Is competition good for RG3?
Here is how the Redskins stand after 14 games (after Week 15 of the NFL season):
Record: 3-11, fourth place in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-4
vs. NFC: 1-9
vs. AFC: 2-2
Opposition cumulative record (all games played): 101-93-2 (.520 winning %)
Opposition cumulative—wins: 19-23 (.452)
Opposition cumulative—losses: 82-70-2 (.539)
Record of teams remaining on schedule: 12-16 (.429)
Offense (yards/game): 9
Defense (yards/game): 20
Passer rating offense: 22
Opp passer rating: 30
Yards/rush attempt: 2
Opp. yards/rush attempt: 13
DVOA (Football Outsiders): 30
Power ranking (ESPN): 31
Offensive MVP: Pierre Garçon was there all year for Robert Griffin III and on Sunday he was there for Kirk Cousins. He was targeted 10 times and he caught seven passes for 129 yards and a 53-yard touchdown pass. Garçon now needs 11 catches in the last two games to take the team record receptions in a season away from Art Monk (106 in 1984).
Defensive MVP: For the first time since his rookie 2009 season Brian Orakpo has hit the elusive double digit sack total. He now has 10 after getting 1.5 in Atlanta. Is it because he is finally feeling confident after the two pectoral muscle injuries? Is it a contract push?
[Related: Young tweaks hamstring, status unclear]
Top three storylines:
Uncertainty abounds—Mike Shanahan promised us that some new revelation would come out every day and he has been dead on with that prediction. There is not reason to think that the cycle will stop.
A QB controversy in ’14?—Even though Shanahan declared that Griffin is the team’s starting quarterback going forward, Cousins played well enough to potentially create some competition for him. That is, if Cousins in still around. If he continues to play well the Redskins may determine that the best thing to do is trade him to reduce some of the sting of not having their first-round pick.
Turnover city—It was unrealistic to think that the Redskins would come near their 2012 total of 14 giveaways. But instead of regressing to the mean they have become a turnover machine. They have 29 turnovers and counting this year, tied for second-worst in the NFL.
[Related: Redskins snap counts vs. Falcons]
Final two games
Sunday vs. Cowboys (7-6)—This is the Redskins’ chance to play spoiler with the Cowboys coming needing a win to ensure that their season finale against the Eagles is for the NFC East title. But will the game again be overshadowed by some pregame bombshell dropped on one of the pregame shows?
Dec 29 @ Giants (5-9)--When the schedule was written, this had a chance to be a clash for the division title. But now it will simply be an attempt by both teams to have a good ending a sour season.