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Defensive lapses hurt Redskins in 31-23 loss to Cardinals

Defensive lapses hurt Redskins in 31-23 loss to Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ— The Redskins went into Arizona looking to improve their playoff status but they ended up taking one on the chin. A cold start by the offense, an inability of the defense to get third-down stops, and a key third-quarter turnover that the Cardinals turned into a touchdown proved to be too much to overcome and they left University of Phoenix Stadium with a 31-23 loss.

Kirk Cousins had a rough first half, passing for just 89 yards. When his passes weren’t getting batted at the line he was throwing off the mark. The Redskins trailed 10-6 at intermission. But on the second play of the half Cousins hit DeSean Jackson in stride with a 59-yard bomb down to the Cardinals five. Three play later the Redskins scored a touchdown to take the lead for the first time at 13-10.

The Cardinals missed a long field goal and it looked like the Redskins had a chance to take control. But a play after left tackle Ty Nsekhe left the game with an ankle injury, Cousins was sacked and fumbled. The Cardinals recovered and returned the ball to the 10. Three plays later they were in the end zone and the Redskins trailed again.

But Washington fought back, driving to a touchdown pass from Cousins to Jamison Crowder and they had a 20-17 lead going into the fourth quarter. Washington answered a Cardinals touchdown with a field goal and it was 24-23 with 6:01 to go.

The Redskins had a chance to make a huge play when the Cardinals went for it with half a yard to go but David Johnson bolted for 14 yards. A few plays later the Redskins had a chance on third down but defensive holding negated an incompletion and Arizona kept possession. They wrapped it up two plays later on a deep Palmer touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson.

The Redskins had one last chance to tie it up with a TD and a two-point conversion but after they drove down to the Arizona 34 Cousins was hit while throwing and Patrick Peterson made a diving interception.

The loss dropped the Redskins' record to 6-5-1. They travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles next Sunday.

Injury Updates:

C Spencer Long left the game to be evaluated for a concussion in the second quarter. He was cleared but was held out for a shoulder injury, return questionable. However, Long was reevaluated at halftime and was found to have a concussion. John Sullivan took his place at center.

OT Ty Nsekhe left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury. His return was announced as questionable. He returned the next series.

S Will Blackmon left the game in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury.

Scoring drives:  

First quarter           

Johnson 1 run (Catanzaro kick)

Drive: The Cardinals took the opening kickoff and moved right in for a score. They got their main offensive weapons going early, with David Johnson gaining 10 yards on a run and then Larry Fitzgerald picked up 12 on a wide receiver screen. Carson Palmer converted a third and 11 with a pass to Johnson for 13 yards into Redskins territory. Another third down was converted on a pass from Palmer to Jermaine Gresham that set up first and goal at the one. Two plays later, Jonson went up the middle for the touchdown.

Drive summary: 15 plays, 75 yards, 8:17

Cardinals 7, Redskins 0 6:43

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Second quarter

FG Hopkins 47

Drive: 7 plays, 40 yards, 3:33

Drive summary: The Redskins offense had been sputtering but they got it going to this drive. First Cousins flipped a short pass that Chris Thompson turned into a 21-yard gain into Arizona territory. On the next play Rob Kelley bolted up the middle for 19 yards. But the drive stalled and Hopkins came in to boot the field goal.

Cardinals 7, Redskins 3 9:48

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FG Hopkins 20

Drive: 11 plays, 47 yards, 5:26

Drive summary: The Redskins got good field position after a poor punt, starting at the Arizona 48. Cousins converted a third and four with a pass to Pierre Garçon for nine yards. Then a Cousins to Ryan Grant pass picked up another first down at the 18. Two plays later it was Cousins to Grant again for 13 yards to the one-yard line. But they couldn’t punch it in and had to settle for another field goal.  

Cardinals 7, Redskins 6 1:52

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FG Catanzaro 28

Drive: 12 plays, 65 yards, 1:45

Drive summary: The Cardinals got this late drive going with a pass from Palmer to Fitzgerald for 23 yards. Later on third and 12 from the Redskins 41, Palmer found David Johnson over the middle for 23 yards to the 18. The Cardinals ran out of time and had to settle for the field goal.

Cardinals 10, Redskins 6 1:45

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Third quarter

Cousins 1 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 5 plays, 74 yards, 2:24

Drive summary: The Redskins got this one started when Cousins dodged a rusher and fired to Garçon for a gain of 10. On the next play Cousins launched a deep pass to DeSean Jackson, who tracked it down for 59 yards to the Arizona five. Three plays later Cousins snuck it into the end zone from the one and Washington had the lead for the first time.

Redskins 13, Cardinals 10 12:36

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Floyd 6 pass from Palmer (Catanzaro kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 10 yards, 0:51

Drive summary: A sack and strip of Cousins sent the ball flying. Arizona linebacker Markus Golden scooped up the loose ball and returned it 20 yards to the Washington 10. On third down from the six, Palmer went to Floyd for the touchdown.

