nicely.

Alfred Morris — First good game in two months (118 total yards).

Chris Thompson — Got in on the action with 77 yards on just three touches. New Orleans’ defense is real shitty.

Perry Riley Jr. — You know it’s a good day when 56 makes a play in coverage.

Chris Baker — Brought more “YOU LIKE THAT” into our lives.

Losers

Dashon Goldson — Failed to wrap up Mark Ingram, who proceeded to run down the sideline for 70 yards.

Rashad Ross — Fielded the opening kickoff (from Kai Forbath!) at the 5, then ran around back and forth for like 10 seconds before getting tackled at the 8, but their was holding on the play, so the Redskins started at the 4. Impressive!

The Eagles, the Cowboys and the Giants — All three lost today by a grand total of six points. The Skins are tied with Philly, a half-game back from New York. Dallas is basically out of it.

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Sean PaytonDidn’t know what down it was when Drew Brees waved the punt unit off of the field and went for it on 4th-and-4, but whatever.

Redskins-Saints Predictions

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As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for Week 10. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

JP Finlay: Skins (no score given)

I think Skins win and will probably wager on it. Wish I had some logic or reasoning, but don’t really. Guess it’s a hunch. Saints defense is bad and I think Skins will force TOs. Plus I love home dogs.

Andy Peden: Skins, 31-27

This is the season. Can’t go 3-6 with Cam looming. Also have to light it up against the worst defense of the past decade. Take the over.

Chris Mottram: Saints, 34-27

Heading to Tennessee to take on the lowly two-win Titans, a team everyone assumes Cam and Company will pound into oblivion, with an always-intense game against Washington looming on the other side. I don’t know, guys, feels kinda like a trap game. Still think they pull it out, but it’ll be closer than it should.

Matt Terl: Redskins, 27-24

Mainly I just want to get to watch Chris wrestle with his divided allegiances next week.

Todd Davis: Saints, 27-13

Seriously, God Bless America, but not the Redskins.

Jack Kogod: Redskins, 31-30

I had a sub from Wegmans yesterday that was drowned in mayo. Just like, wayyyy too much mayo. And I like mayo!

Jamie Mottram: Saints, 34-27

Tom Brady and the Pats could’ve scored however many points they needed against this Redskins defense. Pretty much the same goes for Drew Brees and the Saints.

Composite prediction: Saints, 29-26

Redskins-Patriots Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 27-10 loss at New England.

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Winners

Will BlackmonHe played well, so there’s that.

Bill Belichick — An onside kick, up 7-0 in the first quarter as a 14-point favorite? What a spectacular asshole. (And it worked.)

The Panthers — No one would blame a couple of lifelong Skins fans who moved to North Carolina years ago and started supporting the now 8-0 Panthers, who beat Green Bay at home today. We’re talking about me and my brother here.

Losers

Jay Gruden — Early in the first half, down 7-0 I think, the Redskins went for it on 4th-and-11 from the New England 37. Then, at the end of the first half, down 17-0, they kicked a FG on 4th-and-goal from the 6. Now, I understand that each call is borderline, but context matters. I don’t see the logic in going for it in the first circumstance but not the second.

Most of the defense — I was going to go “medium” on them for creating some turnovers and holding New England to 27 points, which is well below their average, but let’s be honest: The Patriots could’ve gotten whatever they wanted on offense.

Pierre Garcon — Washington’s first play from scrimmage was an on-target throw that bounced off of Garcon’s shoulderpads, high into the air and then the waiting arms of a Patriots defender. It was a terrible drop, and the moment at which this game was pretty much over.

Actually, all of the receivers — So many drops. The broadcast counted seven, two from Garcon and one each from Jordan Reed, Derek Carrier (also terrible), Jamison Crowder, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson.

And DeSean Jackson, tooKeep it down, DeSean.

Matt Jones — The early second half fumble was a killer.

Morgan Moses — WTF was this?

Alfred Morris — Four carries for 10 yards. Woof.

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Keenan Robinson — Only the second man to intercept Tom Brady this season. Managed to get tackled by a diving Brady on the return.

Kirk Cousins — If all of the drops were completions, he would’ve been 29-40 with maybe 300 yards and no picks. Meaning, at least he wasn’t Bad Kirk today.

Redskins-Patriots Predictions

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As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for Week 9. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

Matt Terl: Patriots, 42-21

All 21 points for D.C. come in the fourth quarter.

JP Finlay: Patriots, 30-18

Good gambling says take the points (80 percent of plays on Pats). Football sense says don’t take the team that will have Perry Riley covering Gronk. The thing to remember is New England semi-regularly wins a close one against bad teams when they just kinda seem disinterested. That theory, however, doesn’t hold when Belichick/Brady are in F-th-world mode (see 52-7, 2007), like they are right now. Still, take the points.

Andy Peden: Patriots, 38-17

The Pats are entering 2007 mode, where you parlayed them with everything because they are going to cover. My guess is Blount and Lewis combine for 250 total yards and 3 TDs.

Todd Davis: Patriots, 31-21

Skins control the clock enough to make it look respectable. I really wish Kerrigan wasn’t rushing back for this one. Seems like they’d be better off giving an additional bye week to anyone that’s in any way banged up and just save them for the juicy schedule to come.

Jack Kogod: Patriots, 52-0

Let’s talk about Bradley Beal.

Chris Mottram: Patriots, 38-17

This could finally be the week the Panthers lose. Taking on the Packers, who were embarrassed on national television by noodle-armed Peyton last week. It is at home, though, and BofA is gonna be ROCKING. I’m nervous about it, but I think they keep pounding to 7-0.

Jamie Mottram: Skins, 24-23

I just have a weird feeling about this one.

Composite prediction: Patriots, 36-17