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Redskins Cardinals after further review

Redskins Cardinals after further review

The Redskins clearly were better than the Cardinals on Sunday.

Not a lot better. Arizona wasn't outclassed, or even outmanned. But the Redskins played better football, smarter football, more opportunistic football. Not by a lot, but by enough.

The numbers reflect this. Jason Campbell wasn't a lot better than Kurt Warner but he did complete six more passes than the two-time NFL MVP in the same number of attempts. Warner threw an interception, Campbell didn't.

Arizona did have a couple of opportunities to pick off a Campbell pass, but the passes bounced harmlessly to the ground. The Redskins made the play when they had the chance, and it didn't seem to be much of a chance. When the pass left Warner's hand it looked like it might be another long touchdown pass as Steve Breaston had a step on Leigh Torrence. But Warner's pass hung in the air a bit and Torrence dove and it bounced off of his helmet.

Carlos Rogers then stopped, reversed his direction, dove, and picked the ball off just before it hit the ground. That was great. What happened next was, in the words of Jim Zorn, "most excellent".

"He had to dive for that interception and he didn't lay there and bask in his glory," Zorn said. "He got up and made a huge play."

Rogers' 42-yard run, aided by some crunching blocks by his teammates, set up the winning score. Santana Moss took a slip screen and slipped through the defense for 17 yards.

Most of what the Redskins did right couldn't be described as "huge", but a lot of little things that added up.

Edgerrin James was the game's top rushing, piling up 93 yards on 18 carries. But the Redskins had the better rushing team, outgaining the Cards on the ground 136-116. Campbell scrambled for 26 yards, resulting in a couple of key first downs. Warner is immobile, for the most part.

Just another small advantage for the Redskins.

The Redskins tipped four passes at the line of scrimmage. Jason Taylor got two of them on back to back plays to end the Cardinals' initial drive of the second half. He didn't swat the passes back. He just got his fingers on them enough to alter the flight the ball. Second and goal at the nine became third and goal and then fourth and goal. Arizona settled for three to tie the game rather than getting seven to take the lead.

And, at the end of the game, Zorn proved that has slightly more in the way of, er, courage that does Whisenhunt.

With 2:46 to go, Arizona faced fourth and four at its own 48. Whisenhunt sent in the punt team. Warner was among those not very excited by the move. "I was a bit surprised, yeah, in that situation," said Warner.

Not as surprised as was the Arizona defense at the two-minute warning. After the Redskins got one first down on two Portis runs they needed one more to kill the clock. Portis carried again first down to make it second and seven. Arizona was out of timeouts as the clock rolled to 2:00.

Zorn wanted no part of a third and six. Everyone in the stadium, including the 11 dressed in red, followed Portis as Campbell tucked the ball into his gut moving to the right. The quarterback pulled it out, however, and found Chris Cooley standing there all alone near the line of scrimmage. The tight end dashed for 26 yards and Campbell and the Redskins went into victory formation.

Then they celebrated a big win built on a lot of little advantages.

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

pryor_vs_chiefs_usat.jpg
Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 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 overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

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. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

nicholsonl_int_vs._oak_usat.png
usa Today Sports Images

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