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In the span of six minutes, the Redskins' season went from hope to despair in New Orleans

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USA TODAY Sports

In the span of six minutes, the Redskins' season went from hope to despair in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS—The Redskins’ game against the Saints, and perhaps their whole season went from hope to despair in the span of just six minutes.

When Kirk Cousins threw a touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, the Redskins were up by 15 points with 5:58 to play. Some Saints fans departed the Mercedes Benz Superdome, figuring that their team’s seven-game winning streak was about to end.

But Drew Brees and the Saints weren’t going anywhere. The Redskins defense was loose, to say the least, as the Hall of Fame quarterback completed seven of seven passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. The drive took just 3:05 and it seemed that the Saints barely broke a sweat.

RELATED: 5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE PAINFUL LOSS IN NEW ORLEANS

“We gave up too quick a score on the initial one,” said Jay Gruden.

But the Redskins were still in control of the game. After two Samaje Perine runs, the Saints were out of timeouts and Washington had third and one with 2:38 to go. The lined up and then called a timeout.

“We actually lined up with a tight end on the wrong side so we had to get that fixed up,” said Gruden.

It’s week 11 and the tight end can’t line up on the right side of the formation on a critical play. Perhaps they should be beyond these issues by now?

Even with the tight end properly aligned, the play had no chance as Perine tried to go off the right side and he was hit for a one-yard loss. The clock wound down to the two-minute warning and Tress Way boomed a 54-yard punt that was fair caught at the Saints 13. The Redskins had to defend 87 yards of turf for 1:53. They couldn’t do it.

Brees again took on the role of the hot knife and the Redskins still were the butter. Four for four passing, each throw gaining 17 yards or more. The touchdown pass to Alvin Kamara and the two-point conversion tied the game at 31-31.

When asked what happened, linebacker and former Saint Junior Galette said that while he respects Brees and the Saints, this one was on the defense.

“In two minute, he’s one of the best I’ve seen but still we’ve got to bow down and tighten our defense up,” he said.

“They’re a really good team but I honestly feel that we beat ourselves today,” said Galette. “It’s a really good team, one of the better teams we’ve played all year but if you watch that game you know we beat ourselves.”

Safety D.J. Swearinger echoed Galette’s viewpoint.

RELATED: THIS REDSKINS' LOSS LITERALLY DEFIED THE ODDS

“They came back and beat us fair and square,” he said. “But at the end of the day we didn’t do our job. We beat ourselves for sure. We for sure beat ourselves.”

In case there was any doubt about it, Swearinger then said that they beat themselves twice more in the next sentences.

The good part of the Saints drive was that it consumed just 48 seconds, leaving the Redskins with 1:05 to try to get a winning field goal. Cousins threw three passes to Jamison Crowder and all of a sudden the Redskins were on the New Orleans 34, close enough to at least attempt a game winning field goal.

But then it fell apart. With 31 seconds left, Cousins took a snap from behind center and immediately threw the ball out of bounds on the right side with no receiver nearby. The officials conferred and dropped a flag for intentional grounding.

The flag never should have been thrown because the rule says that the quarterback must be in imminent danger of getting sacked. Cousins was not. But the way the play went down it certainly gave referee Walt Coleman the opportunity to make a mistake, and you never want to do that.

The explanations for the throw offered by the coach and quarterback were somewhat confusing and didn’t really line up. But for the record, here is the gist of what each of them said:

Gruden: “I was trying to get his [Cousins’] attention and hand signal a bubble screen out there. If we get it out there and get it out of bounds, we get another play called. Unfortunately, Jamison didn’t get it.”

Cousins: “I looked over to the sideline out of the corner of my eye and I just saw the coaches saying, ‘throw it’. They wanted potentially an audible, get to an actual pass play. I thought they were saying throw it to Jamison, in the general area of Jamison, there was an eligible in the area and there’s no penalty.”

There is little point into going into the minutia of what they said. There seems to have been some confusion in the loud Superdome and perhaps Gruden will clarify it in his Monday press conference.

Again, it should not have been grounding but you can’t give them a chance to make that mistake.

