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Biggest observations from Redskins' stunning win against the Seahawks


Biggest observations from Redskins' stunning win against the Seahawks

SEATTLE—Here are my observations made during the Redskins’ stunning 17-14 win over the Seahawks.

First half

—The Redskins’ pass blocking held up well in the early going. But there was a mixup in protection as Cousins went back to pass from the end zone. Linebacker Bobby Wagner came in on a delayed blitz and after Cousins looked away from his first option, Wagner was in clean for the sack and safety. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Seahawks couldn’t add more points after taking the free kick as Blair Walsh was wide left on a 44-yard field goal try.

— After Blair Walsh missed his second field goal of the game, the Redskins were able to piece together a drive. It was largely the Vernon Davis show as he caught a pass for 10 yards to convert a third down and then for 23 and 11 yards. Josh Doctson’s first reception of the game was good for a first down in the red zone. After looking out of sorts ever since the safety, Cousins was steady in leading the 13-play drive. With linebacker Ryan Anderson as the lead blocker at fullback, Rob Kelley powered into the end zone to give the Redskins a 7-2 lead.

—Whenever you watch a Seahawks game you see teams pressuring Russell Wilson but nobody can get home for the sack of the slippery Seahawk. Such was the case in the first half as the Redskins had defenders running free in the Seattle backfield but Wilson able to dodge them every time. He was able to either scamper for some yardage or get a pass off. Wilson is as frustrating to defenses as any player in the NFL.

—The Redskins’ offensive line deserves some credit for the moment not being too big for them in the first half. They had no false starts in one of the loudest environments in the NFL and they did not draw a holding flag.

RELATED: Redskins nearly turned Seahawks' Super Bowl LI fail into the greatest two-point conversion​

Second half                                                  

— Cousins had the one hot streak during the Redskins’ first-half touchdown drive but before that and to this point late in the third quarter. Perhaps it’s not fair to blame the Redskins’ issues with moving the ball all on Cousins. The Seahawks do have some good defensive backs and a wide-open receiver has been hard to come by. In any case, the Redskins are having a hard time moving the ball and with the score 10-2, they are one instance of Wilson magic from a tie game.

—The Redskins inability to possess the ball caught up with them as the Seahawks cranked out a 66-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter. Seattle had only a slight edge in time of possession at the end of the first half. Now, with 11:48 left in the half, the Seahawks have a 28:14 to 19:58 advantage. It was 10 minutes to five in the third quarter alone. Wilson’s pass on the two-point try was intercepted and after a few laterals, the Redskins nearly had two points of their own. But the excitement ended at around the 10 and the Redskins were clinging to a 10-8 lead.

—The Redskins pieced together a nice drive starting with just under eight minutes left but they couldn’t quite finish it off. The burned the clock down to 2:22 left. The Seahawks got into Redskins territory when the defense lost Jimmy Graham but Wilson found him for a gain of 21. A few plays later Doug Baldwin got wide open and Wilson found him for 30 yards and the go-ahead TD.

—Cousins got the last-gasp drive going with a 31-yard pass to Brian Quick on the sideline that gave the Redskins a first down at the 38. Then Cousins found Josh Doctson running down the left side and the receiver made a diving catch at the one. On the next play, Rob Kelley got it in for the touchdown. The conversion gave the Redskins a 17-14 lead. That was some clutch play by Cousins and a great catch by Doctson.

—The defense was on the spot during Seattle’s final drive. Pressure helps but it’s hard to bring Wilson down so you keeping defenders in coverage may be the way to go. But they have to stay with their men. The Seahawks got into Redskins territory but they finally got a sack of Wilson. They had a final shot with four seconds left. A Hail Mary was incomplete and the Redskins walked off with a shocking win.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins schedule preview: Weeks 13 and 17 vs. Eagles

Redskins schedule preview: Weeks 13 and 17 vs. Eagles

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the two games against the Eagles. 

Week 13 December 3 (Monday night), Lincoln Financial Field

Week 17, December 30, FedEx Field

2017 Eagles: 13-3, First in NFC East, Super Bowl champions 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 10.5

Early line: Week 13, Redskins +7.5; No lines established for Week 17

Key additions: DE Michael Bennett, WR Mike Wallace

Key losses: DE Vinny Curry, WR Torrey Smith, RB LeGarrette Blount, DT Beau Allen

Notable: Quarterback Carson Wentz is aiming to be ready for Week 1 after suffering a torn ACL late in the season.  

Biggest questions: 

  • If Wentz isn’t ready, the Eagles have Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles ready. Is the real Foles the one who has been a journeyman or the one who starred in the playoffs? And will Wentz continue the freewheeling style that helped make him successful after the injury?
  • After winning Philadelphia its first Super Bowl, will the Eagles suffer from a hangover? 

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 82-75-6; the Eagles won both meetings last year after Washington had won five straight. 

Series notables

The first time: October 10, 1937, Griffith Stadium — With the Redskins trailing 7-0, rookie Sammy Baugh twice led the Redskins deep into Eagle territory. Washington couldn’t push it across the goal line either time, though, and Philly got out with a 14-0 win.

The last time: October 23, 2017, Lincoln Financial Field — The Redskins took a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter, but Wentz and the Eagles took over after that, scoring 21 unanswered points. The Redskins got it back within a touchdown and on a third and eight play early in the fourth quarter, it looked like they had Wentz sacked. However, he scrambled out of trouble and ran for the first down. That drive ended with a touchdown pass and Philly went on to win 34-24.

The best time: January 5, 1991, Veterans Stadium — After getting pummeled by the Eagles in the Body Bag Game (see “The worst time” below), the Redskins qualified for the playoffs and got their shot at revenge. The seedings called for the Redskins to return to the scene of the crime, Veterans Stadium, for a first-round playoff contest.

A near turnover that wasn't was the game's turning point. The Redskins had taken a 7-6 lead and were driving for more when the ball popped loose from Earnest Byner's grasp when he was tackled at the Philadelphia six. CB Ben Smith scooped the ball up and ran 94 yards for an apparent TD. 

Fortunately for the Redskins, instant replay showed that the ground caused the fumble and the call was reversed, with the Redskins retaining possession. The reversal became a 10-point turnaround as Chip Lohmiller connected on a short FG and instead of a six-point deficit, the Redskins had a four-point lead. The Eagles' offense never could get untracked and the Redskins won 20-6.

The worst time: November 12, 1990, Veterans Stadium — As the Redskins went into 1990, the core players on the team, Art Monk, Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic, Charles Mann, Darrell Green, Don Warren, and Monte Coleman, were on or approaching the over the hill side of 30.  The team had gone from Super Bowl Champs in 1987 to a losing record in ’88 to out of the playoffs again in ’89. They were facing their last stand as they went into The Vet for a November Monday night game.

This one became known as "The Body Bag Game". Five Redskins had to be carted off of the field as Buddy Ryan's team knocked a total of nine out of the game, including both of the active QB's. The carnage induced one Eagle to yell, "Do you guys need any more body bags?'' as yet another injured Redskin was lying on the turf. The Eagles and Ryan taunted the Redskins after the game, a 28-14 Philadelphia win that was not nearly that close.

Redskins schedule series

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page,  and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS  and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Sprinkle as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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