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Redskins report card: A solid game for Rob Kelley vs. Eagles

Redskins report card: A solid game for Rob Kelley vs. Eagles

Here are my grades on some of the players, coaches, and other aspects of the Redskins’ 27-22 win over the Eagles.


Everyone is talking about the deep pass that DeSean Jackson tracked down and caught for an 80-yard touchdown. But his tiptoe catch of the sideline pass after that set up Kirk Cousins’ TD pass to Pierre Garçon, the play that gave the Redskins some working margin, also was money. He didn’t do much other than those two catches but 102 yards and a TD is a solid day.


Running back Rob Kelley didn’t rack up big numbers but he was effective. As usual, he got a few more yards than the plays were blocked for. His 22-yard touchdown pop was also typical Kelley as he got to the second level and showed a knack for following his blocking to turn the big play. At the end, he had to use some power to get into the end zone. And he showed some pass-catching chops, with two receptions for 25 yards.

It also wasn’t a big statistical day for Kirk Cousins but he made some huge plays including the two passes to Jackson, the pass to Crowder on the final drive that was initially called incomplete but overturned on replay, and the fourth-down dart to Pierre Garçon. I’m not sure if Cousins makes that fourth-down play last year.

It appeared that Jay Gruden has his team ready to play even though they didn’t burst out of the gate. His decision to go for that fourth-down play on their last drive shouldn’t be underrated. Many coaches would have trotted out their kickers for an attempt of just over 50 yards.

Mason Foster has been inconsistent this year but he had one of his better games yesterday 12 tackles including a sack and two other tackles for a loss.

With the Eagles fielding their fourth-string right tackle for a good chunk of the game you would have liked to have seen Ryan Kerrigan get to the quarterback sooner. But he did come through when it mattered the most.


Although he did get a sack, Bashaud Breeland had some rough moments in coverage, his primary job. I’m not sure how Darren Sproles got behind him into the corner of the end zone on the Eagles TD.


It’s hard to tell who was responsible since he rarely had a defender near him so this is a collective grade for the coverage of Eagles TE Zach Ertz. He’s a pretty good player but 10 catches for 102 yards is a bit much.


The glaring problem in the stat line was the performance on third down on both sides of the ball. The Redskins defense kept up their futility on the money down by allowing a 50 percent conversion rate (9-18) and the offense struggled on third down, going 2-7 (29%).

Did I miss something? Want to disagree? Hit the comments here or on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 


The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.


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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 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.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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.


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201