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I ate a 12-topping pizza made possible by the Redskins. It tasted like victory

I ate a 12-topping pizza made possible by the Redskins. It tasted like victory

Much like Kirk Cousins did many, many times the previous night against the Packers, I made a really good decision on Monday afternoon.

The choice came following my afternoon class at the University of Maryland, while trying to figure out what I wanted for lunch. And though the idea of eating yet another peanut butter sandwich or bowl of macaroni and cheese was really tantalizing (it wasn't, by the way. I've eaten more peanut butter sandwiches in the last week than Ryan Fitzpatrick has interceptions on the season), I knew I wanted something more.

Fortunately, as I was thinking my options over, this Papa John's tweet happened to place its delicious little self on my timeline. It was at that moment that one thing became very clear to me: I was going to celebrate one of the more satisfying Burgundy and Gold-colored victories in recent memory by plopping down on my apartment's couch and eating an ungodly amount of pizza.

As soon as I walked through my door, I fetched my laptop and began game planning for the meal like a young(er) Sean McVay. I then went to Papa John's' website to place my order, only to find out I could only request 10 toppings.

Thinking this was perhaps just a site issue, I called and was told the same thing (note: The reason the toppings are capped at 10 is to ensure all toppings are fully cooked through). Still in McVay mode, I realized I could audible and just scrounge up two extra toppings from what I had lying around. 

I finally placed the order. Looking back now, I wish I asked the guy on the other end of the line, "HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?" His answer probably would've been, "Not very much, because you just ordered an obnoxiously large pizza," but it still would've been funny.


As the pizza was being built — a pizza with a regular amount of toppings is "made," but one with 10+ is "built." That's a little known fact, so just wanted to explain it — one of my roommates and I began searching for the last two add-ons. Among those nominated: Pop-Tarts, Ritz crackers, Cheerios and a drizzling of beer. We eventually settled on potato chips and carrots.

45 minutes later, after tossing those ingredients on top of the bacon, pepperoni, sausage, pineapple, green peppers, onions, grilled chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms and Canadian bacon, I was staring at a pie that looked just as pretty as a Jamison Crowder touchdown:

Out of the eight slices, I had five (each of my three roommates got one to sample, partly because I was in a good, #VictoryMonday mood and partly because I generally try to avoid gaining large amounts of weight in 15 minutes). And, to my surprise, it was actually quite good.

At the start, I was worried that the sheer amount of opposing flavors — plus the somewhat questionable looking carrots, which came from a fridge that hasn't been cleaned in far too long — would lead to a cluttered taste, but that ended up not being the case at all. In a fitting twist, the pizza resembled the Redskins offense versus the Packers: Each topping, like Cousins and each pass receiver and running back, contributed to an overall successful finish. 

As I wrap up this blog, I'm about an hour past my last bite. My stomach has certainly felt better, but in a way, it hasn't, either. That's because, despite advertising a deal for 12 toppings, Papa John's is actually one off.

The pizza I ate had 13 toppings — with the 13th being sweet, sweet victory.

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Somehow, the Redskins still have a fairly straightforward playoff path. Somehow

Somehow, the Redskins still have a fairly straightforward playoff path. Somehow

You're going to feel absurd for reading the following sentence, but probably not as absurd as it felt to type the following sentence.

The Redskins, who are on their fourth option at QB, who made the '18 Giants look like the '72 Dolphins and who are large underdogs this weekend to the 4-9 Jaguars, actually still have a straightforward path to the playoffs.

Now, the word "straightforward" only applies to the path on paper, because realistically, there's nothing straightforward about fixing the litany of issues that are plaguing Washington at the moment.

Regardless, by losing on Monday night to the Seahawks, the Vikings blew a chance to separate themselves from a pack of NFC teams chasing(?) them and their final wild card spot. The Redskins are one of those teams, and here's how they could pass Minnesota to qualify for the postseason:

With the way the season is unfolding, you'd expect the Burgundy and Gold's playoff scenario to involve a bunch of teams losing a bunch of times in these final three weeks. The tweet above illustrates that's clearly not the case. They only need Minnesota to drop one more to go along with the Redskins winning out.

Of course, the Redskins stringing three straight plays together without committing a holding penalty feels like too much to ask for, so anyone expecting a three-game winning streak is either a bit crazy or a relative of Josh Johnson. But still, they're not out of the hunt quite yet. Somehow.


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Jay Gruden not considering changes to his coaching staff

Jay Gruden not considering changes to his coaching staff

The Redskins gave up 40 points and more than 400 yards in a loss to the Giants last Sunday, and that was without Odell Beckham suited up for New York. 

The Redskins have lost four straight games, and five of six, while giving up more than 30 points three times. 

The Redskins surrendered more than 200 rushing yards to the Giants, and have not held an opponent under 100 yards rushing in their last six games. 

You get the idea. 

After the Washington defense got out to an impressive start to the season, things have fallen apart down the stretch.

Despite the struggles, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has no intention of shaking up his coaching staff.

"No. Not really," Gruden said on the Redskins Talk podcast when asked about any coaching changes. 

As the Redskins struggle and lose their grip on a playoff spot, it's not unheard of to think some staff changes might be coming. The Panthers fired two defensive assistants last weekend, and as the NFL season approaches the finish line, more coaches will lose their jobs. 

In Washington though, it seems the staff is safe. Still, the Giants loss stings. 

The Redskins' offense has been decimated by injuries, particularly at quarterback and along the offensive line. There was some leeway for a loss to New York, but not when the home team got down 40-0 to a 4-8 Giants team. 

That type of deficit brings questions. Questions about the coaches, questions about effort.

On Sunday, Gruden made clear he understands his future is week to week.

"We have a game to win next week in Jacksonville," the coach said. "We have to go about trying to find a way to do it."

On Monday, he made clear his assistants are safe. As far as he is concerned anyway.