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Washington led this game 17-0 into the 2nd-quarter and seemed to have everything well in hand. Then the 49ers pulled Brian Hoyer for rookie C.J. Beathard and between that small spark and a series of Redskins mishaps…suddenly, at the end of three quarters it was 17-17. The Redskins got their act back together and put 9 more points on the board to extend the lead to 26-17 but then the 49ers scored at the two-minute warning to make it interesting…Washington holding on for a 26-24 victory.
I wouldn’t jump on the Redskins for faltering/only winning by two as a 10+ point favorite – it was another game, another M.A.S.H. unit event. I feel like the Redskins have either the worst luck or the worst conditioning and medical personnel because every other play the Redskins have to stop play and help someone else off the field.
So many injuries for the Redskins…they’re on the verge of letting a good-great season slip right thru their fingers due to the injuries. At full strength, I’d argue Washington is in the same zip code as Dallas as the top team in the NFC East…one of the top teams in the NFC but they are taking on WAY too many injuries. If they lose to Philly Monday night their season is in a lot of trouble. They will be 3 games behind the Eagles and having lost to Philly twice already.
Best to assess the Redskins 2017 after Week 7…the outcome is going to mean everything. Either Washington makes a serious run at this NFC East title at 4-2 heading Dallas Week 8, a game out of first…or they are 3-3 and fighting for their lives versus (likely) 3-3 Dallas. They then go AT Seattle and then face Minnesota followed by at New Orleans. It’s a tough stretch, the Redskins need this Week 7 Philly game to stay afloat going into it.
I’m looking at the rest of the schedule for the 49ers…I don’t see a win. Week 10 hosting the Giants might be their best shot but they’ll likely be underdogs there too. They are trying/OK with losing as they attempt to secure Sam Darnold…and then the joke is on them, but that’s a discussion for 2018 at College Football Metrics. See our Darnold pre-report from this 2017 CFM season…not good.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, the 49ers have made the switch to C.J. Beathard (19-36 for 245 yards, 1 TD/1 INT). It’s the right call…give the kid a chance. He’ll be a backup in this league and this gets him ready as needed in the future.
Beathard is not terrible. He’s actually pretty savvy at times. He doesn’t get rattled easily and has nice pocket mechanics – he just looks like a legit NFL QB at a glance. I question his general QB ability. He’s a classic ‘C-‘ QB. Well-groomed. Experienced. Studies film, first-in-first-out, yadda-yadda. If the pocket is clean and the planets align he’ll do fine. When things get tight and the opponent is upper-end…C.J. is going to buckle. He just isn’t that great a player, but serviceable. Not bad. Not a mess. Not arrogant. Will carry out the game plan as asked…just not a ‘playmaker’. He was raised in a system at Iowa to be a game manager. His experience is taking direction…not making things happen.
He did alright in his debut…considering the 49ers were down a bunch and passing a bunch to get back into it.
Beathard’s like…he’s like…hmmm…Josh McCown with less experience, maybe? Ryan Fitzpatrick without the foot speed?
-- Who will Beathard throw to? You have to worry that Pierre Garcon’s (5-55-0/12) targets and output take a dip. I don’t think CJB will force it to Garcon.
When Beathard came into this game he seemed to have some comfort and eyes for his ex-college teammate George Kittle (4-46-0/8)…which makes sense. Kittle dropped a couple of CJB’s passes and did have a catch, landing a yard or so shy of getting score – Kittle has been sniffing several TDs the past couple of weeks.
It might be another nudge for Kittle ahead…the connection between these guys.
2015 Iowa stats…
61.6%, 200.6 yards passing, 1.2 TDs/0.35 INTs per game = Beathard
1.4 rec., 20.7 rec. yards, 0.43 TDs per game = Kittle
*Kittle led the team with 6 TD catches in 2015…35% of Beathard’s TDs.
2016 Iowa stats…
56.5%, 148.4 yards, 1.31 TDs/0.76 INTs per game = Beathard
1.7 rec., 24.2 yards, 0.31 TDs per game = Kittle
*Kittle tied for the team lead with 4 TD catches in 2016…23.5% of Beathard’s TD passes.
