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Drop or not, Josh Doctson needs to play more for the Redskins

Drop or not, Josh Doctson needs to play more for the Redskins

KANSAS CITY — Josh Doctson nearly made the biggest play of the Redskins young 2017 season on Monday night.


Late in the fourth quarter of a tie game, Doctson leaped into the air, clearing at least two feet, located a well-thrown pass from Kirk Cousins and got two hands on the ball.

As his body fell mercilessly to the ground, gravity yanking down the 6-foot-4 receiver just like it does much less animated objects, Doctson lost the ball when he hit the ground.

He hit hard, and as the ball rolled out of the back of the end zone, so too did the Redskins game-winning touchdown. 

In turn, Washington kicked a field goal, which briefly tied the game in Arrowhead Stadium with less than a minute to play.


Once the Chiefs got the ball, they drove down the field and kicked their own field goal to win, before a garbage time defensive TD made the score look far less close than the actual game

For the Redskins, a number of plays could have swung the outcome.

There were far too many penalties, especially from the defense on third downs.  Samaje Perine could not handle a simple pitch out of the backfield, and while the crisis was averted when the ball bounced clumsily out of bounds, it cost the Burgundy and Gold momentum. Early in the game, Terrelle Pryor dropped a key pass on a third down that would have extended a drive. 

The play that will be most remembered, however, is the near TD from Cousins to Doctson. And how it will be remembered matters. 

Doctson's had a tough start to his Washington career. He missed nearly his entire rookie year after being a 2016 first-round draft pick. This season, a nagging hamstring injury limited his snaps through the first four games of the year. 

He's also started to show that he can be a special player, fans are realizing the potential Doctson has and why Washington drafted him in the first round. It showed up against Oakland on a deep TD catch from Cousins, and it showed up against Kansas City, even if he couldn't hang onto the ball as he hit the turf. 


Doctson didn't make the catch, but he didn't drop the ball either.

To call that play a drop is unfair to the effort put forth by the wideout, and the incredible degreee of difficulty that play required. Be clear though, it was a catchable ball, and a good throw from Cousins. 

Not all things are binary. Could Doctson have made the play? Absolutely. He nearly did. Should he have made that play? Few players can, or do. In only his sixth NFL game, Doctson almost did. 

The second-year wideout from TCU needs to be on the field more for the Redskins. He's proven that. After the first quarter of the season, Doctson has logged less snaps than Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder and Ryan Grant. Against the Chiefs, Doctson was out there for just 17 snaps. Pryor, who caught his first TD with the Redskins in the first half, logged 43 snaps. 

Doctson has gifts. The Redskins need to use them. 

With more opportunities, perhaps the debate won't center on drops, but catches. 


Want more Redskins content? be sure to listen to the latest #RedskinsTalk podcast and subscribe on iTunes and Apple Podcasts. 

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


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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Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan


Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

The Week 12 fantasy football rankings are out -- but when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, everyone wants some player regardless of where they slot overall. Don't overthink it and take a lesser player, but for those on the fence or simply looking for Thursday action, here are some recommendations for all three games.

Vikings @ Lions

Obvious: Vikings -- Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs... running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are in the RB2/Flex discussion for most, but good luck picking between them; Lions -- Wide receiver Golden Tate and ... wide receiver Marvin Jones works in three-WR formats while quarterback Matthew Stafford is No. 14 among passers this week.

Start: Case Keenum averaged 19.3 points over the last four games while the Lions have allowed ample points to fantasy quarterbacks in that stretch, though only three touchdown passes. Having Thielen and Diggs up the potential for Keenum, who is QB17 in the Week 12 rankings. That's comparable with Matthew Stafford (QB14), Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and ahead of Derek Carr.

Add: Not sure there's any fringe skill player worth taking a flyer on so take a look at Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. He's attempted at least three field goals in four of his last five games and he kicked five extra points in the lone exception. ... Some will start Ameer Abdullah based on their options, but just know the Vikings allow the second fewest points to fantasy tight ends this season.

Chargers @ Cowboys

Obvious: Chargers -- running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen; Cowboys -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back Alfred Morris and... quarterback Dak Prescott, though his production is down without running back Ezekiel Elliott and left tackle Tyron Smith.

Start: This hasn't been a vintage Philip Rivers season, but he's coming off his best performance (251 yards, two touchdown passes) since Week 5. The Cowboys aren't that special in the secondary and have surrendered two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. At QB13, he's on the cusp of QB1 status in 12-team leagues. 

Add: Kickers Nick Novak (Chargers) and Mike Nugent (Cowboys) are 15th and 16th respectively. So, there's that. 

Giants @ Redskins

The obvious: Giants -- tight end Evan Engram and... running back Orleans Darkwa is a viable RB2 option against a Redskins defense giving up gobs of yards on the ground; Redskins -- quarterback Kirk Cousins, tight Vernon Davis and...running back Samaje Perine is RB12 this week, though listed as questionable on the injury report with a finger issue.

Start: Jordan Reed is out for a fourth consecutive game, meaning Vernon Davis once again is Washington's main tight end. While he hasn't provided wow performances like Reed at his Pro Bowl best, Davis has been good for a solid 8-11 since taking on a larger role starting in Week 3. This could be his best statistical week of the season. The Giants allow the most points to fantasy tight ends on the season. Opposing tight ends scored a touchdown in each of the first 10 games before the streak snapped Sunday.


Add: Josh Doctson is only owned in 55 percent of leagues on CBS even though he's moved into the role of Washington's top outside receiver. The second-year player had four receptions for 81 yards in Sunday's overtime loss, though all the production came in the first half. Consistency is the next step, but Kirk Cousins is showing more and more confidence in the 6'3" target especially on 50-50 balls. Doctson is WR36 in my Week 12 rankings, meaning he's worth starting consideration in three-WR formats regardless.