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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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15 final thoughts on what could be the wildest NFL Draft in quite some time

15 final thoughts on what could be the wildest NFL Draft in quite some time

The Redskins hold the 15th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft, and after a flurry of rumors and speculation about what might happen on Wednesday, we're going to keep this simple. 

Multiple talent evaluators have told NBC Sports Washington that this will be the wildest draft in recent memory. There is no consensus what happens with the first pick, no consensus on the QB rankings after Kyler Murray, and the scene looks set for a lot of trades. 

Since the first round projects to be so volatile, and because the Redskins don't pick until nearly midway through, here are 15 thoughts about Thursday night.

  1. Kyler Murray will go first overall to Arizona.
  2. The Redskins will not trade up into the Top 3.
  3. The Redskins will not trade up into the Top 5.
  4. Drew Lock will be the next QB off the board.
  5. There could be a Laremy Tunsil type of situation.
  6. Either Miami or Cincinnati will take a quarterback.
  7. Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom goes in the top half of the draft.
  8. Montez Sweat could slide in this draft, and it might not just be about medicals.
  9. The injury issue will impact Rashan Gary.
  10. The Redskins will take a defensive player with the 15th pick.
  11. Nobody knows what the Giants will do, and they like that. 
  12. Four QBs will get drafted in the first round.
  13. Five QBs might get taken in the first round. 
  14. The Redskins will not take a wide receiver in the first round. 
  15. Don't close the door on Josh Rosen landing in the NFC East.

These are thoughts. Not necessarily predictions, but much effort has been exerted in obtaining the information that went into these ideas. 

Stay. Tuned. It's going to be wild. 


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2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final version sends Dwayne Haskins to Redskins

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2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final version sends Dwayne Haskins to Redskins

We can stop the mockery.

Here is the final version of the NBC Sports Washington 2019 NFL Mock Draft. No fluff, just the straight list as we project specific marriages of teams and prospects through two rounds plus additional Day 2 selections for the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens.

For those that have been following along for the previous (gulp) 21 versions, you may notice several changes starting with the Raiders at four and including the Redskins at 15 and 46. I’ve been doing mock drafts for many years now and this is easily among the wildest. There’s always the misinformation game. The uncertainty with the quarterbacks and the large of tier talent in the 16-50 range made such projections challenging.

Anyway, thanks for the coming along for the ride over these many months. Check out all of NFL Draft coverage starting with Thursday’s first round.

First round

1             Arizona Cardinals -- Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

2             San Francisco 49ers -- Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

3             New York Jets -- Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

4             Oakland Raiders -- Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

5             Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Devin White, LB, LSU

