There have been a few posts in this space during the past few months that have questioned whether or not Santana Moss would be on the Redskins 2012 roster. Barring a drastic change in the situation you will not see any more such articles.In 2011, Moss had his worst season since 2002, when he was a returner and reserve receiver for the Jets. And then the Redskins added Pierre Garon and Josh Morgan as free agents and have been talking up a bigger role for second-year receiver Leonard Hankerson. It appeared that Moss, a Redskin since 2005, and his 2.65 million salary could be gone.Moss didnt have to read tea leaves to see that his job was in danger. Mike Shanahan recounted a conversation he had with Moss earlier in the offseason. We talked to him very frankly and said, Hey, youve got to come in in the best shape as you get older. Sometimes your skills will go down a little bit unless youre in great shape.So Moss got in great shape. He lost 15 pounds. With Hankerson and Morgan sidelined with injuries during most of OTAs and minicamp, Moss took full advantage and developed good chemistry with Robert Griffin III.Hes been impressive, said Shanahan.Where he will fit in when September rolls around remains to be seen. In discussing who will play as the slot receiver, Kyle Shanahan said he sees Moss as one of the premier guys in the NFL at that position.But he also said that Morgan and Hankerson are very capable of playing the slot. So, do Mike and Kyle give the majority of the action to Morgan, the expensive free agent, Hankerson, the potential future star, or Moss, who is 33 and is unlikely to be around when Robert Griffin III starts to hit his stride? The answer seems evident.But if the Redskins run 1100 offensive plays this year thee will be some 2800 snaps at wide receiver to be distributed among the group, possibly more if they run more three- and four-receiver sets. Moss likely will be able to grab a good number of this snaps. From the looks of things now, he should be able to make the most of them.
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
In case you missed it
- Everybody thinks the grounding call was wrong, except Aikman
- Here's your Redskins Week 12 rooting guide
- The recipe the Redskins should follow to beat the Giants
- Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan
- 7 or 8 players will be game-time decisions for Redskins
- Who will return to Redskins from IR in 2018?
- Crowder among five under pressure vs. Giants
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.