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5 plays that decided Redskins vs. Colts

5 plays that decided Redskins vs. Colts

NFL games come down to a handful of plays and the Redskins’ Week 2 loss to the Colts was no exception.

Here are five plays that determined the outcome of Washington's 21-9 home-opening loss to Indianapolis.

Five plays that decided Redskins vs. Colts

1. Q1 (1:46) Chris Thompson right end to IND 46 for -3 yards (Moore II, Hairston)

The Redskins trailed 7-0 but they were on the move in Colts territory at the 43. On third and one, the call was a pitch to Thompson around the left side. The Colts reacted as though they were in the huddle. The pursuit was excellent; Thompson couldn’t get around the end and he didn’t have a cutback lane.

The play design didn't help things as Thompson was about seven yards behind the line of scrimmage when he took the pitch, giving the defense plenty of time to adjust.

He was brought down for a loss of three and a promising drive ended with a punt. 

2. Q1 (:10) (Shotgun) Andrew Luck pass short left to T.Y. Hilton pushed out of bounds at IND 25 for 22 yards (Montae Nicholson) 

It was third and 12 at the three. The Redskins had a chance to force a punt from the back of the end zone and get good field position when it still was 7-0.

But Hilton had a squadron of blockers in front of him and he had smooth sailing for 22 yards and the first down. It was an opportunity lost. 

3. Q2 (9:35) PENALTY on WAS-Fabian Moreau, Defensive Pass Interference, 37 yards, enforced at IND 36 - No Play 

On second and nine at the Indy 36, Luck launched one deep for Hilton. The flag on Moreau was legitimate as the cornerback had to grab the receiver to prevent a touchdown.

The question that arose was why Moreau was covering Hilton, the only Colts receiver capable of doing any major damage, deep without any help. Regardless, the Colts scored a touchdown five plays later to make it 14-3 and the Redskins played catch up the rest of the way. 

4. Q3 (5:49) (Shotgun) Alex Smith pass incomplete short left to Josh Doctson (Desir)

Still trailing 14-3, the Redskins had a chance to shift momentum after D.J. Swearinger picked off a Luck pass and returned it to the Colts' 29. They got down to a third and four at the nine. Smith went for a fade to Doctson in the back left corner of the end zone.

It was just a little bit off as Doctson didn’t have quite enough room to bring the ball in and stay inbounds before cornerback Pierre Desir knocked the ball out. It would have been a four-point game with 20 minutes to play, but they had to settle for three. 

5. Q4 (15:00) Alex Smith sacked at IND 29 for -10 yards (Leonard)

That field goal after the missed connection on the fade did make it a one-score game at 14-6. The Redskins defense forced a three and out and an Adrian Peterson run. A Jordan Reed reception got them into the red zone. On second and nine at the 19, Smith never had a chance as linebacker Darius Leonard blew in on a blitz and brought him down.

The Redskins had to settle for yet another field goal.

On their subsequent possession, the Colts drove for the clinching touchdown.

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As the NFL heads to the Senior Bowl, what do Redskins need most?

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As the NFL heads to the Senior Bowl, what do Redskins need most?

It's a bit of a weird annual tradition. Almost the entire NFL world descends upon Mobile, Alabama, a small city on the Gulf Coast far away from the big metropolises most teams call home. 

The reason? The Senior Bowl, a showcase of much of the best talent getting ready for the upcoming NFL Draft. 

Like the name suggests, underclassmen can't play in the Senior Bowl, and that means some of the most elite players that will hear their names called in the first round won't be in Mobile. But while much NFL Draft focuses on the first round, the best teams are built by day two and day three draft picks.

Mobile is the best place to find them.

The Redskins' staff heads to Alabama with many more questions than answers. The team has a major need at quarterback and all over the defense. The skill positions could use a boost too. 

Starting with the QBs, there is a lot to watch in Mobile.

Duke's Daniel Jones, West Virginia's Will Grier and Missouri's Drew Lock are probably the headliner's of the cast in Mobile, but don't count out Washington State's Gardner Minshew II. Mark Rypien's nephew, Brett Rypien, won't play in Mobile, but another intriguing name: University of Buffalo's Tyree Jackson. He's 6-foot-7 and raw, but has a cannon of an arm. 

The two biggest QB names - Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray - won't be in Mobile, but that doesn't mean all eyes won't be on the passers. The Redskins need to bring in a young signal caller, and the Senior Bowl has a deep pool to scout. 