-- Chris Thompson (16-33-0, 4-105-0/5) started this game at RB.
Rob Kelley was out.
Samaje Perine (9-23-0, 3-24-1/3) was the only real ‘work horse’ RB available to the team, and Jay Gruden gave the start to Chris Thompson. Did Thompson need that nod? Or did the rookie Perine need a little boost of confidence?
How can I not see what’s constantly right in front of my face – Jay Gruden couldn’t give two ****’s about Perine.
Here’s what I know, in this game of ‘Clue’
…The Redskins have gone through three-down/power RBs like disposable diapers under Jay Gruden (Matt Jones, Alfred Morris, Roy Helu, among other less notables).
…None of the power RBs have thrived under Gruden, aside from a game or two. Morris had a nice 2014, 1,000+ yards but was then ditched the following season. There is NEVER any consistency or marriage to one guy.
…Gruden has undermined the confidence of, and dismissed, Perine for most of the preseason and regular season.
…When Perine enters a game it’s a bunch of slam into a brick wall runs for 0-3 yards.
I wish Gruden liked Perine half as much as Sean Payton has jammed his head up Alvin Kamara’s ass. But, reality is reality – Gruden is somewhere between not caring or doesn’t want Perine as a lead back. When Jordan Howard got to this ‘takeover’ point last year…he became ‘the guy’. Perine isn’t even close.
I’m going to try to not complain about it for the next three seasons…or three weeks. I thought this was a Jordan Howard-esque opportunity in general and hoped it might be in Weeks 4-5-6, and Gruden isn’t going there. He’s going Chris Thompson. Perine is useful, had a nice TD catch here…he’s not likely going to be my Jordan Howard of 2017. And that crushes my heart and makes me look stupid because I predicted it would be.
No time to wallow or wish it wasn’t. It is what it is and we react. If Rob Kelley is out again this week – Perine is an RB3 with hope. The moment Kelley can play – goodbye Perine until the next Kelley injury, and then only partial work.
Next season, Washington will draft another RB or continue to split between all existing three. Any coach that sees Rob Kelley as answer – you cannot trust their judgment on RBs. Gruden deserves what’s going to happen a la McAdoo-Paul Perkins. Wasted touches, wasted opportunity.
Mass injury may get Perine that chance to be ‘the guy’, but not until then.
-- I wouldn’t be shocked if the 49ers traded Carlos Hyde (13-28-2, 5-47-0/6) to Washington – it makes a ton of sense. I wouldn’t be surprised if the trade wasn’t Hyde for Perine. The 49ers should take that in a heartbeat and then we could get re-excited about Perine.
Hyde is getting traded…I would almost guarantee it. Look at the contenders TODAY and consider the needs…it’s like Washington or Dallas at the top…or maybe Baltimore (if they hang in it) or Detroit.
Washington and Dallas make the most sense. We should know in a week or two.
-- Samaje Perine is dying in Washington and has apparently infected Terrelle Pryor (3-23-0/5) and Jordan Reed (4-37-0/5)…because neither of them have mattered a whit for fantasy in 2017. What’s working for Washington? It’s a Chris Thompson-centric offense co-starring Ryan Grant and TD catches only Josh Doctson.
I think Reed may turn it around/up but Pryor is D.O.A.
-- Kirk Cousins (25-37 for 330 yards, 2 TD/1 INT) has had big games against SF and OAK, and not very good games against PHI, LAR, KC.
Cousins is becoming the guy that rolls it up on bad teams and is mediocre against good teams. The schedule is mostly tough the rest of 2017. The next 5 games are against real playoff hopefuls this year. I think Cousins might float away in fringe QB1/more QB2 land ahead.
-- I am a big fan of Redskins 3rd-year DB Quinton Dunbar (8 tackles, 2 PDs) – the 6’2”/197 WR-to-CB convert filling in due to DB injuries…I think the Redskins found/developed a keeper there. If Bashaud Breeland is out for a while – Dunbar may matter for IDP ahead.