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Insignificant But Not Unimportant

Insignificant But Not Unimportant

Let's be clear on one thing—Joe Gibbs' decision to call a second consecutive timeout as Rian Lindell was lining up for a game-winning field goal did not cost the Redskins the game. Lindell had nailed his first boot, the one negated by the first timeout, with plenty to spare and there was almost no way he was going to miss the second try from there.

This game was lost on the Redskins' opening drive when Chris Samuels flinched when the offense was lined up to go for it on fourth and inches on the Buffalo five, setting the first half pattern of having to settle for field goals after getting deep into Bills territory. It was lost when the offensive line couldn't handle the defensive line of the 31st-ranked defense in the NFL, creating no holes for Clinton Portis and giving Jason Campbell precious little time to throw for most of the game. It was lost the play before the pass that set up Lindell's winning field goal when Fred Smoot missed a tackle on Roscoe Parrish, allowing the receiver to dash out of bounds. If that tackle is made in the field of play, the clock runs out after that pass to Josh Reed before Lindell ever has a chance to line up. It was lost when Trent Edwards' pass drops into the hands of the lone blue jersey amidst a sea of white.

And, truth be told, the game was lost at about 3:30 on Tuesday morning when Sean Taylor's heart stopped beating. Football is a game of emotion and the Redskins had expended a ton of it during the course of the week. When they went up 16-5 it appeared that the Redskins simply ran out of emotional gas. There is only so much in the human tank in a given period of time. Usually, even in a losing locker room, there is some energy there, some adrenaline still flowing. Yesterday there was nothing left but tear-filled eyes and deep sighs.

Joe Gibbs, however, does not get a pass here. Calling the timeout was an inexcusable coaching blunder, period. The fact that it was not why the Redskins lost a game does not make it any less of a colossal mistake or any more excusable. If it was an isolated instance of mangled game management, a rare brain fart in the midst of a season of brilliant strategic maneuvers, that would be one thing. What makes it disturbing, even alarming, is the fact that it wasn't shocking to see Gibbs make such a mistake.

As strictly a side note, I have to wonder why the official standing near Gibbs apparently indicated that it was OK to call the second timeout. I knew that you couldn't call consecutive timeouts; I did not know that doing so would result in a 15-yard penalty if the kicker was on the field. I thought that the official simply would ignore the illegal timeout request. Perhaps Gibbs thought so, too. But, the last time I looked at my pay stubs I wasn't being paid $5 million a year to know these things.

And what about Gibbs not knowing about the "missing man" formation on the first play that the defense ran? Again, if it was an isolated incident of miscommunication or non-communication among the members of the coaching staff, it would be something to be shrugged off.

After the game yesterday I was talking to a writer who has been covering the team for a long time. He told me that there was a growing feeling among those who cover the team that this will be Gibbs' last year. The theory—and it's just that, it's nothing that's based on any inside information—is that Taylor's death will make Gibbs think about his own life. Why should he work 80 hours a week when he doesn't need to? Why put up with the aggravation when he could be bouncing grandchildren on his knees?

It's Gibbs' call and it should be. After a couple of years of believing that Gibbs would do what he has said many times and fulfill the full five years of his contract, many are starting to think that the call will be to walk away.

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Senior Bowl Preview: All eyes on the quarterbacks as Redskins must consider options

Senior Bowl Preview: All eyes on the quarterbacks as Redskins must consider options

MOBILE — Kirk Cousins remains the best option to be the Redskins quarterback of the future, but that future isn't very secure. For the past two seasons, Washington has been unable to get a long-term deal done with Cousins and optimism is low heading into the 2018 negotiating period. 

At this point, after consecutive franchise tags, it might be time for the Redskins to look at options beyond Cousins. Colt McCoy is under contract for 2018, and head coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly voiced confidence in the famed Texas product. 

Big picture, however, the Redskins need to find their QB for 2018, and beyond. Perhaps that will be Cousins, but it's time for serious due diligence. 

That means the Washington contingent heading to Mobile, Alabama, this week for the Senior Bowl needs to be watching the quarterbacks. And there's a lot to watch. 

Senior Bowl rosters are loaded with future NFL talent at all different positions. NBC Sports will have much more on that later in the week, but to kick things off, start with the passers. 

MORE: WHAT CAN THE REDSKINS LEARN FROM THE EAGLES?

