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  • Redskins Rout Cardinals In Season Opener

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    The final scoreline may not have shown it, but the Washington Redskins dominated the Arizona Cardinals in their 24-6 victory in the season opener. Jay Gruden got his first win in a season opener in five tries, and first-year Redskins Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson made impressive debuts for the burgundy and gold. There was money to be made, so hopefully you had a look at this You Wager review before picking an online betting outlet.

    Smith was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason to replace Kirk Cousins, and the 34-year old quarterback came out and shredded the Cardinals defense. The veteran looked poised and in complete control of Gruden’s offense. He had touchdown passes of 13 yards to Jordan Reed and 4 yards to Chris Thompson, and finished 21 of 30 for 255 yards. He looked a lot like the Alex Smith that played for the 49ers.

    Peterson also looked like the young version of himself, racking up 96 yards on 26 carries. He also had 70 yards receiving out of the backfield on 2 receptions, after busting one for 52 yards.Unfortunately he fumbled at the end of the play. Still, Peterson was solid playing against the team he spent last season with.

    28 touches is a busy day for any back, let alone one who is 33-years old, and with the mileage that Peterson has.

    How much mileage? His 96 yards moved him past icon Jim Brown into 10th all-time for rushing yards with 12,372.

    He also had a 1-yard touchdown run.

    “The sky is the limit (for this offense),” Peterson said. “Alex is doing a great job running this offense and for the past couple of weeks I have seen these receivers go out in practice and grind. The offensive line speaks for itself and then you add C.T. (Chris Thompson) in there. That young guy got me going today.”

    Thompson only carried the ball five times, but posted an impressive 65 yards and a ridiculous 13 yards per carry. He also stung the Cards defense for 63 more yards on 6 receptions.

    In total, the Redskins had 182 yards rushing on the day, and managed to bulldoze Arizona for 429 yards.

    That bulldozing came at the hands of the Redskins offensive line – who absolutely dominated the trenches.

    “I thought the way we came out moving the ball, finishing drives in the red zone was big,” Smith said. “It certainly started with running the football. I thought our O-line was dominant.”

    Trent Williams and his gang game out and smashed Arizona in the mouth. Washington had touchdown drives of 80, 73 and 92 yards behind a powerful rushing game and the efficient Smith – who was 17 of 20 for 171 yards and two touchdowns through two quarters. The Redskins held the ball for 23 minutes to the Cards 7. The Redskins were up 21-0, and Arizona booed their team into the dressing room at the half. It was pretty much over at that point, bar a miraculous turnaround.

    That turnaround never came as the Redskins defense continually stymied the Arizona offense. The Cards managed just 213 all-purpose yards, and a paltry 68 yards rushing. Sam Bradford finished with just 153 yards passing, and a dismal quarterback rating of 25.9 in his debut as Cardinals quarterback.

    Arizona avoided a shutout when David Johnson ran in for a 2-yard touchdown with just 5:47 to play, and the game ostensibly out of reach.

    So the Redskins are 1-0 for the first time under Coach Gruden, and looked good doing it. There wasn’t much not to like – their offense was dominant, their defense was staunch, and unlike at times in the past, they never really took their foot off the pedal until the outcome was decided.

    The performance made them the top gainers from the data analysts at FiveThirtyEight with a +37.

    One game does not a season make.

    But it’s nice to not be chasing from the get go.

    Up next is the Colts in the home opener at Fed Ex.


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    Making A Bet On Football In U.S

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    Sports are a popular hobby for many individuals. They are fun to play and fun to watch. When you know about the teams, the individual skills the players bring into the game and the probability of a team winning a game, you have an opportunity to make money. Football betting is particularly popular in the U.S. due to the popularity of the sport and the large audience throughout the country.

    Percentage of Bets

    In the United States, betting on a sport or a team is a common hobby. An estimated 77% of bets placed on a sport are for football. Since football betting is a popular activity, it makes sense to take your time and place your bets with care. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Is Alex Smith The Key To Success?

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    “Alex Smith hands off” by Victor Araiza (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    When the Washington Redskins finally resolved the Kirk Cousins quarterback situation, it was surprising to some, that it ended up with Alex Smith as the starting quarterback of the team. And while it is definitely a positive that the game of chicken between Cousins and the organization is finally over, it remains to be seen wether or not Smith can be the solution for the Redskins.