And the Redskins still had 18 seconds (after a 10-second runoff that perhaps should not have happened) to try to get back the 10 yards and maybe a few more to get a shot at a field goal. But he was sacked (the Saints’ first sack of the day) and he fumbled. Morgan Moses recovered but the clock ran out.

Although they had a 10-minute overtime, it felt like it was over and it soon was. The Redskins went three and out. Brees didn’t even have to drop back to pass as runs of 20 and 31 yards set up the field goal that applied the final gut punch.

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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Redskins need to stop Cowboys' Cole Beasley to win in Week 7

Redskins need to stop Cowboys' Cole Beasley to win in Week 7

When the Redskins take on the Cowboys on Sunday in Week 7, there's one player NBC Sports Washington's resident GM Charley Casserly says they need to contain in this week's "Matchup to Watch."

The player: Wide receiver Cole Beasley

The comparison: Randall Cobb (Packers), Jamison Crowder (Redskins)

Who will cover him: Casserly's guess? Fabian Moreau

The key for the Redskins: Get physical with him. "Jam Beasley off the line of scrimmage," Casserly says, "reroute him and be physical with him."

Click "Play' in the video box above to watch Charley Casserly's full Redskins vs. Cowboys Matchup of the Week.

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Redskins vs. Cowboys Week 7: Time, TV channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA Today

Redskins vs. Cowboys Week 7: Time, TV channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Most Redskins fans wait all year for this particular Sunday, the Cowboys are coming to Fed Ex Field

The problem is the Redskins have not faired well in this rivalry over the last few years. The Cowboys have won five straight and eight of 10 against the 'Skins. Dallas has struggled away from Jerry's World this season, going 0-3 in road games. 

The Cowboys offense exploded against the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the top defenses in the NFL. Ezekial Elliott rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown. Dak Prescott was effective through the air and on the ground, rushing for 82 yards and touchdown and throwing for a pair of scores. Prescott connected with Cole Beasley nine times for 101 yards and both touchdowns.

Dallas' offense isn't cured yet. The Cowboys still remain 29th in the NFL in total yards per game.

The Cowboys strength is on defense. Dallas is second in the league in points allowed per game (17.2) and fourth in yards allowed per game (315.2). Demarcus Lawrence can wreak havoc coming off the edge. He has 5.5 sacks this season. The Cowboys MLBs of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have been very active this year, both ranking in the top 10 in tackles. 

That's what the Redskins have to deal with in Week 7.

To get you more fired up, CLICK HERE for the 10 most-hated Cowboys of all time.

REDSKINS vs. COWBOYS WEEK 7

Who: Washington Redskins (3-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

What: Game 6 of the 2018 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Where: FedEx Field. Landover, Md. 

TV Channel: CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)

Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV - Try free trial. You can also watch pregame and postgame coverage streaming on NBCSportsWashington.com

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Weather Report: Partly Sunny, 55 degrees. Wind gusts up to 25 mph.

REDSKINS vs. COWBOYS TV SCHEDULE:

8:00 AM: Pro Football Weekly
8:30 AM: Redskins Nation
9:00 AM: Redskins 100
9:30 AM: Redskins Kickoff Preview
10:00 AM: Redskins GameDay: D.C. Sports Live
11:00 AM: Redskins Coach's Show
11:30 AM: Inside the Redskins
3:30 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live
4:25 PM: Redskins vs. Cowboys (CBS)
7:30 PM: Redskins Postgame Live
8:30 PM: Redskins Overtime Live

REDSKINS 2018 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Sun., 9/9, @ Arizona Cardinals (24-6, W)

Week 2: Sun, 9/16, vs. Indianapolis Colts (21-9, L)

Week 3: Sun., 9/23, vs. Green Bay Packers (31-17, W)

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: Mon., 10/8, @ New Orleans Saints, (43-19, L)

Week 6: Sun., 10/14, vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. (23-17, W)

Week 7: Sun., 10/21, vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Week 8: Sun. 10/28, @ New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 9: Sun., 11/4, vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 10: Sun. 11/11, @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 11: Sun., 11/18, vs. Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 12: Thu., 11/22, @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. (FOX)

Week 13: Mon., 12/3, @ Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 (ESPN)

Week 14: Sun., 12/9, vs. New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 15: Sun., 12/16, @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 16: Sun., 12/23, @ Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 17: Sun., 12/30, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

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