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How a missed chance at three points actually cost the Redskins much more vs. the Cowboys

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How a missed chance at three points actually cost the Redskins much more vs. the Cowboys

Through more than a quarter and a half in their Week 8 matchup Sunday against the Cowboys, the Redskins were surviving.

Thriving? No. But Washington was up 13-7 on a superior (and healthier) Dallas squad, and sending out their kicker to add to that lead just before the break.

But it was that 36-yard field goal attempt that caused the Redskins' fragile house of cards to collapse. Nick Rose's kick was blocked after a shaky but ultimately OK hold by Tress Way in some nasty rain, scooped up by Orlando Scandrick, returned 86 yards the other way and quickly converted into a Cowboys touchdown by Ezekiel Elliott two plays later.

What happened after? Oh, the visitors went on to score 12 more unanswered points while the hosts fumbled the next two times they touched the ball and what could've been a galvanizing upset turned into another disheartening loss for the now 3-4 Redskins.

Besides that, though, it didn't matter too much.

MORE: REDSKINS SLIP AND SLIDE IN ANOTHER DIVISION LOSS

"That was a big one," Jay Gruden said after watching his team drop the 33-17 rivalry game at FedEx Field. "Usually those guys [Nick Sundberg and Way] are pretty solid with their hold and snap, so maybe it was just a low kick. I don't know."

"Man," Josh Norman answered when asked about the enormous swing. "Shoot. The wind just went out of our sails. It really did. And we couldn't get the mojo back."

The corner is right with that assessment. Before the special teams miscue, Gruden's players, many of whom were hurt or filling in for starters who were hurt, were handling their business. And if the hold been a bit smoother and the kick a little higher, the Redskins would've gone up nine.

Yet Tyrone Crawford's block and Scandrick's run back didn't just flip the field, they also flipped the contest's vibe. From then on, it was all Cowboys, as the Redskins only scored one more time late.

"That blocked field goal definitely threw a wrench in our plans," Trent Williams, who didn't play because he was — get this — dinged up, said.

The wrench Williams mentioned is also throwing off the entire 2017 season in D.C. The Redskins stand at a paltry 0-3 in divisional games, own a record that's under .500 and are heading to Seattle next week. 

At the very least, whenever a kicker's field goal doesn't split the uprights, it costs his team three on the scoreboard. In this particular instance, however, the way the Redskins talked about the botched attempt made it clear they lost a lot more than that.

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Redskins' Josh Norman earns Week 10 NFLPA community MVP

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins' Josh Norman earns Week 10 NFLPA community MVP

Redskins' Josh Norman is using his platform as a professional football player to help those in need, and this week it earned him NFLPA's community MVP.

The cornerback has been raising funds for youth enrichment programs in the D.C. area, as well as, starting a campaign to help those affected in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. 

Norman's foundation, Starz24, provides backpacks and school supplies for children in need and creates initiatives for students at Jefferson Middle School Academy in D.C.. He recently raised almost $100,000 for Starz24 imagination Team Rooms, a STEM-based "makerspaces" that will be placed in several inner city middle and high schools. 

Then, when Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria back in September, Norman started a social media campaign to help those affected. The campaign brought in $150,000. Norman also donated $100,000 of his own with part of the money going to the Boys & Girls clubs in Puerto Rico.

I look at it as I’m on this earth to help people and help them be the best that they can be,” Norman said. “I have the means to do so. I’m going to do that.

Every week during the regular season, the NFLPA selects a NFL player who is making a difference in their community. They are going to be making a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or a charity of his choice in addition to an in-kind donation on behalf of their supporting partner, Delta Private Jets.

I am so honored to be recognized by the NFLPA for my work in the community,” Norman said. “All of this work is bigger than football. I want to make an impact in the lives of children who need it most and to help develop those children to help change the future.

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Week 11 Redskins at Saints: Getting desperate against the surging Saints

Week 11 Redskins at Saints: Getting desperate against the surging Saints

Though the Redskins sit just a game below .500, things are getting desperate if Washington wants to make the playoffs. Winning in New Orleans is hard, but it's a necessary evil for a Wild Card spot. 

The Saints have won seven straight. Seriously, the Saints are on a longer win-streak than the Redskins have wins. New Orleans hasn't lost since the Nats were still a viable option to win the 2017 World Series. 

It's no fluke either. For years now Drew Brees and the Saints offense has been productive, but this year, the New Orleans defense is more than capable. 

RELATED: FIVE REDSKINS UNDER PRESSURE AGAINST SAINTS

Winning on Sunday will be a tall order for the Redskins, but should they accomplish the task, here are three areas to watch:

  1. Wrong side - At 4-5, the Redskins are on the wrong side of the ledger when it comes to the playoff picture. While in past years, some teams could sneak into the final Wild Card spot at nine wins, that does not appear to be the case in 2017. Six teams are ahead of the Redskins in the Wild Card chase, and all of those teams have at least five wins. Yes, Washington has an advantageous final six games of the schedule, but with a loss in New Orleans, getting to 10 wins would require the Redskins to run the table down the stretch. That leaves no margin for error for a team with a recent, and not so recent, history of inconsistent play. 
  2. Run for your life - The Saints have not one, but two running backs averaging more than 4.5 yards-per-carry. Mark Ingram is the bell cow for this team, and he has rushed for 614 yards in seven starts. Rookie Alvin Kamara has another 417 yards on the ground. The entire Redskins offense has rushed for 870 yards. Since the Saints traded Adrian Peterson after Week 4, New Orleans has not had less than 100 yards rushing. Last week in Buffalo, the Saints posted 298 yards on the ground. In their last four games, the Redskins have rushed for 256 yards. The Redskins defense has given up at least 100 yards on the ground in each of their last four games. 
  3. So you're saying... - There is a chance. Don't count out the Redskins yet. Remember, this team won games both in Seattle and in Los Angeles, against two of the best teams in the NFC. Further, the Saints have been committing plenty of turnovers, but largely, their opponents haven't made them pay. (Listen to Saints analyst Deuce McAllister in the video above). If the Redskins can run the ball at a decent rate, Kirk Cousins protects the ball and gets the offense into the end zone, Washington could pull off another road upset. Winning eight games in a row is very hard in the NFL.

Quote of the Week: "We know that we don’t have a lot of margin for error right now. We have to go in there and play our best football. Knowing we’ve won on the road is great. We’ve played well on the road, which is great, but going out and doing it again is a different story," Redskins coach Jay Gruden on the team's success away from FedEx Field this season.

 RELATED: WEEK 10 NFL POWER RANKINGS

News & Notes

  • Vernon Davis needs three TD catches to pass former Redskins great Jerry Smith for sixth on the list of career touchdown receptions by a tight end in NFL history.
  • Kirk Cousins ranks sixth among NFL quarterbacks with three rushing touchdowns. Cousins ranks 12th among QBs with 130 rush yards.
  • With 1.5 sacks, Ryan Kerrigan  will join join Jared Allen, Derrick Thomas, DeMarcus Ware and Reggie White as the only players in NFL history to record 7.5 sacks in each of the first seven seasons of a career since the NFL adopted sacks as an official statistic in 1982.
  • The Redskins hold a 9-3 all-time record playing in the Superdome. 
  • Zach Brown is first in the NFL and the NFC in tackles (96).
  • Chris Thompson is first in the NFL and the NFC in receiving yards amongst running backs (494).

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