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Cousins, offense shine as Redskins rout Packers in primetime

Cousins, offense shine as Redskins rout Packers in primetime

LANDOVER, MD— The Redskins came needing to break their prime time jinx against a desperate Packers team. They built a lead but every time it looked like they might get comfortable for a change Aaron Rodgers led a Packers scoring drive. But the Redskins held the Packers at arm’s length, got some insurance scores and moved to 6-3-1 with a 42-24 win.

Jay Gruden made some bold coaching decisions, including two two-point conversion tries (both of them failed) and a call to go for it on fourth and one with a five-point lead with six and a half minutes left in the game. This one worked as Kirk Cousins sneaked for two yards and kept the ball in the Redskins’ hands. The drive continued and the Redskins scored a touchdown to take a 22-10 lead.

Cousins had a very strong performance, completing 21 of 30 passes for 375 yards with 3 touchdowns. Robert Kelley had a career-best 137 yards rushing on 24 carries.

The game’s key sequence came in the third quarter. With the Redskins clinging to a 16-10 lead, the Packers drove to get in position for a 36-yard field goal attempt. But Mason Crosby was wide left on his attempt. The Redskins embarked on a 74-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a 44-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Jamison Crowder. That gave the Redskins the breathing room they needed to hang on the rest of the way.

The Redskins have a quick turnaround, playing in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.

Injury Updates:

No injuries reported for Washington

Scoring drives:  

First quarter           

Jackson 12 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 play, 55 yards, 3:52

Drive summary: The Redskins started in good field position after a punt. After Cousins passes to Pierre Garçon and Ryan Grant picked up a first down in Packers territory, the Redskins converted a third and six on a 14-yard pass to Maurice Harris. Three plays later on third and two at the 17 Cousins found DeSean Jackson past the defenders on the left has mark and he hit him for the touchdown.

Redskins 7, Packers 0 2:56

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Second quarter

Nelson 13 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick)

Drive: 17 plays, 75 yards, 8:29

Drive summary: The Packers converted their initial third down on the game on a nine-yard pass from Rodgers to Ty Montgomery. That got them jump started on a long and strange TD drive. Passes to Richard Rodgers and Montgomery got them into 20 yards into Redskins territory. The Packers got a gift conversion on fourth and seven with a hands to the face penalty on Washington. They went for it again on fourth down with two to go this time and Rodgers scrambled for seven yards and the first down at the 18.  A tight end screen to Jared Cook led to a first and goal at the six. On third and goal at the three, the Packers got it into the end zone but they were flagged for holding. On third down at the 13, Rodgers went to Jordy Nelson for a score that survived replay review.

Redskins 7, Packers 7 9:27

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FG Crosby 36

Drive: 9 plays 38 yards, 5:22

Drive summary: The Packers got the ball back quickly after their long drive and Rodgers went right to work. On third and three from the Washington 49 he went to Randall Cobb for 15 yards. A few plays later he found Richard Rodgers for 11 yards to the 13. After a holding penalty, Rodgers scrambled for 17 yards to the six. On third and five at the eight, Ryan Kerrigan broke through and sacked Rodgers for a loss back to the 18. Mason Crosby came in and kicked the field goal.

Packers 10, Redskins 7 3:37

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Kelley 10 run (run failed)

Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 2:58

Drive summary: The Redskins answered the Packers 10-point run just before halftime. On third and four at the 31 Cousins went to Jordan Reed, who fought for extra yardage and ended up with 26 to the Packers 23. A few plays later he caught a short pass near the sideline, put a move on the cornerback, and scooted for 18 yards to the 15. Two plays later Rob Kelley went right up the middle for 10 yards and the touchdown. They went for a two-point conversion and Chris Thompson couldn’t get in on a draw play.

Redskins 13, Packers 10 0:39

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Third quarter

FG Hopkins 37

Drive: 9 plays, 53 yards, 5:37

Drive summary: The Redskins’ drive got started when a roughing the passer call turned a fourth and six into a first and 10. Then on third and five at the 49 Cousins threw to Jordan Reed over the middle for 28 yards to the 21. They faced third and four and Cousins was sacked. Hopkins came in and booted the field goal.

Redskins 16, Packers 10 9:23

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Crowder 44 pass from Cousins (run failed)

Drive: 7 plays, 74 yards, 3:34

Drive summary: The Redskins got the ball after a missed Packers field goal and got moving. Cousins converted a third and four with a nine-yard pass to Chris Thompson. On the next play found DeSean Jackson open for 17 yards into Green Bay territory at the 44. On third and 11, Cousins dropped a perfect pass to Crowder, who grabbed the ball near the 10 and scampered in for the score. They again went for two points and Cousins couldn’t make it in on a keeper.

