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Need to Know: Five key plays from Redskins vs Broncos

Need to Know: Five key plays from Redskins vs Broncos

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.

Timeline

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 Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 21, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

How the addition of Alexander affects the Redskins' DB depth chart—Adonis Alexander was brought into the NFL about a week and a half ago and in five days he’ll be on the practice field in Richmond. How much will missing OTAs and minicamp hurt him in comparison to, say, his former Hokie teammate Greg Stroman? I think that the plan is for this to be a “redshirt” year for Alexander to learn. But that was supposed to be the plan for Josh Harvey-Clemons and Chase Roullier last year and both ended up playing key snaps. 

Can the Redskins defensive line live up to its potential? Many NFL fans don’t appreciate the value of having a good defensive line. Redskins fans are not in that group because they have seen what you get when you try to build a defensive line with over-the-hill veteran free agents, low draft picks, and undrafted players. Fans will value the talent, youth, and depth on the 2018 D-line.  

10 Questions in 10 days: LB depth chart—This is another area where the Redskins have not invested much in recent seasons. At least this year they stepped up and re-signed starters Mason Foster and Zach Brown. They are the present. Are Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons the future? 

The pass rush must continue to be a strength for the Redskins—With the picture at the cornerback position is somewhat murky right now, the pass rush will be critical, especially in the early going. The outside linebackers lost a key reserve, putting the burden on Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan to continue to get pressure on Ryan Anderson to take a leap forward in his second season. 

Tweet of the week

Well, this tweet did sort of stir things up as did some of the things that Cousins said in an article by Dan Pompei on the Bleacher Report. The thing about Twitter is that there is no room for nuance. I was labeled a Kirk “hater” by some. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. On multiple occasions, I urged the team to sign him long term and highlighted the positive aspects of his play. 

But this thing about not having a “platform” to lead always struck me as a cop-out. Cousins talked about it during some press conferences while he was here. The length of your contract should not prevent you from embracing a leadership role. You’re getting paid to lead, just do it. Few in leadership positions in business or in the military know where they will be a year from now. They embrace the role while they have it and Cousins should have done the same. 

The fact that I don’t like this one aspect of Cousins doesn’t mean that I don’t like him overall. He’s a good quarterback and I think he will have success with the Vikings. I think that the price got to be too much for the Redskins and the decision to move on to Alex Smith was sound or at least the best they could do after it became apparent that he was not going to sign here. But it’s not all one or the other. It is possible to see the positive and negative of Cousins. 

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

Timeline

Mike Sellers, whose seven receiving touchdowns in 2005 were the most by a Redskins running back since the merger, was born on this date in 1975.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 5
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 19
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 42

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 50 days. 

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond.