Quick Links

Week 14 Redskins at Chargers: Playoff contender faces playoff spoiler, but not the expected way


Week 14 Redskins at Chargers: Playoff contender faces playoff spoiler, but not the expected way

After a dispiriting loss in Dallas, the Redskins come to Los Angeles reeling. The team's playoff hopes are largely shot, and with a 5-7 record, the team is in real danger of their first losing record since 2014. 

On the other side of the equation sit the San Diego Chargers, fresh off three consecutive victories and new life in the AFC West division race. If the Redskins were in the AFC West, they'd be firmly in the playoff hunt too, but that's not the case. 

At various times this year it seemed Washington would have a lot to play for, though now, the spoiler role must capture their attention. Will that be enough? Here are three ways it might:

  1. Most valued commodity - Plenty was made about poor effort or schematics in the Redskins blowout loss to the Cowboys, but the simple truth is almost no teams win with four turnovers. Four. Turnovers. Want to win on the road? Protect the ball. Neither of Kirk Cousins' interceptions were particularly attributable to the quarterback, but his fumble was. Jamison Crowder had the worst game of his professional career. Those guys usually don't make those mistakes, and they can't to get a win in California. Protect the ball. It's the most simple football edict, and yet its simplicity conveys its importance. 
  2. Ground game - For two games against the Saints and the Giants, it looked like rookie Samaje Perine finally emerged. He went for more than 100 yards rushing in each game and gave Washington their first back-to-back 100-yard rushers in a few years. In Dallas, however, the wheels fell off. Perine was held under 40 yards rushing and the entire Redskins offense was largely ineffective. Traveling to play the Chargers should be a chance to get Perine back on track. While Los Angeles has fierce pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and the 4th best defense in the NFL as measured by points allowed, the Chargers rank 31st out of 32 teams against the run. Jay Gruden will go to his run game early, and should some results follow, the 'Skins coach will likely stick with it. For the Redskins to win, Perine will need to have a big day. What better way to protect Cousins than let his offensive line drive block, and make Bosa and Ingram chase a running back downfield. 
  3. It's not where you're from but where you pay rent - Forgive the obscure Outkast reference, but consider what it means. Starts don't matter, but finishing does. For the Redskins, that's been a problem. Greg Manusky's defense has only surrendered 33 points in the first quarter all season, a commendable effort. In the fourth quarter, however, that figure more than triples, as the Redskins have given up 110 points. The 'Skins D is ranked 30th in the league in points per game. In three of their last four games, the Redskins have given up at least 30 points. Injuries are undoubtedly an issue, but the Redskins slow descent from playoff contention coincided with the slow demise of their defense. 

Quote of the Week: Asked to summarize tight end Jordan Reed's injury-marred 2017 season, Jay Gruden replied,

What do you want me to say?

News & Notes

  • Chargers coach Anthony Lynn has a remarkable back story, and the fact that Lynn is coaching today is a miracle in and of itself. Back in 2005, early in Lynn’s first season as an assistant coach with the Cowboys, he was hit by a drunk driver while crossing a street. The impact was so violent that it’s a miracle he survived. The damage tally was extensive – two collapsed lungs, three broken ribs, major facial and shoulder damage that required four surgeries and temporary paralysis – yet despite it all, Lynn walked out of the hospital in less than two weeks.
  • With TD grabs against the Giants and Cowboys, Josh Doctson became the first member of the Redskins to catch a touchdown in back-to-back games since DeSean Jackson in Weeks 11-12 of 2016.
  • The Redskins have allowed only 14 points on opponents’ opening drives this season.
  • Kirk Cousins ranks first in the NFL in passer rating against the blitz (113.15).

Want more? Listen up:

Want more Redskins? 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!

Quick Links

Looking at cheap, reasonable and expensive wide receiver scenarios for Redskins

Looking at cheap, reasonable and expensive wide receiver scenarios for Redskins

Most NFL teams usually carry at least six wide receivers, but going into the 2018 season, only Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Maurice Harris and Robert Davis hold signed contracts with the Redskins.

That means Washington must consider adding receiver help via free agency, especially considering Harris and Davis rarely played in 2017. Terrelle Pryor and Ryan Grant both played with the Burgundy and Gold in 2017, and while Grant has a solid chance to return, it would seem Pryor will head elsewhere after a disappointing season in D.C. 

Like every year, a number of receivers will be available via free agency, but what guys make sense for Jay Gruden's team? Let's take a look at three different scenarios, knowing Washington likely needs to add at least one free agent wideout. 


  • Expensive: Jags WR Allen Robinson - A second-round pick in 2014, Robinson posted a 1,400-yard season in 2015 and has shown the ability to be a true No. 1 wideout in the NFL. He's 6-foot-3 with speed and leaping ability. In 2016, his numbers dipped to less than 900 yards receiving, but that season the Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles struggled significantly. Here's the thing: Robinson blew out his knee in the NFL opener in 2017, and that might make his price tag drop a bit. Word is the former Penn State star should be fully cleared by early March from the injury, and just 24 years old, he will be intriguing. Washington showed they would spend for a wideout in 2017 with the Pryor signing, but they did so on a one-year deal. If Robinson finds the free agent market not as robust as he wants, maybe a similar short-term deal could be reached?
  • Reasonable: Colts WR Donte Moncrief - A third-round pick in 2014, Moncrief also had a big sophomore season in 2015. He grabbed 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. That was his only full 16-game season, as injuries have continued to be an issue for the 6-foot-2, 220 lbs. wideout out of Ole Miss. In 2016, only playing in nine games, he still contributed with seven touchdowns. In 2017, his numbers slipped big-time, and he posted less than 400 yards receiving in 12 games. Moncrief's problem isn't talent, it's health. That means he could be relatively cheap, and at just 24 years old, that contract might bring a strong return. 
  • Wild Card: Jets WR Eric Decker -  The Redskins have lacked a true veteran wideout since DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon left the team following the 2016 season. Decker will turn 31 in March and would give Washington a different presence in the WR meeting room. He posted two 1,000 yard seasons playing with Peyton Manning in Denver and went to the Super Bowl in 2013. In 2015, while teamed up with Ryan Fitzpatrick playing for the Jets, Decker again hit the 1,000-yard mark and hit the end zone 12 times. Throughout his career, Decker has been a solid red zone threat and has shown the ability to win on tough routes. He will need to take a big pay cut from the $4.5 million, one-year deal he signed in Tennessee in 2017, but that has to be expected considering his paltry production. In 16 games with the Titans, Decker logged 563 yards and only one TD. Decker might make sense, though the cost would need to be low. 

There are plenty of other names to watch, guys like Seattle's Paul Richardson or Buffalo's Jordan Matthews. Free agency opens in mid-March, and some connections between the Redskins and wideouts will start prior to that.

Want more Redskins? 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!

Quick Links

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.


The Elite 8's first matchup is underway. 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: