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Green vs. Vikes in '87--The Myth Persists

Green vs. Vikes in '87--The Myth Persists

The myth endures.

On their Website, the Redskins ran an article on the 1987 season NFC Title game against the Minnesota Vikings. The set the stage for the game-turning play:

The Minnesota Vikings had the ball on the Redskins' 6-yard line with 56 seconds left in regulation. The down and distance was fourth and four, but the Vikings were looking for the touchdown. They trailed the Redskins 17-10 in the 1987 NFC Championship Game at RFK Stadium on Jan. 17, 1988.When they described the play, however, they delved into mythology that Darrell Green himself refutes.

The Vikings called "Smoke 83 Option," a play that would use (WR Anthony) Carter as a decoy in the corner of the end zone and would have (RB Darrin) Nelson in a one-on-one situation with linebacker Monte Coleman just past the goal line.

(QB Wade) Wilson dropped back to pass and found Nelson, who had eluded Coleman as planned. What the Vikings didn't count on was Redskins' all-everything cornerback Darrell Green.

One week after returning the biggest punt of his life--a 52-yard touchdown at Chicago to propel the Redskins to a 21-17 win--Green made possibly the biggest defensive play of his epic 20-year career. Carter was forced into the wrong pattern, leaving Green in position to cover him and make the play.

Green, who had played the whole game with sore ribs suffered on that punt return a week earlier, collided with Nelson as soon as the ball hit the running back in the chest. Green knocked the ball away--and the Redskins were Super Bowl-bound

A review of the play on a recording of the game reveals a couple of key errors in the account. First, Nelson was not in the end zone, he was around the one. Second, Green never touched the ball. Nelson dropped it before he even got there. Even Green himself admits that the ball bounced out of Nelson's hands before he got to the back. After the game Green said:

I looked like I was a hero; everybody thought I knocked it out, but Nelson wouldn't have caught the ball anyway.Darrell Green accomplished so many outstanding feats on the football field that he doesn't need to get credit for any that he didn't actually do. The record should be set straight.

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Despite loss, Dwayne Haskins has best game with Redskins

Despite loss, Dwayne Haskins has best game with Redskins

LANDOVER — What you are looking for is progress. 

Game by game, Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins is under an intense glare. He is only a rookie. There is still so much to learn. But a first-round draft pick at his position is almost never given the luxury of time. 

Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Haskins had a breakthrough. He kept Washington in a back-and-forth game that featured 10 lead changes. But ultimately, the Redskins lost 37-27. A strip and a fumble return on the final Hail Mary throw from the 47 was returned for a touchdown by the Eagles instead.

The result stung. Bill Callahan sped to the press conference room in record time and didn’t offer much praise for Haskins or anyone else. Haskins himself was bummed. 

“I’m nowhere close to where I want to be,” Haskins said. “That should be an average game for me.”

That’s a harsh self assessment. But in his sixth start as an NFL quarterback, there was more to like than not. Haskins completed eight of his first nine passes and 19 of 28 overall. Yes, Terry McLaurin did most of the work on a 75-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, but Haskins put the ball in a perfect spot where his old Ohio State teammate didn’t have to break stride.

Haskins didn’t throw an interception, wasn’t sacked and you can cut him some slack on the final play. The Eagles jumped the Hail Mary with an all out blitz and Haskins never had a chance to get a throw off.

Steven Sims also caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Haskins, who finished with a 121.3 quarterback rating. It was easily his best game so far. We might not know who will be coaching the Redskins next season, but they at least have some encouraging film to watch heading into the offseason next month. Callahan didn’t have much to say. So let’s get Eagles coach Doug Pederson’s perspective. 

“They study the tape as well and I thought Haskins really stepped in and did a nice job today, and led his team.” Pederson said. “It was something that you know he is capable of doing. He’s in this league for a reason.”

Haskins’ pass to McLaurin came on the first play of Washington’s second drive of the game. It's third drive went 75 yards, too, and only took seven plays. A 19-yard pass to Sims pushed the ball into Philadelphia territory. The Eagles helped with three penalties on the drive, but Haskins found Sims on a 3rd-and-5 from the 5. The Redskins were in position to score a touchdown and did it to take a 14-10 lead.

Down 17-14, Haskins led another scoring drive in the third quarter. His 11-yard pass to McLaurin on 2nd-and-12 set up a first down run by Adrian Peterson on 3rd-and-short. He found Peterson out of the backfield for seven yards and then used his legs to gain 23 yards on the ground himself.

That isn’t something we’ve seen much from Haskins yet. Call it another sign of growth. Haskins knew the Eagles were going to come with a blitz. The Redskins had run that play six times before and he noticed a linebacker where a defensive end should be. So he tucked it and ran. That scoring drive then ended on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 10-yard cutback run by Peterson to make it 21-17.

A couple more fourth-quarter drives stalled, but the Redskins got points on a pair of Dustin Hopkins field goals. In the end, that wasn’t enough. The Eagles took the lead 31-27 on a Carson Wentz touchdown pass with 26 seconds to go and then added the final score to win it.

There are no moral victories for Haskins or the Redskins. Their standing is clear: It’s a 3-11 team just hoping to see signs from its young quarterback. Sunday, at least, they were there all game and not just in the fourth quarter of blowout losses.

There was the 75-yard touchdown pass to McLaurin, his 23-yard run and six other passes for more than 10 yards. Haskins set his career high in passing yards (286) and tied his career high in completions (19). The result wasn’t what he wanted, but the process was better. Now for the hard part. Do it again.  

“We did a lot of good things that we can continue to work on for next week [against the New York Giants],” Haskins said. “Let’s bring it for the last home game of the season and hopefully we come out with a win.”

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Urban Meyer attended the Redskins-Eagles game as Terry McLaurin’s guest, according to McLaurin

Urban Meyer attended the Redskins-Eagles game as Terry McLaurin’s guest, according to McLaurin

The Urban-Meyer-to-the-Redskins movement picked up a lot of momentum Sunday when Meyer showed up at FedEx Field for the team’s Week 15 matchup against the Eagles.  

Was Meyer there on behalf of Dan Snyder? Did his presence mean that he’s possibly considering coaching Washington? WAS HE GOING TO SIGN A CONTRACT AND ASSUME THE POSITION AT HALFTIME?

All of those theories were flying on social media, but afterward, Terry McLaurin offered an explanation that cooled them off a bit. According to the receiver, Meyer was at the contest to support McLaurin and Dwayne Haskins. 

“He was my guest,” McLaurin said. “It was good to see him again, good to talk to him, surpasses football. Has nothing to do with his coaching status.” 

Meyer was apparently in Philadelphia on Saturday for the Army-Navy rivalry and made the trip to Landover on Sunday to see the Ohio State stars battle the Eagles. He was spotted in the owner’s box throughout the game: 

At one point, he was also shown catching up with Alex Smith, who played under Meyer at Utah. 

When informed that Meyer was in attendance, Haskins told the media he had no idea before smiling at the fact. Both he and McLaurin just so happened to post the best performances in their respective pro careers on Sunday against Philly. 

So, it sounds as if McLaurin was the main reason for Meyer’s trip to FedEx Field, and not the fact that the Burgundy and Gold will likely need a new head coach in just a few weeks. However, no one should be surprised if Snyder or Smith or another official discussed the job with Meyer while he was there. 

The Redskins haven’t had much to advertise when it comes to on-field production, but if they were hoping to convince someone to take over the team, Sunday was the day to make the sales pitch. Perhaps, Meyer left the stadium feeling impressed by what he saw. 

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