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Need to Know: Five key plays in the Redskins' loss to the Vikings

Need to Know: Five key plays in the Redskins' loss to the Vikings

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 13, six days before the Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes Benz Superdome.

Timeline

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

Days until:

—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 6
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 10
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 17

Five key plays from Redskins vs Vikings

Maurice Harris’ touchdown catch—It was such an acrobatic catch that it made circus performers jealous and it came on his first target of the year. The touchdown capped the Redskins’ opening drive and it was the first blow in what was a back and forth battle for most of the first half.

Mackenzie Alexander second-quarter interception—The Vikings had just retaken the lead but the Redskins had 1:49 left in the half and they were looking to put together a late drive. Kirk Cousins threw a short pass intended for Jamison Crowder but it was off of his back foot due to some pressure and it sailed high. Alexander made a diving interception at the 33 and returned it to the 23. It took just three plays for the Vikings to score a touchdown and make it a two-score game at 28-17.

Case Keenum 49-yard pass to Adam Theilen—Not only did this play on the Vikings’ first series of the third quarter set up the touchdown the essentially put this game out of reach, it encapsulated so many of the issues the Redskins defense had on the day. Keenum had plenty of time to throw and Theilen got so open that it was hard to tell who was supposed to be covering him. It was simple pitch and catch and three plays later the Vikings were in the end zone, taking a 35-17 lead.  

D.J. Swearinger’s fourth-quarter interception—The safety got a pick in the third quarter but the Redskins lost the ball on downs in the ensuing possession. On the first play of the fourth quarter he jumped the route on a pass intended for Kyle Rudolph, intercepted the pass at the Minnesota 33 and returned it to the two. Two plays later the Redskins were into the end zone and all of a sudden it was a one-score game at 35-27.

Kai Forbath 53-yard field goal—After the Vikings claimed running back Mack Brown off of waivers a couple of weeks ago, some thought that this might be his revenge game. But Brown was inactive and the former Redskin who made a big play was Forbath, the team’s kicker for three seasons from 2012-2014. After the Redskins closed it to within eight the Vikings put on a methodical drive that burned up over seven minutes and ended with Forbath booming the field goal. The Redskins moved on from him because they were concerned that his leg was not strong enough but he is four for four on field goals from 50 yards or longer this season.

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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Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

The Redskins' joint practices with the Jets have been nothing short of entertaining.

Day 1 of practice brought a couple of brawls between the two teams, with one spilling into the sideline where fans were standing. 

Day 2 was relatively calm, but Day 3 has brought another altercation, this time between former teammates Terrelle Pryor and DJ Swearinger. 

During a one-on-one rep, safety Monte Nicholson broke up a pass to Pryor. As Pryor started walking back to the sideline, a very hyped-up DJ Swearinger had more than a few things to say about it. As the two inched closer, Swearinger fakes a punch, causing Pryor to flinch and creating roars from the Redskins sideline. 

It's clear the Redskins' DBs have strong feelings towards their ex-teammate. Back in June, inside linebacker Zach Brown said the 'Skins would "have it out" for Pryor during their joint practices. 

While Pryor won't be playing in Thursday's preseason game, let's hope the competition continues over nonetheless.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: 

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Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

RICHMOND—Orlando Scandrick’s career with the Redskins ended without him even playing a game.

Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed reports that the team has released Scandrick on the last day of training camp. He did not play in the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Patriots last Thursday.

While reasons for the release will become clearer with time, it is apparent that the Redskins have a great deal of faith in their young cornerbacks, particularly second-year player Fabian Moreau. With Scandrick on the team, Moreau was slated to be the backup slot corner. With Scandrick now gone, the Redskins likely will go with Moreau as the slot cornerback.

The team also apparently has confidence in Quinton Dunbar to start opposite Josh Norman. They also like rookies Greg Stroman, Adonis Alexander, and Danny Johnson. As of now, those three are the backups at cornerback.

Scandrick signed a two-year, $7 million contract in March. The only guaranteed money was a $1 million signing bonus. The move will save the Redskins $2.1 million in cap space this year. They will take a $500,000 dead cap hit next year to account for the prorated portion of the signing bonus.

Redskins 2018 training camp news

-Teammates react: Thompson gets emotional talking about Guice
-Redskins-Jets brawl: A dangerous situation

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  and on Instagram @RichTandler.

This article has been updated from a previous publish.