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Forgotten Classics: Redskins Beat Vikes Despite Foot Faults 11.02.86

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Forgotten Classics: Redskins Beat Vikes Despite Foot Faults 11.02.86


I don't know if this was a modern era record, but the Redskins scored six touchdowns and didn't get the point after following four of them. Three of them were missed and the fourth touchdown didn't have a conversion attempt because it was the game winner in overtime.

In any case, this was a breathtaking classic, a prototypical game by a Redskins team that just never gave up.

Played 11/2/1986, from the pages of my upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle:






RFK Stadium—"It feels like we've been playing for about five hours," said Joe Gibbs after this one and the members of the Redskins secondary would have to agree. Tommy Kramer torched them for 490 yards and four touchdowns. Three of the touchdown passes were on plays of more than 65 yards.

Washington did not score the extra point following four of its six touchdowns. The last of those TD's, though, was the game-winner in overtime, so Max Zendejas didn't get an opportunity to blow this one after the Redskins won this wild affair 44-38.

Jay Schroeder managed "only" 378 yards in the air, but he led his team to the game's final three touchdowns, including the 38-yarder to Gary Clark to win it . . . but that's getting way ahead of things.

Washington bolted to a quick 10-0 lead, but the Vikings responded as Kramer heated up. A 67-yard touchdown pass to receiver Leo Lewis gave the Vikings a 14-10 lead by the time the first quarter ended.

They gave the lead right back to Washington when a shotgun snap went over Kramer's head and end Dexter Manley snared it in stride, racing unchallenged 26 yards for a touchdown. The shape of things to come was seen, however, when Zendejas' point after was low and got blocked, allowing the Vikings to claim the halftime lead at 17-16 as Chuck Nelson kicked a 39-yard field goal with about a minute left in the quarter.

The visitors quickly extended their lead in the third quarter with a 68-yard bomb from Kramer to tight end Steve Jordan. After a Zendejas field goal, George Rogers converted a fourth and one at the Minnesota 40 in grand fashion. He broke through the line, cut back and went all the way and the Redskins were up by two at 26-24 following the extra point. They enjoyed the lead for about a minute and a half as Kramer went to Lewis for 76 yards and a touchdown with six seconds left in the third quarter.

A much shorter Kramer TD toss—one yard to Darrin Nelson—followed a pass interference call in the end zone against cornerback Barry Wilburn. Minnesota was up by 12 with less than seven minutes left to play.

The home team responded swiftly, moving 65 yards in three plays, with a 30-yard catch by Clint Didier setting up a 34-yard scoring pass from Schroeder to Art Monk. It didn't seem to matter that Zendejas missed the point after as another touchdown would tie the game and surely, a professional kicker couldn't miss two PAT's in a row. Or could he?

We found out after Schroeder completed a bomb to Didier at the two, who was credited with the catch after replay reviews on the question of if he trapped it were inconclusive. After Rogers ran over from there with 1:03 left, Zendejas did the unthinkable: he missed his second extra point in a row. The roar from the RFK crowd quickly turned to grumbles of disgust as the game headed to overtime tied at 38.

The crowd did go home happy, though. The Redskins won the overtime coin toss. Four plays into the extra period, from the Minnesota 38, Schroeder threw a 15-yard pattern to Clark, who broke away from the Minnesota cornerback and raced down the left sideline for the winning score.

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As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper on Monday, and with that, alarms go off around the NFL that it's wheeling and dealing season. The trade deadline hits in one week, and for teams looking to bolster their squad before the second half of the year, it's time to see what areas could improve. 

For Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, the injury situation at wide receiver means that his team could use help at the position. 

"We could probably use one more there if we could," Gruden said Monday on the Redskins Talk podcast. 

Asked if there was one area the team could bolster via trade, the coach explained that if wideouts Jamison Crowder or Paul Richardson could come back from injury right away, the Redskins would have no need to trade for another receiver. Unfortunately for the Redskins, neither injury situation is very clear, and some reports show that Crowder could miss a few more weeks working back from an ankle injury. 

"I think if you look at our team right now with the injuries to Crowder and obviously the uncertainty with Richardson you might want to add another receiver, but I like what [Michael] Floyd’s done coming in here," Gruden said. 

Floyd had one catch for 20 yards in the Redskins win on Sunday over the Cowboys, but he's a physical veteran that has the coach excited. Gruden also complimented what Maurice Harris and Brian Quick have done in the absence of Richardson and Crowder.

While the Cowboys struck first in the receiver trade market, more players remain reportedly available, including Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and Dolphins WR DeVante Parker. 

Thomas is a five-time Pro Bowler in Denver, but at 30 years old and with some trade value, it makes sense for John Elway to consider his market. The Broncos are 3-4 and have an underperforming offense. 

Parker was a first-round pick in 2015 but has not had a 1,000-yard season in Miami. Making matters more complicated, Parker's agent Jimmy Gould called Dolphins head coach Adam Gase "incompetent" to a host of different media outlets. Parker has only been active twice this season though he contends health is not an issue. 

Gruden remains confident that 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson will get going, and he is a similar big target as Thomas and Parker. Should Richardson miss significant time, the Redskins would lack a true speed threat.

There's certainly no clear indication that Washington will make a move before the NFL trade deadline, but as things stand now with injuries, there is a need. Remember, too, the Redskins are long on 2019 draft picks with 10 selections in seven rounds.



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A day after loss to Redskins, Cowboys trade for Raiders WR Amari Cooper

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A day after loss to Redskins, Cowboys trade for Raiders WR Amari Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys are in desperate need of a playmaking wide receiver. The lack of talent at wide receiver has been evident throughout the first seven weeks of the 2018 NFL season, with wide receivers accounting for just five of the Cowboys' eight passing touchdowns.

Following the 20-17 loss to the Redskins on Sunday, the Cowboys decided to make a quick fix, trading a 2019 first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for star wide receiver Amari Cooper, according to multiple reports.

Cooper, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, has just 22 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown in the first six games. The former Alabama star had an equally disappointing 2017 campaign and has grown frustrated with his role in John Gruden's new regime.

Cooper will instantly become the Cowboys best deep threat and will allow Cole Beasley to shine both in the slot and spread out wide. Beasley leads the Cowboys with 33 receptions for 350 yards and two touchdowns.

Rookie Michael Gallup, who scored the Cowboys' only passing touchdown against the Redskins, has the second most targets among Dallas receivers, hauling in 10 of his 22 targets for 190 yards. Tight end Geoff Swaim has 19 catches for 205 yards and running back Ezekiel Elliott has 25 catches for 175 yards.

Prescott is averaging just 202.2 passing yards per game, and while Cooper may not be a true top-tier wide receiver, he is the next best thing and will allow the offense to be more dynamic in its play-calling.

Cooper will make an estimated $13.9 million in base salary in 2019, meaning the Cowboys will have to pay a pretty penny to keep him.

The move makes it clear that the Raiders are shifting toward a full rebuild. It also shows that Dallas understands it didn't have enough firepower to compete for a divisional title.

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