Cardinals 17, Redskins 13

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Crowder 26 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 3:04

Drive summary: After the sudden change with the sack and strip, the Redskins’ offense got going again. A 28-yard pass from Cousins to Pierre Garçon got the Redskins into Arizona territory and then a nimble 16-yard Chris Thompson run got a first down at the 26. Three plays later Cousins found Jamison Crowder open for the touchdown.

Redskins 20, Cardinals 17 1:06

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Fourth quarter

Johnson 25 pass from Palmer (Catanzaro kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:57

Drive summary: The Cardinals sustained their knack for converting third downs on this one. First Palmer went to Fitzgerald for three yards on third and three and then to Gresham for nine on third and eight. Another Gresham pass and a 13-yard Johnson run moved the Cardinals to a first down in Washington territory at the 43. A few plays later, Johnson took a short pass from Palmer and picked his way 25 yards for the touchdown.

Cardinals 24, Redskins 20 11:09

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FG Hopkins 53

Drive: 10 plays, 40 yards, 5:08

Drive summary: The Redskins again answered an Arizona TD with a scoring drive. Rob Kelly got it started with a 10-yard run up the middle and then Cousins went to Crowder for 14. They converted a third and two with a seven-yard connection between Cousins and Vernon Davis. The drive stalled and Hopkins came in a boomed a 53-yard field goal to make it a one-point game.

Cardinals 24, Redskins 23 6:01

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Kelley 4 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 4:05

Drive summary: The Cardinals converted a fourth down with a Johnson run and a third down on a penalty. That set up the Cardinals’ chance to end it and they did when Palmer hit J.J. Nelson on a 42-yard touchdown pass.

Cardinals 31, Redskins 23 1:56

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One important thing that Ron Rivera will bring to the Redskins, according to an NFL agent

One important thing that Ron Rivera will bring to the Redskins, according to an NFL agent

What will Ron Rivera bring to the Redskins in 2020 and beyond (well, besides lots of people who worked with him in Carolina)? That's a question everyone's trying to figure out.

Many are hoping for more wins, obviously. Washington's been one of the league's worst franchises for the past decade, while Rivera was a two-time Coach of the Year with the Panthers who made it to the playoffs four times in nine seasons there.

Beyond that, however, there's an expectation that Rivera can also elevate the Burgundy and Gold's day-to-day operations, making the organization more professional, consistent and stable — words that haven't been used to describe their operations in a long time.

In an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, longtime NFL agent Andy Ross spoke to that second point.

"I will say this," Ross, who reps players such as Morgan Moses and Taysom Hill, told the podcast. "The one thing that Ron really instilled in the players, because I've had players on Carolina, was accountability. These are young men that are growing into men, so he wants to teach them to be strong men, be strong leaders. And I think that's something he's going to bring into Washington."

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH ANDY ROSS ON THE REDSKINS TALK PODCAST

The 2019 campaign was beyond chaotic for the Redskins, and one of its major turning points came when Dan Snyder made the decision to fire Jay Gruden after five straight losses to open the year. One of the most popular criticisms of Gruden was a lack of accountability. According to Ross, that won't occur now that Rivera's in charge.

The 58-year-old also possesses another quality that'll be incredibly valuable as he tries to turn around the Redskins, a place that's been plagued by distractions, leaks and fracturing season after season.

"He doesn't allow the outside influence to affect his football team," Ross said. "So I think you're going to see, with the Redskins going forward, that everything is going to be really kept in-house."

Rivera's reputation precedes him. Right after he was hired by Snyder, in fact, Panthers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy said he would tell players in Washington that "one of the best things in your career is about to happen."

Ross is yet another person to echo that kind of praise for the head coach. With each passing day, it sounds more and more like the Redskins landed someone with an approach that's precisely what everyone involved with the team needs.

"They have some really good, young talent," Ross concluded. "And I think he's really going to mold a lot of these young players into really strong men, and that should be good for the culture."

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Ron Rivera sends military veteran to the Super Bowl

Ron Rivera sends military veteran to the Super Bowl

One lucky fan is headed to Super Bowl LIV, courtesy of Redskins head coach Ron Rivera.

Teaming up with USAA and the American Veterans, Rivera is sending military veteran LeCheton “Omar” Settles to Miami. The Redskins head coach tweeted about it on Wednesday.

Settles joined the United States Marines at age 17 and dedicated eight years of his life to service. During his military tenure, Settles spent time as a Field Artillery Cannoneer, Marine Corps Security Force Guard, Martial Arts Instructor-Trainer, and Small Arms Weapons Instructor.

Rivera comes from a military background himself and is using this as a way to reward one military member for his service.

"Inspired by my father’s military service, we always had a strong military appreciation in our team’s culture during my time in Carolina and I plan on continuing that now with the Redskins in Washington, D.C.," Rivera said in the release. "To kick that off, I am privileged to partner with USAA and AMVETS to award a trip to the Super Bowl to Sergeant Omar Settles in recognition of and for his service to our country."    

 

He will meet with Settles on both Friday and Saturday of Super Bowl week at the USAA Salute to Service Lounge in Miami. 

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