Offensively, the team also needs to add interior offensive line players and wideouts. 

On the line, there are guys to like. Wisconsin's Michael Dieter, Oklahoma's Dru Samia and Kansas State's Dalton Risner all project as guards in the NFL. Dieter and Risner are known for a nasty streak, the same thing that got said about Brandon Scherff coming out of Iowa. Samia has great feet for a man his size.

Washington needs to address their long running weakness at left guard, and this should be the draft for that.

At wide receiver, the Redskins could lose Jamison Crowder to free agency. Beyond Crowder, the team simply isn't getting enough production on the edges.

One NFC scout talked about Missouri's Emmanuel Hal as a player with a big opportunity to impress this weekend. Two lesser known prospects to watch: UMass WR Andy Isabella, who has 4.3 speed and could play the slot, and UC Davis WR Keelan Doss, who put up huge numbers the last two seasons. West Virginia's David Sills is another wideout with video game numbers on the college level that will be in Mobile. 

Defensively, the Redskins need help on each level.

Starting up front, Washington likely needs to add another pass rusher and every football team in the universe always needs to add defensive line depth. The Redskins could lose Preston Smith in free agency, and need more speed opposite Ryan Kerrigan on the edge. 

A player to watch: Wyoming OLB Carl Granderson. At 6-foot-5 and 261 lbs, he has all the physical tools to be a menace on the outside. One Midwest scout explained that with Granderson, he could have a tremendous week of practice for NFL scouts, assuming he's locked in and focused.

A lot of buzz centers around Mississippi State's Montez Sweat, a probable first-round pick. He was a star in Starkville. 

Smaller college players like Old Dominion's Oshane Ximines and Louisiana Tech's Jaylon Ferguson produced significant sack totals, enough to get them invited to Mobile and compete with the Power 5 school players. This is there opportunity to prove they belong, much like UTSA's Marcus Davenport did last season when the Saints drafted him 14th overall. 

Washington also needs help on the back end.

Their safety situation has significant holes as the team released DJ Swearinger before the final game of the 2018 season and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is set for free agency. 

Two local players of note: Virginia's Juan Thornhill and Maryland's Darnell Savage. Thornhill had six interceptions as a senior and Savage is one of the bigger hitters in the Big Ten. Both need to improve their tackling.

Another semi-local name to watch: Nasir Adderley of Delaware. The young man flies to the football and never stops running. Want a high motor potential special team stud? Adderly could be that guy. 

Much will be learned during the week in Mobile.

The Redskins will send a full cast to scope out the talent and talk with coaches and other scouts. Teams will interview the players, and figure out which targets they want to go deeper on over the coming months of the draft process. The NFL Scouting Combine is only about a month away, and plenty of college pro days after that. 

For Washington, the first steps toward an improved season in 2019 begins this week. 

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Redskins TE Vernon Davis helps send grieving family to Super Bowl LIII

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Redskins TE Vernon Davis helps send grieving family to Super Bowl LIII

Vernon Davis is a charitable guy, and it's one of the reasons he's the Washington Redskins Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee. 

His latest gesture is an attempt to bring a little joy to a grieving family after they recently lost their 17-year-old son, who Davis had previously met. The Redskins veteran tight end met the Howey family and their son, Ryan, who was a huge Washington fan and was going through treatment for brain cancer, according to the team.

Sadly not long after Ryan and his family met Davis, he passed away.

"It broke my heart," Davis told TMZ in a video, adding that about a year ago, Ryan was "totally fine" and going to Redskins games. "It was unfortunate he had to deal with that."

And Davis wanted to do what he could for the Howey family and "bring some joy to their spirit," so he gave them two tickets to Super Bowl LIII, and, with the help of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, he was able to get them a third so Ryan's parents and sister could all attend the game together. Davis said is also paying for their flights to Atlanta and hotel as well.

He said after he heard Ryan passed away, he reached out via FaceTime to the Howey family, and, of course, they didn't know what to expect from such a call. And after he told them what he wanted to do, he told TMZ they were crying "tears of joy."

"It was just on my heart," Davis said in his interview with TMZ. "They were the first ones I could think of when it comes to just making them happy, just bringing some joy in their life after all they've had to deal with their son. I just put myself in that situation, you know? I'm just having some compassion here, and I would want the same thing."

The New England Patriots will play the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Feb. 3.

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