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Redskins fail to be competitive on offense or defense vs. the Chargers

Redskins fail to be competitive on offense or defense vs. the Chargers

CARSON, Calif. — The Redskins limped to the finish line in Week 14 against the Chargers, resulting in the team's least inspiring game of the season.

Here are my observations during the Redskins’ 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

—The Chargers had a opening good drive going but Anthony Lanier tipped a third-down pass to stall it in the red zone.

A lot of fans missed the drive as this photo shows.

REALATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

—It was shades of the Redskins’ loss in Kansas City as the Redskins gave help in the form of major penalties to give a hand to an offense that didn’t really need it. The drive was 10 plays, 92 yards, with a pass interference, facemask, and personal foul moving things along for the home team. It’s 10-0 and the Redskins have run five plays with one first down.

—It’s getting late early for the Redskins. Kirk Cousins overthrew a pass intended for Vernon Davis with two defenders in the vicinity. The safety tipped it and linebacker Kyle Emanuel picked it off and returned it to the Redskins 29. The defense held and the Chargers got a field goal to take a 13-0 lead.

—The Redskins got what they needed with some good plays by Cousins to make up for the bad interception. He found Ryan Grant down the middle for 28 yards and then he threw a nice pass to Niles Paul to convert and fourth and two. Three plays later he bought time and threw to Vernon Davis for 23 yards and a touchdown. The Redskins had life at 13-6. 

— One play after the Redskins made it a one-score game, Rivers aired it out to receiver Tyrell Williams, who had left Josh Norman a few steps behind him. The pass was on the money to complete the 75-yard TD play.

—After Cousins and Davis just missed connections on a fourth-down pass:

—The Redskins make it to halftime trailing by “only” 17. The Chargers have racked up 354 yards of offense in the first half. Six times this year the Redskins have given up fewer than that in an entire game. 

—After the Chargers’ first punt:

—Just before the Chargers made it worse by scoring a TD to go up 30-6:

—The Redskins didn’t come to play today. The defense, which is missing only three Week 1 starters, just couldn’t stop the Chargers offense. And the offense had some chances to make it a shootout type of game but something always went wrong.

—My friend Dale Earnhardt Jr. sums it up well here:

Fan analysis

https://twitter.com/amy11074/status/940004113647009793

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

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USA TODAY Sports

10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

It might be hard to remember now, but there was a week late last season for the Redskins where most informed people considered Kevin O'Connell on his way out. The talented young quarterbacks coach was being pursued by Chip Kelly to be offensive coordinator at UCLA, and the smart money suggested O'Connell would take the job. 

Except he didn't. 

O'Connell decided to stay with the Redskins and continue to work on Jay Gruden's staff. In turn, Washington promoted O'Connell to passing game coordinator, a new title that likely means much more involvement in game-planning. 

Working for Gruden comes with some perks. Sean McVay ran the offense for Gruden for a few seasons and landed a prime head coaching job with the Rams. McVay has plenty of his own talent, but throughout the NFL, Gruden's offense is widely respected. 

How will O'Connell's influence shape things this fall?

Consider that he deserves some credit for Kirk Cousins improved play out of the pocket in 2017. Now combine a coach that schemes plays for QBs on the move with new Washington passer Alex Smith, a strong runner and serious athlete, and this offense could look much more mobile in 2018. 

Gruden still has the final call on gameday, but O'Connell's voice will matter this year, more so than before. Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh retain their roles and prominence in the offensive game-planning, for sure, but as Washington imports more run-pass option plays and QB movement, know that O'Connell is playing his part. 

Things will look different with Alex Smith running the Redskins offense than they did with Kirk Cousins at the helm. 

Just remember, O'Connell didn't turn down a job in Hollywood for no reason. 

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Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 17, nine days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best pass catchers the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the pass catchers are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 receiving yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teams and quarterbacks

Julio Jones, Falcons—Somehow the perception is that he had an off year in 2017 even though he still had 1,444 yards receiving. His touchdowns were down; his total of three TDs was a career worst for a full season. Still, he’s a beast to try to cover and even if you have him perfectly covered he can still make the catch on you. 

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans—Despite working with some shaky quarterbacks, Hopkins has managed to gain over 1,100 receiving yards in three of the last four seasons. He is a highlight show regular and his 13 touchdowns led the league in 2017. 

Michael Thomas, Saints—The third-year player doesn’t have high name recognition outside of New Orleans and maybe fans of the other NFC South teams. Defensive coordinators certainly don’t sleep on him. Thomas is as consistent as they come, posting nine games with 80 or more receiving yards last season. 

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals—I keep wondering when he will show signs of his age (he’ll be 35 before the season starts). He didn’t last year, posting 109 receptions despite the fact that his quarterbacks were an aging Carson Palmer plus journeymen Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton. 

Mike Evans, Buccaneers—At 6-5, he is able to physically beat most cornerbacks. Evans will turn 25 just before the season starts and he got a five-year, $82.5 million contract extension. He is worth every bit of it. If Jameis Winston gets a big contract (something that is up in the air right now), he owes a good chunk of it to Evans. 

Best of the rest: T.Y. Hilton, Colts; Davante Adams, Packers; Alvin Kamara (RB), Saints; Zach Ertz (TE), Eagles

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

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Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 9
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 23
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 46

The Redskins last played a game 198 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 54 days. 

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