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Failure to build on prosperity is nothing new for the Redskins

Failure to build on prosperity is nothing new for the Redskins

“You are what your record says you are.”

Bill Parcells, talking about the 2015-2017 Redskins, probably

Well, The Tuna said this in 1994, so maybe he was talking about Norv Turner’s Redskins. But the truth of the statement remains.

The Redskins are just a mediocre football team. Just when it looks like they are about to break out of the muddled middle of the pack in the NFL, they have an ugly performance that pulls them right back into the middle of the morass.

Here is a look at some of the Redskins’ signature wins of the last two and a half years and what happened next.


—In Week 4, Kirk Cousins put together his first comeback win, getting the winning score in the 23-20 win on a pass to Pierre Garçon with 26 seconds left. The following week they went to Atlanta and despite having a few chances to win the game they lost in overtime.


—In Week 7, the Redskins came back from a 24-0 deficit to beat the Bucs and Cousins yelled, “You like that!” They had a bye the next week and in their next game they went to New England and were uncompetitive in a 27-10 loss. Yes, that’s a tough place to win but a better showing in a loss would have been evidence that they had turned the corner.

—Perhaps the best game of Jay Gruden’s tenure came in Week 16 in Philadelphia when they whipped the Eagles and clinched the NFC East title. They followed this up with what amounted to an exhibition game in Dallas. In their next game that counted they were at home against a Packers team that had lost two in a row and looked vulnerable. The Redskins had an 11-point lead early and they were up 18-17 in the third quarter but Aaron Rodgers and company scored 18 unanswered points to close it out.


—In Week 6 they ran their winning streak to four games as they held off the Eagles for a 27-20 win. The next week they nearly built the first five-game winning streak since 2012, but Matthew Stafford rallied the Lions with a touchdown pass with 16 seconds left to snatch that victory away.


—The Redskins’ 2016 season reached its peak with their Week 11 drubbing of the Packers. But they couldn’t build on the momentum of their 42-24 win. They lost the next two in a row with some red zone woes in Dallas and turnover issues in Arizona.


—The 2-0 Raiders came into town and the left with a thorough 24-10 whipping. They then went to Kansas City and battled the undefeated Chiefs hard, coming out with a moral victory, which is another term for a loss.

Their failure to create any momentum after the win in Seattle is perhaps the most head-scratching of all of them. They got several key players back from injuries, including three of their starting offensive linemen. Unlike most of their momentum-killing games, they were at home. And still they got boat raced (don't let the final score fool you). They let Case Keenum, who had thrown 24 touchdown passes in 24 career starts, pass for four touchdowns and as they left the field thousands of Vikings fans were doing the “Skol” clap and cheer.

The result was hard to understand but, given recent history, not surprising.

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.

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The Redskins are reportedly hosting Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit

The Redskins are reportedly hosting Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit

After sustaining a number of injuries to their running back group, the Redskins need help at the position. 

In that quest, the team will bring in veteran Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Arguably one of the best all-time running backs in the NFL, Peterson not being on a roster at this point in the season might be a surprise. Last year, Peterson split time between New Orleans and Arizona and rushed for more than 500 yards. 

Peterson built his fame and name with a long run of success in Minnesota, including a 2,000-yard season in 2012. In 123 games with the Vikings spanning 10 years, he rushed for nearly 12,000 yards and 97 touchdowns. 

Washington is in serious need for depth and talent at RB. 

Rookie Derrius Guice went down for the season in the preseason opener, and last week Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall sustained injuries. 

At Sunday's practice, head coach Jay Gruden joked that his son, Jack, should take some practice reps at the position. 

Currently, the Redskins only have Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Kapri Bibbs as running backs on the roster, and Thompson hasn't played yet this preseason as he's working back from a broken leg last November.

The Redskins also worked out veteran runners Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darkwa. Peterson has the biggest name of all of them.

This offseason, Peterson also worked out with Redskins tackle Trent Williams.


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Jamaal Charles headlines a group of Redskins running back tryouts

USA Today Sports

Jamaal Charles headlines a group of Redskins running back tryouts

Jamaal Charles used to be among the best running backs in the NFL, and maybe the Redskins hope to turn back the clock. 

Washington is dealing with a number of injuries at the running back spot, and to get through two more preseason games, the team is bringing in a number of veteran runners for tryouts. Charles is the biggest name coming in for a test drive with the Redskins, as ESPN reported. Former Giants RB Orleans Darkwa is also getting a tryout, per multiple reports. 

How did Washington get to the point where the team needs to add more backfield options in mid-August?

First, Derrius Guice injured his knee in the preseason opener. He will miss the season. 

In the second preseason game, Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall and rookie Martez Carter got hurt. Perine should be back in a week or as he suffered only a sprained ankle. Marshall could miss a month, making a roster spot flimsy, and Carter was waived due to his injury. 

That means the Burgundy and Gold only have Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson active for practice, and remember, Thompson is working back from a broken leg he suffered last November. He hasn't played yet in the preseason, and might not go at all until Week 1 in Arizona.

Add all of that together and the team was forced to bring in veteran options, if for nothing else than to get through the remaining two preseason games.

Back to Charles.

From 2009 to 2014, Charles put up absurd numbers. He approached 2,000 total yards from scrimmage in both 2013 and 2010, and put up more than 1,700 total yards in 2012. It's worth adding that Charles found great success with Alex Smith when both were playing in Kansas City. Just saying. He was undeniably great, and probably won thousands of people thousands of dollars as a fantasy football MVP.

That time appears to be over though.

In the last three seasons, injuries have robbed Charles of his burst and elusiveness. Last year, he couldn't break through in the Denver backfield despite being healthy for 14 games. He rushed for just under 300 yards. 

Redskins fans will have unfortunate memories of Darkwa.

In an ugly Week 17 loss last season in New York, he busted a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and finished the game with 154 yards. Last season was the best of his career for Darkwa, he ran for more than 750 yards and averaged 4.4 yards-per-carry. He's only 26 years old and, coincidentally, played college football at Tulane with Rob Kelley

By adding Guice in the second round of the NFL Draft this spring, the Redskins thought they addressed their need for a talent boost at the RB position. With Guice out for the year, the position looks about the same as it did in 2017. 

Adding Charles and Darkwa seem unlikely to change that, at least significantly. And that's if either of the veteran runners even make the 53-man roster. 



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