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Redskins put it all together in dominant win over Saints


Redskins put it all together in dominant win over Saints

The Redskins finally put it all together and took it to the other team, whipping the Saints 47-14 in front of a delighted crowd at FedEx Field.

The Redskins drove 96 yards for a touchdown on their first possession and did not take their foot off of the gas. Kirk Cousins had a career day, going 20 of 25 for 324 yards and four touchdowns. The NFL’s calculator figures that to be a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

Playing one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL, the Redskins finally got their rushing game back on track, running for 209 yards. That’s 37 more than they had rushed four in their last four games combined.

The Saints tied the game early in the second quarter but the Redskins responded immediately. Matt Jones took a screen pass and rumbled 78 yards for a touchdown that put the Redskins ahead to stay.

The win improved the Redskins’ record to 4-5 with a trip to Carolina to play the Panthers on tap next Sunday.

Key Play: The Saints were threatening to make a game of it with their initial possession of the third quarter. Trailing 27-14, they drove to a third and one at the Redskins 31. After Tim Hightower was stopped for no gain, Sean Payton kept his offense on the field. But C. J. Spiller was stonewalled for no gain and the Redskins took over on downs. The Redskins drove for a field goal and the rout was back underway.

Injury Update:

Alfred Morris left the game with a rib injury in the second quarter. He returned to the game early in the third quarter.

DeSean Jackson left the game to be evaluated for head and neck injuries. He returned to the game in the second half.

Safety Trenton Robinson left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury.

Scoring drives:

First quarter

Reed 16 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 96 yards, 6:46

Key plays: The Redskins started off in the hole after a penalty on the opening kickoff. But on third and four at the 10, DeSean Jackson made his first big play of the year, catching a perfectly-thrown pass from Kirk Cousins that was good for 42 yards down the sideline. Then Alfred Morris carried for 12 yards. A few plays later on third and one at the 16, Cousins executed a play fake, rolled right, and threw to Jordan Reed just past the line of scrimmage. The tight end had wide open spaces until he got near the goal line. He had to jump at the pylon and got in for the touchdown.

Redskins 7, Saints 0


Cooks 4 pass from Brees (Forbath kick)

Drive: 5 plays, 83 yards, 2:22

Key plays: On third and two at the Saints 25 a quick toss to Mark Ingram resulted in a 70 yards to the Redskins five after a missed tackle by Dashon Goldson. Two plays later Drew Brees threw to Cooks for the touchdown.

Saints 7, Redskins 7 


Crowder 11 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 80 yards, 3:56

Key plays: On third and two at the 28, Matt Jones took a pitch from Cousins, found room on the left side and rumbled for 20 yards to the 48 yard line. A few plays later Cousins threw a short pass to Jones, who got out of traffic, goes for 29 yards to the 11. On the next play, Cousins found Crowder, who held on to the ball after a tough hit, for the score.

Redskins 14, Saints 7


Second quarter

Cooks 60 pass from Brees (Forbath kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 83 yards, 1:23

Key plays: This was a quick one for the Saints. After runs by Ingram and Cooks, Brees dropped back, stepped up to avoid a rush from Ryan Kerrigan, and launched to a wide open Cooks for the TD.

Redskins 14, Saints 14


Jones 78 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 2 plays, 80 yards, 52 seconds

Key plays: The Redskins responded quickly. On their second play, Cousins threw a screen to the right to Jones. He almost got tripped up by a defender, got his feet under him, and rumbled the distance for the score.

Redskins 21, Saints 14


Hopkins FG 35

Drive: 7 plays, 67 yards, 3:54

Key plays: Cousins got it started with a short pass to Jones that was good for 21 yards. On the very next play, Chris Thompson took a handoff and found enough room to gain 38 yards up the left sideline. A defensive holding penalty saved the drive, negating a Saints interception. On third and three from the seven Cousins was sacked and Hopkins came in to kick the field goal.

Redskins 24, Saints 14


FG Hopkins 23

Drive: 8 plays, 64 yards, 1:42

Key plays: The Redskins got things going after a defensive holding call led to a third-down conversion. Then a pass to Thompson was good for 23 yards. A sack set the Redskins back but Cousins found Crowder for 31 yards. Thompson scampered down to the five but only four second remained so they settled for the field goal.

