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How many tickets for Monday night are going to Steelers fans?

How many tickets for Monday night are going to Steelers fans?

When the Steelers last visited Washington on a Monday night in 2008 their fans took over FedEx Field.

Estimates vary but anywhere from 15 to 40 percent of the crowd that night were clad in black and gold and waving their Terrible Towels. No matter how many were there they were loud, to the point where the home team had to go to a silent snap count because they couldn’t hear the signals.

The Steelers took advantage and left with a 23-6 win.

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Are we in for another Steelers fan invasion for the season opener on Monday?

We just might be.

According to data from Vivid Seats, a secondary ticket marketer, about eight percent of the tickets to Monday night’s game that were resold went to addresses in the state of Pennsylvania.

While a few Redskins fans from the Keystone State might be coming to see their team in the opener it’s a pretty safe bet that the vast majority of those tickets are going to Steelers fans.

We don't know how many fans that is because we don't know how many tickets are being resold. The seating capacity at FedEx is now around 79,000 so even if every ticket was being resold--and they aren't--6,300 Steelers fans in there on Monday night. That would be fairly easy to deal with; they could make some noise but not disrupt snap counts. But that’s only the beginning.

Per Vivid Seats 25 percent of the ticket resales went to Maryland addresses. The DC suburbs are Redskins country but the further west you go in the state the more things start to take on a black and gold hue. Anyone who went to Redskins training camp in Frostburg, which is geographically closer to Pittsburgh than it is to Washington, knows that area is Steelers country.

About 40 percent of the resales are going to Virginia. That’s probably good news for keeping down the percentage of hostile fans on Monday night but not completely. There are Steelers fans everywhere and no doubt some of the resold tickets going to the Commonwealth were delivered to houses sporting Steelers patio flags.

We can find one more clue that tells us we can expect a strong Steelers contingent. Per Vivid Seats the median price for resold tickets to Redskins-Steelers is $217. That is the third highest median price among the Redskins’ eight home games. That can be an indication that the ticket demand from fans of the visiting team are driving the price up. 

The two home games that have a higher median are the games against the Cowboys ($285) and Packers ($238). Anyone who has been to a Cowboys-Redskins game in Washington knows that there are always a lot of Dallas fans there. And like the Steelers, the Packers have a national fan base that will show up when they are on the road. It seems safe to make a connection between a high median price and large numbers of fans of the visiting team. 

One other thing--historically, the Steelers are the fifth-biggest road draw in the league. You would think that when they are playing about 250 miles away from Pittsburgh they will draw well. 

Looking at the numbers here I will not be surprised if somewhere from a fourth (about 20,000) to a third (around 26,000) of the fans in attendance are pulling for the visiting team. It may be more, it may be a little less but, regardless, there’s nothing the Redskins can do about it except play well and take the (visiting) fans out of the game.

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Redskins technically have nothing left to play for, but Dwayne Haskins sure does

Redskins technically have nothing left to play for, but Dwayne Haskins sure does

In five starts as a rookie, Dwayne Haskins has led the Redskins to two wins, displayed plenty of toughness and made a handful of throws that hint at his immense talent.

Even considering those factors, though, Haskins hasn't done enough to convince the franchise that he should absolutely, without a doubt, 110-percent be their starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2020 season.

That means that, while Washington as a whole doesn't technically have anything left to play for this year — their Week 14 loss in Green Bay officially (and mercifully?) took them out of the playoff hunt — Haskins has a ton riding on the final three games on the schedule.

In all likelihood, the Burgundy and Gold will be searching for a new head coach in a few weeks. Perhaps they'll also enter the offseason with an adjusted front office. Yet, regardless of whether the latter happens, the former means that at least one major piece of the team's future won't have any direct ties to 2019's 15th overall draft pick.

You can debate whether moving on from a first-rounder after a small sample of starts is fair, but the reality in the NFL is that new coaches like to begin their tenure with QBs that they really like, and often times, that means QBs that they've drafted.

Now, as mentioned earlier, Haskins has shown off some useful traits. His arm strength will never be debated, and since taking over as the Redskins' signal caller, the rookie has also been brave in the pocket, been way more mobile than expected and made incremental improvements in areas like footwork and at-the-line audibles.

No. 7 has tools to work with, and those tools could become sharper with more time and with a new coach who wants to sharpen them. Plus, those tools very well could be put to better use with a more well-rounded roster than the one he's currently on.

But then there are his numbers, which aren't encouraging and must be considered, regardless of the talent around him. In his five starts, he's completed more than 60-percent of his passes just once and has topped 200 passing yards just once. Those are two basic benchmarks for pro passers to reach and he's just not reaching them.

So, if the Redskins finish with a 3-13 or 4-12 record and find themselves in a position where they can draft another top-notch arm, will they do so? 

That's a question that's difficult to answer as of now. Haskins' performance in Weeks 15, 16 and 17, however, will make it easier. Either he'll start delivering, thus giving the organization confidence in him, or he'll continue to be mediocre, which'll lead to a very intriguing offseason.

When the Redskins selected Haskins last April, they hoped their recent QB rotation would finally stop, and it very well still could. Yet there's also a possibility that the rotation begins again in a few months. The next 12 quarters of football will mean nothing in the standings, but everything for Haskins and the team that picked him.


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Terry McLaurin was not surprised a hobbled Dwayne Haskins stayed in vs. Green Bay

Terry McLaurin was not surprised a hobbled Dwayne Haskins stayed in vs. Green Bay

Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins played much of the Redskins Week 14 loss to the Green Bay Packers with a sprained ankle.

The rookie had a very noticeable limp and struggled to put weight on his bad leg. Haskins was clearly not at full health. Backup quarterback Case Keenum was seen warming up multiple times on the sideline, but never entered the game.

In the team's postgame press conference, interim head coach Bill Callahan said he never considered pulling Haskins from the game. Rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who was teammates with Haskins at Ohio State and has known the quarterback for a while, never thought that Haskins would exit the game, either.

"I know Dwayne. I've known him for a while now," McLaurin told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "He's a tough guy, and I feel like he gives us a good chance to win games. I knew if he was out there, he was going to be good to go. He was hobbled a little bit, but he wasn't going to use that as an excuse at all. It was cool to see him fight through it. We just hope that he can get healthy for next week."

McLaurin was then asked whether he thought Haskins should have been pulled. The wideout commended his quarterback for his toughness, and believes that will go a long way in terms of earning respect from his teammates.

"I mean, I'm not a doctor, so I feel like if you feel like you can play, then you try to play. Only that person knows how bad it is," McLaurin said. "He's a tough guy. He's a guy trying to earn the respect of this team. He's a quarterback, he's young. I feel like stuff like that really puts you in a step forward to get some respect. He was noticeably hurt and he fought for us."

Haskins finished 16-for-27 for 171 yards. He connected on an incredible late touchdown pass with McLaurin to pull the Redskins within five with just over a minute remaining in the game. On the two-point conversion try, Haskins put his body on the line, diving for the goal line headfirst. He didn't convert.

The Packers recovered the Redskins ensuing onside kick attempt, the Burgundy and Gold's final hope at pulling off the upset. 

The Redskins offensive line did not help out a hobbled Haskins much either. The rookie was sacked four times in the loss and hit the turf on numerous other occasions.

Although the Redskins weren't able to pull off the upset, Haskins showed poise and toughness by fighting through a noticeable injury and giving the Redskins everything he had.