    Alex Smith has had an interesting career arc. He started as a number one overall pick with the San Francisco 49ers and at first didn’t look like he was up to the pick. As he matured, he bounced back, and became a very able, and competent quarterback with a Niners defense there to support him.

    He was ultimately supplanted by Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, and Smith then landed in Kansas City. There, his relationship with Andy Reid helped turn him into the Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback that the Niners drafted.

    Still, despite winning games and making the Pro Bowl, how “good” Alex Smith still seems to be debated. Smith has thrown for 4,000 yards only once in his career, in an NFL where quarterbacks regularly throw for that kind of yardage. Smith says that he would prefer to stack up wins over stats , which detractors like to say is somehow shirking accountability. Read the rest of this entry »

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    You Will Be Mocked

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    Hope springs eternal.  April 26th, 8:00P.M. EST.  April 27th, 7:00P.M. EST.  April 28th, 12:00P.M. EST.  The words, “With the 13th selection in the 2018 NFL Draft the Washington Redskins select …” have been ringing in our heads for weeks, if not months.  Free agency is ostensibly over and, yet again, the front office failed to fill every need by spending.  Good.  That was and is a failed strategy in the salary cap era.  It is also why the draft is so critical to the attitude of fans.  No matter how poorly the team performed the previous season it is forgotten once the roster turns over.  The discussion is no longer of who did what last season.  Some of the who’s have moved on to other teams.  Some of the who’s have moved from other teams to the Redskins.  The most exciting time of year in the mind of a fan should always be right after the draft when the roster is the best it will be and the possibilities are endless.  No cuts, no injuries, no growing pains, no hyper criticism of preseason performances.  No judgements, no negativity.  We are the 2018 Washington Redskins and we are here to chew bubble gum and kick ass.  Since we’re fresh out of bubble gum …


    The NFL Draft, coincidentally, always takes place within a week of my birthday, which means I personally always hope the Skins will do me a solid by drafting the next perennial all pro at any position.  There’s plenty of time for hindsight later.  While it’s impossible to guess along with the Front Office in terms of how they rank prospects or whether they would elect to fill a need over taking a player not expected to be on the board at #13 it is possible to look at their draft history and make an educated guess.  Certainly there was no expectation Jonathan Allen would be on the board at #17 last season.  He was.  They selected him.  That was undoubtedly based on both his grade being higher than a bottom half 1st round prospect and his filling a position of need.  Who would they have selected had Allen been off the board?  Hard to say.  Let’s hope they weren’t looking at Reuben Foster.  We can be relatively certain Josh Doctson was specifically targeted at #22.  But he also filled a need.  We can be almost positive Brandon Scherff was their highest-ranked player still on the board at #5.  But he also filled a need.  The strategy seems to be drafting the best player available at a position of need.


    This begs a few questions, namely one specifically regarding what happens if either Derwin James  or Minkah Fitzpatrick were still on the board at #13.  James would be a candidate to fill the hybrid role Sua Cravens was supposed to fill.  But the team doesn’t need a safety as much as it needs a NT to help with the run defense.  So, would they elect to choose James over someone like Da’Ron Payne?  Fitzpatrick is strictly a CB at the NFL level.  Does his grade push him past other prospects if he is still available?  To fans it might seem obvious the defense is the area of greatest need.  Maybe the Skins place more value on a top prospect RB like a Derrius Guice.  But do they grade Guice as being that much better a prospect than a Rashaad Penny or a Nick Chubb?


    One thing that hurts every mock draft, and undoubtedly will affect the real one as well, is the lack of a third round selection.  That pick was traded to Kansas City for Alex Smith.  It would be helpful if they could package together some picks and move back up into the 3rd round.  Most of the top DL and RB prospects are gone by the end of the third which means they either necessarily reach on a prospect out of necessity or they miss out on a prospect they had targeted who had no chance of falling to them in the fourth.  The following mock drafts will reflect this problem, because while it’s easy to talk about trading back or trading up it’s a lot harder to find a team willing to trade.  While all mocks are fantasy there is at least some semblance of realism to a mock which involves no trades.


    One other point of contention is that the Redskins rarely discuss prospects or positions they are genuinely discussing behind closed doors.  They rarely sign prospects they have brought in for visits.  In fact, based upon history, we could almost be dismissive of any prospect or position they’ve openly mentioned.  Doug Williams has mentioned QB and RB so many times it seems those are not areas of need. There are those who would argue differently on RB but the offensive line was a shambles last season and the top two backs were injured.  It’s hard to evaluate much of anything under those conditions.  While it’s not out of the question the Redskins would select a RB with the #13 pick it seems unlikely.  They have more backs on the roster than they can keep.  They have positions of need which are unlikely to be filled in free agency.  Maybe Hankins signs and eliminates one need.  Maybe they find a veteran stopgap guard or center after cuts.  There are always linemen looking for jobs.  They would have to value a line prospect considerably to take one over a skill position.  But it is a position of need until it isn’t one.


    After running simulations hundreds of times using a composite draft board and the difficult algorithm, most of the time the choices have been between Vea, Payne, and Guice.  Of the three Payne seems like the choice because he is a three down player who fills a need.  Vea could be a dominant run stopper, definitely a need, but he is graded as a two down player.  Guice is nice but is he that much better than Chubb or Penny, both of whom are likely to be available in the second round?  After Payne the DE prospects fall off a cliff.  Yes, there has been some talk of Settle but if a team needs a DL once Payne is gone Settle could be next.  It seems unlikely he would still be on the board three rounds later.  And this is where the reaching comes in.  If they pass on Payne or Guice in the first, and obviously they have to pass on one since they only have one first round pick, they are pretty much forced to reach on Penny, Chubb, or Settle in the second.  They have got to get that third round pick back.


    Having said that, I’ll be posting several mocks for people to discuss.  I’ll try to explain the strategy behind each one as they are posted.  Some will be strictly BPA.  Others will be strictly need-based.  Here is the first one:

    2018 NFL Mock Draft 1

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    Can Alex Smith Improve the Redskins in 2018?

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    Alex Smith” by DVIDS

    The Washington Redskins have ended the Kirk Cousins era and they have a new one to start in 2018; this one will be under former Kansas City Chief quarterback Alex Smith. Smith may not the best quarterback in the league in anyone’s mind but he is solid enough to build on. Smith was quietly effective for the Chiefs, and there is no reason to think he can’t do the same for the Redskins. The Redskins are hoping what will help Smith is a solid trio of running backs, three players that will not force him to throw any more than he needs to.

    Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine form an exciting trio and, on their day, they are as good as any other running back committee in the league. They have the ability to gain important yards, make themselves available for catches from the backfield and score touchdowns. While all the talk is about Alex Smith and his ability to lead this team, those three players are going to be huge in any success that he has this season. Samaje Perine showed flashes of brilliance last season, showing why the Redskins drafted him in 2017, and even more is expected from him this coming season.

    Samaje Perine” by Keith Allison (CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Thompson WAS brilliant until landing on the injured reserve.

    Kelley never really got rolling in 2017, but he was the horse in 2016. Washington will be hoping to see that “Fat Rob” return in 2018, and likely battle Perine in Training Camp for the right to get every ball not given to Thompson.

    With a fresh start and a new quarterback, it would not be a surprise to see many of the game’s leading experts fancy Washington to do well this season. While some say Smith is a downgrade on Cousins, could Smith be a better fit, and his conservative style actually aid the Redskins? Seeing them tipped up to win more games than they lose this coming season could be a possibility. With Champion Bets you can get all the latest NFL tips from their experts, and see if they side with the Washington Redskins in 2018.

    The Redskins obviously can’t just run the ball though. When Smith does throw the ball, he has a few targets that will help him out. Thompson is electric out of the backfield, and Tight end Jordan Reed is one of the game’s very best when he is healthy. Reed only played six games in 2017, and Redskins fans know all too well that that’s a norm, not an exception, but when playing, there’s no doubt that he is a tremendous asset. Smith also has wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson to aim for, who both have ability but were disappointing in 2017. The upcoming draft could still provide a piece of the puzzle too.

