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Need to Know: Redskins one per player one-liners, defense

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Need to Know: Redskins one per player one-liners, defense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 7, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Chargers in Los Angeles.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 2 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky press conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:45

Days until:

—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 3
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 10
—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 17

Redskins player one-liners, defensive edition

I looked at every offensive player on the roster on Monday, here are one-liners on every defensive player on the roster. 

DE Matt Ioannidis—He won’t be getting back to being the force he was early in the season until he can get his left hand out of the club he has been playing with and get some use of that hand.

DL Ziggy Hood—I’ve said this here before, but there really isn’t that much more to say about him—Hood prepares hard and plays hard and he would be a good rotational end, but he is not suited to being the first option at nose tackle.

DL Stacy McGee—After looking like he could teeter towards being a free-agent bust, McGee has played well the last several weeks with four QB pressures and 15 tackles.

DL Terrell McClain—After missing two games with a toe injury he was back out on the practice field on Wednesday.

DL A.J. Francis—He has been off and on the roster the last two years, kudos to him for not giving up and getting some meaningful playing time.

DE Anthony Lanier—The second-year player has been good providing pass pressure, but he has been a liability when he is on the field on running plays.

ILB Zach Brown—He has been slowed a bit by various injuries, most recently to his Achilles tendon, but he has only missed 12 snaps all year and he still leads the NFL in total tackles.

ILB Josh Harvey-Clemons—He got his first defensive snaps of the year against the Giants and recorded his first sack (a half, to be exact) in Dallas.

ILB Martrell Spaight—He seems to be more effective when he comes in as a role player rather than when he starts.

ILB Zach Vigil—After being re-signed on November 15 he has started two games and has 10 tackles.

OLB Ryan Anderson—While this has been a learning season for him, it’s almost time to say that his rookie year has been pretty disappointing for a second-round pick.

OLB Chris Carter—He has only played one defensive snap this year but he has been a solid contributor on special teams.

OLB Preston Smith—The third-year player went six games with zeroes in the sack column before getting a half against the Cowboys, but he has been good providing pressure all year long.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—He needs one more sack to hit double digits for the third time in the last four years.

OLB Junior Galette—He has been a disappointment in the sack department with only two, but per Pro Football Focus, he has 25 total pressures in 186 pass rush snaps, which isn’t bad after being out two years.

CB Bashaud Breeland—The pending free agent has been inconsistent but on the whole, he has had a solid year.

CB Quinton Dunbar—If Breeland leaves as a free agent in 2018, the Redskins could do worse than have Dunbar start opposite Norman.

CB Kendall Fuller—With one more interception he would have five picks, the most that any Redskins cornerback has had since DeAngelo Hall had six in 2010.

CB Fabian Moreau—Although his defensive plays have been limited (54 snaps), he has excelled on special teams, particularly as a gunner on punt coverage.

CB Josh Norman—Opponents have attempted 390 passes against the Redskins and only 37 of them have been into Norman’s coverage.

S Montae Nicholson—Injuries have cost him time but he has shown great promise when he has been in the game.

S Deshazor Everett—He was forced into the starting lineup the last two games with Nicholson out and Hall playing ineffectively and held his own.

S DeAngelo Hall—After getting burned against the Saints, Hall has played just one snap in the last two games.

S D.J. Swearinger—He has been one of the better free agent signings in the past decade providing both leadership and solid play all year.

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: The five key plays from the Redskins' win over Arizona

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Need to Know: The five key plays from the Redskins' win over Arizona

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 18, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Denver Broncos at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden press conference 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Redskins @ Giants (12/31) 13
—NFL free agency starts (3/14/18) 86
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 129

The five key plays during Redskins vs Cardinals

Sack and strip by Anthony Lanier, recovery by Preston Smith—This was on the third play of the game and the Redskins had a touchdown on the fifth play of the game. It also was the start of a stellar day for Lanier, who had two sacks, a tackle for loss, and three passes batted down in addition to the forced fumble.

Kirk Cousins screen pass to Kapri Bibbs for a touchdown—This was a well-designed play, with Kirk Cousins first doing a play-action fake to Bibbs and then faking a jet sweep to Ryan Grant. All that gave time for the offensive line to form a wall and Bibbs got behind it, took Cousins’ short pass, and rolled 39 yards for the touchdown. That made it 14-3 early in the third quarter, giving the Redskins some breathing room to keep the Cardinals at arm’s length, while their offense struggled at times.

Vernon Davis fumble—The Redskins had a chance to grab some momentum back before halftime after Smith picked off a Gabbert pass at the Washington eight. His return and a personal foul penalty set the Redskins up with a first down at their own 41 with 1:50 left in the half. But on the first play, Davis caught a pass from Cousins, turned upfield and fumbled. The Cardinals recovered and drove in for a field goal that made it 14-9 at halftime.

Second half kickoff gaffe—The Cardinals tried a pooch kick and it worked like a charm. None of the Redskins seemed to know what to do with the kick either before or after it hit the ground. The Cardinals recovered and got a field goal that made it a two-point game.

Gabbert pass for Larry Fitzgerald incomplete on fourth down—After exchanges of field goals in the second half, it came down to a fourth and 10 play at the Redskins 21 with Washington leading 20-15 with 23 seconds left. Gabbert threw for Fitzgerald at inside the 10 yard line. The pass was high but Fitzgerald has made his bones on hauling in such passes. Ex-Cardinal D.J. Swearinger was there to contest the pass and he maybe got a couple of fingers on it. The pass fell incomplete and the Redskins breathed a sigh of relief before celebrating a badly-needed win.

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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Five takeaways from the Redskins’ narrow win over the Cardinals

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Five takeaways from the Redskins’ narrow win over the Cardinals

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 20-15 win over the Cardinals.

Turnovers are important: Part of the Redskins’ problems in their last two non-competitive games was a lack of turnovers. Their only takeaway against the Cowboys and Chargers came on an interception in LA long after the outcome had been decided. Today, the Redskins got one three plays into the game, giving them an extremely short field (six yards) and a 7-0 lead a minute and a half into the game. That proved to be critical on a day when the offense operated well only in fits and starts.

RELATED: Must see photos from Redskins-Cardinals

Kendall Fuller might go to the Pro Bowl: Well, maybe he won’t because not many cornerbacks on 6-8 teams with low-ranked defenses get picked. But he is very, very good. Sunday he was all over the place and finished with eight tackles, including one in the middle of the line on a running play, something you don’t see a corner do often. He also knocked down two passes. The Redskins hope that some of their players who are now rookies can take the same leap that Fuller has between his first and second seasons.

Bad call, Jay: I’m not usually one to bang on Jay Gruden for his play calling but the end around to Josh Doctson late in the third quarter was just awful. They had a five-point lead first down at their own 32. A nice steady drive to any kind of score makes it tough for the Cardinals. But instead of sticking with what was working, Gruden called for an end around the Josh Doctson. It was the wrong play call at the wrong time to the wrong player. Doctson lost 14 yards on the play, which killed the drive. The Cardinals took possession after the punt and got back within two points on a field goal. Not good, Jay.

Special teams still struggle: There were three separate special teams gaffes in the second half. The Cardinals did a pooch kick on the second-half kickoff and they recovered it after the ball took an odd bounce. Then Jamison Crowder let a punt hit the ground and roll all the way back to the six-yard line, costing about 15 yards of field position. Finally, the Cardinals hit a 54-yard field goal but AJ Francis was called for using leverage to try to block the kick, giving the Cardinals a first down. Fortunately, they survived all of the miscues. The defense held Arizona to a field goal after the kickoff, the offense managed to drive for a field goal after getting the ball at the six, and the Cardinals kicked another field goal after the penalty on Francis. Still, the special teams can’t rely on getting bailed out all the time.

A needed win: The Cardinals did manage to put a big scare into the Redskins by driving down to the Washington 21 in the last minute. But the home team held on, averting disaster in the process. Had they lost due to a late drive engineered by Blaine Gabbert, who completed 39-percent of his passes and had a passer rating of 43, things would have become very ugly. A win is a win in the NFL so the fact that a couple of passes went just off the fingertips of receivers inside the 10 on the final drive won’t matter. They will celebrate and go into the week to prepare for the Broncos in a much better frame of mind.

MORE REDSKINS: Some unexpected players lead the Redskins to a sloppy but much-needed win

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.