November 17, 2019

Washington Redskins Game 5 Preview: at Atlanta Falcons

The Washington Redskins face maybe their biggest test yet this season at the Georgia Dome vs. the first-place Atlanta Falcons. The Redskins look to build momentum off of their biggest win of the season, a 23-20 victory over division foe Philadelphia. The Falcons look to remain undefeated on the year and repeat the performance they had vs. the Houston Texans, which they won handily, 48-21.

The Falcons are one of the NFL’s biggest surprises thus far, carrying a 4-0 record behind a potent offensive attack. The Falcons’ offense is led by QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, and RB Devonta Freeman. Jones and Freeman have combined for 11 TDs in the first 4 games, and the Falcons are 5th in the league in total offense, averaging 403 yards per game. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that former Redskins’ Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan, now with Atlanta, will draw up a great game plan vs. his former team. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins Game 14 Review: Last second two-point conversion fails, Skins fall in Atlanta by one

After a confusing and contentious week off the field, the Washington Redskins actually had to play a football game, traveling to Atlanta to face the Falcons, who like the Skins have played to a disappointing 3-10 record this season.

The Redskins scored a touchdown with 18 second remaining on the clock to bring the score within one point, but coach Mike Shanahan decided to go for two. Like much of the rest of the Redskins season, though, the two-point attempt came up short, and the Falcons escaped with a 27-26 win.

Kirk Cousins, starting for the first time this season with Robert Griffin III shut down for the rest of the season, had a banner day, going 29 of 45 for 381 yards and three touchdowns, though he did throw two costly  interceptions.

The Falcons broke out quickly, scoring twice in the first quarter. Atlanta took the opening kickoff for a 14-play, 83-yard drive, culminated in a Steven Jackson 3-yard plunge.  After Cousins fumbled — off a sack by Osi Umenyiora — set up the Falcons at the Skins 36, Matt Ryan found Tony Gonzalez open for a 13-yard scoring strike.

On the ensuing drive, Alfred Morris busted a 37-yard run immediately preceding Cousin’s 23-yard touchdown pass to forgotten man Fred Davis, in the lineup again while Jordan Reed recovers from concussion symptoms.

The Skins held Atlanta on their next drive, but Santana Moss muffed the punt when E.J. Biggers blocked an Falcons defender into him while Moss was trying to fair catch. The turnover gave Atlanta the ball at the Skins 14. Atlanta couldn’t punch it in, so they settled for a 20-yard Matt Bryant field goal.

On the next series, Moss fumbled after a short completion but the defense forced a 3-and-out and Washington took over on their own 41 after the punt. Three plays later, Cousins hit Pierre Garcon in stride down the left sideline for a 53-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown — the Skins longest touchdown of the season.

The Skins’ D held again and the offense drove 51 yards on 10 plays to set up Kai Forbath for a 33-yard field goal to tie the game at 17 with 54 seconds left in the half.

Though they started at their own 10 yard line, Atlanta tried to make something happen before intermission, ut Ryan’s long pass was intercepted by Jose Gumbs at the Falcons’ 38. The Skins moved to Atlanta’s 19 yard line, but ran out of time and had to settle for a Forbath 37-yard field goal as time expired to give the Skins a 20-17 halftime lead.

On the Falcons’ first possession of the second half, they marched 57 yards on 10 plays to the Skins’ 1-yard line. Washington held on fourth-and-one, with Perry Riley, Jr. tackling Steven Jackson short of the goal line. Unfortunately, on the next play Cousins was picked off by Willliam Moore at the 16 and he took it down to the two, where Jackson immediately punched it in to put Atlanta up 24-20.

The Redskins took their first drive of the fourth quarter down to Atlanta’s 13-yard line, using completions of 16 yards to Moss and 14 and 11-yard catches by Garcon. But Morris’ second fumble of the day — the Skins sixth turnover — killed the drive.

Washington got the ball back after another defensive stop with 5:45 left in the game, but on the first play Cousins’ long pass intended for Garcon was picked off by Desmond Trufant at the Skins’ 39-yard line.

