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Redskins make big strides defending run, 3rd downs against Ravens

Redskins make big strides defending run, 3rd downs against Ravens

BALTIMORE—It started out looking like it was going to be more of the same for the Redskins today. One of the worst rushing defense teams in the league gave up 49 yards on the Ravens’ opening drive, which was capped off with a touchdown.

Along the way the Ravens converted two of two third downs against the league’s worst third-down defense. It was 7-0 less than five minutes in and many were wondering if the Redskins were in for a long day.

But the Redskins soon shut the door. The Ravens went one for 13 on third down the rest of the way. After rushing for 74 yards in the first quarter Baltimore got just 44 more in the last three quarters of play.

Things got so bad for the Ravens offense that quarterback Joe Flacco said it was “embarrassing.”

As the Washington offense struggled to take advantage of the stalled Ravens attack, the defense kept on making big plays.

A Ziggy Hood sack, his first since 2014, stopped one drive. The Ravens had a shot at a Hail Mary at the end of the first half but Ryan Kerrigan stopped it before it got started with a sack.

Trent Murphy and Terrance Garvin split a third-down sack. The ensuing punt gave the offense good field position and they took just three plays to drive in for their only touchdown (the other came on Jamison Crowder’s punt return).

“The first drive was a little scary, here we go again,” said Jay Gruden. “But they came back and took it personal and played well. They did what it took to win.”

PHOTOS: Redskins 16, Ravens 10

Quarterback Kirk Cousins also like what he saw.

“They were phenomenal today,” said Cousins. “The showed great character and toughness, both mentally and physically. The came up big us.”

They had to keep on coming up big until the very end. Trailing 16-10 the Ravens got going down the field and they moved to the Washington 23. Flacco threw to Breshad Perriman in the end zone. The receiver came down with the ball and the official called it a touchdown. But on replay review it was clear that Perriman’s second foot landed out of bounds and the touchdown was nullified.

Cornerback Josh Norman was defending on the play.

“Perriman pressed it like he was going on the fade. We were hand fighting down the field and pressing him to the sideline, which was out 12th man, and try to get him out. I nudged him a little big. We got the call of him being out of bounds. That’s one of the plays where I have to take my hat off to the technique.”

That was a first-down play. The Ravens had three more shots but they didn’t threaten the end zone and Cousins was able to take one last snap from victory formation.

MORE REDSKINS: 5 things we learned from Redskins win over Ravens

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. 


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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.