March 18, 2019

Washington Redskins: Offense, not Cousins, shoots themselves in the foot too many times to stay competitive with Patriots

Coming of the biggest comeback in franchise history and a much needed bye to get healthier, the Washington Redskins had the toughest task they would face this season. Playing the defending champion New England Patriots in Foxborough, MA. Everyone knew it would not be easy, but Washington was more primed for an upset this year relative to their atrocious performance against worse teams last year. Unfortunately, the Redskins are no where close to contend against good teams when they are shooting themselves in the foot. With three turnovers and unofficially seven drops, the defense was on the field way too much to keep things competitive. Washington fell 27-10 and to 3-5 on the season.

For just the second time all year, the Redskins won the opening coin toss and decided to give the ball to Tom Brady to start the game. Although you never want to give the ball to Brady, he made them pay early. After Dion Lewis gained 25 yards on three rushes, two of which were helped by the continued poor play by Perry Riley Jr., Brady went to work in Redskins territory. Lewis would gift Washington with a dropped touchdown, but Brady would make up for the mistake by converting on fourth-and-2 to Julian Edelman. Following a third down conversion by the Patriots, Brady would get the ball to Edelman again for a touchdown.

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Washington Redskins: Reversing the script in the third quarter before a game-winning touchdown drive from Captain Kirk to beat the Bucs

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(Photo by: SportsCenter)

WASHINGTON REDSKINS COMPLETE BIGGEST COMEBACK IN FRANCHISE HISTORY AFTER GOING DOWN 24-0

In a “code red” game before the midseason bye week, the Washington Redskins were trying to gain “confidence” going into the bye week according to Kirk Cousins. In five of six games this season, the Redskins have “won” the first half only to see their demise in the second. Today the Redskins could barely stay competitive in the first half as the Buccaneers went up 24-0 just midway through the second quarter. All looked bleak as FedEx Field emptied quickly but in a continued script reversal, the Redskins were the better team in the third quarter. Not only did the Redskins get within a field goal in the third, but the defense gave the offense a chance at the end of the game where Captain Kirk delivered an 11-play 80 yard, game-winning touchdown drive to give Washington a 31-30 victory.

For the sixth time this season, the Washington Redskins lost the opening coin toss and opponents have consistently deferred until the second half. That to me is an underrated reason why the Redskins have struggled in the third quarter; however, today the struggle started from the opening kickoff. After immediately getting behind on the down and distance with a negative play on the opening running play, the Redskins went three and out. Tampa Bay also had just a three play drive, but there’s was a variety of quick strike offense. On the second play of the drive, Doug Martin gashed the Washington defense for a 23 yard gainer. One play later, Jameis Winston threw deep to Mike Evans who simply out ran veteran corner Will Blackmon on the route and caught a 40 yard touchdown.

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Washington Redskins: Week 7 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins had SIX starters missing during last Sunday’s game against the Jets and that certainly did not help in the third quarter meltdown. Those six do not even include the additional three who have landed themselves on injured reserve. It has been a body bag kind of year for the Redskins who are hoping they can get some reinforcements back before heading into the bye week.

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Washington Redskins: Week Four Monday Recap after Comeback Win against Eagles

After a great divisional win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins had a busy Monday while dealing with roster moves, injuries, and evaluating yesterday’s play.

On the game winning 90-yard touchdown drive, Gruden said he saw “poise and confidence” out of Kirk Cousins. Something that Robert Griffin III struggled with, getting through his progressions, is what Gruden credited Cousins with doing yesterday. Gruden believes that the “confidence that he’s starting to get” is leading to improved performances. Gruden also credited the offensive line and specifically now starting left guard Spencer Long for playing “great”, which can only help Cousins as he continues to develop.

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Washington Redskins: When it comes to football, Skins choke against Dolphins

Today marked the first time the Washington Redskins were able to let their work on the field talk for them in an effort to get out from under the past few weeks of constant drama. All the players knew that they had to block out the noise and hope they could put everything behind them with a win. Unfortunately, after cruising early the Redskins were unable to finish off the Miami Dolphins and fell 17-10.

As surprising as it might be, the Redskins actually dominated Miami for the first 28 minutes of this game. Kirk Cousins was helped out early with 35 yards from Alfred Morris on the team’s first drive where they marched down the field on 12 plays to get the early 3-0 lead. After a three-and-out from the defense, Cousins orchestrated another drive double-digit play drive but was rewarded with a missed field goal. The Redskins hoped that missed opportunities would not haunt them later in the game.

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Washington Redskins: Week 1 Thursday Press Conference Wrap Up

Just three days away from the start of the Washington Redskins regular season, head coach Jay Gruden again talked to the media following a session by new defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

The team is still waiting to receive a written report from the league’s neurologist regarding Robert Griffin III‘s concussion that he sustained three weeks ago. Gruden says that he has “no idea” why it has taken this long and again wants all to know that this is in no way should reflect poorly on the Redskins as it is something out of their control. Because Griffin currently cannot participate in a regular season game due to the possibility of contact, Colt McCoy remains the backup quarterback to Kirk Cousins, however Gruden has kept the door open that Griffin could actually be the backup on Sunday if cleared.