    The main focus of the Redskins game in 2018 is expected to be running with the ball. That will take the pressure off Alex Smith in his first year with the team, and also play to his strengths a little. There is no doubting that the trifecta of running backs on the team could be enough to carry the offense, and with a little help from Smith, the Redskins could improve upon a disappointing 2017 season.

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    Feeling A Draft

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    Let’s cut the crap.  I’m sick of this team.  If you’re being intellectually honest you’re sick of this team, too.  For much of the last twenty-five seasons the Washington Redskins have been a comedy of errors, which, while technically still a comedy, has left none of us laughing.  I’d like to pen something a bit more positive here about how the 2018 NFL Draft is going to be the one that rights the ship, about how the front office has finally learned from experience, about how Bruce Allen is an asset rather than a liability, about how Daniel Snyder isn’t the devil incarnate (OK, that may be a bridge too far).  All I have to draw on is my experience with this franchise, which tells me that for every one positive there will be two negatives. To be clear, my enthusiasm for this team is long gone.  If it reads that way now you know why.  Nothing about my utter distaste for the systematic dismantling of a one-proud franchise has been left to the imagination.  Having said that, there are a few thing the 2018 Washington Redskins could do to make me place more interest in what they’re doing than in, for example, watching flies fuck.


    The positions at which the Redskins do not need an upgrade can be counted on one hand.  The few free agents in whom they may express an interest will likely be out of their price range.  The 2018 NFL salary cap has been set at $177.2 Million.  This leaves the team with $47.727 million to spend as of now.  This does not include the Alex Smith contract, so the actual number is closer to $27 million.  One plus is the team has only $501k in dead cap.  Immediate impact players like a Bennie Logan or a Dontari Poe would cut heavily into the cap space at $8.0 million or thereabouts per season, so consider that unlikely.  If any needs are addressed in free agency it will be more likely to be someone like T.J. Ward, whose cap figure was only $4.625 million and who fills a position not easily filled in the draft.  If Allen Robinson becomes available the team will undoubtedly look in his direction but any bidding war would probably cause Bruce Allen to fold his hand.  Allen is not exactly known for calling the bluffs of other general managers.  The free agency market is thin on talent and even thinner on young talent.  This means they should be looking at the best player on the board regardless of position.


    Who are the best players?  It’s subjective but it’s not subjective.  If every other team in the league has the same top ten players and you have some player not in most team’s top twenty then you’re probably wrong.  At that level no one is smarter than everyone else.  A lot of it comes down to luck.  Last season, Jonathon Allen was not expected to still be on the board at #17.  There’s a good chance someone considered a top ten prospect will slip to #13 in the 2018 NFL Draft.  There are prospects who will no way in hell be on the board at #13 like Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, Bradley Chubb, and Minkah Fitzpatrick.  Good thing none of them play a position of need.  (Someone out there won’t realize this is sarcasm.)  Before anyone brings it up, the Redskins are not trading the #13 pick back because even Bruce Allen isn’t that stupid.  Right?  They’re certainly not trading up.  The RGIII fiasco has made the front office gun shy on that idea.


    There are three players, who depending upon how the draft shakes out, could be on the Redskins radar  at #13.  If Vita Vea is on the board at #13 you draft him, anyone else on the board be damned.  For a team that insisted on switching to a 3-4 defense they have done jack  shit about filling the most important position in a 3-4 defense.  That needs to change.  I’d talk about the rushing defense here but there wasn’t one.  Along that same line, if Vea is off the board it is likely that either Da’Ron Payne or Tremaine Edwards will be on the board.  With any one of these three prospects the team can’t go wrong.  Vea is an immediate starter.  Payne and Edwards are freakish athletes for their positions.


    I’m sure someone will read this and be thinking the team should address another position first but realistically there is only one top prospect at several positions of need.  By “top prospect” I mean a player considered to be a top ten pick by one or more “experts.”  There is one running back.  There is one free safety.  There is one offensive guard.  There is one linebacker.  There is one wide receiver.  There are one or perhaps two cornerbacks.