The Falcons gained five yards and Bryant drilled a 51-yard field goal to put Atlanta up seven with 3:31 left in the game.

Cousins drove the Skins down the field systematically, including an 11-yard pass to Aldrick Robinson on a third and six at their own 44. Cousins hit Robinson again for three yards to set up second-and-goal from the 3-yard line with 22 seconds left on the clock. Cousins then found Moss on a quick out route to bring the score to 27-26.

Cousins rolled right on the two-point conversion attempt, but his pass for Logan Paulsen was tipped harmlessly out of the end zone.

Fantasy Football: Week 15 NFL Survivor Pool Picks

Survivor

The Week 15 Survivor pool picks (or suicide pool picks if you prefer) are here. Week 14 saw some wild finishes that saved more than a few people. Are there any safe Survivor picks in Week 15 in the NFL?

Week 14 recap

The Baltimore Ravens improbable comeback paired with the Patriots similar comeback saved lots of entrants last week. The Pittsburgh Steelers are really the only team to take any sizable portion of remaining pool entrants out as the Steel Curtain was quite forgiving.

Bye week: None. We are done for the year with byes.

Survivor Pool – Week 15 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of early Thursday:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Picks

Rank

Team

Picks

1

Carolina Panthers

29.90%

1

Philadelphia Eagles

31.60%

2

Philadelphia Eagles

17.40%

2

Carolina Panthers

28.55%

3

Denver Broncos

9.70%

3

Kansas City Chiefs

8.02%

4

Kansas City Chiefs

9.40%

4

Indianapolis Colts

7.14%

5

Atlanta Falcons

8.40%

5

Denver Broncos

5.41%

6

Indianapolis Colts

4.80%

6

San Francisco 49ers

4.20%

7

New Orleans Saints

4.60%

7

New Orleans Saints

3.67%

8

San Francisco 49ers

3.80%

8

Atlanta Falcons

3.28%

9

Seattle Seahawks

2.80%

9

Seattle Seahawks

2.31%

10

Detroit Lions

2.50%

10

Detroit Lions

1.58%

 

Again, a reminder that you should be doing the math on your own pool as this late in the game the rankings above are less representative of what is happening in your pool than earlier in the season. Let’s see what we have for Week 15.

  1. Denver Broncos – If you have the Broncos (and if you do I’m impressed) take them now. There continues to be no reason to save teams at this point. The Broncos offense is clicking on all cylinders and even without Wes Welker; they should be fine as Jacob Tamme will slide into the slot role for the Broncos. The Chargers offense has become more balanced through the season, but the Chargers pass defense won’t be able to keep the Broncos off the board to allow the Chargers offense to pile up enough points to win. This should be a track meet won by Denver. I give the Broncos an 84% chance of winning.
  2. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers swarming defense faces Geno Smith in Carolina. I’m not sure there is much more to say. The Panthers’ offense is a little banged up now so they may struggle to score, but Smith will likely gift wrap a few turnovers to help the Panthers’ cause. I give the Panthers an 83% chance of winning.
  3. Detroit Lions – The Ravens are bad on the road (1-5 record this year). The Lions are pretty good at home. The Lions were embarrassed in the snow last week, but back indoors they should be able to run around the Ravens. The Lions run defense is stout (last week was an anomaly in the sown) so the Ravens will need to rely on Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith and whoever else is catching passes this week.  I give the Lions a 75% chance of winning.
  4. Dallas Cowboys – This is only valid if Matt Flynn starts at QB for the Packers. If Aaron Rodgers is back, take this game off the board. The Cowboys head back home after a crushing defeat by the Chicago Bears. However, it is December and the Cowboys have struggled in December for many years and their run defense can be gashed. Eddie Lacy won’t likely be at 100%, but the Cowboys should be able to bounce back with Flynn at QB. I give the Cowboys a 74% chance of winning.
  5. Indianapolis Colts – The Texans cannot wait for the season to end. They fired Gary Kubiak this week, but I don’t imagine that will fire up the troops enough. The Colts have started to give some younger WRs playing time and the results have been solid. The Colts are back at home and Andrew Luck is a bit more comfortable at home so the Colts should be able to push the Texans closer to the number one pick in 2014 when they may get the chance to draft David Carr’s brother. I give the Colts a 71% chance of winning.
  6. Atlanta Falcons – Two teams with identical 3-10 records, but seemingly one is much worse than the other. Washington has become drama central as they have benched Robert Griffin III for Kirk Cousins for the rest of the season. Mike Shanahan continues to leak news to Adam Schefter regularly so that his side of the debacle can be told. The Falcons have two of their three wins at home this year and are starting to get healthier on offense. Their defense is still a sieve, but Washington’s pig-headed coaching staff likely can’t take advantage of that weakness. I give the Falcons a 69% chance of winning.
  7. New Orleans Saints – The Saints head on the road to take on the St. Louis Rams. In the Saints last road game, they were blown out of the Pacific Northwest by the Seahawks. They regrouped last week to manhandle the Panthers at home. I assume that the dome will feel like home to Drew Brees and company. The Rams have gotten good play from both sides of the ball and are beginning to incorporate more playmakers (like Stedman Bailey) into the offense so they are dangerous. They don’t have enough tools to keep up with Brees & Co. I give the Saints a 68% chance of winning.
  8. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks may be the best team in the NFL. They do head east into the cold, but they face an underachieving Giants team that shows very few vital signs.  I give the Seahawks a 64% chance of winning.

