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Redskins beat Bears 24-21 for first road win of the year

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Redskins beat Bears 24-21 for first road win of the year

CHICAGO— The Redskins finally did it. They had to work for it and they had plenty of tense moments but they did it. They got their first road win of the year in Soldier Field by beating the Bears 24-21.

Bears kicker Rob Gould missed a potential game-tying 50-yard field goal wide right with 1:40 left to play.

Washington jumped out to a 14-0 lead, putting together nice touchdown drives on each of its first two possessions. But Jay Cutler found his rhythm and got the Chicago offense moving. They finally caught up to the Redskins and tied the game at 21 in the third quarter. But Washington got a 47-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins in the fourth quarter and the Redskins were able to hang on for the win.

They didn’t get much going on the ground but they didn’t need to. Jordan Reed had a big day, catching 9 passes for 120 yards. Aside from a third-quarter interception that got the Bears back into the game, Kirk Cousins was solid, completing 24 of 31 passes for 300 yards with a touchdown and the one interception.

With the win the Redskins move to 6-7 and will at worst come out of the week tied atop the NFC East standings.

Key Play: The Redskins were trying to burn the clock out with about four minutes to play. On third and five, Cousins scrambled to the right, stopped, and fired a pass across the field to Jordan Reed. The ball went off of Reed’s hands But Matt Jones was there to grab the ball before it hit the ground, giving the Redskins a key first down at the Bears 45. Although the Redskins had to punt, the play gave them enough time off the clock and enough field position to hold off the Bears for the win.

Injury Update:

TE Derek Carrier left the game in the first quarter with a right knee injury. He did not return.

OT Morgan Moses did not come into the game in the third quarter, being evaluated for a concussion. He subsequently returned to the game.

Scoring drives:

First quarter

Morris 1 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 15 plays, 80 yards, 8:30

Key plays: The Redskins started their longest drive of the season after a touchback on the opening kickoff. Cousins went to Pierre Garçon for eight yards and a first down then he went to Jordan Reed, who broke a couple of tackles to pick up 11 yards and another first down. A few plays later it was third and 12 and Cousins connected with Rashad Ross for 17 yards. Morris went up the middle for five yards on third and three. Then Cousins fired to Reed at around the five. The tight end fought through five would-be tacklers and after replay he was marked just short of the goal line. On the next play Alfred Morris powered it over for his first touchdown of the year.

Redskins 7, Bears 0

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Second quarter

Cousins 3 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 93 yards, 3:18

Key plays: The Redskins started deep in their own territory after a penalty on a punt return. Cousins went to Jamison Crowder for 13 yards and then a pass interference call against Tracy Porter of the Bears got them 32 yards into Bears territory at the 37. Then Cousins fired to Reed, who again fought for extra yardage and got 28 yards to the nine. On second and goal from the three, Cousins faked to Matt Jones, pulled the ball back and ran in untouched for the TD.

Redskins 14, Bears 0

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Jeffery 20 pass from Cutler (Gould kick)

Drive: 5 plays, 58 yards, 52 seconds

Key plays: The Bears got on the board late in the half with a drive after a Redskins punt. It was third and eight at the Bears 44 and Cutler converted with a pass to Alshon Jeffery. Then it was Cutler to Deonte Thomspon for 30 yards. The touchdown came on a 20-yard pass to Jeffery in the corner of the end zone.

Redskins 14, Bears 7

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Third quarter

Reed 63 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 62 yards, 5:35

Key plays: The Redskins offense had been dormant for a few series. Cousins and Jordan Reed gave it a spark when the hooked up on a 32-yard pass to the Chicago 32. Reed caught Cousins’ pass and bolted for some nice yardage after the catch. The on third and two from the 22, Matt Jones was able to power for two yards to move the chains. Jones then ran for eight and two yards and caught a pass for six. Darrel Young caught a swing pass and wasn’t quite able to stretch the ball over the goal line. A delay of game penalty, pushed them back to the five. It was no problem, though, as Cousins surveyed the field and fired to Reed over the middle for the touchdown.

Redskins 21, Bears 7

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Miller 9 pass from Cutler (Gould kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards, 4:18

Key plays: The Bears got going on a pass from Cutler to Marc Mariani and then after a short run, the Redskins’ Dashon Goldson was hit with a late hit penalty that tacked on 15 yards to the Washington 39. Chicago got into the red zone on a pass from Cutler to Jeremy Langford down to the 17. On third and two from the nine, Cutler hit Zach Miller over the middle and he fought his way in from a couple of yards out for the touchdown.

Redskins 21, Bears 14

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Jackson 63 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 21 yards, 1:18

Key plays: The Bears started with a short field, after a Kyle Fuller interception of Cousins was returned to the Redskins 21. From there it was Matt Forte with three carries for six, 10, and then seven yards into the end zone.

Redskins 21, Bears 21

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Fourth quarter

FG Hopkins 47

Drive: 7 plays, 51 yards, 2:17

Key plays: The Redskins got going on a 29-yard pass from Cousins to DeSean Jackson. The receiver juggled the ball momentarily but hauled it in on the sideline for a gain of 29 yards. The drive stalled and Hopkins came in for the field goal.

Redskins 24, Bears 21

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MORE REDSKINS: Morgan Moses evaluated for concussion, returns in the 3rd

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

In case you missed it

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

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.