Redskins 22, Packers 10 2:00

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Fourth quarter

Starks 31 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick)

Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:09

Drive summary: This was a quick answering drive for the Packers with two key third down conversions. On third and three at the Green Bay 32, Rodgers lofted a pass to tight end Jared Cook for 29 yards. A few plays later on third and three, Rodgers did a play fake to James Starks and then found him wide open on a short pass. Starks easily rolled 31 yards for the touchdown.

Redskins 22, Packers 14 14:51

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Garçon 70 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 2 plays, 75 yards, 0:26

Drive summary: The Redskins regained some breathing room very quickly. On the second play of the drive Cousins launched one to Pierre Garçon, who was several steps in the open. He easily hauled in the pass and completed the 70 yard touchdown play.

Redskins 29, Packers 17

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Cook 6 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 82 yards, 4:21

Drive summary: Another big play got the drive started, this one a 47-yard pass from Rodgers to Randall Cobb. He caught a short pass over the middle, broke a tackle, and bolted into Redskins territory. After a nine-yard scramble by Rodgers, James Starks powered for a first down at the 20. A Rodger pass to Cook set up first and goal at the six. On the next play Rodgers went to Jared Cook for the touchdown.

Redskins 29, Packers 24 10:04

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Kelley 1 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 11 plays, 81 yards, 6:10

Drive summary: This one has some scary moments. Jay Gruden decided to go for it on fourth and one at the Redskins’ 41. Cousins got the first down on a QB sneak. A few plays later on third and seven at the Washington 46 Cousins went deep to Jamison Crowder, who was tracked down at the one. On the next play Rob Kelley powered in for the touchdown.

Redskins 35, Packers 24

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Kelley 4 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 2 plays, 72 yards, 0:25

Drive summary: The Redskins were just trying to run out the clock when Rob Kelley bolted for 66 yards to the Green Bay four yard line. On the next play Kelley scored his third rushing touchdown of the day to wrap it up for the Redskins.

Redskins 42, Packers 24 2:26

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Trades, misses and mistakes explain the Redskins' dead cap situation

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USA TODAY Sports

Trades, misses and mistakes explain the Redskins' dead cap situation

Cut bait. Sunk cost. Under water. 

Whatever the term might be, all industries deploy a certain phrase for wasted money. In the NFL, that term is dead cap, or the salary cap space a team must allocate for a particular player that has been cut or traded. 

In the specific case of the Redskins, the team carries more than $5.2 millon in dead cap space. Where did it come from? Who's to blame? Let's take a look.

Terrell McClain ($3.75M) - The Redskins signed McClain away from the Cowboys early in the 2017 free agency period. The move wasn't quite a disaster, but it wasn't very good. Washington gave McClain a four-year deal worth $21 million, and paid out nearly $7.5 million for the 2017 season. McClain never played well for the Redskins, started just two games and this offseason he agreed to give up a significant chunk of guaranteed money. Without that move from McClain, this cap hit would have been much worse. 

Su'a Cravens ($711k) - The money isn't as big of a loss as the talent. The Redskins selected Cravens in the second round of the 2016 Draft and he showed promise as a rookie while also dealing with injuries. In 2017, however, things fell apart as Cravens dealt with a training camp injury, discussed retiring from football and eventually found himself on the reserved/left squad list for the season. Prior to the 2018 Draft, the Redskins worked a deal to send Cravens to Denver for an additional fifth round pick as well as swapping picks. 

Kendall Fuller ($360k) - A promising young cornerback, the Redskins traded Fuller to Kansas City this offseason as part of a package to acquire QB Alex Smith. Losing Fullers stings — even head coach Jay Gruden admitted that — but Washington had to find a quarterback after the long-discussed Kirk Cousins saga veered toward, and eventually ended in, separation. 

Matt Jones ($150k) - One of the worst Redskins draft picks in the last five years, Washington reached for Jones in the third-round in 2015. As a rookie, Jones looked like a solid contributor, but in the 2016 season he developed a bad fumbling habit and found his way to the bench. From there, things got worse, as Jones ended the season on the inactive list after a squabble about playing special teams. In 2017, Jones was cut. He signed with the Colts, where he played in just five games and was cut earlier this year. This offseason, Jones signed with the Eagles.

Arie Kouandjio ($130K) - This is a weird one. Kouandjio was selected by the Redskins in 2015, and cut by the team in 2017. The dead money comes from that rookie deal. When Washington brought Kouandjio back late in the 2017 season off the Ravens' practice squad, the dead money from the rookie deal remained. Now, Kouandjio is injured and a candidate to start the 2018 season on the PUP list or maybe even the IR. 