Just a reminder, there is no sense in saving teams at this point. You are down to the last couple of weeks in the season and most pools will come to a close in Week 17 or early in the playoffs.

Other teams I like early this week: None

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in Oakland. Yes, I told you to avoid them last week as well and I was completely wrong about how incompetent Washington was and is. This week, they go on the road for a division matchup against a Raiders team that hasn’t been as bad as all would have thought they would be. I’d probably also stay away from the San Francisco 49ers heading east to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Tennessee Titans at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards are now without Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary and the Titans could take advantage of that with Justin Hunter on the outside and Delanie Walker abusing the Cardinals soft middle.

Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here

Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi.

Washington Redskins Game 5 Review: Redskins Lose Eighth Straight at Home; RGIII Leaves Game with Mild Concussion

Despite the Washington Redskins’ (2-3) best efforts to minimize contact on Robert Griffin III, the rookie quarterback left the game in the second half after suffering a mild concussion and the Redskins fell 24-17 to the undefeated Atlanta Falcons (5-0).

In many ways, the Redskins-Falcons matchup Sunday afternoon defied expectations. The Redskins’ defense started out strong against Atlanta, limiting the team that arrived at FedEx Field averaging 31 points per game to just one touchdown in the first half. Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan appeared off-balance as he missed tosses to wide-open receivers and threw an interception, which Ryan Kerrigan ran for 28 yards for the pick six, allowing Washington to take a 7-0 lead.

Alfred Morris was nearly unstoppable against the Falcons’ defense. By the end of the day, Morris tallied 115 rushing yards and caught for another 20 and the Redskins’ offense came alive against a team looking to start the season 5-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Despite Washington’s best efforts, things began to fall apart later in the second quarter. With just over two minutes left before the break, the Billy Cundiff drama continued – this time, on a 31-yard field goal which he launched wide right, marking his fifth miss of the season.

Unfortunately for the Redskins, Cundiff’s field goal percentage was not the team’s biggest worry by the end of the night. In just over a minute and a half after the attempt, the Matt Ryan of old returned in time to lead a 74-yard drive for a touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez to tie it 7-7.

With less than 10 minutes left in the quarter, Griffin put the Redskins in position to threaten. From Atlanta’s 39-yard line, Griffin passed to Fred Davis for a first down and followed up the play with a seven-yard rush, his only carry of the night. Alfred Morris ran for another 13 yards to bring the Redskins inside the Falcons’ 10-yard line, and Pierre Garcon made an acrobatic catch to bring the Redskins within five yards of a go-ahead touchdown.

