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Redskins legend Darrrell Green played his last game 15 years ago today

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Redskins legend Darrrell Green played his last game 15 years ago today

It was 5 years ago today that Redskins Hall of Fame legend Darrell Green played his last game.

It was unfortunate that the game was a meaningless game between two teams that were out of playoff contention instead of being an elimination game of some sort. But it was against the Cowboys and the Redskins did win so it wasn’t all bad.

Here is the account of the game and the surrounding pageantry from the pages of my book The Redskins Chronicle.

FedEx Field (12/29/2002)—The Redskins didn’t formally proclaim it to be Darrell Green Day, but the retiring cornerback and the 84,142 in attendance at FedEx Field knew that it was.

Nobody has played with one team longer than the 20 years Green spent with the Redskins, and he has built a strong bond with the fans. And Green and those fans held a mutual love fest prior to the game against the Cowboys.

Before the game he delivered an emotional address; his attempts to hold back tears were unsuccessful.

And after the final gun, he took a final victory lap around the stadium, greeting fans, accepting a bouquet of flowers and generally reveling in the affection.

“This will not sink in—this day, not playing again—for quite some time,” Green said.

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The 20-14 win over Dallas wasn’t very pretty. Green, however, provided the memories—and any win over the Cowboys after 10 straight losses to them helped make it bearable.

Green provided one of the game’s few highlights (outside of ones that will make “Football Follies”) when he ran 35 yards after taking a reverse handoff on a punt return. He even hurdled a would-be tackler, reminding many of his daring play in his younger days.

Other than that, the play mostly was ragged. Watson’s touchdown was set up when Renaldo Wynn sacked Dallas quarterback Chad Hutchinson and stripped the ball away. LaVar Arrington recovered at the Cowboy 24 and Watson went off right guard for the score four plays later. In the third quarter, Arrington put the Redskins ahead to stay.

On a third and 22 play from the Dallas 14, end Bruce Smith blew by two blockers and blindsided Hutchinson. The ball went flying back to the end zone where Arrington pounced on it for a 14-7 Washington lead.

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A pair of Jose Cortez field goals put the Redskins up 20-7 in the fourth quarter. After the first one, the Redskins appeared to have wrapped the game up. The Cowboys’ Woodrow Dantzler fumbled the ensuing kickoff. The ball was lying on the ground and nobody realized it was still alive until the Redskins’ Bryan Johnson scooped it up and ran 12 yards into the end zone. In the confusion, however, the Washington defense had started to take the field and the Redskins lost both the score and possession due to the subsequent penalty.

Washington got a scare when Hutchinson converted a fourth and 14 play with a 46-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Bryant to make it 20-14 with 3:10 left to play. The Redskins could breathe easy only after Watson gained seven yards on a third and six carry and Ramsey could kneel down to kill the rest of the clock. The Redskins’ first win over Dallas since October of 1997 was in the books, as was Green’s amazing career.

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' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

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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Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

There was some confusion about the Redskins’ Week 16 game in Tennessee when the NFL schedule dropped. The schedule pushed out by the Redskins said that the game date and time are to be determined. Other versions that went out, including the one on NFL.com, says the game will be on Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m.

So what’s the story? Well, if you’re thinking of making reservations to go to Nashville to watch the game you just might want to hold off for a while. Like, until early November. 

In an under the radar move, the NFL has established flex scheduling for its late-season Saturday games. Here are the details from the schedule press release from Redskins PR:

“Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.”

The way it sets up, if the Redskins and Titans are playing well in midseason there is a good chance the game will be played on Saturday, December 22 at either 4:30 or 8:20. If one or both teams are struggling, the league and networks could choose to flex two of the other four matchups to Saturday. 

This is taking flex scheduling to a different level. It’s one thing shifting a Sunday kickoff seven and a half hours from 1 p.m. to 8:30. It’s another to shift a whole day. The visiting teams can’t make travel arrangements, not knowing if they need to come into town on Friday for a Saturday game or on Saturday for Sunday. Fans who want to travel to the game are in the same boat. 

Of course, if you can afford it, you can just add a day to your Nashville excursion. There are worse things in the world than spending an extra day or two in Music City. 

If you have to wait to make your plans, as the Redskins do, you will find out no later than October 29, which is when Week 8 ends. 

Do you believe in trends? Then you should hope that the game does get flexed to Saturday. The Redskins have won three straight Saturday games, beating the Eagles in both 2014 and 2015 (the latter game clinching the division title for Washington) and the Bears in 2016. 

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