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Redskins' Matt Jones has breakout performance in front of his mom

Redskins' Matt Jones has breakout performance in front of his mom

Matt Jones’ mother picked a good game to see her son play in the NFL for the first time in person.

The Redskins saw Jones as a punishing power back when they made him a third-round pick in the 2015 draft.

At 6-2, 232 they envisioned him breaking tackles and generally making life miserable for opposing defensive players, particularly the smaller ones on the secondary.

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM THE REDSKINS' WEEK 4 WIN

But as a rookie he didn’t get it done like that. He averaged 3.4 yards per carry, the lowest average of any back with enough carries to qualify for that dubious distinction.

However, with his mom present today at FedEx Field, Jones finally gave the Redskins a taste of four quarters of power running. Jones carried a career high 22 times for 117 yards, the second-highest total of his career. Doing the math, that’s a solid 5.3 yards per carry.

Last week coach Jay Gruden told the media that he wasn’t happy with the way Jones ran in the first three quarters of the game against the Giants. Jones took it to heart.

“I just had to learn from last week,” he said. “Once I found out a way, I’m ready to run. I took it to today. I just wanted to start off like that and the game went well.”

Jones scored the touchdown that salted the game away for the Redskins. A few plays after Josh Norman intercepted a Cody Kessler pass, Jones went storming around the left side for 16 yards down to the one. After an offside penalty against the Browns, Jones powered in from a half yard out and the subsequent point after touchdown put the Redskins up 31-20.

“Looked like he was running with more power and more conviction,” said Gruden. “You know, that’s the big thing as a back. You’re not going to make every correct decision and when you watch the film back and run it back, you could’ve cut there, you could’ve done this, but when you make a decision, make it and be decisive. And he was more decisive today and more physical.”

Jones will learn to make better decisions; you can still see where he leaves yards on the field by choosing the wrong place to run. But as long as he learns and remains decisive he will be able to be productive while he learns.

And as long as he remains productive they will continue to feed him the ball. He has just 20 carries in the first two games combined and he has 39 in his last two games combined.

MORE REDSKINS: What we learned from Redskins' win over Browns

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Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

There was some confusion about the Redskins’ Week 16 game in Tennessee when the NFL schedule dropped. The schedule pushed out by the Redskins said that the game date and time are to be determined. Other versions that went out, including the one on NFL.com, says the game will be on Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m.

So what’s the story? Well, if you’re thinking of making reservations to go to Nashville to watch the game you just might want to hold off for a while. Like, until early November. 

In an under the radar move, the NFL has established flex scheduling for its late-season Saturday games. Here are the details from the schedule press release from Redskins PR:

“Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.”

The way it sets up, if the Redskins and Titans are playing well in midseason there is a good chance the game will be played on Saturday, December 22 at either 4:30 or 8:20. If one or both teams are struggling, the league and networks could choose to flex two of the other four matchups to Saturday. 

This is taking flex scheduling to a different level. It’s one thing shifting a Sunday kickoff seven and a half hours from 1 p.m. to 8:30. It’s another to shift a whole day. The visiting teams can’t make travel arrangements, not knowing if they need to come into town on Friday for a Saturday game or on Saturday for Sunday. Fans who want to travel to the game are in the same boat. 

Of course, if you can afford it, you can just add a day to your Nashville excursion. There are worse things in the world than spending an extra day or two in Music City. 

If you have to wait to make your plans, as the Redskins do, you will find out no later than October 29, which is when Week 8 ends. 

Do you believe in trends? Then you should hope that the game does get flexed to Saturday. The Redskins have won three straight Saturday games, beating the Eagles in both 2014 and 2015 (the latter game clinching the division title for Washington) and the Bears in 2016. 

More Redskins

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

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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 20, six days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five pivotal games on the Redskins’ schedule

All NFL games are important but some seem to be a little more important than others. At first glance at the Redskins’ schedule, these seem to be the five most pivotal games. 

Week 1 @Cardinals—Wait, Week 1 is pivotal? It is if you’re Jay Gruden and you are 0-4 in season openers. Starting off in an 0-1 hole again after losing a winnable game would not get things off to a positive start. 

Week 7 Cowboys—The only Redskins-Cowboys game that Kirk Cousins started in the last three years that Washington won was the 2015 season finale in Dallas, a game that was meaningless to both teams. Alex Smith needs to take advantage of his shot at the Cowboys. Beating Dallas is important for being competitive in the division and for job security in general. This is their shot at them at home.

Week 9 Falcons—Atlanta has been among the league’s big boys the last couple of years. The Redskins get them at home, on grass, when the weather could be turning a little bit chilly. It’s a good opportunity to upset a dome team. The game also ends the first part of the season and the Redskins face a second half of the schedule that has just three home games. 

Week 14 Giants—This is one of the aforementioned scarce home games in the latter part of the season. It’s preceded by road games in Dallas (9-7 last year) and Philadelphia (Super Bowl champs) and followed by roadies in Jacksonville (lost AFC title game) and Tennessee (won a playoff game). Nobody is quite sure to what extent the Giants will rebound from their dismal 2017 season but this game has the feel of a possible oasis surrounded by hostile deserts. 

Week 16 @Titans—If the Redskins are in playoff contention, this game will determine a lot even though its non-conference. As noted, the Titans are looking to improve on their playoff season last year and they will not be a pushover by any stretch. But if the Redskins want to be able to say that they are a better team than they have been the last couple of years, this is the kind of game they should win. 

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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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 32
—Training camp starts (7/26) 97
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 142

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