Redskins 27, Saints 14


Third quarter

FG Hopkins 40

Drive: 8 plays, 47 yards, 4:15

Key plays: The Redskins took possession after they stonewalled C.J. Spiller for no gain on fourth and one. On the next play, Alfred Morris ran for 28 yards. Then on third and one from New Orleans 32, Jones went up the middle and got the first down on second effort. But Cousins threw incomplete under pressure on third down and Hopkins came in for the field goal.

Redskins 30, Saints 14


Reed 8 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 6 plays, 44 yards, 3:10

Key plays: The Redskins took possession in Saints territory at the 44 after a short punt. They picked up 14 yards on back-to-back plays, the first one a Morris run, the second a Cousins pass to Derek Carrier. A few plays later on third and four from the eight, Cousins found Reed over the middle and the tight end extended the ball over the goal line for the score.

Redskins 37, Saints 14


Fourth quarter

Goldson interception return 35 (Hopkins kick)

Drive: --

Key plays: On third and eight, Drew Brees threw to Marques Colson. The ball bounced out of the receiver’s hands and to Dashon Goldson. The safety had smooth sailing to the end zone.

Redskins 44, Saints 14


FG Hopkins 22

Drive: 6 plays, 18 yards, 3:49

Key plays: The Redskins had a very short field to work with after they over on downs at the Saints 22. Matt Jones ran for nine yards and a first down at the 11. After three more Jones runs got to the three, Hopkins came in for the kick.

Redskins 47, Saints 14

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Need to Know: Redskins player quick hitters—Offensive starters

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Need to Know: Redskins player quick hitters—Offensive starters

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 21, 36 days before the NFL draft.  

Redskins starters quick hitters—offense

The last couple of days here I looked at how the depth charts are shaping up with a little bit of commentary (offense, defense). Today and tomorrow I’ll take a closer look at the starters with some quick hitters about each one, starting today with the offense.

QB Alex Smith—The deal is done, and the Redskins have their man for five years at $22.2 million per year or, if they prefer, three years at $23.7 million per. It seems like most fans are behind him but there will have to be a few more wins than losses this fall for that to become permanent.

RB Samaje Perine—He got better as the year went on, averaging nearly a half yard per carry more in the last seven games compared to the first nine. But the 3.4 average per carry certainly did not stop both Doug Williams and Jay Gruden from talking about drafting a running back early.

TE Jordan Reed—According to reports, he is rehabbing well from the hamstring and toe injuries that severely limited him last year. Still, expect him to be kept in bubble wrap until training camp and even then, his action may be limited.

WR Josh Doctson—Did Kirk Cousins look away from Doctson too often, lacking the confidence in him to let him go get the 50-50 balls? Will Smith have more confidence in Doctson? The answers to those questions may determine if the third-year receiver breaks out in 2018 or he continues to tease with flashes of ability.

WR Paul Richardson—He’s capable of the acrobatic catch, which should be fun to watch. Richardson was good with Russell Wilson on the off-schedule plays, maybe he can do the same with Smith.

WR Jamison Crowder—I guess it’s fair to say he had an off year in 2017 but his receiving yardage only dropped by 60 yards from 2016. It will be interesting to see if they keep him in as the punt returner after he averaged 6.3 yards per return (23rd of 25 qualifiers) last year.

LT Trent Williams—The six-time Pro Bowler is still in the relatively early stages of recovering from surgery to the knee that kept him from practicing from about Week 6 on. Don’t look for him until training camp and even then, the early workload is likely to be light.

LG Arie Kouandjio—This is the one offensive position that remains up in the air. Kouandjio has shown some grit as a spot starter but I don’t think the organization views him as a 16-game starter.

C Chase Roullier—Shortly after Roullier got the starting job when Spencer Long went out injured, Jay Gruden said that Roullier would be the Redskins’ center “for a long time”. There is no reason to doubt that at this point in time.

RG Brandon Scherff—His concern no longer is trying to live up to having been the fifth pick of the draft. Scherff has to play well enough to justify his 2019 option-year salary, which will be in the vicinity of $13 million.

RT Morgan Moses—He had surgery to repair his ankles, which were an issue most of last season. Still, he didn’t miss a start. Like Williams, even if he’s ready for training camp, don’t expect to see a whole lot of him.

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.

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 27
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 129
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 173

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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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