The mercury soared, the crowd swelled and tempers boiled over twice at Redskins Park.First, linebacker London Fletcher and center Will Montgomery tangled during 11 on 11 drills. Then, moments later, tight end Niles Paul threw two punches at linebacker Markus White.A spectator in the announced crowd of 24,650 it was fan appreciation in Ashburn screamed, Save it for Dallas!Coach Mike Shanahan wasnt laughing, though. After the second skirmish, he called his players close.You love to see guys who are competitive, Shanahan said later when asked what he said in the huddle. But you cant have guys lose their poise, because that will cost you the football game. I tried to share that with the guys. Its a good learning lesson.Paul said he was defending himself from a player who was attempted to de-cleat him. He also described White as a good friend.I definitely went too far, Paul said. I should have been the bigger man and let that go. But its hot out here not making any excuses but I just kind of snapped. Im expected to keep my poise better. Shanahan said you cant do that in a game. You cant afford that penalty. You could be done for a couple of games.Some other notes from Saturdays practice:Owner Dan Snyder, who rarely addresses the media, spoke to reporters for about 90 seconds. Its a big deal and were just thrilled with him, as a person and what he stands as a Redskin, he said of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Its exciting for the whole Redskins Nation. Everything takes time, as you guys know, were just excited to have him, and with Coach Shanahan, everything were building right now, we feel good about the future. WR Antony Armstrong (shoulder), FB Darrel Young (hamstring), WR Josh Morgan (hamstring), WR Lance Lewis (groin), T James Lee (knee) and LB Ryan Kerrigan (ill) also sat out practice. Kerrigan, who has missed practice twice this week, said both absences were due to heat related illness that caused him dizziness. They just wanted to be cautious with it, especially with today being so hot, Kerrigan said.The Redskins are off Sunday.
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24
Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants
Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.
Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.
Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.
Keys to winning
- Run the ball—The Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
- Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
- Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.
Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.
Redskins 31, Giants 13
Tandler on Twitter
For those looking for an “easier” schedule for the #Redskins next year, remember that his year is a third-place schedule. That got them the two games they just lost, the Vikings and Saints. Can’t tell year to year in NFL.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) November 22, 2017
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The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game.
Let's be honest: the call was terrible.
Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation.
We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.
The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan).
Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.
If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong.
You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.
“Glossed over”? The ball was released from within the pocket w a free rusher and no receiver in the area - intentional grounding. It’s a judgement call as to "facing loss of yardage." Receiver running the wrong route is not a criteria that bails the QB out. https://t.co/IOuAICQfKb— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) November 22, 2017
Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.