If Griffin is made inactive Week 1, it could be that he has still not been cleared and/or the coaching staff believes McCoy has “beat out” the former rookie of the year. The difference between the two may not be known unless officially announced beforehand. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Kirk Cousins Officially Named Starting QB for Week 1 and Beyond

ROBERT GRIFFIN III ERA COMING TO CLOSE, KIRK COUSINS NAMED STARTER AGAINST DOLPHINS

Since being named the starter early in the offseason, drama surrounding Robert Griffin III has been mounting after two unimpressive preseason starts to start the year. After sustaining a concussion in the preseason home opener against the Lions, it seems that the Washington Redskins, mainly general manager Scot McCloughan and head coach Jay Gruden, are ready to move on in order to “change the culture”.

Griffin was unacceptably on poor behavior during his Thursday press conference last week when he said “I just work here” while thinking he would make the start in the dress rehearsal the following Saturday versus the Ravens. Little did he know that not only was did the neurologist go back on his verbal diagnosis, but today Gruden told the media that Kirk Cousins would have seen first team reps against Baltimore even if Griffin was cleared for action. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Analysis of Preseason Dress Rehearsal Win over Ravens

We could write pages of the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins. Was Robert Griffin III benched? Does he and did he ever have a concussion? Who will start behind center Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins? It is too early to tell all of that regardless of the several reports saying one thing or another.

All we know for sure is what we can see on the field when former Michigan State Spartan, Kirk Cousins received the opportunity of his career to play with the first unit offense in the dress rehearsal for the regular season. What did he do with that opportunity? Lets discuss that along with the rest of important things learned about the Redskins. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Updated Unofficial Depth Chart prior to Preseason Bout with Ravens

The Washington Redskins have made some changes to their unofficial depth chart heading into the “dress rehearsal” preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. You can see the full depth chart below as the cuts to the 53 man roster have to be finalized by September 5th. In bold we have denoted those who are locks to make the roster, while those names that are italicized are individuals who we expect to round out the 53 man roster.

With 46 locks, we predict that Rashad Ross (WR6), Ty Nsekhe (RT2), Je’Ron Hamm (TE3), Kedric Golston (DE4), Frank Kearse (DE5), Houston Bates (OLB5), Martrell Spaight (MLB4), and Justin Rodgers (CB5*) to be on the 53 man roster starting week 1. Although there are 8 players listed to possible make the team leading to 53 man players, CB Baushad Breeland will not count towards the Week 1 53 man roster while serving his one game suspension. It is possible that Justin Rodgers could be gone come Week 2 when Breeland returns unless he can convince the coaching staff to keep him on the roster at the expense of someone else.

Need to Know Changes from Previous Depth Chart:

  • With the season ending injuries to Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen, the Washington Redskins acquired TE Derek Carrier from the San Francisco 49ers for a 5th round draft pick in 2016. Je’Ron Hamm currently seems to be slightly ahead of Chase Dixon and Devin Mahina in the competition for the third tight end roster spot. Ernst Brun and D.J. Williams who were recently signed seem to be long shots to make the team.
  • After the Redskins lost another special teams standout in Adam Hayward, it was Terrance Plummer and not 5th round draft pick Martrell Spaight given the MLB4 spot on the depth chart. Though it is still expected for Spaight to make the team, fully expect that all borderline competitions to possible be determined by the impact said individuals can make on special teams.
  • Chris Thompson, who is expected to make the team as the third string running back, has now leapfrogged Andre Roberts into the starting kickoff return role. There have been only one chance for the Redskins to return a kickoff during the preseason due to touchbacks, so this position is not set in stone.

Surprising Non-Changes to Depth Chart:

  • After being absolutely destroyed on multiple occasions when starting at left tackle for an injured Trent Williams, inconsistent lineman Willie Smith is still listed as backing up the Silverback. Tom Compton has continued to be listed as the third string right tackle, but his newly found role as a blocking tight end makes us consider him a lock to make the roster.
  • Houston Bates has not made up any ground on Jackson Jeffcoat according to the new depth chart, but it is possible that the flashy pass rusher is making a case for a roster spot with three sacks in the first two preseason games. With the injury to Hayward, a linebacker spot opens up for the taking. Expect Bates to be required to also make a difference on special teams in order to make the team.
  • Similarly to Bates, talented OLB Junior Galette has still been listed as the third string WLB although he could possibly start Week 1 against the Dolphins barring a lack of chemistry with the team in his recent arrival and/or a possible suspension for off the field issues.

Do not take any of these rankings too seriously as much can still change up to and beyond the start of the regular season. District Sports Page will keep you updated on the latest changes in position battles that could come down to the wire.

