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Week 16 Redskins vs. Broncos: Two teams fighting over one quarterback?


Week 16 Redskins vs. Broncos: Two teams fighting over one quarterback?

Christmas Eve might be the time to revel with friends and family, but for the Redskins, it's time for football. Washington welcomes the Denver Broncos to town on Sunday, and neither side has much of anything at stake. 

The 6-8 Redskins' playoff chances ended weeks ago, and the same for the 5-9 Broncos. That doesn't mean the players won't go hard and the coaches won't focus on winning. Remember, football is not a game that can be played at half speed. 

For Washington to win, the team needs to play a similar game to last weekend's victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Here's the deep dive:

  1. That's my quarterback - Most Redskins fans hate that Sunday could be Kirk Cousins' final home game wearing Burgundy and Gold, but that's the reality. The situation isn't new, Cousins is now playing on his third one-year deal in a row. Still, this could be the end at FedEx Field, and it's entirely possible the Broncos will be scouting. Denver has one of the top defenses in the NFL led by Von Miller, and an offense with good skill position players, particularly WR Demaryius Thomas. What do the Broncos need? A quarterback. If Cousins hits the open market, which is no guarantee, John Elway might have his Denver organization poised to make a run at the Redskins franchise record holder for passing yards in a season. 
  2. Do it again - Last week the Redskins beat a Cardinals team with a strong defense and a terrible offense. The Broncos come in with similar bonafides. Denver gives up the least yards in the NFL, while their offense ranks 24th in the league in points scored. Whatever quarterback starts for the Broncos, Paxton Lynch or Brock Osweiler, neither will be much of a threat. Osweiler played well last week in a win over the Colts, but the larger track record points to turnovers and inaccuracy. Denver comes into this game winners of two straight, and perhaps, with some momentum. 
  3. No special gifts - It's been a tough season for the Redskins special teams. Perhaps that was best illustrated last week against Arizona when a kickoff landed short and the Cardinals recovered the ball. Not an onside kick, an actual kickoff. The simplest rule of special teams is to understand a kickoff is a live football and must be handled. That's a Football 101 mistake, and while the ball took an absurd bounce, it simply cannot happen. 

Quote of the Week: Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, asked about Kirk Cousins:

He's an elite quarterback. 

News & Notes:

  • If the Redskins win on Sunday they will end the season with a 5-3 record at FedEx Field, just their sixth winning home record since 2000.
  • If Ryan Kerrigan records a sack on Sunday, that will mark back-to-back 10-sack seasons, the first time in his career. 
  • Kirk Cousins has thrown for less than 200 yards passing in consecutive games, which had never previously occurred since he became starter in 2015. 
  • With four receptions, Vernon Davis will pass Jeremy Shockey for ninth place all-time among NFL tight ends. 
  • Redskins have the opportunity for their first back-to-back wins since Weeks 2 and 3.

Want more? Listen up!

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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.


January 18: Round two, matchup one

The first Elite 8 matchup was... not close:

January 19: Round two, matchup two

Half of the Final 4 is now set:

January 22: Round two, matchup three

This one was a low-scoring, close affair, but went to the Likes side in the end:

January 23: Round two, matchup four

The last Final 4 spot is up for grabs. 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:

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Redskins will eye Vikings' QB decisions with great interest

Redskins will eye Vikings' QB decisions with great interest

Now that the Minnesota Vikings’ season is over, the team can start sorting out its quarterback situation. The Redskins will be watching the process with great interest.

Minnesota has three quarterbacks who have significant NFL starting experience and all three of them are free agents. It would be difficult for the Vikings to keep more than one of the trio of Sam Bradford (80 NFL starts), Case Keenum (38), and Teddy Bridgewater (28). All three would like to start, or at least have an opportunity to start, in 2018. The Vikings will only be able to accommodate one of them.


That would leave two experienced quarterbacks on the market. As you may have heard, the Redskins could be parting ways with Kirk Cousins. Would they be interested in any of the three possible ex-Vikings? Let’s take a look at each of them:

Sam Bradford, age 30 at start of 2018 season—After the Rams made him the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, he had four up and down years in St. Louis. He was traded to the Eagles for Nick Foles. Philly flipped him to the Vikings after Bridgewater was injured before the 2016 season. Bradford had a career year in his first year there but a knee injury limited him to two starts in 2017.
Fit with the Redskins: He is the most likely of the three to end up on the free agent market and he could end up costing the least. Bradford was very productive in 2016 and he would be a good fit in Jay Gruden’s offense. But the injury bug is a major red flag. He has missed 48 of a possible 128 games with injuries including 14 last season and the entire 2014 season.

Teddy Bridgewater, age 25—He was going to be the Vikings’ franchise quarterback after they drafted him in the first round in 2014. Bridgewater led the Vikings to an 11-5 record and a division title his second season and they were a missed chip shot field goal away from advancing to the divisional round. But a devastating knee injury suffered before the 2016 season has put his future in doubt. It put him on the injury list for all of 2016 and most of last year.  
Fit with the Redskins: The story now is that the organization is torn between keeping Bridgewater or sticking with Keenum. Bridgewater also could fit into Gruden’s offense. Bridgewater is by far the youngest of the three and he could be more of a long-term solution. The knee is the reason why the Vikings can’t move on and there is uncertainty over whether it will ever be 100-percent.


Case Keenum, age 30—The Vikings are the third stop in his six NFL seasons. He had stints as the starter in Houston and with the Rams before landing in Minnesota as a free agent last March. When Bradford was injured in Week 1 in came Keenum and he had a career year, completing 67.6 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Vikings had an excellent defense but it’s unlikely that they reach the NFC championship game without Keenum.
Fit with Redskins: Is Keenum a one-year wonder? Or did his show is ability given a chance? Look at this table to compare his first season as a starter with Kirk Cousins’ 2015 season. Keenum had 62 fewer attempts so the yardage total is lower, but their performances are comparable. But if the Vikings let him go, will the Redskins risk a multi-year deal that probably will be in excess of $20 million per year on a guy with one solid year on his resume? They were unwilling to do it with Cousins a few years ago.

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.