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Redskins' season ends with another disappointing dud against Giants

Redskins' season ends with another disappointing dud against Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — The Redskins had a strong week of practice ahead of their season finale against the Giants.

Unfortunately, the hard work did not show, as the Redskins laid an egg in the season finale against the Giants for the second straight season.

Here are my observations from the Redskins 18-10 loss to the Giants.

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—The Redskins got off to an awful start. First, Orleans Darkwa took advantage of a nickel defensive alignment and popped through the middle for 75 yards and a touchdown. Then on the Redskins third play from scrimmage, Kelvin Shepard picked off Kirk Cousins’ pass and returned it into the red zone at the 19. Two plays later it was 12-0. The only good thing was that the Giants failed to convert either point after.

—Preston Smith now has two more interceptions this year than does Josh Norman. Smith got his second of the season off of Eli Manning, setting the Redskins up in the red zone. Two plays later it was Cousins running the read option to perfection, keeping the ball and scooting 12 yards for the touchdown. The PAT made it 12-7 midway through the first quarter.

—The Redskins defense is playing as poorly as it has all year considering the opposition. They got zero pop from the takeaway and quick score. The Giants, playing without any starting-caliber linemen or receivers, rolled down to a first and goal at the six. The D did hold there but a field goal pushed New York’s lead up to 15-7.

—The Redskins squandered good field position after a punt that gave them possession on their own 42. They converted a third down for the first time today but they soon were in first and 30 due to a clipping penalty on Tyler Catalina, in at left tackle for an injured Ty Nsekhe, and a delay of game flag. They have 103 net yards of offense midway through the second quarter.

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—That tweet came after a Manning incompletion where he had all day to survey the field and nearly got it to RB Wayne Gallman down the sideline. The Giants picked up the first down later on a penalty and then converted another third down on a pass but Manning was under pressure and threw incomplete on another third down.

—For one of the few times all year, the Redskins got some points on the board near the end of the second quarter. It took Jamison Crowder following his blocks for a 29-yard punt return to the New York 31 with four seconds left. Dustin Hopkins came into the game immediately and snuck a 49-yard field goal just inside the left upright. That make it a one-score game at 15-10 at the half.

— Cousins with a strange interception. He went down field for Grant. The receiver jumped for the ball but it was only about a foot off the ground. The defender scooped it up for the pick. There was no damage as the Giants went three and out. If the Redskins manage to win this it will certainly be an ugly one.

—The Redskins had 66 yards of offense in the third quarter. They had the ball four times and got into New York territory just once.

—That was a good chance for Norman deep in New York territory. He holds at no interceptions on the season.

—Cousins’ third interception of the game seals this one up. The Redskins will not have that third non-losing season in a row.

Fan analysis

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

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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.

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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 20, six days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five pivotal games on the Redskins’ schedule

All NFL games are important but some seem to be a little more important than others. At first glance at the Redskins’ schedule, these seem to be the five most pivotal games. 

Week 1 @Cardinals—Wait, Week 1 is pivotal? It is if you’re Jay Gruden and you are 0-4 in season openers. Starting off in an 0-1 hole again after losing a winnable game would not get things off to a positive start. 

Week 7 Cowboys—The only Redskins-Cowboys game that Kirk Cousins started in the last three years that Washington won was the 2015 season finale in Dallas, a game that was meaningless to both teams. Alex Smith needs to take advantage of his shot at the Cowboys. Beating Dallas is important for being competitive in the division and for job security in general. This is their shot at them at home.

Week 9 Falcons—Atlanta has been among the league’s big boys the last couple of years. The Redskins get them at home, on grass, when the weather could be turning a little bit chilly. It’s a good opportunity to upset a dome team. The game also ends the first part of the season and the Redskins face a second half of the schedule that has just three home games. 

Week 14 Giants—This is one of the aforementioned scarce home games in the latter part of the season. It’s preceded by road games in Dallas (9-7 last year) and Philadelphia (Super Bowl champs) and followed by roadies in Jacksonville (lost AFC title game) and Tennessee (won a playoff game). Nobody is quite sure to what extent the Giants will rebound from their dismal 2017 season but this game has the feel of a possible oasis surrounded by hostile deserts. 

Week 16 @Titans—If the Redskins are in playoff contention, this game will determine a lot even though its non-conference. As noted, the Titans are looking to improve on their playoff season last year and they will not be a pushover by any stretch. But if the Redskins want to be able to say that they are a better team than they have been the last couple of years, this is the kind of game they should 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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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 32
—Training camp starts (7/26) 97
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 142

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