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Need to Know: Was Jay Gruden pass happy in Cincinnati?

Need to Know: Was Jay Gruden pass happy in Cincinnati?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 3, 21 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

I was doing some research on pass attempts by the Bengals over the three years that Jay Gruden was calling plays there. I found out more interesting stuff than I could use in the post so let’s take a look at some of it here.

—The Bengals attempted 1,764 passes from 2011-2013. Coincidentally, that is exactly as many passes as the Redskins under Mike and Kyle Shanahan attempted. Gruden’s past and present teams tied for 19th in the NFL in pass attempts. The Lions led the league in pass attempts with 2,128 while the 49ers threw 1,430 times, the fewest in the NFL.

—Peeling back the onion a little more, how often did Gruden call passes on first down? Since all options are open to the play caller, that’s perhaps a better indicator of his run or pass mindset. During his time in Cincinnati only four teams called fewer pass plays on first down than did Gruden. He called 595 first-down passes; only the Chiefs, 49ers, Jets, and Seahawks called fewer. The Patriots called the most with 831.

—It seems that Gruden doesn’t particularly like to sit on the ball to protect a lead. The Bengals threw 609 passes while holding a lead (at any point during the game); that ranked seventh in the NFL. And it didn’t particularly matter if Cincinnati had a bigger lead. Gruden called 418 passes when up by seven points or more, eighth-mist in the NFL.

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Timeline

—Redskins tight end Jordan Reed was born on this date in 1990.

—It’s been 186 days since the Redskins played a game; in 66 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Training camp 21; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 35; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 73

Who has the most to prove?

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Instant analysis: Eagles outclass Redskins as Carson Wentz continues stellar year

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USA TODAY Sports

Instant analysis: Eagles outclass Redskins as Carson Wentz continues stellar year

Here are my observations made during the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles.

First quarter

— The Redskins’ got into the red zone on their first drive with Kirk Cousins passes to Vernon Davis for 31 yards and Jamison Crowder for 20 keying the advance. But they had to settle for Nick Rose’s first NFL field goal.

—Defensively, the Redskins dominated in the first quarter. The Eagles had no official plays before having four penalties, leading to a first and 33. Quinton Dunbar ended that possession with his first interception of the year. The Eagles got their first third-down conversion of the day in the last minute of the quarter.

Second quarter

—The Redskins gifted the Eagles three points by committing consecutive facemask penalties during Carson Wentz runs. Three weeks ago against the Chiefs, a penalty-laden drive helped KC score a touchdown. Not as costly this time but the score is tied 3-3.

—Did you have a parlay bet on Vernon Davis getting two 31-yard receptions tonight? If so, you hit it. His second such catch was the key in the Redskins’ second scoring drive. This time, they got it in from the red zone when the Eagles forgot to cover Chris Thompson, giving him the easiest seven-yard TD reception you’ll see.

—After a sack, the Eagles got the equalizer with a 64-yard bomb from Wentz to Mack Hollins. The Redskins rushed only four for one of the few passing downs so far and Wentz had plenty of time to launch the long pass.

—In the first half, Cousins was 0-3 passing on third down with one or two yards to go. He was 12-13 for 167 yards in all other situations. 

—That third failure to convert on third and short eventually cost the Redskins. A few plays after taking the punt Wentz went to Zach Ertz for 41 yards to the Washington 18. That led to a four-yard touchdown pass to Ertz to put the Eagles up 17-10 at the half.

Third quarter

—Jason Peters, the Eagles’ former All-Pro tackle who is still playing well, was carted off the field early in the third quarter with a leg injury. Meanwhile, Wentz completed four passes and scrambled for 21 to set up first and goal at the six. On third and goal at the nine, Wentz escaped a heavy rush and pitched a touchdown pass to Cory Clement. The Redskins just can’t get off the field on defense and they are down 14 points.

—At that point, the Redskins had run six plays since they took a 10-3 lead. The Eagles had run 23.

—The Redskins cobbled together a drive after getting the Eagles to go three and out for the first time since the first quarter. Cousins scrambled for eight yards, and then he passed to Doctson for 17. It was goal to go after Jordan Reed went up and caught Cousins' pass for a gain of 20 to the five. On the next play, it was Cousins to Reed for the touchdown. It was Reed’s first score of the year and it made it a ballgame again at 24-17.

Fourth quarter

—The Redskins seemed to have the Eagles stopped with another three and out but somehow Carson Wentz got out of a crowd of several Redskins, avoided the sack, and converted a third and eight. That put the momentum back onto the side wearing the green jerseys and they completed the drive with a TD pass from Wentz to Nelson Agholor to restore Philly’s two-touchdown lead.

— The Redskins’ last chance at a miracle rally ended when Kirk Cousins threw a third and six pass right into the arms of Philly safety Corey Graham. Cousins was hit on the play but it still wasn’t a good pass. There was no Redskins receiver in the area. We will await an explanation from Cousins after the game.

—Washington got a cosmetic score with 3:17 on a 75-yard drive that ended with another Reed touchdown reception.

sStay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins fans go crazy after refs miss unnecessary roughness call involving Brandon Scherff

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@_JakeRussell

Redskins fans go crazy after refs miss unnecessary roughness call involving Brandon Scherff

Last week vs. the 49ers, Brandon Scherff was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after the guard pushed a San Fran defender to the ground around the same time that the whistle blown.

A week later against the Eagles, Scherff was the one who was shoved. But this time, there was no penalty.

Derek Barnett played the role of aggressor in the Week 7 matchup. On a third-and-9, Kirk Cousins was hit as he threw, and players pursued the loose ball with some thinking it was a fumble. That's when Barnett came up and laid a late hit on Scherff, sending him to the turf.

Here's what it looked like:

The refs were chucking flags left and right in the early stages of the rivalry game. This one, though, somehow wasn't called.

MORE: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVPS ON OFFENSE AND DEFENSE