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Redskins vs Rams 2nd quarter

Redskins vs Rams 2nd quarter

12:32—

11:15—The offense is moving a bit more fitfully here, but after a nice Betts run and a Randle El reception the Redskins are near midfield. The Rams have been blitzing Ricky Manning to good effect.

10:06—We have our first Zorn moment here as the Redskins will go for it on fourth and one just inside the St. Louis 40. It certainly seems to be a good gamble, as long as he makes it.

9:46—And he does make it by the nose of the football. Was just kidding about the "as long as he makes it" part, it was the way to go.

9:00—I have a drop by Moss and two by Randle El so far. And a second turnover for the Washington offense. Campbell tried to scoop up an errant shotgun snap as it was rolling on the ground instead of falling on it. Contrast that to last week when he took a knee when a play went awry, keeping the Redskins in field goal range for their initial score. Fortunately, the defense is fairly stout so far.

7:34—The defense forced a three and out after the turnover, which is what a good defense does. It's important that the Redskins have turned the ball over twice but the Rams have one first down and zero points after the giveaways.

7:00—The St. Louis defense isn't playing too badly either. They're not jump-up-and-down fired up, but they're playing hard and with good intensity and the unit is keeping the Rams in the game. And we know that the longer you let an underdog hang around. . .

3:59—The Redskins still are unable to sustain anything offensively. This drive fizzled after a 19-yard Campbell scramble on third down seemed to provide a spark. After a five-yard false start on third down, a pass to Betts was three yards shy of the first. It's two steps forward, one step back it it remains a competitive game.

1:08—Jason Fabini is now the Redskins left tackle as Samuels has left with a knee injury. It didn't appear to be very serious, but anything that puts him out of a game, even for a brief period of time, is of concern.

0:26—Chris Cooley just made up for his fumble and his false start penalty with a whale of a catch. It would have been a great over the shoulder job had nobody been near him, but he took a blast from the safety and still held on.

0:09—Unblieveable. Kendall catches a batted pass and tries to make something out of it. He fumbles and the Rams pick it up and go 75 yards for a score. The Redskins will trail going into halftime.

Atogwe 75 fumble return (Brown kick)
Rams 10, Redskins 7

I know it was just instinct, but Kendall had no business catching that ball. The clock would have kept running and the Redskins would have had to spike it and bring on the field goal team. I'm sure next time he'll bat it down.

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Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 22, 51 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 43
—NFL Draft (4/26) 94
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 230

Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons the Redskins can learn

Quarterback matters: We had the setup of the three castaway and ridiculed quarterbacks leading their teams into the NFL’s final four. But the two who survived were one of the greatest of all time and one who found his groove and had 10.7 yards per attempt and a 141.4 passer rating. Yes, Tom Brady and Nick Foles had a lot of help and we’ll get into that in a minute. But without excellent play from their quarterbacks, it may have been a different story for the Eagles and Patriots. This doesn’t mean that the Redskins need to spend send truckloads of money to Kirk Cousins’ house, but if they don’t, they do need a quality alternative. You won’t win with Bortles-level play.

Defense matters: The Vikings rolled right down the field on their first possession and it looked like the Eagles defense was going to have a long night. But then Chris Long got pressure on Case Keenum leading a pick six that apparently energized the Philly defense. Rookie Derek Barnett knocked the ball out of Keenum’s hand when the Vikings were threatening to make a game of it. Minnesota came up empty in its last eight possessions. As the Eagles offense started to build a lead, their defense played faster and more aggressively. At this point, the Redskins don’t have the personnel or the mindset to play that way on defense.

Does running really matter? It’s a small sample size here but in the two games yesterday it did not. The Patriots ran for all of 46 yards. The Eagles got 110 but at the point in the third quarter where they took a 31-7 lead, they had 202 yards passing and 40 yards rushing. Running the ball was not decisive in either game. Offensively, the games were won in the air. Jay Gruden’s “pass happy” approach can be a winning approach.

Stay aggressive: At times during the year, Cousins expressed some frustration in the Redskins’ inability or perhaps unwillingness to keep the pedal mashed to the floor when they had a lead. I hit on the Eagles’ aggressiveness on defense, but their offense didn’t slow down either. They were up 21-7 when they got the ball on their own 20 with 29 seconds left in the first half. In that situations, the Redskins—and, in fact, most other teams—would run a draw, throw a short pass, and let the clock run out. But Doug Pederson was having none of that. Passes for 11, 36, and 13 yards got them down to the Vikings 20 and they kicked a field goal to close out the half. If the game wasn’t over then it was early in the third quarter when Pederson called a flea flicker and Foles hit Torrey Smith for 42 yards and a touchdown.

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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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

For Redskins fans, it's probably a tough pill to swallow that the Eagles are in the Super Bowl. Making matters worse, Philadelphia got to the championship game without their star quarterback Carson Wentz.

Beyond the feelings that fandom incites, which are real and severe, what does the Eagles' breakthrough season mean for Washington? Let's take a look. 

Perhaps the most incredible part of the Eagles' success is that wunderkind QB Wentz is not at the helm. The second-year player was an MVP candidate all season but got injured late in the year. Nick Foles, the Philly backup, took over and played well in both Eagles' playoff wins. 

Does that mean much, if anything, for the Redskins? 

Some will argue it means Washington should not look to invest top dollar in QB Kirk Cousins. Foles is not considered a top-flight quarterback and still was able to maneuver his squad to the Super Bowl.

Whether or not that argument makes sense, Redskins fans should prepare to hear a lot of it over the next two weeks. 

There is also a theory that the Redskins should eschew spending at QB in favor of spending on defense. 

That may very well be the right move, but don't look to the Eagles to support the theory. 

Philadelphia spent $47 million on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. On offense, they spent $56 million.

What is definitely true?

The Eagles played terrific football in the postseason, and catapulted through the NFC by playing the underdog role.

Redskins fans might hate it, but the Eagles absolutely earned their Super Bowl appearance. 

That doesn't mean Redskins fans have to like it. 

Philadelphia has never won a Super Bowl. 

Now, standing in the way of their first Lombardi Trophy: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!