Robert Davis ($103k) - Drafted as a sixth-rounder in 2017, Davis did not make the team leaving training camp. Even though he got signed to the practice squad, the dead money tolls from the rookie deal. 

Nate Sudfeld ($69k) - A late-round developmental prospect from the 2016 draft, Sudfeld made the team as a rookie but couldn't survive cuts in 2017. Quickly signed by the Eagles, Sudfeld ended up as the backup quarterback in Philadelphia's improbable Super Bowl run earlier this year. Dead money on the Redskins cap, but a Super Bowl ring in Philly. Strange. 

Tyler Catalina and Kevin Bowen account for about $12,000 in dead cap space as well. 

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Redskins schedule preview: Weeks 8 and 14 vs. Giants

Redskins schedule preview: Weeks 8 and 14 vs. Giants

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the two games against the Giants. 

Week 8 October 28, MetLife Stadium

Week 14 December 9, FedEx Field

2017 Giants: 3-13, fourth in NFC East 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 6.5

Early line: Week 8 Redskins +3.5, Week 14 Redskins -1.5

Key additions: RB Saquon Barkley, LT Nate Solder, RB Jonathan Stewart, LB Alec Ogletree

Key losses: DE Jason Pierre-Paul, G Justin Pugh, C Weston Richburg

Notable: Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returns after missing 12 games with a fractured ankle last year.

Biggest questions: 

  • Will Eli Manning reward the organization for bypassing the quarterback position with the No. 2 pick in the draft? Or will he continue his downhill slide?
  • Will Barkley have sufficient impact to justify his status as the No. 2 overall pick?
  • The last three years, the Giants defense has gone from being ranked 31stto 10thand back to 31st. Where is their true level?

Series history

Giants lead all-time series 92-65-3; after the Giants won five in a row from 2013-2015 the Redskins have taken three of the last five. 

Series notables

The first time: September 16, 1937, Griffith Stadium—This was the beginning of two eras: The Redskins first game in Washington and the start of Sammy Baugh’s NFL career. The game, however, belonged to Riley Smith as the Washington back scored all of his team’s points with a pair of field goals, his dazzling, 60-yard interception return in the fourth quarter and the extra point following that game-clinching touchdown in the home team’s 13-3 win. 

The last time: December 31, 2017, Met Life Stadium—It was 16 degrees at kickoff, the Redskins had only four offensive players from their Week 1 starters in the lineup and all the Redskins had to play for was a non-losing season. These were just some of the reasons for Washington to be disinterested and it seems like they dragged down the Redskins. The apathy increased when a guy named Orleans Darkwa bolted 75 yards for a touchdown just 1:17 into the game. The Redskins never competed in the 18-10 loss.

The best time: November 27, 1966, D.C. Stadium—The Redskins scored on offense, on defense, on special teams, on the ground, and through the air in racking up the highest single-game scoring total ever in a regular season NFL game with 72 points. In a losing effort, the Giants scored 41, making the combined total of 113 points, another league record. 

Backup running back A. D. Whitfield had a career day, scoring three touchdowns, one on a five-yard pass from Sonny Jurgensen, the other two on runs of one and 63 yards. All of those points came in the first half as the Redskins went into intermission with a 34-14 lead.

Charley Taylor jumped into the scoring extravaganza with a pair of third-quarter TD receptions from Jurgensen, one of 34 yards, the other covering 72. Brig Owens was the point scorer on the defensive side things, getting touchdowns on returns of a fumble and an interception.

In all, they scored a touchdown almost every way you can: four running, three passing and one each on a punt, fumble, and interception return. They also got nine extra points and a field goal. 

More than 12,000 NFL games have been played since this one and, despite rule changes designed to favor the offense and increase scoring, both the Redskins’ 72 points and the combined 113 still stand as NFL records. Only once has a team put up as many as 70 points and the combined score has the next-highest total beaten by a touchdown.

The worst time: January 1, 2017, FedEx Field—The Redskins have had many costly losses to the Giants over the years but the sting from this one is still fresh. The home team would get a wild-card playoff spot with a win while New York, with its playoff seeding clinched, had nothing to play for. But it was the Redskins who had nothing. They were able to fight back from a 10-0 halftime deficit to tie it up in the fourth quarter. But after a Giants field goal, Kirk Cousins threw an unforgivable interception that sealed New York’s 19-10 win and the Redskins went home. 

Redskins schedule series

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

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 @TandlerNBCS.