On 3rd and goal, however, Griffin scrambled to avoid pressure in the pocket, but took a hard – yet, legal – hit from Sean Weatherspoon for the sack. Griffin was slow to get up after the play and he appeared shaken up on the sideline before making the slow walk to the Redskins’ locker room. After the game, the Redskins confirmed that Griffin suffered a mild concussion on the play.

The Redskins turned to Cundiff again who, luckily enough, found the center of the goal posts for a 23-yard field goal to put the Redskins back on top, 10-7.

Kirk Cousins came in to replace Griffin, but his first-ever drive in the NFL lasted just over a minute and the Redskins picked up a meager three yards in three plays. The Redskins’ Sav Rocca did little to help matter by punting out-of-bounds at the Redskins’ 47-yard line.

Ryan fired to Roddy White for 19 yards and to Jacquizz Rodgers for another eight, setting Ryan up for an 18-yard touchdown pass to none other than wide receiver Julio Jones to give the Falcons a 14-10 lead.

But, Cousins was ready to attack. After rushing for one yard from the Redskins’ own 22-yard line, Cousins rocketed a 77-yard pass to Santana Moss to secure his first career touchdown pass and put the Redskins back on top, 17-14.

As Cousins kept hope alive, however, the Redskins’ defense fell asleep. Falcons running back Michael Turner and Gonzalez plowed through the front line and, despite a sack and deflected pass each by Barry Cofield, the Falcons’ Matt Bryant kicked a picture-perfect 53-yard field goal to tie the game at 17 apiece.

Cousins just could not get things started again for the Redskins after the drive. After getting sacked by Kroy Biermann on 2nd and 4, Cousins tossed to Evan Royster for just seven yards, forcing Rocca to come on and punt for 42 yards.

Gonzalez and Turner continued to tear through the Redskins’ defense. Turner rushed for four yards and Ryan passed to Gonzalez for another 13 before picking up a yard himself. Then, Ryan fired to Jones for 27 yards to bring the Falcons into Washington territory and set Ryan up for a nine-yard toss to Jason Snelling and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Turner to put the Falcons on top 24-17 for the win. The loss by the Redskins marked their eighth consecutive defeat at FedEx Field.

Washington Redskins Kickoff Breast Cancer Awareness Month

WASHINGTON REDSKINS KICKOFF BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins are embarking on several initiatives to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout October at both FedExField and Redskins Park.

Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder and NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Spokesperson, Chris Cooley, the Redskins’ franchise leader in receptions by a tight end, and the Washington Redskins Community Relations Department, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, will kick off the month-long campaign by hosting the fifth annual All-Star Survivors Celebration at Redskins Park on Oct. 2.

More than 20 area women currently battling breast cancer, or “All-Stars,” will attend an afternoon of pampering, support and celebration. The breast cancer survivors will receive new jeans donated by Gap Inc., as well as new wigs, scarves, makeup and a custom-made pink and burgundy Redskins jersey.

The All-Stars will also be wearing pink New Era caps on-field during player introductions at the Redskins breast cancer awareness game, which will be held on Sunday, Oct. 7 against the Atlanta Falcons.

The game will feature:

Game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down and pink kicking tees
Pink equipment for players including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels
Pink coins used for the coin toss
Pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives
Pink caps, wristbands, whistles and pins for game officials
On-field pink ribbon stencils and wall banners
Pink goal post padding in end zones
Breast cancer awareness pompoms, shirts and wristbands for cheerleaders

Fans attending the Oct. 7 game will be welcomed by Mrs. Snyder and hundreds of Zeta Tau Alpha members distributing THINK-PINK!® ribbons and breast cancer awareness educational materials. Mrs. Snyder and ZTA started the campaign for breast cancer awareness in 1999. At the time, the Redskins were the only team in the league to participate.

Thirteen years later, 20 of the 32 teams in the NFL participate in the ZTA THINK-PINK!® campaign. With the founding and continuous support of Mrs. Snyder and the Washington Redskins, ZTA created a national model for its THINK-PINK!® breast cancer awareness and education campaign throughout the NFL.

On Oct. 25, Mrs. Snyder will be honored by the Men Against Breast Cancer organization with the Gloria Heyison Inspiration Award for her breast cancer awareness efforts.

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