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Need to Know: Five key plays from Redskins vs Broncos

Need to Know: Five key plays from Redskins vs Broncos

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 25, six days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Merry Christmas to all!

Days until:

—Redskins @ Giants (12/31) 6
—NFL free agency starts (3/14/18) 79
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 122

Five key plays from Redskins vs. Broncos

Kirk Cousins 32-yard pass to Ryan Grant—The Redskins had compiled just 14 yards of offense in the first quarter and things were not looking good. But approaching the midway point of the second quarter the Redskins got rolling thanks largely to Cousins finding Grant wide open deep over the middle for 32 yards to the Denver 28. They eventually moved to a first and goal but the drive fizzled and Dustin Hopkins got the Redskins on the board with a field goal.

Preston Smith sack of Brock Osweiler and forced fumble—The Redskins kicked off after that field goal and the Broncos got a first down, moving to their own 41. On third down, the Redskins swarmed all over the Denver quarterback. As he was falling down, he lost control of the ball and it bounced forward a few yards before Zach Vigil recovered it. Smith got credit for the sack and strip and while he may have been most responsible for the play, a few other defenders deserve an assist. Five plays later Cousins threw a 15-yard TD pass to Jamison Crowder to give the Redskins a lead they never relinquished.

D.J. Swearinger interception of Osweiler pass—The Redskins have had a bad habit of giving up scores late in the first half. It looked like they might do that in this game as the Broncos moved from their own 26 to the Redskins’ 42 with 1:36 left in the first half. On first down from there, Osweiler got some pressure in his face from Ryan Kerrigan and his throw was off target. Swearinger bobbled the ball and he had to pin it to his shoulder pad to complete the catch.

Cousins 48-yard touchdown pass to Josh Doctson—The Broncos were still hanging around early in the fourth quarter with the Redskins holding a 13-3 lead. The home team didn’t clinch the game until Doctson lined up as part of a bunch formation on the right. Up to that point, Doctson was having a frustrating day, with a couple of drops and some near misses on big plays. But there were no issues when he took off downfield and the No. 1 defense in the NFL coming into the game neglected to cover him. All Cousins had to do was not overthrow him. Doctson easily gathered in the pass in stride and he was able to stroll the final 10 yards into the end zone to lock it up for the Redskins.

Incomplete pass reversed to fumble on replay—The score was still 20-3 and the clock was under 5:00 when Osweiler threw a pass to running back Davonte Booker over the middle. He turned around, started to run, and was popped by safety Deshazor Everett. The ball came out but the official from the “what is a catch” league such a play is called an incomplete pass. Jay Gruden, who wanted his defense to get credit for a play that they made, threw the red challenge flag. After a review, referee Ed Hochuli said over the PA that Booker caught the ball and took “at least three steps” before getting hit and properly awarded the ball to the Redskins. This wasn’t a pivotal play in the game as it was just about over but it’s key because it was Gruden standing up for his defense instead of keeping the red flag in his pocket.

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.

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Need to Know: Five potential Redskins first-round draft picks

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Need to Know: Five potential Redskins first-round draft picks

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 17, 56 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 48
—NFL Draft (4/26) 99
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 235

Five possible Redskins first-round draft picks

As you can see from the “Days until” counter above, the NFL draft is 99 days away. A lot will happen between now and then but let’s look at some prospects who will fit the Redskins and who should be available at pick No. 13.

ILB Roquan Smith, Georgia—If you watched Georgia at all during the national semifinals or finals, you had to be impressed with his instincts, speed, hard hitting, and solid tackling. Even if free agent Zach Brown stays, the Redskins could pair him up with Smith and have a dynamic pair of inside linebackers for the first time since they started running the 3-4 in 2010. The problem for the Redskins is that his high-profile performances in those big game may have pushed Smith into the top 10.

QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma—A quarterback should be the choice early in the draft unless Kirk Cousins is signed to a long-term deal. Mayfield is an unconventional type of QB at about 6-1. There’s a lot to like about him, though—mobility, playmaking ability, and deep ball accuracy. He seems to have learned from his off-field mistakes, including an arrest about a year ago (apparently for yelling). In any case, if he is on the Redskins’ radar they will thoroughly vet him between now and draft day. Other QB possibilities are Josh Allen of Wyoming and Lamar Miller of Louisville.

WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama—Hey, why not another wide receiver, which would be the second one in the first round in three years, and another member of the Crimson Tide after taking Alabama players 1-2 in 2017. I know that people would cringe at another round 1 WR but after Terrelle Pryor flamed out last year it certainly is a need. Ridley would represent a solid value at No. 13.

DL Vita Vea, Washington—This pick would solve a couple of problems. At 6-4, 332 Vea has the size and strength needed to play nose tackle, solving another problem that has been around since 2010. What might make him worth a first-round pick is that he doesn’t have to go to the bench in nickel. Vea is versatile enough to rush the passer and play three downs. Start a line with Vea, Jonathan Allen, and Matt Ioannidis, mix in a few quality rotational players, and get Jim Tomsula to coach them up and you will have a top-notch D-line. As of right now, Vea is considered to be more of a late first-round player but a lot can change in the next 99 days.

RB Derrius Guice, LSU—Dreams of getting Saquon Barkley at No. 13 are just that and trading up far enough to get him would cost way too much draft capital. But Guice is a good mix of speed, power, agility, and receiving ability. With the exception of Alfred Morris’ first couple of seasons, the Redskins have been ordinary at best since the prime of Clinton Portis a decade ago. Many were impressed with Sony Michel of Georgia, who could be available in the second round.

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.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one: