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Will the Redskins Rule predict Tuesday's winner?

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Will the Redskins Rule predict Tuesday's winner?

Those who are pulling for the Washington Redskins against the Panthers on Sunday and backing Mitt Romney in the presidential election on Tuesday face an interesting dilemma. A Redskins win would not bode well for those who want to see the electoral maps bathed in red on Tuesday night.

It’s called the Redskins Rule. Since the Redskins moved to Washington in 1937, the result of the last Redskins home game before a presidential election has been a nearly rock-solid predictor of which political party would win the presidential election. From 1940 through 2000 things fell into line perfectly. If the Redskins won that last home game prior to Election Day, the party that held the White House won the election. If the Skins dropped that game, the other party started to measure for drapes in the West Wing.

Things went awry in 2004, when the Redskins lost their last home game prior to the election to the Packers. Two days later, incumbent president George W. Bush held on to beat John Kerry.

Four years later the phenomenon fell back into place. The Steelers beat the Redskins 23-6 on Monday. On Tuesday, Barack Obama easily carried Pennsylvania and its 23 electoral votes and won 342 more to beat John McCain and take the White House back from the GOP.

So, those who bleed Burgundy and Gold who want to see Obama remain president might be rooting extra hard for the Redskins to take down the Panthers on Sunday. It's unlikely that any Romney backers who normally are Skins fans will be changing their allegiance and pulling for Cam Newton and company. But perhaps there will be some small solace in the land of the elephants should the Redskins lose.

For the record, here are the details of the "streak" from 1940 through 2000:

1940—Frankie Filchock and Sammy Baugh teamed up to go 14 for 15 passing to lead the Redskins over the Pittsburgh Steelers 37-10. Two days later President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) easily defeated Wendell Willkie 449 electoral votes to 82.

1944—Washington was outgained by the Cleveland Rams 407 yards to 197 but the Redskins scored two TD's in a four-play span in the second quarter to pull out a 14-10 win. FDR's win was not as close as he outgained Thomas Dewey 53% to 45% in the popular vote and outscored him 432-99 in the stat that counts, the Electoral College.

1948—The game was close in the early going, but a 14-14 tie at the end of the first quarter ended in a 59-21 Redskins win over the Boston Yanks. The election was much closer and Dewey didn't defeat incumbent Harry Truman (D) much to the chagrin of the Chicago Tribune and others as the incumbent won 303-189.

1952—Washington's attempted fourth quarter rally fell a point short at the Steelers won 24-23. Adali Stevenson didn't show nearly as much game, trailing Republican Dwight Eisenhower all the way in a 442-89 loss.

1956—This was the first time that the Redskins didn't have a home game on the Sunday immediately preceding the general election. Sixteen days before election day Eddie LeBaron led the Redskins past the Browns 20-9. Ike beat Stevenson in the rematch by over 9 million popular votes and an electoral count of 457-73.

1960—The first of 17 consecutive losses over two seasons for coach Mike Nixon's Redskins came at the hands of Cleveland 31-10. The loser for the GOP was another Nixon, Richard, by a much closer margin to John F. Kennedy, 303-219. That set off something of a losing streak for Richard Nixon but he would rebound later on.

1964—Sonny Jurgensen's fourth touchdown pass of the day went to tight end Pres Carpenter with a minute left to play as the Redskin s pulled out a 27-20 win over the Bears. Lyndon Johnson didn't have to sweat out his win over Barry Goldwater nearly as much with an electoral tally of 486-52.

1968—Jurgensen had one of his worst days as a pro, going 7 for 25 passing but Washington hung close and nearly rallied before losing to the Giants 13-10. Dick Nixon's comeback, on the other hand, was a success as he beat Vice President Hubert Humphrey 301-191 in a contest that was much closer than the final score indicated.

1972—Finally, a significant game to talk about. Larry Brown had one his greatest days as a Redskin as Washington rallied to beat Dallas 24-20. Nixon, who had suggested plays to coach George Allen the previous season, rode to coattails of the Redskins win to a 520-17 trashing of George McGovern.

1976—Pete Wysocki, out of Michigan, was blocking as Eddie Brown returned a punt for Washington's only score in a 20-7 loss to Washington. Another former Wolverine football player, Gerald Ford, who finished up for Nixon after his term concluded before the end of regulation, also lost. Jimmy Carter won 297-240.

1980—The Redskins started a five-game losing streak that knocked them out of playoff contention by falling to the Vikings 39-14. The Republicans launched a three-election winning streak for the White House with the Gipper, Ronald Reagan, routing Carter 489-89.

1984—In a Monday night game that ended as Election Day was dawning, the defending NFC champion Redskins prevailed over Atlanta 27-14. Reagan had a much easier time with Fritz Mondale, defending his office by a score of 525-13.

1988—Politicians are infamous for using dirty tricks to win elections and Dexter Manley pulled one off to help his Redskins win. The Saints were in position to kick a game-clinching field goal, but their tackle Jim Dombrowski took a swing at Manley and the ensuing 15-yard penalty put the kick out of Morten Anderson's range. It turns out that Manley had spit (he says he "sneezed", but we know better) in Dombrowski's face to provoke the punch and the Skins won 27-24. Some would say that the Willie Horton ads were the political equivalent of Dexter's expectoration as it helped George H. W. Bush roll up a 426-111 win over Michael Dukakis.

