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GameBlog vs. Bengals First Quarter

GameBlog vs. Bengals First Quarter

I’m going to be interested in seeing Adam Archuleta in Gregg Williams’ defense tonight. As he is who is new to the team I expect that he will play longer tonight than most of the starters. With the limited hitting in Redskins camp we really haven’t seen him do his thing and tonight will be his chance.

The weapons are all coming out on this first drive with the run by Portis, the pass to Moss, the attempt to get it to Cooley when he was blocked off by the linebacker and then the circus catch by Lloyd.

Brunell just doesn’t have the arm to complete a pass like the one that was picked off. Few quarterbacks do, for that matter. The blitz pickup wasn’t there and Brunell should either have taken the sack or executed the duck and chuck.

Portis doesn’t seem to be too bad off, but we’ll have to wait and see. If anything it’s a shoulder problem. I know people will be saying that he shouldn’t have been in the game, but you have to get ready for the season somehow. And don’t even think of anyone trying to tell him that he shouldn’t try to make a tackle like that. Portis has to be Portis.

The Washington defense is playing just like Williams and company draw it up. The line is fighting to a standstill, allowing the linebackers and DB’s to come in and make the plays.

The defense doesn’t have any need to play vanilla schemes like the offense does, either. Everyone knows what’s coming—a cornerback streaking towards the quarterback.

And a linebacker or two as well. Marshall and Washington executed a nice game of “meet at the quarterback.”

What a horrible throw by Todd Collins on the INT on the screen pass. I mean, if I could work at it five years full time I probably could learn Al Saunders’ offense, too, but that doesn’t mean I could execute it. I don’t know if Collins can, either.

Another bad decision by Collins on the safety, but that second-team offensive line didn’t help him out. They barely impeded the rush at all. No need to mention any names, they all got beaten.

Reed Doughty made a mistake in biting on the flea flicker, but it wasn’t a rookie mistake. It happens with some frequency, just ask Sean Taylor about the play in Dallas last September. The Redskins will be made to play for their aggressive style of play from time to time; they just need to make sure that the other team does more paying than they do.

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Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 22, 51 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 43
—NFL Draft (4/26) 94
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 230

Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons the Redskins can learn

Quarterback matters: We had the setup of the three castaway and ridiculed quarterbacks leading their teams into the NFL’s final four. But the two who survived were one of the greatest of all time and one who found his groove and had 10.7 yards per attempt and a 141.4 passer rating. Yes, Tom Brady and Nick Foles had a lot of help and we’ll get into that in a minute. But without excellent play from their quarterbacks, it may have been a different story for the Eagles and Patriots. This doesn’t mean that the Redskins need to spend send truckloads of money to Kirk Cousins’ house, but if they don’t, they do need a quality alternative. You won’t win with Bortles-level play.

Defense matters: The Vikings rolled right down the field on their first possession and it looked like the Eagles defense was going to have a long night. But then Chris Long got pressure on Case Keenum leading a pick six that apparently energized the Philly defense. Rookie Derek Barnett knocked the ball out of Keenum’s hand when the Vikings were threatening to make a game of it. Minnesota came up empty in its last eight possessions. As the Eagles offense started to build a lead, their defense played faster and more aggressively. At this point, the Redskins don’t have the personnel or the mindset to play that way on defense.

Does running really matter? It’s a small sample size here but in the two games yesterday it did not. The Patriots ran for all of 46 yards. The Eagles got 110 but at the point in the third quarter where they took a 31-7 lead, they had 202 yards passing and 40 yards rushing. Running the ball was not decisive in either game. Offensively, the games were won in the air. Jay Gruden’s “pass happy” approach can be a winning approach.

Stay aggressive: At times during the year, Cousins expressed some frustration in the Redskins’ inability or perhaps unwillingness to keep the pedal mashed to the floor when they had a lead. I hit on the Eagles’ aggressiveness on defense, but their offense didn’t slow down either. They were up 21-7 when they got the ball on their own 20 with 29 seconds left in the first half. In that situations, the Redskins—and, in fact, most other teams—would run a draw, throw a short pass, and let the clock run out. But Doug Pederson was having none of that. Passes for 11, 36, and 13 yards got them down to the Vikings 20 and they kicked a field goal to close out the half. If the game wasn’t over then it was early in the third quarter when Pederson called a flea flicker and Foles hit Torrey Smith for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

For Redskins fans, it's probably a tough pill to swallow that the Eagles are in the Super Bowl. Making matters worse, Philadelphia got to the championship game without their star quarterback Carson Wentz.

Beyond the feelings that fandom incites, which are real and severe, what does the Eagles' breakthrough season mean for Washington? Let's take a look. 

Perhaps the most incredible part of the Eagles' success is that wunderkind QB Wentz is not at the helm. The second-year player was an MVP candidate all season but got injured late in the year. Nick Foles, the Philly backup, took over and played well in both Eagles' playoff wins. 

Does that mean much, if anything, for the Redskins? 

Some will argue it means Washington should not look to invest top dollar in QB Kirk Cousins. Foles is not considered a top-flight quarterback and still was able to maneuver his squad to the Super Bowl.

Whether or not that argument makes sense, Redskins fans should prepare to hear a lot of it over the next two weeks. 

There is also a theory that the Redskins should eschew spending at QB in favor of spending on defense. 

That may very well be the right move, but don't look to the Eagles to support the theory. 

Philadelphia spent $47 million on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. On offense, they spent $56 million.

What is definitely true?

The Eagles played terrific football in the postseason, and catapulted through the NFC by playing the underdog role.

Redskins fans might hate it, but the Eagles absolutely earned their Super Bowl appearance. 

That doesn't mean Redskins fans have to like it. 

Philadelphia has never won a Super Bowl. 

Now, standing in the way of their first Lombardi Trophy: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

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