  • 1) Baker Mayfield - Nobody will have a brighter light on them in Mobile than Mayfield. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner made big splashes on the field for Oklahoma, posting video game numbers. He threw for more than 4,600 yards in 14 games to go with 43 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He completed a crazy 70 percent of his throws, which is very high for a college passer. There was some off-field immaturity, and a February 2017 arrest, but those issues aren't expected to cause him to slide in the draft. A number of draft experts predict Washington drafting Mayfield with the 13th overall pick, but there will be plenty of teams ahead of the Redskins that need a passer. Mobile will give the Redskins brass a chance to meet and learn who Mayfield is off the field, and that will be vitally important, along with figuring out if there are reasons to be concerned about his height on the pro football level. 
  • 2)  Josh Allen - Big arm and traditional pocket passer, Allen will ace the eyeball test from talent evaluators. His 2017 numbers from Wyoming will not, however, and he will need a strong showing at pre-draft workouts. Mel Kiper suggested Allen could go as high as No. 1 overall, and at 6-foot-5, 230 lbs., there is clearly not a lack of physical talent. In his last two seasons at Wyoming, Allen threw for more than 5,000 yards along with 44 TDs against 21 INTs. Don't try too hard to compare Mayfield and Allen's stats, as comparing the talent and situations at Oklahoma and Wyoming are wildy different. Many NFL scouts love Allen, but some worry about his accuracy. In college, he completed just 56 percent of his passes. He may be a boom or bust type pick, but after the success of Carson Wentz coming out of North Dakota State, teams will be more willing to roll the dice on the Wyoming Cowboy in Allen. 
  • 3) Mason Rudolph - Upstaged by Mayfield's success at Oklahoma, Rudolph put together a terrific season of his own at Oklahoma State. A prolific passer for three seasons in Stillwater, as a senior, Rudolph tossed 37 TDs against nine interceptions along with nearly 5,000 passing yards. At 6-foot-5, Rudolph faces no questions about NFL size, and he certainly has a strong enough arm to play in the pros. Rudolph won't be practicing at the Senior Bowl but is expected to interview with NFL teams. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has said before the interviews are arguably the most important part of the pre-draft process, and this could be a big meeting. Rudolph isn't expected to go quite as high as Allen or Mayfield, and could even be drafted in the back half of the first round. 

There will be other quarterbacks playing in Mobile, including Washington State's Luke Falk, Nebraska's Tanner Lee, Virginia's Kurt Benkert, Troy's Brandon Silvers, Western Kentucky's Mike White and Kyle Lauletta of the University of Richmond. There is some intrigue surrounding Lauletta and White, especially as small school QBs continue to thrive in the NFL and both passers have NFL size and play best from the pocket. Not for nothing, Bruce Allen played football at Richmond too. 

It's a little weird that both Allen and Mayfield are on the same team, splitting reps in practice and snaps in the game. Then again Allen might not even play, so it could be irrelevant. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the week for updates from the Senior Bowl. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

Eagles fans are known for a lot of things, most tend to not be very positive.

Sunday, the internet made sure to help us all keep track of what was going on in Philly, before, during, and after the Eagles and Vikings played for the NFC Championship.

Let's take a look at how things progressed in the City of Brotherly Love.

In what has become the iconic symbol of Sunday's "celebrations", this poor fellow, according to TMZ, Andrew Tornetta, refused to comply with orders to disperse by police in the parking lot before the game.

Instead, according to the report, Tornetta punched a police horse twice in the right shoulder and then hit the human officer in the face, which is always a terrible decision.

Oh, and it's the second time in two weeks a police horse took a fist from a human in Philly. 

Fans also welcomed anyone wearing Vikings colors with class and, well, brotherly love.

Also before the game, the city decided to be proactive, and keep fans from climbing light poles if the Eagles won.

Of course, we knew what wouldn't stop them.

Sure enough, some fans were up to the Crisco Pole Challenge.

Others though, didn't need grease to have issues with a pole.

Some decided to create a new dance, which we're sure will catch on any day now.

There was also the classic dance-on-a-car move.

Oh, and let's not forget them letting the Vikings know they played a great game. 

Forget the Patriots and Eagles playing eachother in the Super Bowl.

The real matchup, is Patriots fans and Eagles fans.

May the best fanbase win.