1992—The New York Giants had possession for nearly 40 minutes and ground out a 24-7 win over Washington. The Redskins, the incumbent Super Bowl champs were on their way out as was President Bush the elder. Bill Clinton won as convincingly as the Giants had 370-168.

1996—The Redskins ran their record to 7-1 with a 31-16 win over the Colts. The early returns from the season had them projected as the winner of a playoff spot but they would later collapse and finish out of the money. Clinton also won easily over Bob Dole, 379-159. He would encounter some rough sledding later on, too.

2000—The Tennessee Titans built up an early lead and held off the Redskins for a 27-21 win. Tennessean Al Gore rallied from behind and took George W. Bush into overtime before losing by one fewer than the Redskins did, 271-266.

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Need to Know: Five key moments from Redskins vs. Chargers

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Five key moments from Redskins vs. Chargers

CARSON, CA—Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 11, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden conference call 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 13
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 20
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 136

Five key plays from Redskins vs. Chargers

Here are the five key plays in the Redskins’ loss to the Chargers:

Philip Rivers 20-yard pass to Hunter Henry on third and nine—It was a 3-0 game and the Chargers were backed up at their own nine. But the tight end Henry got separation from safety Deshazor Everett and Rivers’ pass was on the money. Instead of having to punt from deep in their own territory the Chargers were in business. They didn’t face another third down while completing the 10-play drive for a touchdown.

Kirk Cousins pass intercepted by Kyle Emanuel—It was 10-0 after that TD drive and Cousins wanted to get it back in a hurry. He tried to hit Vernon Davis on a deep out pattern but Cousins said that it was a play that was just installed and he wasn’t really comfortable with it. In any case, the ball was long and after a defensive back tipped it, Emanuel picked it off and returned it to the Washington 29. The Chargers scored a field goal to make it 13-0.

Cousins TD pass to Davis—This gave the Redskins momentum in the game for 11 seconds. The drive itself was impressive, highlighted by a fourth and two completion to Niles Paul. On third and 11 at the 23, Cousins bought time by rolling to his right and he found Davis just in the end zone to make the score 13-6.

Rivers TD bomb to Tyrell Williams—The lift the Redskins got from the score was very short-lived. On the first play after the kickoff, Rivers launched a bomb to Williams, who had beaten Josh Norman (although it’s entirely possible that Norman thought he had some deep and/or inside help). Williams hauled in the pass and easily scored to snatch the momentum back from the Redskins.

Cousins’ fourth-down pass for Davis incomplete—Attempting to respond to the Chargers’ quick-strike TD, the Redskins drove into Chargers territory. They faced fourth and four at the LA 37. The call was to go for it and after seeing that a couple of safer options were covered, Cousins arched one to Davis about 20 yards downfield. Davis had a step on his defender but the pass was a shade too long and it was incomplete. The Chargers drove to a field goal to make it 23-6. The competitive phase of the game essentially was over.

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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Instead of effort and preparation, Redskins get blah, blah, blah

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Instead of effort and preparation, Redskins get blah, blah, blah

CARSON, Ca.  -- Blah. Blah. Blah. 

What's the best way to describe the Redskins effort in a blowout loss in Los Angeles?

Blah, blah, blah. 

At least that's the way Washington safety D.J. Swearinger described the team's practice effort in the sessions leading up to the Chargers game. And if the Redskins practice efforts lacked getting ready for the trip to L.A., it certainly showed on the field.

Unlike the blowout loss 10 days ago in Dallas, the Redskins never even competed against the Chargers. 

In the first quarter alone, the Chargers gained 10 first downs. The Redskins had one. 

RELATED: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS LOSS TO CHARGERS

No part of the Redskins roster performed well. Kirk Cousins had his worst game of the year, passing for just 151 yards. 

The defense gave up more than 250 yards of offense in the first half. Read that again: 250 yards of offense surrendered in the first half!

The game was so out of hand that Los Angeles sat down their starting quarterback Philip Rivers with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Rivers had 319 yards passing and barely played in the fourth quarter!

If the stats seem overwhelmingly bad for the Redskins, it's because they were. After the game Washington head coach Jay Gruden said it felt like he had regressed as a head coach to let his team come out and put forth this kind of effort. 

Couple that with Swearinger's comments. 

After getting toasted in Dallas, most assumed the Redskins would show up in L.A.

They didn't.

What happens next?

It's hard to know. At points this season, the Redskins played with pride and passion.

RELATED: REDSKINS ONLY HAD ELEVEN SECONDS OF MOMENTUM VS. CHARGERS

In their first game without playoff hopes on Sunday, the Redskins played with neither. 

After the contest, Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams said the team had to find a way to again play with pride, especially as three games remain. 

Unless things change, the Redskins won't win another game. That will cause tremendous stress on the players, and the coaching staff. 

The Redskins have sustained an astounding amount of injuries this year. It's a big factor in the undoing of their season, especially as things limp toward the finish. Inexperienced players dot the lineup card all over the field.

Still, effort and preparation can come from experienced or inexperienced players. And it didn't on Sunday in Los Angeles. 

Without it, the final three games will be nothing but more blah, blah, blah.