The Redskins’ Remaining Schedule

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The Washington Football Team has somewhat surprisingly started the season 3-4, and they’ve stuck with just one quarterback in the process. This is relative success.

The way the rest of the season is lining up — seven of the nine games are against .500-or-worse teams — may even lead to actual success. Of course, believing that only sets us up for failure. (It’s best not to believe.)

The Skins visit undefeated New England this week, which is a loss, probably by a wide margin. They also visit undefeated Carolina the Sunday before Thanksgiving, which also looks like a loss, though maybe a close one. Between those two they have the 4-4 Saints at home.

After that three-game stretch it’s a middling bunch: the 4-4 Giants at home, the 2-5 Cowboys at home, at 2-5 Chicago, the 3-4 Bills at home, and then at Philly and at Dallas to close it out.

It’s not crazy to think Washington could be 7-7 heading into those final two, with the division title in play. Like I said, though, disappointment is always right around the corner, and they could easily be 3-7 on Thanksgiving Day.

But that’s alright. It’s November, the Skins are a half-game out of first, and the schedule is favorable. Take a moment.

Redskins-Buccaneers Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 31-30 win over Tampa Bay.

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Winners

Kirk Cousins — The Redskins didn’t get a first down for most of the first half, and he turned a front-side sack into a fumble-six to go down 24-0. The next two-plus quarters were a showcase of the best Cousins could be, leading a DeSean Jackson-less offense to four touchdowns and a field goal, with the game-winning score coming in the final minute to cap off an 80-yard drive and the biggest comeback in franchise history.

This is the third time in four weeks Cousins has led a late drive to either win or tie a game, and it was the first where he put up huge numbers in the process (33-40, 317 yards, four total TD). He was a winner today, is what I’m saying.

Jordan Reed — Eleven catches on 13 targets for 72 yards and two scores. A total game-changer for the Redskins. Now averaging nine catches per game.

Jay Gruden — It wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to see the Redskins win three games this entire season, but here they are heading into the Week 8 bye, on pace for 7-9. I think we’d all be thrilled with that. Bonus points for calling for that dope-ass onside kick, down 24-14 in the third.

Dustin Hopkins — More touchbacks, another made FG, and a perfect onside kick to help turn the tide. I’m developing strong feelings for this man.

The wideouts — Neither Pierre Garcon, Ryan Grant, Andre Roberts and Jamison Crowder had a standout game, but the four combined for 16 catches on 20 targets, 206 yards and a score. Uncommon production from that crew.

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Losers

The run D — Made Doug Martin look very 2012 Muscle Hamster-ish. Charles Sims too.

The pass D — I guess we should give these guys a break, given half of them are broken, but Jameis Winston had a better passer rating than Cousins.

Alfred Morris — Five yards on six carries. Woof.

Ryan Kerrigan — Broke his fuckin’ hand.

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Matt Jones — Fifty-one yards on 12 total touches. Nice to see him back on the field, in the mix.

Redskins-Bucs Predictions

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As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for Week 7. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

Matt Terl: Bucs, 23-21

Could go either way: The Redskins could lose big, humiliated by a rookie QB, or they could keep it respectable and lose a heartbreaker. Really, the world is their oyster. I’m betting on the latter.

Chris Mottram: Bucs, 24-16

The Panthers play Sunday Night Football here in Charlotte, so I’m going tailgating for the first time in a couple years. Really excited about it. Probably gonna smoke some encased meats to bring, but not totally sure yet — I have some other ideas swirling around. Should be about 10 of us, including a couple Eagles fans, but they’re alright guys actually.

JP Finlay: Skins, 23-21

I fear Doug Martin in this one, but think the return of Jordan Reed can help a lot. Doomsday is avoided, but take the points.

Andy Peden: Bucs, 31-18

So we get a rookie QB who hasn’t looked that good in a game that is a Code Red, which if we lose are effectively 2-6 due to the Pats game after the bye, which would officially mean the season is off the tracks. All that adds up to Winston going for 350 and 3 TDs.

Jamie Mottram: Skins, 24-23

A nailbiter, but not a heartbreaker.

Jack Kogod: 17-17 tie

FUCK YEAH TIE

Todd Davis: 13-13 tie

I like it. GameDay baby! Duuuuukkkkes!!!

Composite prediction: Bucs, 22-19

Redskins-Jets Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 34-20 loss in New York.

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Winners

Bashaud Breeland — Two fumble recoveries and one awesome interception in the first half alone. Chris says he’s getting a Breeland jersey. He should just modify his Portis; it’s best not to commit.

Dustin Hopkins — I love this man and his touchbacks and 50-plus-yard field goals.

Losers

Kirk Cousins — Quarterbacks of mediocre teams with decent defenses and nominally run-focused offenses aren’t asked to do very much. Just “manage the game,” really, meaning don’t turn it over. But Cousins has four multi-interception games already this season, all Redskins losses. Today’s performance was so poor it won’t be much of a surprise if Jay Gruden, acting president of the Kirk Cousins Fan Club, turns to Colt McCoy next week.

