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Flashback Friday—Manley’s “sneeze” helps Skins win

Flashback Friday—Manley’s “sneeze” helps Skins win

Redskins 27, Saints 24
November 6, 1988
RFK Stadium

The second Flashback Friday brings you a game against the second opponent the Redskins will face in 2008 (hey, I might be on to a pattern here).

With the mention of Dexter Manley here earlier this week, I remembered this very Dexter moment from 1988.

RFK Stadium--Chip Lohmiller's 23-yard field goal with 47 seconds left gave the Redskins the lead, but they couldn't rest easily until the Saints' Morten Anderson missed a 49-yard attempt with four seconds on the clock as they hung on to beat New Orleans.

The key and most memorable moment of this contest, however, was not a placekick, not even a pass or a run. It was provided by Dexter Manley and, well, here's the story.

The Saints had broken on top 24-17 after having been tied at halftime. Early in the fourth quarter, they were in position to make it a very difficult uphill struggle for the Redskins to pull this one out with possession at the Washington 20. After a third down incompletion, it appeared that Anderson would come in to attempt a near-automatic 37-yard field goal. New Orleans tackle Jim Dombrowski changed all of that, though, when he took a swing at Manley. Dexter did not retaliate and the dead ball foul made Anderson's attempt a 52-yarder, which was partially blocked.

As it turns out, Dombrowski was the one retaliating as, after the play, Manley had spit in the offensive player's face. "He suckered me and I bought into it," said Dombrowski.

"I think I might have sneezed on him," said a coy Manley.

Even after the expectoration situation, the Redskins still trailed by a touchdown and were backed up at their own six. The combination of Doug Williams to Ricky Sanders took care of that little problem. Sanders turned a little hitch pass into a 42-yard gain and later found a seam between a pair of defenders to catch Williams' eight-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 6:35 to play.

Washington got the ball back less than a minute later on its own 31 and embarked on the winning drive. A pass to tight end Don Warren picked up 32 yards. Then Timmy Smith was called upon to pick up some yardage and burn off some clock as he handled the ball on the next seven plays, six of them runs. Art Monk scooted to the five on a reverse and then Lohmiller was called in. Anderson's attempt at the end was wide and short and the Redskins got away with the win.

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Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Redskins fans were frenzied when Scot McCloughan said that Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback, but not a special one. The #KirkHive shuddered and the Kirk Haters celebrated.

McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who's wildly popular with fans, explained what few people will say publicly: Cousins is a skilled player but probably not deserving of the money he might make in free agency. 

Let's start with the obvious: Cousins is good.

He's a durable passer in a league that doesn't have enough of them. He's started the last 49 games for the Redskins and thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past three seasons. 

Now more obvious: He isn't great.

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Bleacher Report's Chris Simms, speaking on the #RedskinsTalk podcast, said Cousins ranks about 12th among NFL passers. It's top half of the league, but it's not Top 5 or even Top 10. 

Cousins has had tremendous games with the Redskins, like a near perfect performance against Oakland in 2017 or a dominant performance against Green Bay in 2016. 

Cousins has also been awful, as recently as Week 17 in New York a few weeks ago, or an equally stinky Week 17 game against the Giants two seasons ago. 

While some might view McCloughan's statement as controversial — "He’s a good player. Is he special? I don’t see special," he told Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan — it's not. 

Plenty of people agree with McCloughan, including some in Redskins Park. Last year, a source told NBC Sports Washington that the team believed they could get nearly as much production from Colt McCoy as Cousins provided. 

Even this year, Washington head coach Jay Gruden offered lukewarm praise of his quarterback.

When the season ended, asked to evaluate Cousins' play, the coach said, "When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ There’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent [Williams] when he played was a Pro Bowl-type and Brandon [Scherff] when he was healthy was a Pro Bowl-type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know, we’re 7-9."

That quote made headlines when Gruden said it, much like McCloughan's comments now are circulating faster than Beltway traffic. 

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Truth is, it's not new. And it's not news.

There are coaches that think Cousins is only scratching the surface of his capabilities. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay come to mind, but both of those coaches have other QBs likely for the long-term future. 

Cousins might end up being paid like a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL, and that might be the right move given the demand at the position. Will that make him a special passer?

Not if special is defined as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Even Cousins wouldn't argue with that.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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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.

ELITE 8 RESULTS

January 18: Round two, matchup one

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

January 19: Round two, matchup two

The Elite 8's second tilt is underway. Vote now:


FIRST ROUND RESULTS

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: