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Redskins must clean up mistakes to navigate tough road ahead

Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Redskins must clean up mistakes to navigate tough road ahead

The Redskins are a team that could use a break. They aren’t going to get one any time soon.

It could reasonably be said that the game they played Sunday against the 3-3 Cowboys was their best chance to get a win before Thanksgiving. Their current two-game losing streak could well stretch to five games if they don’t put things back together in a hurry.

Next up for the Redskins is a trip to Seattle and I don’t have to explain what a tough task that will be. They then return home to play the Vikings, who will be coming off of their bye week after four straight wins. Next up is a trip to New Orleans and a Saints team that has won five straight after stumbling to an 0-2 start.

Thanksgiving brings the Giants to FedEx Field and perhaps an easier game, although fans would be well advised to recall the 2016 season finale when a Giants team with no incentive to play well came in and knocked the Redskins out of the playoffs.


In order to compete with anyone, from the hot Vikings to the slumping Giants, they have to do two things. For one, they have to get healthy. Whether the injuries are an “excuse” for losing to the Cowboys or if they are a legitimate “reason” for the defeat (you can make the case both ways), this team needs to get some of its best players on the field to beat the better teams on its schedule.

But they could get everyone healthy and if they make the mistakes they made on Sunday they will not win many games. Some penalties and dropped passes were critical. They turned the ball over three times and had a field goal blocked, leading to two touchdowns and two field goals. That’s 20 points in a game they lost by 14. At full strength, the Redskins are not good enough to win while giving away points in bunches like they did on Sunday. When two players on your offensive line are making their first NFL starts, one of your top corners is out, and so on, the task becomes nearly impossible.


Perhaps the injuries are partially to blame for the negative plays. Maybe the experienced Dustin Hopkins would have adjusted better to a snap and hold that were less than perfect. It’s possible that the strip sack of Cousins early in the second half doesn’t happen if the five top O-linemen are in. But they are not the only team in the NFL getting nailed by injuries and some of them are managing to avoid giving games away.

We will get word from Jay Gruden Monday on the new and old injuries and track the progress of those via the practice reports through the week. But there are no reports that will tell us if the Redskins will avoid making killer mistakes in Seattle. They could get healthier and still lose if they don’t clean up the mistakes.  

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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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?


What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

For Redskins fans, it's probably a tough pill to swallow that the Eagles are in the Super Bowl. Making matters worse, Philadelphia got to the championship game without their star quarterback Carson Wentz.

Beyond the feelings that fandom incites, which are real and severe, what does the Eagles' breakthrough season mean for Washington? Let's take a look. 

Perhaps the most incredible part of the Eagles' success is that wunderkind QB Wentz is not at the helm. The second-year player was an MVP candidate all season but got injured late in the year. Nick Foles, the Philly backup, took over and played well in both Eagles' playoff wins. 

Does that mean much, if anything, for the Redskins? 

Some will argue it means Washington should not look to invest top dollar in QB Kirk Cousins. Foles is not considered a top-flight quarterback and still was able to maneuver his squad to the Super Bowl.

Whether or not that argument makes sense, Redskins fans should prepare to hear a lot of it over the next two weeks. 

There is also a theory that the Redskins should eschew spending at QB in favor of spending on defense. 

That may very well be the right move, but don't look to the Eagles to support the theory. 

Philadelphia spent $47 million on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. On offense, they spent $56 million.

What is definitely true?

The Eagles played terrific football in the postseason, and catapulted through the NFC by playing the underdog role.

Redskins fans might hate it, but the Eagles absolutely earned their Super Bowl appearance. 

That doesn't mean Redskins fans have to like it. 

Philadelphia has never won a Super Bowl. 

Now, standing in the way of their first Lombardi Trophy: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, time, location, odds, TV channel, halftime performer

USA Today Sports Images

When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, time, location, odds, TV channel, halftime performer

Super Bowl LII (52) will feature the New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC Champion) against the Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Champion) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018.

If they go on to advance, the Vikings would become the first team to ever ‘host’ the Super Bowl in their home stadium. They are the third to play the game in their home state. Minnesota will be looking for their first Super Bowl title in five tries, the most appearances by any team without a championship.

Philadelphia is looking for their first title ever as well, and doing it with a back-up quarterback Nick Foles. They have been the underdog in every game this postseason; it would be no different in the Super Bowl.

New England is looking for their third Super Bowl over the past four years and their sixth championship since 2001. However, their path in the AFC Playoffs is arguably the easiest in their history. A win by the Patriots would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history with six.

The new kids one the block, the Jaguars are one win away from their first Super Bowl appearance in what is already the best year ever for the franchise. If Jacksonville were to pull it off, they would be the tenth team in NFL history to win in their first Super Bowl appearance.

Super Bowl LII Information:

When is Super Bowl 52?

6:15 pm ET, February 4, 2018

Who is playing in Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles

Where is Super Bowl 52?

U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota

How can I watch Super Bowl 52 on TV?


Where can I stream Super Bowl 52?

The Super Bowl can be streamed for free on and on the NBC Sports app.

Online with no cable TV: fubtoTV (Try for free)

Who are the announcers for Super Bowl 52?

Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Heather Cox

Who is performing the Super Bowl 52 halftime show?

Justin Timberlake is the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime performer. It is his third Super Bowl performance, previously performing in Super Bowl XXV and more famously in XXVIII with Janet Jackson.

What are the odds for Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots: 6/5
Minnesota Vikings: 7/4
Philadelphia Eagles: 7/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 8/1