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Pierre Garcon — Only 25 yards, but at least he shook Revis Island to its very core.

Redskins-Jets Predictions

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As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for Week 6. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

Matt Terl: Jets, 24-22

Could I have been more wrong last week? No, I could not have. It is mathematically impossible. Anyhow, this week will be another game where the team looks generally not-bad, but ultimately proves not-good-enough. I wish I believed that this was part of a general trend toward improvement, but for the moment it just feels like mediocrity.

Jack Kogod: Jets, 23-17

Who plays quarterback for the Jets? Eh, probably doesn’t matter.

Chris Mottram: Jets, 16-13

The Jets have a really good defense according to Football Outsiders and their quarterback is Ryan Fitzpatrick according to Google. It’ll be another defensive, low-scoring game, but with DeSean back (hopefully) Good Cousins makes an appearance and the Skins win.

JP Finlay: Jets, 24-16

I thought the Falcons were overrated and Skins would keep it close. I think Jets are underrated and will win by a TD or more.

Andy Peden: Jets, 27-23

At some point the Skins will make a bad QB look good. I say it’s this week (and probably next week too).

Todd Davis: Redskins, 13-12

Why so down, everyone? We’re somewhat competent and the Jets are a mirror image (defense, turnover-prone slinger) with a better record. I’ll take Alf over Ivory though and Skins to win. Also, #GAMEDAY2JMU

Jamie Mottram: Jets, 23-16

No Trent Williams, no dice.

Composite prediction: Jets, 21-17

Redskins-Falcons Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 25-19 loss at Atlanta.

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Winners

The defense — To be without two of their top three corners and still hold Atlanta, which was averaging 34 points per game, to just 19 is damn good, especially after they were so damn bad the past couple of years. Joe Barry may be some sort of wizard.

Jamison Crowder — He was their top receiver on the day (eight catches on eight targets for 87 yards), and that first-down pickup on the third-and-10 screen was so nice. Now has 21 catches on 26 targets over the past three games.

Chris Baker — I love that this dude is emerging this season as a real factor. Two forced fumbles on the game.

Bashaud Breeland — A big INT and return, continues to be a secondary boss.

Trenton Robinson — It’s always startling when a Redskins player makes a nice catch on an interception. We’re also glad he was okay after that missed-FG celebration mishap.

Ryan Kerrigan — Two sacks, pushing his season total to 3.5.

Dustin Hopkins — Touchbacks galore, and now a 52-yarder to tie it at the end of regulation? Yessssss.

Derek Carrier — Congratulations to him on his first career TD.

Tress Way — Four punts averaging a net of 46.8 per, with two of them inside the 20.

Losers

Kirk Cousins — The game-tying drive in regulation was nice, but he was inaccurate throughout, and that pick-six at the end was a killer, even if Ryan Grant fell down on the route. Season to date, statistically speaking, he hasn’t shown improvement over his work of the past three seasons.

The run game — Making Cousins’ ineffectiveness worse is that Atlanta focused on stopping the run, and stop the run they did, holding both Alfred Morris and Matt Jones to less than two yards per carry.

Pierre Garcon — Just three catches on eight targets, with a few borderline drops strewn in.

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The offensive line — Couldn’t run, but did keep Cousins off his ass.

(Pic of Kyle Shanahan and RGIII taken with love from @ScottSmithFOX5.)

Redskins-Falcons Predictions

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As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for Week 5. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

Chris Mottram: Falcons, 34-24

Now that the Skins are technically tied for first and have fans feeling a touch of optimism, they go on a 1-3 stretch through this second quarter of the season — at Atlanta, at Jets, Bucs at home, at New England. We’ll always have that 90-yard touchdown drive, though.

Matt Terl: Falcons, ∞-17

Yes, that’s an infinity symbol. Kyle Shanahan and Leonard Hankerson are forbidden by law from lighting Ashburn on fire. They’ll do this instead.

Andy Peden: Falcons, 33-24

Ryan exposes the D just like Eli did. Cousins plays fine but the Skins just don’t have the firepower on O.

JP Finlay: Falcons, 27-20

See, I just don’t think the Falcons are that good. Specifically their defense. If the Skins really commit to the run this one stays close. Even that Giants game that went so bad would’ve been close if Matt Jones held onto the ball in the end zone.

They could sneak a win, but I definitely think they cover. Especially with the hook.

Jack Kogod: Falcons, 27-13

I … uh … I’ve got nothin’ else to say.

Todd Davis: Falcons, 24-17

Like Finlay, I think the running game can shorten the game enough to keep it close. But if there’s any way of slowing down Julio, it isn’t in this secondary.

Jamie Mottram: Falcons, 27-23

Let’s see, the Falcons have a) the NFL’s best wide receiver, b) a proud Pro Bowler who wants the damn ball and c) an ex-Redskin motivated to show that they were stupid to let him go. Meanwhile, the Redskins secondary consists of Bashaud Breeland and some soggy toast that hasn’t washed down the disposal yet. Advantage: Falcons.

Composite prediction: Falcons, ∞-20