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Griffin's rocky day ends early but he says knee feels fine

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Griffin's rocky day ends early but he says knee feels fine

DENVER--It was all there for the Washington Redskins.

They had a 21-7 lead on the road in Denver. They had bottled up Peyton Manning and company since the Broncos' first possession. They had turned over Manning on consecutive possessions and turned both into TDs. The crowd at Sports Authority Field was stunned.

But the Broncos scored 38 unanswered points, knocked Robert Griffin III out of the game and the Redskins dreams of scoring a huge upset win were gone.

Griffin was not having one of his best games before a big, legal hit by nose tackle Terrence Knighton sent him to the sideline with 5:43 left to play.

“The knee feels fine,” said Griffin. “[Knighton] came in an landed all 300-plus pounds of himself on my leg. I think it really just scared me. After I got up and the docs checked me I was fine. I was ready to go back in the game. Talked with Mike and just the way the game had gone and Kirk was already out there it was smart to just keep me off the field and be ready to go next week.”

Griffin said that there are no plans for him to get any test such as an MRI done on the knee.

His pass on that last play of his was intercepted. He had another one picked off earlier and this was only the second multiple interception game of his career.

It was that kind of day for Griffin. He completed 15 of 30 passes for just 132 yards and one touchdown to go with the two interceptions. His passer rating of 45.4 was by far the worst of his career; his previous low in that department came two weeks ago in Dallas when he posted a 58.3.

And after running 20 times for a total of 161 yards in the last two games, Griffin could not get untracked on the ground today. He rushed just five times for seven yards.

“We didn't run the zone read much today but that was because they were taking it away pretty good,” said Griffin.

As noted, the Redskins were in this game for a lot longer than the final score indicated. Manning led the Broncos on an touchdown drive on their first possession to give Denver a 7-0 lead. But the Washington stiffened after that and the Broncos would not score again until the third quarter.

But Griffin and the Redskins couldn’t take full advantage of the lull in Denver’s scoring. They had four first-half possessions with the score holding at 7-0. On the first three of them they were able to advance into Denver territory twice but they ended up punting all three times. In those three series Griffin completed five of eight passes for 23 yards.

They finally got things going when they took possession on their own five with 7:22 left to go in the first half. Griffin with the help of some nice runs by Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr., marched the Redskins 95 yards for their only sustained scoring drive of the day. Griffin was sharp, completing five of six passes for 57 yards. It looked like the drive had stalled near the goal line but the Broncos were flagged for too many men on the field on fourth and five at the 12. On the next play, Griffin fired to Leonard Hankerson for the TD and it was 7-7 at halftime.

At that point, Griffin was having a pretty solid day completing 58 percent of his passes with a rating of 90.3.

In the third quarter the Redskins took possession of the momentum by taking the ball away from Manning twice and turning it into 14 points. But Manning got the Broncos going and a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter tied the game at 21.

The game was in Griffin’s hands but it was not to be. On first down after the Denver touchdown, Griffin went deep down the middle for a wide-open Josh Morgan. The pass was behind Morgan but it looked like he could have made the catch. After overthrowing Pierre Garçon on second down, Aldrick Robinson failed to haul in Griffin’s pass, again deep down the middle. Sav Rocca, who was great most of the day, shanked a punt 15 yards. Denver scored on the next play and it was essentially over.

“There were a lot of missed opportunities,” said Mike Shanahan when asked about Griffin’s performance.

“You've got to be on the details,” said Griffin. “There's going to be plays out there you wish you had back throughout the game. We just can't have that consistently through a number of drives. That's everybody.”

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

RELATED: BEST AND WORST OF REDSKINS' FIRST-ROUND DRAFT HISTORY

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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