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Need to Know: Height disadvantage made for a scary Hail Mary for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Height disadvantage made for a scary Hail Mary for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 7, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.


Today’s schedule: No media availability

Days until:

—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 12
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 16
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 23

Last look at Redskins vs Seahawks

First down woes—We talk about third-down difficulties all the time but the Redskins were not good on first down for most of the game until the final drive. They had 23 first-down plays. Kirk Cousins was two for five passing for 17 yards. He was sacked three times for 26 yards. They fumbled twice, losing one. Five rushing attempts gained zero or negative yards. On the Redskins’ final drive, Cousins’ first down pass was tipped and incomplete. But the last two first-down plays were money, with the pass to Josh Doctson and the Rob Kelley TD run. I guess it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

Height made Hail Mary scary—The Redskins had plenty of bodies in the end zone on the last play of the game for the Seahawks’ Hail Mary. But the pass was uncomfortably close to being completed because Seattle had a tremendous height advantage. The Redskins’ defensive backs were DeAngelo Hall, D.J. Swearinger, Deshazor Everett, Bashaud Breeland, Josh Norman, and Kendall Fuller. Linebacker Zach Brown also was back to defend. Brown is the tallest of the bunch at 6-1. The DBs are all listed between 5-10 and 6-0. Among those trying to catch the pass for Seattle were the 6-6 Tanner McEvoy and Jimmy Graham, who is 6-7. If I’m Greg Manusky I ask if I can borrow the 6-2 Josh Doctson and 6-4 Terrelle Pryor to line up in the end zone and give the DBs a hand in these situations.  

Norman’s determined tackle—With all that went on in the last three minutes, Josh Norman’s third-down stop midway through the fourth quarter faded in significance. But it shouldn’t be forgotten. It was third and one at the Seattle 41 and Rawls headed up the middle. But Stacy McGee and Swearinger forced him outside and towards Norman on the edge. Rawls tried to stiff arm the cornerback but Norman was having none of it. He grabbed the arm that Rawls was trying to use to fend him off and dragged him down with it. In other words, Rawls was trying to use his arm as a weapon and Norman used it against him. A good, determined play by Norman that got the ball back for his team.

Two minute rallies—After the game, I did some quick research and I came up with this:

Many of the replies I got were like this one:

Is the fact that the team has been unable to complete such a drive really a black mark on the franchise? Here are the numbers, you can decide for yourself. The database with detailed information on drives at Pro Football Reference goes back to 1999 and in 18 and a half years there have been 72 game-winning touchdown drives that started with less than two minutes left. That’s an average of a little less than four per year. The Redskins became the 29th team to get such a drive since 1999, joining nine other teams with one such drive. The Giants have the most with six. Washington has been on the losing end of such drives four times, most recently last year against the Lions.

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

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Redskins will start their No. 3 center against the Giants

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Redskins will start their No. 3 center against the Giants

Jay Gruden said during the offseason that the thing that scared him most was not having a good center and a backup available. The coach probably is terrified now.

Spencer Long, who started the season at center, is headed to injured reserve. He has been battling tendonitis in his knees for several weeks and, apparently, an injured quad muscle. Gruden said that Long will have surgery to fix the quad.


Rookie Chase Roullier has been playing well in Long’s absence but he will be on the shelf at least this week. He broke a bone in his hand against the Saints and, according to a report, he has had surgery to repair it. While he has not been ruled out it seems likely that he will miss at least this game, if not more.

The Redskins’ third option is veteran journeyman Tony Bergstrom. It looks like he will start at center against the Giants on Thursday. The Redskins are Bergstrom’s fourth team in four seasons in the league. He has started four games, all for the Raiders in 2012 and 2015. Bergstrom signed with the Redskins about four weeks ago.

Bergstrom’s backup will be Demetrius Rhaney, who was just signed. He started one game for the Rams after they drafted him in the seventh round in 2014.

As expected, both Chris Thompson and Terrelle Pryor are headed to injured reserve. In addition to signing Rhaney, the team will promote LB Pete Robertson and RB LeShun Daniels from the practice squad. Earlier this week they re-signed DL A.J. Francis. They will have to drop one player from the 53-man roster before all of these moves are made official.


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

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Kirk Cousins responds brilliantly to newspaper mistaking him for 'DeMarcus' Cousins

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Kirk Cousins responds brilliantly to newspaper mistaking him for 'DeMarcus' Cousins

Apparently, 'Kirk' Cousins left New Orleans a little bit later than the rest of the team.

On top of that, he managed to quickly get the starting job for New Orleans' NBA franchise and then got ejected in his first career start.

At least that is how one newspaper reported the Pelicans vs. Thunder match-up on Monday evening.

Kirk Cousins was ejected for raising his elbows near Russell Westbrook's face - resulting in a flagrant foul that knocked Westbrook to the floor holding his head - in the Pelicans' 114-107 win over the visiting Thunder.

No, the real Kirk Cousins, who is quarterback for the Washington Redskins, is not still in New Orleans. No, Cousins did not make an NBA team, nor did he get into an altercation with Russell Westbrook. He is back home preparing for the Thanksgiving night match-up against the New York Giants.

If you haven't gotten it by now, it was meant to be DeMarcus Cousins.

Quite simply, whoever created this blurb may have assisted in some way with coverage of the Washington vs. New Orleans game this past Sunday. 

Normally, this mistake largely goes unnoticed and there may or may not be an editor's note in the next day's edition. The real Kirk Cousins, though, got a copy of it and had some fun.

No harm, no foul, although DeMarcus Cousins would probably appreciate one less ejection going on his record.