Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 1, 72 days before NFL free agency starts.


Today’s schedule: Open locker room 10 a.m.

Days until:

—NFL free agency starts (3/14/18) 72
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 115
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9/18) 251

Monday six-pack—The Redskins’ key plays from 2017

Chris Thompson 61-yard TD run vs RamsThe run on a draw play put the Redskins ahead 20-10 in a Week 2 game that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time but, as we know now, Sean McVay would have the Rams going places. The play also established Thompson as the Redskins’ main offensive threat, a weapon that helped them win games until he got injured later in the season. Thompson’s TD gave the Redskins enough of a lead to withstand a Rams rally in the second half. They won it on a late TD pass from Kirk Cousins to Ryan Grant.

Kirk Cousins pass in the end zone intended for Josh Doctson incompleteThe Redskins trailed the Chiefs by three late in the fourth quarter. On third and two at the Chiefs 22, Cousins went for the TD, throwing a pass that Doctson was able to high point in the end zone. But the ball came out when he hit the ground. He could have caught it for the go-ahead touchdown but whether he should have caught it is a matter of opinion. In any case, the Redskins had to settle for a tying field goal. The defense could not hold and the Chiefs won the game on a last-second field goal.


Carson Wentz scramble for 17 yards—Early in the fourth quarter on a Monday night in Philadelphia, the Redskins had rallied to pull within a touchdown. The Eagles faced third and eight and the Redskins appeared to bury the Eagles QB with a strong rush. But Wentz emerged from the pile and bolted for the first down. Philly drove in for a clinching touchdown and essentially knocked the Redskins out of contention for the NFC East title in Week 7.

Cousins 38 pass to Doctson in the fourth quarter vs. Seattle—It looked like the Redskins were going to lose another winnable game as the Seahawks had come back from a 10-2 fourth-quarter deficit to take a 14-10 lead. With time running out, Cousins went deep to Doctson, who made a spectacular, diving catch at the one-yard line. Rob Kelly took it in on the next play and after surviving a last-second Russell Wilson Hail Mary, the Redskins had an improbable win.

Samaje Perine runs for minus-1 yard on third and one vs. Saints—There were a lot of plays in this game that could have been the key play. And it’s probably not fair to put the critical failure on the offense when it was the defense that let Drew Brees and the Saints roll down the field three times to blow what was a 15-point lead with six minutes left. But had the Redskins been able to get a first down on third and one with 2:38 to play and the Saints out of timeouts, they would have been able to kill the clock and get out of the Superdome with an eight-point with. But the run off the right side was stuffed, the Redskins punted, and the rest is history.

Blaine Gabbert pass for Larry Fitzgerald incomplete—The Redskins were coming off of back-to-back ugly losses to the Cowboys and Chargers and while they seemed to be in control the whole game against the Cardinals, Arizona had a first down at the Redskins 21 with 37 seconds left. Piling a home loss to Cardinals led by the woeful Gabbert on top of the previous two losses may well have pushed the Redskins into an abyss that would have led to some job losses, if not a total house cleaning. There were some near-misses in the four passes that Gabbert threw, including the last one to Fitzgerald. But D.J. Swearinger was able to get enough of a few fingertips on the ball to knock it away and the Redskins escaped.

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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Update: The Giants ended up with 260 yards rushing. 

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