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Less than the sum of their parts

Less than the sum of their parts

The Washington Redskins game against the New York Giants was like a continuation of the preseason, at least the Redskins' side of things. The play was ragged, there were moments of confusion, even moments of mind-boggling stupidity (I've been watching football for over 40 years and I don't ever remember a quarterback attempting a real forward pass, not a lateral, three yards past the line of scrimmage).

There is one difference, however, between yesterday and the preseason. As they would say in elementary school, this game went on their permanent record.

What went on that record is an inconsistent performance, some good, some bad and a lot that was both good and bad.

In the mixed bag category is the performance of Albert Haynesworth. He played a pretty good game. Brandon Jacobs did not have massive holes through which he could rumble up the middle as he has in years past. On the fourth-down play at the Washington three he stonewalled Jacobs, keeping the Giants from turning the game into an early rout.

But the Redskins aren't paying him all of that money just to stuff the run up the middle. They are paying him to make the entire defense better, specifically to draw enough attention from blockers to allow the Redskins to generate a consistent pass rush with just the four down linemen. That dynamic did not happen yesterday and until it does the defense will not live up to its potential.

Jason Campbell also was a mixed bag. He threw that mind-boggling pick on second down after already having run to where it would have been a manageable third and five. The strip for six by Osi Umenyiora was on him.

On the occasions where he got into rhythm he was pretty good. He fired the ball in to Antwaan Randle El and Chris Cooley with precision and authority. The drive just before halftime, the one that ended with Hunter Smith's touchdown sprint
run trot on the fake field goal was excellent. After fumbling a snap, Campbell improvised with a flip to Ladell Betts that was good for 23 yards and then he zipped one to Randle El, who was on the move and got the Redskins down to the Giants eight.

There is time to right the ship. This was a game that most marked up as an "L" when the schedule came out. A series of winnable games coming up in the next month gives the Redskins the opportunity to put this loss in the rear view mirror.

However, they will need to play consistently well and be better than the sum of their parts. Neither of those qualities showed up in the Meadowlands.

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


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. 

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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When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, time, location, odds, TV channel, halftime performer

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When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, time, location, odds, TV channel, halftime performer

Super Bowl LII (52) will feature the New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC Champion) against the Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Champion) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018.

If they go on to advance, the Vikings would become the first team to ever ‘host’ the Super Bowl in their home stadium. They are the third to play the game in their home state. Minnesota will be looking for their first Super Bowl title in five tries, the most appearances by any team without a championship.

Philadelphia is looking for their first title ever as well, and doing it with a back-up quarterback Nick Foles. They have been the underdog in every game this postseason; it would be no different in the Super Bowl.

New England is looking for their third Super Bowl over the past four years and their sixth championship since 2001. However, their path in the AFC Playoffs is arguably the easiest in their history. A win by the Patriots would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history with six.

The new kids one the block, the Jaguars are one win away from their first Super Bowl appearance in what is already the best year ever for the franchise. If Jacksonville were to pull it off, they would be the tenth team in NFL history to win in their first Super Bowl appearance.

Super Bowl LII Information:

When is Super Bowl 52?

6:15 pm ET, February 4, 2018

Who is playing in Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles

Where is Super Bowl 52?

U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota

How can I watch Super Bowl 52 on TV?


Where can I stream Super Bowl 52?

The Super Bowl can be streamed for free on and on the NBC Sports app.

Online with no cable TV: fubtoTV (Try for free)

Who are the announcers for Super Bowl 52?

Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Heather Cox

Who is performing the Super Bowl 52 halftime show?

Justin Timberlake is the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime performer. It is his third Super Bowl performance, previously performing in Super Bowl XXV and more famously in XXVIII with Janet Jackson.

What are the odds for Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots: 6/5
Minnesota Vikings: 7/4
Philadelphia Eagles: 7/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 8/1