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Grading the Redskins: Forbath remains perfect

forbath-vs-dal.png

Grading the Redskins: Forbath remains perfect

Special teams

Grade vs. Cowboys: B+

Comment: The field goal unit was pressed into duty only one time Thursday, and the call didn’t come until late in the fourth quarter of a game that was in jeopardy of slipping away.

But first-year kicker Kai Forbath delivered with the cool and calm of a seasoned veteran. With the Redskins’ lead whittled to 35-28, the 25-year-old drilled a 48-yarder with 3:03 remaining to put the Redskins up by two scores.

“I told the guys that was probably the drive that saved our season,” Coach Mike Shanahan said after the game. Forbath added: “I went out and said, ‘We made this kick 10 times in warmups today. Why not make it now?’ And I hit it good to keep the streak going.”

Forbath is now 10 for 10 on field goals, including hitting six from 40-49 yards, to start his NFL career.

Forbath was also much better on kickoffs at Cowboys Stadium. After putting only one of his five kickoffs in the end zone against the Eagles, he took advantage of the semi-enclosed arena and put six of his seven kickoffs into the zone, including three for touchbacks. The hang time on his kicks also was much-improved, giving the coverage more time to get downfield. 

“I felt more comfortable being inside,” Forbath said. “And there was good footing on the turf, so I was more confident.”

As good as the Redskins were on special teams, there were a couple of miscues worth noting. For the second straight week, the punt team was flagged for a penalty – Perry Riley for illegal formation against the Eagles and Niles Paul for a false start vs. Dallas.

Also, Brandon Banks attempted to return a 64-yard punt in the first quarter after fielding the ball in the end zone. A curious decision, indeed, Banks was pushed out of bounds at the 7-yard line.

“Brandon is a smart guy and sometimes smart guys with a lot of ability try to make plays,” Shanahan said. “It’s tough with a guy who really believes he’s going to make plays. But we’re going to take a hard look at it and make sure that he makes the decisions in the best interest of our football team.”

Overall, though, special teams were a plus for the Redskins on an afternoon that featured little margin for error.

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and everybody will predict the team’s season-long record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing.

Myself included. 

But don’t read much, if anything, into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. 

What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)

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Another Thanksgiving game for Redskins

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Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

The 2018 NFL regular-season schedule is finally here.

We’ve known who the Redskins will play in the 2018 season and where the games will be played since the regular season ended.

Now we know the when.

Here is the Redskins 2018 schedule; games are at 1:00 Eastern unless otherwise indicated.

The first thing that jumps out is the Thanksgiving game. This will be the third straight year that the Redskins have played on Thanksgiving. Two years ago they lost at Dallas and last year the got a win over the Giants at home. 

Three Thanksgiving games in a row for a team that is not the Lions or Cowboys, the two teams that traditionally host on Turkey Day, is not without precedent although it is unusual. Besides Dallas and Detroit, only two teams have played in three straight Thanksgiving games since the 1970 merger.

The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between the played at Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Washington Redskins 2018 Regular-Season Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9. 4:05 PM at Arizona Cardinals
Week 2 Sunday, 9/16 vs Indianapolis Colts
Week 3 Sunday, 9/23 vs Green Bay Packers
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 Monday, 10/8. 8:15 at New Orleans Saints 
Week 6 Sunday, 10/14. vs Carolina Panthers
Week 7 Sunday, 10/21. 4:25 vs Cowboys
Week 8 Sunday, 10/28.  At New York Giants
Week 9 Sunday, 11/4. vs Atlanta Falcons 
Week 10 Sunday, 11/11. At Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Week 11 Sunday, 11/18. vs Houston Texans 
Week 12 Thursday, 11/22 (Thanksgiving).  4:30 at Dallas Cowboys 
Week 13 Monday, 12/3. 8:15 at Philadelphia Eagles 
Week 14 Sunday, 12/9. vs New York Giants 
Week 15 Sunday, 12/16. At Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 16 Sunday, 12/23.  At Tennessee Titans (Time TBD)
Week 17 Sunday, 12/30. vs Philadelphia Eagles

2018 REDSKINS SCHEDULE NOTES:

  • If the Redskins are going to take advantage of home cooking, they will need to get off to a good start. They have five home games in the first half of the season. After Week 9 they have just three home games and they face a stretch of four road games in five weeks in late November and December. Three of the teams in that stretch, the Eagles, Jaguars, and Titans, made the playoffs and won at least one game. The Eagles, of course, won it all. The other road game in that stretch is against the Cowboys, who finished 9-7 last year. 
     
  • The Redskins will open on the road for the first time since 2014 when they opened in Houston. This year they will have to travel west to Arizona and try to win to remove the goose egg in Jay Gruden’s 0-4 opening-game record as coach of the Redskins.
     
  • They get an early bye, in Week 4. That will be their earliest bye week since 2007 when the bye also came in Week 4. 
     
  • On the plus side, their two games in Florida come at times when hot weather is unlikely to be a factor. Their game in Tampa comes in November and the contest at Jacksonville comes in mid-December. 
     

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