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LIVE Redskins practice report—Day 5

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LIVE Redskins practice report—Day 5

I'll start rolling with the training camp observations just as soon as things get going. Check back and refresh often to get updates as they happen.

--It's overcast right now but the sun had been popping in and out. It looked for a while that this practice might be in danger of being washed out with thunderstorms but so far, so good.

The first move is important on the DL. #Redskins

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--Su'a Cravens is not participating today due to a hamstring injury. They are being cautious but this is going to set back his learning curve.

--Chris Thompson just ran a nice little pop up the middle. Shawn Lauvao's is in with the first team at left guard. Look for him and Spencer Long to share the first team reps with Kouandjio getting most of the second-team work.

--The defenders are trying hard to rip the ball out of the hands of all of the running backs, not just Matt Jones. So far I have not yet seen them be successful.

--Kendall Fuller just got some pointers from defensive backs assistant Aubrey Pleasant after Rashad Ross caught an intermediate pass over the middle.

--Dashaun Phillips sped over and knocked away a sideline pass intended for DeSean Janckson. Not sure if Jackson had enough room to make the catch inbounds anyway but nice play by Phillips.

--Chris Thompson is fast. He just turned on the jets and spend around right end after taking a handoff.

--The Redskins are practicing onside kicks. I hope that the "hands" team they have in isn't the one they would use in a game situation. It decidedly lacks hands, with most of the players on it being defensive linemen and linebackers.

--They now have a better hands team in. Jamison Crowder has made a couple of diving catches kicks that were popped up in the air. They both worked but it's a rather dangerous maneuver. If you don't get the handle the chances of the other team recovering are pretty good.

--Good pass in seven on seven work from McCoy to rookie WR Maurice Harris. The receiver split two defenders in the end zone and McCoy fired a strike.

--In 11 on 11 in the red zone, Cousins threw a little swing pass to Jackson, who scampered in for the score. Jackson did not score a touchdown from a play from the red zone last year.

--Preston Smith is not just a pass rusher. He just got in the backfield and disrupted a play with Jones going up the middle before it ever got started.

--Ryan Grant made a diving attempt to catch a pass in the end zone. There are NFL referees here today and they called it incomplete after conferring. It looked like a catch from where I was sitting and Jay Gruden thought so, too. He went up to the two officials and pleaded his case. After being turned down, Gruden looked at the crowd on the sideline, smiles and said, "Hey, they need practice, too."

--Will Compton stayed with Crowder all the way down the field on a Couins pass deep down the middle. Crowder may have had to slow up a big as he tracked the ball through the air but still impressive work by Compton, who drew praise from the coaches.

--There have been a lot of yellow flags on the field during this 11 on 11 session. They're getting a bit ragged it appears.

--On another try, Crowder got a couple of steps on the inside linebacker--this time it was Tarrance Garvin--and Cousins hit him in stride with the bomb.

--The offense was moving in a two-minute drill until Compton tipped a Cousins pass and Bashaud Breeland came away with the diving interception.

That's it from Richmond today, thanks for coming by. There won't be a live blog during the special teams practice so we'll see you again on Thursday.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

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.

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.