Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 25, six days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.


Today’s schedule: Merry Christmas to all!

Days until:

—Redskins @ Giants (12/31) 6
—NFL free agency starts (3/14/18) 79
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 122

Five key plays from Redskins vs. Broncos

Kirk Cousins 32-yard pass to Ryan Grant—The Redskins had compiled just 14 yards of offense in the first quarter and things were not looking good. But approaching the midway point of the second quarter the Redskins got rolling thanks largely to Cousins finding Grant wide open deep over the middle for 32 yards to the Denver 28. They eventually moved to a first and goal but the drive fizzled and Dustin Hopkins got the Redskins on the board with a field goal.

Preston Smith sack of Brock Osweiler and forced fumble—The Redskins kicked off after that field goal and the Broncos got a first down, moving to their own 41. On third down, the Redskins swarmed all over the Denver quarterback. As he was falling down, he lost control of the ball and it bounced forward a few yards before Zach Vigil recovered it. Smith got credit for the sack and strip and while he may have been most responsible for the play, a few other defenders deserve an assist. Five plays later Cousins threw a 15-yard TD pass to Jamison Crowder to give the Redskins a lead they never relinquished.


D.J. Swearinger interception of Osweiler pass—The Redskins have had a bad habit of giving up scores late in the first half. It looked like they might do that in this game as the Broncos moved from their own 26 to the Redskins’ 42 with 1:36 left in the first half. On first down from there, Osweiler got some pressure in his face from Ryan Kerrigan and his throw was off target. Swearinger bobbled the ball and he had to pin it to his shoulder pad to complete the catch.

Cousins 48-yard touchdown pass to Josh Doctson—The Broncos were still hanging around early in the fourth quarter with the Redskins holding a 13-3 lead. The home team didn’t clinch the game until Doctson lined up as part of a bunch formation on the right. Up to that point, Doctson was having a frustrating day, with a couple of drops and some near misses on big plays. But there were no issues when he took off downfield and the No. 1 defense in the NFL coming into the game neglected to cover him. All Cousins had to do was not overthrow him. Doctson easily gathered in the pass in stride and he was able to stroll the final 10 yards into the end zone to lock it up for the Redskins.

Incomplete pass reversed to fumble on replay—The score was still 20-3 and the clock was under 5:00 when Osweiler threw a pass to running back Davonte Booker over the middle. He turned around, started to run, and was popped by safety Deshazor Everett. The ball came out but the official from the “what is a catch” league such a play is called an incomplete pass. Jay Gruden, who wanted his defense to get credit for a play that they made, threw the red challenge flag. After a review, referee Ed Hochuli said over the PA that Booker caught the ball and took “at least three steps” before getting hit and properly awarded the ball to the Redskins. This wasn’t a pivotal play in the game as it was just about over but it’s key because it was Gruden standing up for his defense instead of keeping the red flag in his pocket.

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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