    The pundits can talk all they like about how the NFL is passing league but what they don’t talk enough about is how the game is still won in the trenches.  The more opposing teams can be made one-dimensional the easier it is to win games.  The 2017 Washington Redskins were a case-in-point example.  Hopefully, they learn from their own ineptitude.

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    How Do the Redskins Bounce Back Next Season?

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    There’s no sugar coating it: a 7-9 on season and a second consecutive failure to make the playoffs is not good enough for the Redskins faithful. Add to that, the final effort of the campaign – a tame 18-10 loss to the woeful Giants – was particularly disappointing. Yes, the season was over, but a good performance in that game would have been a much better way to sign off. 

    If you were looking for mitigating factors, you could point to the injuries. Perhaps the biggest of them all was in the game against New Orleans when Chris Thompson broke his leg in the third quarter. With Thompson in the team, the Redskins averaged 359.4 yards and 23.1 points per game. Without him, those figures dropped to 267.5 and 17.3 respectively. Sure, you can’t pin the whole season on one injury, but if the Redskins were going to pick one player they could least afford to do without, it would have been Thompson.


    Beside Thompson, the injury count was horrific. In fact, the squad ended the season with 20 players on the injury reserve list. Other notable injury problems were the nagging complaints that limited the effectiveness of Trent Williams and Jordan Reed, and the loss of Jonathan Allen after week five, which seriously weakened the defensive line, while the fact that the Redskins ended up using more than 26 different offensive-line combinations tells its own story.


    Still, it wasn’t all about the injuries. The Redskins ended up with a middle-of-the-road record, and that’s how they played. They went 1-5 against division winners but were 5-1 against teams that had a losing record going into the final week. They could have won some key road games – at New Orleans and Kansas – but they blew both of them, and key players made mistakes at key times – not least quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw three interceptions.


    Finally, defense continued to be a huge problem. The Redskins have ranked 17th or lower in points allowed for nine consecutive seasons now, and 16th or worse in yards allowed per game for the last six years. No matter how powerful your offense, if you’re giving up that much territory on defense, it’s next to impossible for the team to progress.


    Despite the obvious need for a shake-up, Cousins’ departure, announced earlier this month, was something of a surprise, as was the identity of his replacement, not least because Alex Smith isn’t that much different, and not the kind of player considered able to carry an offense.


    Certainly, the betting markets have not been impressed by the move. The Redskins remain low down in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl odds, but while the latter may prove beyond them, it’s actually not impossible to imagine things coming together for an inexperienced group. The focus on young talent will bear fruit at some point, and they could be a decent outside bet for the Division title, assuming they stay injury free.


    For one thing, while Smith is not an exciting replacement for Cousins, he could be a good fit.

    He’s more consistent, for one thing, and consistency will give the offense a little more confidence next time around. He’s a good fit with the passing game that Jay Gruden has developed, has more mobility than Cousins, throws fewer interceptions, and is adept at changing the launch angle on his throws. He could turn out to be a positive acquisition.


    By resolving the quarterback issue at this relatively early stage, the Redskins are now free to address the squad overhaul that will be needed to get this group ready for next season.


    The focus on developing young talent is the key to future success in the long term, but the team clearly needs strengthening in some areas, most notably at cornerback, having lost Kendal Fuller, one of their top three corners in the Smith-Cousins deal, and also at wide receiver, where they look in need of a strong and reliable playmaker while Terrelle Pryor develops his skills. In addition, while the defensive line improved in terms of yards allowed last season, they were still below average and a top defensive lineman has to be a priority.


    If they can address those issues and add another dynamic, game-changing running back to compliment Thompson, and if they can stay clear of the injury problems that blighted the 2017 campaign, then next season’s projected steady improvement could be upgraded into something altogether more spectacular.

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    Patriots, Eagles, and Prop Bets: Your Super Bowl Starts Now

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    This weekend marks the pinnacle of the 2017 NFL season with the playing of the 52nd Super Bowl in Minnesota. It feels like forever ago back on January 21st when the Conference Championships were decided, putting the wheels in motion for one of the better Super Bowl matchups in recent memory. Predictably the Patriots make yet another appearance at the show after rolling through the AFC playoff bracket, albeit with a few close calls. Meanwhile in the NFC, Nick Foles picked up the pieces after the Eagles starting QB Carson Wentz goes down, and Foles has people thinking twice about his potential as a starter, or Super Bowl champion for that matter.