Position First String Second String Third String Other
WR1 DeSean Jackson Ryan Grant Jamison Crowder Rashad Ross
LT Trent Williams Willie Smith Takoby Cofield
LG Shawn Lauvao Arie Kouandjio Bryce Quigley
C Kory Lichtensteiger Josh LeRibeus Austin Reiter
RG Brandon Scherff Spencer Long Tyler Larsen
RT Morgan Moses Ty Nsekhe Tom Compton
TE Jordan Reed Derek Carrier Je’Ron Hamm Chase Dixon, Devin Mahina
WR2 Pierre Garçon Andre Roberts Evan Spencer Colin Lockett, Tony Jones, Reggie Bell
QB Robert Griffin III Kirk Cousins Colt McCoy
FB Darrel Young Jordan Campbell
RB Alfred Morris Matt Jones Chris Thompson Trey Williams, Mack Brown
LDE Stephen Paea Kedric Golston Corey Crawford
NT Terrance Knighton Chris Baker Jerrell Powe Travian Robertson
RDE Jason Hatcher Ricky Jean Francois Frank Kearse Robert Thomas
SLB Trent Murphy Jackson Jeffcoat Houston Bates Dyshawn Davis
MLB Keenan Robinson Will Compton Martrell Spaight
MLB Perry Riley Jr. Terrance Plummer Alonzo Highsmith
WLB Ryan Kerrigan Preston Smith Junior Galette Sage Harold
CB DeAngelo Hall Bashaud Breeland Justin Rogers Trey Wolfe, Qunton Dunbar
CB Chris Culliver David Amerson Deshazor Everett Tajh Hasson, Bryan McCann, DreQuan Hoseky
SS Duke Ihenacho Jeron Johnson Akeem Davis DaMon Cromartie-Smith
FS Dashon Goldson Trenton Robinson Kyshoen Jarrett
P Tress Way
K Kai Forbath Ty Long
H Tress Way
LS Nick Sundberg
KR Chris Thompson Andre Roberts Jamison Crowder
PR Andre Roberts Jamison Crowder Rashad Ross

Washington Redskins: Preseason Week 2 vs. Lions What to Watch For

If you think you can make generalizations about the Washington Redskins outlook for the regular season from last weeks play, you are probably wrong. The sample size is simply too small. The starters played roughly a quarter and were not 100% healthy. Robert Griffin III only threw the ball a grand total of eight times, and saying that Kirk Cousins‘s stellar play against backups and soon to be unemployed players is worthy of a starting job is preposterous.

Unfortunately we are not going to see too much more from the starters this week when they host the Lions either. Head coach Jay Gruden said the first units will likely go at least a quarter and possibly a little beyond that based on how many snaps each side gets. In short, it will be tough to evaluate the play of the starters again. Starting with the third preseason game against the Ravens, where the starters could play upwards of three quarters, we might be able to make small generalizations.

But just because there is a limited sample size to evaluate from the starters from does not mean that the second preseason game is not worth watching. Like last week, it will be a great opportunity for those further down the depth chart to showcase why they think they should be on the 53 man roster.

  • Colt McCoy orchestrating the backup offense. With all the talk that Cousins should be the starter over RG3 last week, many forgot that there is currently an open competition for the backup quarterback spot. This week it will be McCoy’s chance to light it up against backups after taking a game managing role last week to close out the win over the Browns. Cousins seems to have put himself ahead in the race and a bad showing by the Texas product could seal his fate as the third string QB.
  • The running attack as the power run scheme of Bill Callahan continues to develop. Last week we saw Alfred Morris and Matt Jones combine for three explosive runs. We saw the physicality level increase and we shall watch for more of the same. It will not show in preseason, but during the regular season that will result in the wearing down of the defensive line. We should also look for Chris Thompson to continue providing a change of pace option for the Redskins in his search to secure his third string running back spot after Silas Redd tore his ACL/MCL last week. NOTE: Redd did clear waivers and was placed on the Redskins injured reserve list joining the likes of Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen.
  • The right side of the offensive line with the combination of Brandon Scherff at guard and Morgan Moses at tackle. Last week the young duo was never put in too many tough positions and held their own against a talented Browns front seven. The more time they get together the more comfortable they should become. This week and the rest of preseason will be used to continue their development in hopes of producing an upgrade from last year.
  • Although there a handful of injuries to notable defenders for the Redskins, the starters are more or less penciled in. It will be nice to see a couple of three and outs with a turnover from the improved unit, but they will have their hands full with Calvin Johnson. It will be interesting to watch who takes on the assignment of the 6′ 5” Megatron as Chris Culliver is more of a slot corner, while DeAngelo Hall might not be able to go with a toe injury. From the front seven, the degree of pressure and effectiveness in stopping the run will be worth observing.
  • The dreaded special teams, can we see improvement? Kicker Kai Forbath has been inconsistent in practice thus far but if he continues his strong play in game time situations all will be set. The former Lou Groza award winner however HAS to try and get his kickoffs deeper in the end zone because the return coverage is still exposed constantly. For the Redskins own return options, watch of Andre Roberts, Chris Thompson, and possibly Rashad Ross get a crack at the duties while rookie Jamison Crowder is likely to sit with a hamstring injury.

Although there are key pieces of the game to watch for as detailed above, there will be little support for wild speculation even if the team executes perfectly or not at all.

Check back on Friday morning for a full analysis of the Redskins hosting of the Detroit Lions after doing battle Thursday Night with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 PM.

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