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Biggest observations from Redskins' stunning win against the Seahawks

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Biggest observations from Redskins' stunning win against the Seahawks

SEATTLE—Here are my observations made during the Redskins’ stunning 17-14 win over the Seahawks.

First half

—The Redskins’ pass blocking held up well in the early going. But there was a mixup in protection as Cousins went back to pass from the end zone. Linebacker Bobby Wagner came in on a delayed blitz and after Cousins looked away from his first option, Wagner was in clean for the sack and safety. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Seahawks couldn’t add more points after taking the free kick as Blair Walsh was wide left on a 44-yard field goal try.

— After Blair Walsh missed his second field goal of the game, the Redskins were able to piece together a drive. It was largely the Vernon Davis show as he caught a pass for 10 yards to convert a third down and then for 23 and 11 yards. Josh Doctson’s first reception of the game was good for a first down in the red zone. After looking out of sorts ever since the safety, Cousins was steady in leading the 13-play drive. With linebacker Ryan Anderson as the lead blocker at fullback, Rob Kelley powered into the end zone to give the Redskins a 7-2 lead.

—Whenever you watch a Seahawks game you see teams pressuring Russell Wilson but nobody can get home for the sack of the slippery Seahawk. Such was the case in the first half as the Redskins had defenders running free in the Seattle backfield but Wilson able to dodge them every time. He was able to either scamper for some yardage or get a pass off. Wilson is as frustrating to defenses as any player in the NFL.

—The Redskins’ offensive line deserves some credit for the moment not being too big for them in the first half. They had no false starts in one of the loudest environments in the NFL and they did not draw a holding flag.

RELATED: Redskins nearly turned Seahawks' Super Bowl LI fail into the greatest two-point conversion​

Second half                                                  

— Cousins had the one hot streak during the Redskins’ first-half touchdown drive but before that and to this point late in the third quarter. Perhaps it’s not fair to blame the Redskins’ issues with moving the ball all on Cousins. The Seahawks do have some good defensive backs and a wide-open receiver has been hard to come by. In any case, the Redskins are having a hard time moving the ball and with the score 10-2, they are one instance of Wilson magic from a tie game.

—The Redskins inability to possess the ball caught up with them as the Seahawks cranked out a 66-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter. Seattle had only a slight edge in time of possession at the end of the first half. Now, with 11:48 left in the half, the Seahawks have a 28:14 to 19:58 advantage. It was 10 minutes to five in the third quarter alone. Wilson’s pass on the two-point try was intercepted and after a few laterals, the Redskins nearly had two points of their own. But the excitement ended at around the 10 and the Redskins were clinging to a 10-8 lead.

—The Redskins pieced together a nice drive starting with just under eight minutes left but they couldn’t quite finish it off. The burned the clock down to 2:22 left. The Seahawks got into Redskins territory when the defense lost Jimmy Graham but Wilson found him for a gain of 21. A few plays later Doug Baldwin got wide open and Wilson found him for 30 yards and the go-ahead TD.

—Cousins got the last-gasp drive going with a 31-yard pass to Brian Quick on the sideline that gave the Redskins a first down at the 38. Then Cousins found Josh Doctson running down the left side and the receiver made a diving catch at the one. On the next play, Rob Kelley got it in for the touchdown. The conversion gave the Redskins a 17-14 lead. That was some clutch play by Cousins and a great catch by Doctson.

—The defense was on the spot during Seattle’s final drive. Pressure helps but it’s hard to bring Wilson down so you keeping defenders in coverage may be the way to go. But they have to stay with their men. The Seahawks got into Redskins territory but they finally got a sack of Wilson. They had a final shot with four seconds left. A Hail Mary was incomplete and the Redskins walked off with a shocking win.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201