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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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NFL trade deadline is 2 weeks away and the Redskins should absolutely be selling

NFL trade deadline is 2 weeks away and the Redskins should absolutely be selling

With the NFL trade deadline coming up in two weeks the Redskins front office needs to plant a for sale sign in front of their Ashburn facility. The problem is they might not attract many buyers.

Just about any player not named Terry McLaurin should be available on offense, and while the defense has a few more performing assets, Washington team president Bruce Allen should be taking any and all calls about possible trades. In fact, Allen should be making calls, trying to move players for future draft picks. 

One thing Allen absolutely should not do is give up future assets. At 1-5 and playoff prospects nearly dead, the Redskins are in no position to deal away draft picks. 

The reality at Redskins Park might not be realized yet, but this is a team that needs a major rebuild. The Burgundy and Gold got their first win of the season on Sunday in Miami, and while there were some encouraging signs, don't confuse the victory with accomplishment. Miami was giving up 40 points-per-game and the Redskins scored just 17. Had Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a pass on a two-point conversion attempt in the final seconds of the game, the great Redskins meltdown of 2019 would be in full swing. Instead, the ball fell to the turf, and the Redskins squeaked out a win. 

Squeaking out wins over a hapless Dolphins team means very little when it comes to overall roster organization. And the harsh truth is Washington needs more talent or chances to get more talent in a bad way. 

The problem with trying to sell at the trade deadline, however, is having players that other teams want. Outside of young players like Terry McLaurin and Daron Payne, the Redskins don't have many marketable pieces. Could Adrian Peterson maybe help a team making a playoff push? Sure, but what would that squad give up for Peterson, considering he was unsigned for months of the 2018 offseason. What about Ryan Kerrigan? Good teams can never have enough pass rushers, but it seems unlikely Washington would even consider moving him.

There is one big piece that Washington can dangle in trade conversations: Trent Williams. 

The seven-time Pro Bowler hasn't shown up in 2019 and it's painfully obvious to all parties that he's not coming back. 106.7 the Fan's Craig Hoffman reported that the Redskins won't move Williams this year, which seems crazy but believable given the absurdity of Williams' lengthy holdout and the Redskins insistence on thinking it will end.  

The time to trade Williams was months ago, and it's just grandstanding to continue bashing the team for something that is so obvious. Still, trade Williams now. Get draft pick compensation or player compensation, whatever works, but get it done.

There are internet rumors that Tampa might be looking to move young tight end O.J. Howard and Washington could be interested. If it's a straight player swap, that is worth considering. Howard has up to two years remaining on his rookie deal, and the Redskins options at tight end are in bad shape. Jordan Reed is on the injured reserve list and there are real questions about him never playing again. Vernon Davis is 35 and in the last year of his contract. Howard would be a talent upgrade and he's an Alabama alum. The Redskins love 'Bama guys. 

The Williams/Howard rumor could be pure nonsense too. Allen has been very clear he has no plans to trade Williams, repeatedly, and so far has stuck to his word. Allen even said last week that there has been "no dialogue" with any other team. 

Last season the Redskins bought at the trade deadline, bringing in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for what the organization thought would be a late-season playoff run. Washington sent Green Bay a fourth-round pick for Clinton-Dix, and the price ended up being too high. Clinton-Dix was barely, if at all, an upgrade over Montae Nicholson and for most of his time in Washington he seemed focused on his pending free agency. 

What that trade did prove was Allen is willing to wheel and deal at the trade deadline. He should do the same this year but in the opposite direction.

Sell. Don't buy. 

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The Eagles cut Zach Brown but don't expect a Redskins reunion

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The Eagles cut Zach Brown but don't expect a Redskins reunion

Zach Brown had a rough week.

The Eagles linebacker made headlines prior to a Week 6 matchup when he said that Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was the "weak link" on the Minnesota offense. By the time Philadelphia left Minneapolis, Cousins had thrown for more than 300 yards with four touchdowns as the Vikings routed the Eagles 38-20. After the game, Brown got asked about his Cousins' comments, and the linebacker didn't want to discuss his comments at all. 

On Monday, things fared even worse as the Eagles cut Brown. 

In six games this season he registered 29 tackles and two tackles of loss. He was playing fine, but not good, and Philadelphia's management clearly decided the juice wasn't worth the squeeze with Brown after his Cousins' comments.

For Redskins fans thinking about a possible ZB reunion, think again. Last year, Washington's coaches and management came to the same conclusion as Philadelphia just did. 

Brown signed with the Redskins in 2017 and played well that year. He was leading the NFL in tackles for much of the season until he was lost to injury in December. The team re-signed him in 2018 to a three-year, $21 million deal, but things went bad about halfway through the year. Brown lost his starting job to Shaun Dion Hamilton and openly talked about the "writing on the wall" with his role in Washington. 

In March, the Redskins released Brown before free agency opened. Philadelphia signed him later in the offseason to a one-year incentive deal, and he didn't even last half the season. 

Brown has talent. He's a good tackler and has elite speed for the position. In 2016, Brown posted 149 tackles and four sacks with the Bills, but Buffalo elected not to bring him back. He then landed in D.C. before his eventual release. Now he's available again and the Redskins defense has been anything but stellar. 

Don't expect Brown back in Burgundy and Gold though. The team cut him less than a year ago, and while there has been a coaching change, the smart money says Brown won't be back. 

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