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Need to Know: The key Redskins plays of 2017

Associated Press

Need to Know: The key Redskins plays of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 1, 72 days before NFL free agency starts.


Today’s schedule: Open locker room 10 a.m.

Days until:

—NFL free agency starts (3/14/18) 72
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 115
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9/18) 251

Monday six-pack—The Redskins’ key plays from 2017

Chris Thompson 61-yard TD run vs RamsThe run on a draw play put the Redskins ahead 20-10 in a Week 2 game that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time but, as we know now, Sean McVay would have the Rams going places. The play also established Thompson as the Redskins’ main offensive threat, a weapon that helped them win games until he got injured later in the season. Thompson’s TD gave the Redskins enough of a lead to withstand a Rams rally in the second half. They won it on a late TD pass from Kirk Cousins to Ryan Grant.

Kirk Cousins pass in the end zone intended for Josh Doctson incompleteThe Redskins trailed the Chiefs by three late in the fourth quarter. On third and two at the Chiefs 22, Cousins went for the TD, throwing a pass that Doctson was able to high point in the end zone. But the ball came out when he hit the ground. He could have caught it for the go-ahead touchdown but whether he should have caught it is a matter of opinion. In any case, the Redskins had to settle for a tying field goal. The defense could not hold and the Chiefs won the game on a last-second field goal.

Carson Wentz scramble for 17 yards—Early in the fourth quarter on a Monday night in Philadelphia, the Redskins had rallied to pull within a touchdown. The Eagles faced third and eight and the Redskins appeared to bury the Eagles QB with a strong rush. But Wentz emerged from the pile and bolted for the first down. Philly drove in for a clinching touchdown and essentially knocked the Redskins out of contention for the NFC East title in Week 7.

Cousins 38 pass to Doctson in the fourth quarter vs. Seattle—It looked like the Redskins were going to lose another winnable game as the Seahawks had come back from a 10-2 fourth-quarter deficit to take a 14-10 lead. With time running out, Cousins went deep to Doctson, who made a spectacular, diving catch at the one-yard line. Rob Kelly took it in on the next play and after surviving a last-second Russell Wilson Hail Mary, the Redskins had an improbable win.

Samaje Perine runs for minus-1 yard on third and one vs. Saints—There were a lot of plays in this game that could have been the key play. And it’s probably not fair to put the critical failure on the offense when it was the defense that let Drew Brees and the Saints roll down the field three times to blow what was a 15-point lead with six minutes left. But had the Redskins been able to get a first down on third and one with 2:38 to play and the Saints out of timeouts, they would have been able to kill the clock and get out of the Superdome with an eight-point with. But the run off the right side was stuffed, the Redskins punted, and the rest is history.

Blaine Gabbert pass for Larry Fitzgerald incomplete—The Redskins were coming off of back-to-back ugly losses to the Cowboys and Chargers and while they seemed to be in control the whole game against the Cardinals, Arizona had a first down at the Redskins 21 with 37 seconds left. Piling a home loss to Cardinals led by the woeful Gabbert on top of the previous two losses may well have pushed the Redskins into an abyss that would have led to some job losses, if not a total house cleaning. There were some near-misses in the four passes that Gabbert threw, including the last one to Fitzgerald. But D.J. Swearinger was able to get enough of a few fingertips on the ball to knock it away and the Redskins escaped.

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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Update: The Giants ended up with 260 yards rushing. 

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


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 18: Round two, matchup one

The first Elite 8 matchup was... not close:

January 19: Round two, matchup two

Half of the Final 4 is now set:

January 22: Round two, matchup three

This one was a low-scoring, close affair, but went to the Likes side in the end:

January 23: Round two, matchup four

The last Final 4 spot is up for grabs. Vote now:


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

You'd think a turkey hat would be enough to capture a W, but not in this one:

January 17: Round one, matchup eight

The Elite 8 is now set with this showdown going to the retweets side:

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Redskins will eye Vikings' QB decisions with great interest

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Redskins will eye Vikings' QB decisions with great interest

Now that the Minnesota Vikings’ season is over, the team can start sorting out its quarterback situation. The Redskins will be watching the process with great interest.

Minnesota has three quarterbacks who have significant NFL starting experience and all three of them are free agents. It would be difficult for the Vikings to keep more than one of the trio of Sam Bradford (80 NFL starts), Case Keenum (38), and Teddy Bridgewater (28). All three would like to start, or at least have an opportunity to start, in 2018. The Vikings will only be able to accommodate one of them.


That would leave two experienced quarterbacks on the market. As you may have heard, the Redskins could be parting ways with Kirk Cousins. Would they be interested in any of the three possible ex-Vikings? Let’s take a look at each of them:

Sam Bradford, age 30 at start of 2018 season—After the Rams made him the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, he had four up and down years in St. Louis. He was traded to the Eagles for Nick Foles. Philly flipped him to the Vikings after Bridgewater was injured before the 2016 season. Bradford had a career year in his first year there but a knee injury limited him to two starts in 2017.
Fit with the Redskins: He is the most likely of the three to end up on the free agent market and he could end up costing the least. Bradford was very productive in 2016 and he would be a good fit in Jay Gruden’s offense. But the injury bug is a major red flag. He has missed 48 of a possible 128 games with injuries including 14 last season and the entire 2014 season.

Teddy Bridgewater, age 25—He was going to be the Vikings’ franchise quarterback after they drafted him in the first round in 2014. Bridgewater led the Vikings to an 11-5 record and a division title his second season and they were a missed chip shot field goal away from advancing to the divisional round. But a devastating knee injury suffered before the 2016 season has put his future in doubt. It put him on the injury list for all of 2016 and most of last year.  
Fit with the Redskins: The story now is that the organization is torn between keeping Bridgewater or sticking with Keenum. Bridgewater also could fit into Gruden’s offense. Bridgewater is by far the youngest of the three and he could be more of a long-term solution. The knee is the reason why the Vikings can’t move on and there is uncertainty over whether it will ever be 100-percent.


Case Keenum, age 30—The Vikings are the third stop in his six NFL seasons. He had stints as the starter in Houston and with the Rams before landing in Minnesota as a free agent last March. When Bradford was injured in Week 1 in came Keenum and he had a career year, completing 67.6 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Vikings had an excellent defense but it’s unlikely that they reach the NFC championship game without Keenum.
Fit with Redskins: Is Keenum a one-year wonder? Or did his show is ability given a chance? Look at this table to compare his first season as a starter with Kirk Cousins’ 2015 season. Keenum had 62 fewer attempts so the yardage total is lower, but their performances are comparable. But if the Vikings let him go, will the Redskins risk a multi-year deal that probably will be in excess of $20 million per year on a guy with one solid year on his resume? They were unwilling to do it with Cousins a few years ago.

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.