6             New York Giants -- Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

7             Jacksonville Jaguars -- Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

8             Detroit Lions -- T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

9             Buffalo Bills -- Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

10           Denver Broncos -- Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan

11           Cincinnati Bengals -- Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

12           Green Bay Packers -- Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

13           Miami Dolphins  -- Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

14           Atlanta Falcons -- Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

15           Washington Redskins -- Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

16           Carolina Panthers -- Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

17           NY Giants (via Cleveland) -- Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

18           Minnesota Vikings -- Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

19           Tennessee Titans -- Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

20           Pittsburgh Steelers -- Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

21           Seattle Seahawks -- Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

22           Baltimore Ravens -- Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State

23           Houston Texans -- Cody Ford, G/T, Oklahoma

24           Oakland Raiders (from CHI) -- Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

25           Philadelphia Eagles -- Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

26           Indianapolis Colts -- Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi St.

27           Oakland Raiders (from DAL) – Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

28           Los Angeles Chargers -- Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

29           Seattle Seahawks (via KC) -- Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

30           Green Bay Packers (via NO) -- Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

31           Los Angeles Rams -- Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

32           New England Patriots -- Darnell Savage, S, Maryland

 Second round                

33           Arizona -- A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi

34           Indianapolis (via NY Jets) -- D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

35           Oakland -- Irv Smith, TE, Alabama

36           San Francisco -- Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M

37           NY Giants -- Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

38           Jacksonville -- Jaylon Ferguson, DE, La. Tech

39           Tampa Bay -- Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

40           Buffalo  -- DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

41           Denver  -- N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State 

42           Cincinnati -- Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

43           Detroit  -- Juan Thornhill, CB, Virginia

44           Green Bay -- Nassir Adderley, S, Delaware

45           Atlanta  -- L.J Collier, DE, TCU

46           Washington -- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

47           Carolina -- Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

48           Miami -- Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

49           Cleveland -- Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State

50           Minnesota -- Dre'Mont Jones, DE/DT, Ohio State

51           Tennessee -- Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan

52           Pittsburgh -- Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

53           Philadelphia (via Baltimore) -- Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State

54           Houston (via Seattle) -- Taylor Rapp, SS, Washington

55           Houston -- Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State

56           New England (via Chicago) -- Ryan Finley, QB, NC State

57           Philadelphia -- David Long, CB, Michigan

58           Dallas -- Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

59           Indianapolis -- Gerald Willis, DT, Miami

60           LA Chargers -- Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

61           Kansas City -- Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

62           New Orleans -- Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State

63           Kansas City (via LA Rams) -- Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

64           New England -- Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State

77           Washington -- Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

86           Baltimore – Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia

97           Washington -- Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma

103        Baltimore -- Terrill Hanks, ILB, New Mexico State

  •  I produced 15 mocks in 2019. The breakdown of players I selected at 15: Montez Sweat (6), Brian Burns (4), Devin Bush (3), Clelin Ferrell (1), Dwayne Haskins (1). That's 14 defensive players with 11 edge rushers. The lone offensive player came in the final mock. Why the flip? There's a combination of factors.
  • Among them, the idea of the Redskins regaining off-season champ status gained steam Wednesday with various reports. While I don't buy the idea of the Redskins trading up in any significant way, I do believe there's a good chance either Haskins or Drew Lock slips to 15 if the Broncos (10) or Bengals (11) pass on a quarterback. At that point, it's not hard imagining the bigger picture winning a tiebreaker between a passer and a pass rusher like Brian Burns, who was my selection in four of the five previous mocks.
  • One source told NBC Sports Washington that the Redskins have spoken with teams in the top 10 about moving up. Not really buying that, however. The Redskins have numerous needs and need all the draft capital possible. There is a good chance one of the top four quarterbacks is available at 15. There's been reported and sourced mentions of interest in Haskins and Jones.
  • It's worth noting that the interest in West Virginia quarterback Will Grier existed at least as of Monday, according to sources. If the Redskins wait, he could be a target.
  • Skipping a pass rusher at 15 is risky because of the limited options on Day 2 and beyond. Michigan's  Chase Winovich and Georgia's D'Andrew Walker are Day 2 options.
  • The buzz with Josh Rosen remains quiet for now, but surely roars should the Cardinals select, as long-rumored, Kyler Murray.  If a trade occurs look for teams in 22-32 range to make a move on Rosen's cheap contract. One source thinks the Patriots get interested and use the 32nd overall pick.
  • Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. in round one. He is expected to be an option for the Redskins if they trade down from 15. The Colts and Patriots are two other likely landing spots.
  • Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford's draft ceiling is 11 to the Bengals. Should he drop from there, several other teams remain possible, but the OL-needy Vikings did not get the warm fuzzies from the pre-draft meeting, per source.
  • Staying with the OL, at least one NFL team has Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom inside the top 15 of their 2019 Big Board. The Falcons are interested in Clemson DT Christian Wilkins, but Lindstrom might become Plan B.
  • \Mississippi State DT Jeffery Simmons is one of the true wild cards since the top-5 talent comes with a torn knee ligament and off-the-field concerns. Simmons is expected to hear his name called in the first with the Eagles and Colts among the likely landing spots.
  • One potential regret: Sticking with Notre Dame DT Jerry Tillery in the first over Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin. Tillery, an inconsistent but impressive talent, feels a like a slider into Day 2, but he's been my selection for the Chargers throughout the draft process.
  • Speaking of the corners, it feels like LSU's Greedy Williams and Georgia's DeAndre Baker are dropping some while Ya-Sin's projection moves into the first.
  • Michigan CB David Long's ceiling is now the 30s, per source, though his public big board status typically falls into round  3.