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You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

Rich Tandler is the author of Gut Check, The Complete History of Coach Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins. Get details and order at http://gutcheckbook.com/

November 8, 2004

A few quick hits about Sunday’s game:

  • Coming into this game, just a shade over half of the Redskins’ possessions this season have been three and outs or worse (48 of 96). Today, they improved that ratio to just 33% with four three and outs in 12 offensive possessions. Better, but half of the three and outs came on the Redskins’ last two possessions when they needed to grind out the clock.
  • We now know Ola Kimbre’s range. After he hit the crossbar on that 51-yard field goal attempt in the dome, it’s safe to say that it’s about 49 ½ yards.
  • James Thrash was clearly the player of the game. In fact, I’m so darned impressed with what he did today that I’m going to award him with the Redskins Blog’s first official game MVP award. Maybe I’ll come up with a clever title for it, maybe I won’t (your suggestions are welcome). His nifty punt return set up Washington’s first score and the three plays to down punts inside the five were the epitome of the cliché “those are the critical things that don’t show up on the stat sheet.” Chris Berman appreciated those plays on “NFL Prime Time” and put it best: “Once is an accident, two is a trend, three is evidence.”
  • Of course, by granting game MVP status to Thrash, that means that, half a season into his Redskins career, Clinton Portis is already being taken for granted. Almost a buck and a half on the ground; add in his 15-yard TD pass and 11-yard reception and he accounts for over 75% of the Redskins offensive output. That’s very impressive for CP but a terrible statement about the state of the Washington offense.
  • It’s not all on Brunell. There are drops, there is substandard pass blocking and there are some uninspired play calls. Bottom line, though is that the Redskins won’t be able to win many more of the games that are upcoming on their schedule with the putrid passing game they’ve exhibited for the entire season. Of course, if I were to tell Joe Gibbs this, he’d roll his eyes and say “Duh!” or something like that. I’m sure he and his staff are working the problem as we speak.
  • It’s been quite a while since the Redskins have blocked a punt for a touchdown. In fact, I’m certain that the assembled Redskins beat writers and the team’s PR staff are scanning their copies of my book The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games to find out when that last happened. I’ll let them report that particular bit of information. What you’ll find here tomorrow is the complete account of the game that the play happened in.
  • How did the Redskins ever lose to the Cowboys?

Tomorrow, Bold Predictions analysis (delighted that my pick was wrong) and whatever else comes up.

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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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