    While most of the action will be on the field, the game isn’t the only thing this Sunday to look forward to. Special prop betting options have become a staple of Super Bowl Sunday for years now, with the list of wagers increasing annually. Some sites offering up hundreds all on their own, check Betting sites for various prop bets on Super Bowl 52. While most of the public will be banking on the Patriots to come through as favorites, let’s take a gander at some other things worth betting on.

    Pink’s national anthem performance is one of the primary focuses of many entertainment props on the menu this weekend. Length of the song is a popular option, with the over/under set at two minutes, favoring the over. This is for good reason, four of the last five performances have gone longer than 2 minutes because who wants to rush through their time to shine. How about predicting her hair color? Maybe you have in in with her stylist and can parlay that into a few extra greenbacks.

    Interestingly Pink is only the 2nd favorite with white/blonde taking the lead on the prop odds board. Finally, one of the more interesting bets can be made on whether or not Pink says the word “Eagles” at any point before, during or after her rendition. Interesting why? Glad you asked. Pink, as it turns out, is a massive eagles fan and might want to flash her colors. BTW green hair pays out a hefty 5/1.

    Anthem betting is perhaps secondly only to halftime betting when it comes to prop options. With Justin TImberlake’s much anticipated performance, there is much to predict here. Shoe color you ask? Oh we got that. White is favored with yellow bringing up the rear as the wild card with long odds. Might he wear a hat? Sunglasses perhaps? This is really starting to sound like a game of guess who, but with money involved. Predictably the most conversational of these options will be who joins JT on stage as a special guest? Favored choices include T.I. & Jay-Z, while longshots bring ‘NSYNC and Janet Jackson into the fold. It’s slightly surprising that Jackson is predicted to have no chance in hell of making a tongue in cheek appearance, so much for the NFL having a light side. It seems inevitable that JT will be covering a Prince song at some point but don’t bank on Purple Rain. Prince killed it so hard at Super Bowl XLI that even Timberlake wouldn’t stand a chance of pulling it off, hell it was even raining for god’s sake!

    Be sure to check out your favorite betting resource for even more prop bets being offered up. With choices in the thousands, it would be hard to not find something worth dropping a dime on. Whatever you decide to wager on this Super Bowl Sunday it’s best to keep one important thing in mind. Buy three times the amount of food & alcohol you need for your Super Bowl party and be sure to invest in a good sturdy plunger.

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    Super Bowl Quiz – Which Team Should You Be Cheering For?

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    The Super Bowl is obviously a massive occasion for most football lovers – even if the Redskins aren’t playing. So here’s a cool little quiz to help you see who you should be cheering for, and betting online at Paddy Power to win. Complete the quiz below and find out who your best option is.

    If the script does not offer the quiz above, then you can click here to take the quiz.

    And if the quiz doesn’t predict that you should be cheering for the New England Patriots, then it’s either broken, or you should trade in your burgundy and gold for some green.


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    Redskins Looking For Redemption Sunday Against The Cardinals

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    There isn’t a playoff position on the line for the Redskins; nor for the Cardinals. For all intents and purposes, this is a meaningless NFL football game. Bookmakers still have the Redskins betting odds this week as four point favorites, but it remains to be seen if the “home field” advantage will amount to much.

    To be accurate, the Cardinals do technically have a mathematical chance of making the playoffs, but Venus has to align with Mars, while the Sun eclipses both. Arizona are 6-7 and while there are still scenarios that can be laid out that see them make the playoffs, they aren’t likely to happen. They are two full games back, with four to go, and there are six teams ahead of them vying for those last two Wild Card berths. Not going to happen.

    The Redskins are already out and this week started to shut some things down. Jordan Reed was finally put on the injured reserve after six consecutive weeks on the inactive list. Conventional wisdom says that he will still be a Redskin in 2018, but that remains to be seen. As incredibly talented a player as the tight end obviously is, he spends as much time on the inactive list or injured reserve, as he does on the field. Read the rest of this entry »

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