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Redskins players and coaches didn't say much about their home field on Thursday

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Redskins players and coaches didn't say much about their home field on Thursday

FedEx Field became a national joke on Thanksgiving night. Well, not the whole stadium, but the actual field. 

The strip of grass inside the hash marks, from end zone to end zone, looked barren. The grass on the sidelines looked pleasantly green, but the turf in the middle of the field, where the bulk of the game gets played, looked terrible. 

It's time to dispel at least one myth: This is not some cost-cutting measure by the Redskins. The team has tried to address the poor field for years, and yet, it keeps happening. The team has tried to resod, install new fields, and additional grass seed. For whatever reason, none of it seems to work.

As has happened many times before, in the second half of Washington's win over the Giants, the turf caused a problem for the home team. 

Kirk Cousins went to make a throw to the sideline, and it looked like his foot stuck in the dirt. That caused him to sail the ball, and in turn led to an interception. That interception got returned for a New York touchdown. That touchdown tied the score, in the fourth quarter. 

So, yeah, Redskins fans were very mad about the field. 

Cousins was able to engineer another TD scoring drive, and the Redskins were able to win the game. That calmed some of the anger about the field, at least from the players and coaches. 

Asked about the field's involvement in his lone interception, Cousins remained diplomatic.

"I just felt rushed because I felt like they were going to get my arm if I didn’t rush it so I kind of came up quick and tried to dump it quickly and the ball was a little high and just ended up very unlucky," the QB said.

Head coach Jay Gruden said even less about the field. 

"I don’t know what happened," Gruden said. "Did somebody trip or something? I didn’t notice that.”

Coaches, and quarterbacks, don't like to offer excuses. And it's pretty clear that the turf wasn't the only factor in Cousins' interception, especially considering running back Byron Marshall had a chance at the pass before it caromed to the Giants defender. 

Still, look at that picture. The field is a problem, like it has been in years past. 

On NBC Sports Washington after the game, former Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss talked about his own struggles at FedEx Field as winter progressed. Moss explained it happened every year, and players knew it was coming. 

Privately, a few Redskins players acknowledged the poor field, and its impact on the game. 

That's not to say fields throughout the country don't deteriorate as fall turns to winter. It's natural, though some stadiums seem to handle the changes in weather better. 

FedEx Field, in the relatively moderate climate of D.C., is not one of them.

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!

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.

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Opposite extremes, but loss of Chris Thompson, Terrelle Pryor tell Redskins story in 2017

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Opposite extremes, but loss of Chris Thompson, Terrelle Pryor tell Redskins story in 2017

The hype train escalated for Terrelle Pryor as soon as he signed in Washington. Folks looked at his 2016 production - 77 catches for more than 1,000 yards - and immediately saw huge potential paired with Kirk Cousins. 

The hype train barely moved when Chris Thompson signed an offseason extension with the Redskins. Despite a breakout season in 2016 - 700 total yards and five touchdowns - most Redskins fans expected similar production from Thompson in 2017.

Once the season started, however, it was obvious both men were on opposite trajectories. In fact, looked at a bit more carefully, it started to show during training camp.

RELATED: WEEK 11 NFL POWER RANKINGS

While fantasy experts predicted monster stats for Pryor, it became clear he and Cousins were not exactly on the same page. Cousins is a precise passer, wanting to know when and where his targets will break off routes and where he can throw the ball to hit an open man. Pryor, for all of his size and physical prowess, is still learning the receiver position, as he played quarterback almost exclusively in his career. 

Watching practices under the Richmond sun, it was obvious Josh Doctson was the team's best wideout. Still, the praise and hype mounted for Pryor.

By Week 1, expectations far outpaced reality, and on the first offensive play of the year Pryor could not find a deep pass from Cousins. In the moment it was just one play. In hindsight, it was a microcosm of everything that was to come. 

When Jay Gruden announced Pryor would go to injured reserve and miss the remainder of the season on Monday, it almost seemed like a fair way for things to end for all parties. Pryor has talent, and maybe in a system less exacting and more volume oriented (like 2016 in Cleveland) he can excel again. It wasn't going to happen in Washington, and as his playing time and targets dwindled, there was no reason for Pryor to play through ankle pain. 

Losing Pryor shouldn't make much of an impact on the final six games of the Redskins season because, well, Pryor didn't make much impact on the first half of the season either.

Losing Thompson is another matter entirely. 

RELATED: NFL APOLOGY LITTLE MORE THAN HALLOW FOR COUSINS

The five-year veteran was in the middle of a career year, leading all NFL running backs in receiving yards and likely on his way to being named the Redskins Offensive MVP. It's hard to overstate Thompson's value to this team. He is the best runner, receiver and pass blocker the Redskins had at running back, and one of the few game-breaking talents on the field. 

Washington likely needs to run the table, win out their final six, to make the playoffs. Doing that without Terrelle Pryor won't be too difficult.

Doing that without Chris Thompson, that's going to be very difficult. 

The 2017 season will be remembered by many as a year where injuries buried the Redskins chances. Early on, Washington looked like a possible contender. 

Losing Thompson, and Pryor, tell that story, but in very different ways. 

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!