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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins-Vikings—Kelley's run under the radar

Need to Know: Last look at Redskins-Vikings—Kelley's run under the radar

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 15, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 9; Redskins @ Cardinals 19; Redskins @ Eagles 26

Injuries of note:
Moses (ankle), day to day
Jackson (shoulder), per Gruden "in play" for the Packers game
Monday injury report

Last look at Redskins vs. Vikings

Stat that stood out: The Vikings came into the game averaging just 2.7 yards per rushing attempt. I pointed this out a few times during the week, also saying that the Vikings would be looking to fatten up this average against the weak Redskins run D. But on Sunday Minnesota had 22 carries for 47 yards, an average of 2.2 yards per attempt. The key was that the Redskins had five tackles for a loss on running plays for a total of minus-13 yards.

Under the radar play of the game: The game was tied 20-20 with 12:54 left to play. After a punt the Redskins were backed up at their own eight yard line. On first down, Rob Kelley took a handoff and headed up the middle, zigging and zagging and evading tackles until he had gained 21 yards to the 29. Two Kirk Cousins passes later the Redskins were at the Viking 40. They needed to get just a little closer to get into range for Dustin Hopkins’ go-ahead 50-yard field goal. Kelley’s run gave them the breathing room they needed to make it happen

Unsung hero: Strong safety Donte Whitner played every snap and he had eight tackles. He didn’t make any of the highlight plays that prompted him to talk about changing his last name to “Hitner” but it was a solid, steady performance.

Snap count snapshot: With Whitner playing every snap (67), Duke Ihenacho (31) and Will Blackmon (33) split the other safety snaps. Su’a Cravens played a season-high 37 snaps. On offense, Ryan Grant played more snaps, 49, than any wide receiver except Pierre Garçon (51).

Potpourri:  The Vikings’ last TD came on a gutsy call by Mike Zimmer. He showed faith in Sam Bradford by having him run a play starting with five seconds on the clock. If they didn’t score a touchdown it’s likely that the clock would have run out before they could even try a field goal . . . I wouldn’t give up a first-round pick for Sam Bradford. Or a second. Or anything higher than a bag of underinflated footballs. He has some skills but being a winner isn’t one of them . . . Ty Nsekhe was ready for his opportunity; he did a very good job in place of the suspended Trent Williams . . . Maurice Harris played only eight snaps but he made the most of them with three receptions, two of them for first downs . . . Would some fans had been happier if the Redskins had given up one touchdown in the first, second, and fourth quarters instead of three in the second? I may be off here but giving up 20 points is giving up 20 points and that gives you a very good chance to win.

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2019 Redskins Draft Bracket: DK Metcalf and TJ Hockenson would inject the offense with needed talent

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2019 Redskins Draft Bracket: DK Metcalf and TJ Hockenson would inject the offense with needed talent

NBC Sports Washington wants Redskins fans to help decide the team's ideal 2019 first-round pick by voting in the Redskins Draft Bracket on Twitter. Before you vote, though, take in this breakdown of the next matchup.

Looking for a stat to describe the rough season the Redskins receivers had in 2018? Well, there's tons to choose from.

The team's wideouts had the second-fewest catches of 20-plus yards in the league. Antonio Brown had more grabs, yards and touchdowns than Washington's top three targets combined. Josh Doctson led the squad in receiving yards — with a measly 532.

You could easily find plenty more, but those three are all you need to realize that DK Metcalf should absolutely be on the franchise's mind when it comes to their first-round pick this April.

While Metcalf's numbers at Ole Miss won't overly impress you, his athleticism and potential explosiveness as a pro absolutely does. That's why it's no surprise the WR met with the Redskins while at the Combine, as Jay Gruden and Co. are well aware that they must become more dangerous on the outside.

As with any prospect, there are questions with Metcalf. He only had 67 catches in 21 games in school, and while he shredded most of the drills in Indianapolis, his short area agility numbers were worse than Tom Brady. That's not great.

Regardless, he'd instantly become the offense's scariest athlete, and you have to like his chances of at least contributing splash plays early while he learns the nuances of the NFL.

The 'Skins don't just need improvement out wide, however. Jordan Reed was largely ineffective despite playing for much of 2018, Vernon Davis is 35 years old and Jeremy Sprinkle isn't much of a threat in the air at tight end.

Perhaps TJ Hockenson could be their answer. NFL.com says the Iowa product "is an ascending talent with a chance to become one of the best all-around tight ends in the game." 

One problem the Burgundy and Gold have encountered in recent years is Reed and Davis don't help much as blockers, while Sprinkle won't worry a defense with his hands. Taking Hockenson at pick No. 15 would mean Gruden could finally have a guy who excels in both areas.

It remains to be seen whether Metcalf or Hockenson will last until the Redskins' choice, as they could continue to rise up boards as the draft draws closer. If both or either is there, however, they need to be heavily considered. 

While the offense may have to be run-oriented again in 2019, it still needs more weapons for whoever is under center. They won't be able to grind out 13-play scoring drives every time they need a TD, and grabbing Metcalf or Hockenson would go a long way in introducing a new element to the group.

You've heard the case for both players. Now, retweet or like depending on whom you'd prefer to see move on in the bracket.

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Five of the most memorable and wild Redskins upsets from the past 10 years

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Five of the most memorable and wild Redskins upsets from the past 10 years

Upsets get a lot of attention in March, due to the allure of the NCAA Tournament and the non-allure of everyone who loves to talk about how THEY CALLED that upset that YOU DIDN'T.

With that being said, upsets happen every month of the year, and they go down weekly in the NFL. So, how about we look back at some of the Redskins' particularly surprising wins from the past decade?

Here are five of the most memorable. 

5) 2014 - Redskins 27, Eagles 24

The Eagles came into FedEx Field late in 2014 with a 9-5 record needing a win to remain squarely in the playoff hunt. The Redskins, meanwhile, were just 3-11 and had changed quarterbacks a depressing five times.

Yet in this matchup, Robert Griffin III managed the offense well and DeSean Jackson had more than 120 receiving yards against his former team because DeSean Jackson is awesome.

Yes, the 'Skins were outproduced in nearly every major stat category. But Mark Sanchez — sorry, future Redskin great Mark Sanchez — had two costly turnovers and Cody Parkey missed two field goals (Philly fans have probably forgiven him by now), allowing the home team to squeak out a W.

4) 2009 - Redskins 27, Broncos 17

This is one of those random Redskins games you've probably forgotten about because it came in a lost season, but it was still a miraculous victory.

The most iconic play from this one was a Hunter Smith to Mike Sellers TD on a fake field goal — a fake, mind you, that came after a timeout by Jim Zorn because the unit's first fake punt attempt included only 10 players on the field.

Denver was 6-2 but lost Kyle Orton to injury at halftime. Jason Campbell, on the other hand, helped the Burgundy and Gold score more than 17 points for the first time all year.

"We've had a desert experience -- very arid, if you will -- for the last few weeks," Zorn said postgame. "So to be able to come out with a win, you almost don't know how to feel."

The Zorn Era was terrible, but you have to give the dude credit for working "very arid" into an NFL press conference.

3) 2012 - Redskins 40, Saints 32

There was plenty of hype surrounding RG3's debut, but there was no way he was going to lead the Redskins to a win over the Saints... in his debut... in the Superdome... right?

Wrong. Incorrect. Not right.

Griffin found Pierre Garcon early for an 88-yard score and the offense stayed hot all afternoon, outpacing a New Orleans squad that was favored by more than a touchdown. If you want a further reminder of how impressive this effort was, look back at what happened to this franchise in the Superdome this past season. 

2) 2014 - Redskins 20, Cowboys 17

Dallas' six-game winning streak stood no chance against Colt McCoy, as the Texas legend went into the Cowboys' house for a wild Monday Night triumph.

Kai Forbath's field goal sealed it in overtime and Bashaud Breeland dominated Dez Bryant, but McCoy was the star. On the way to his first successful start in close to three seasons, the signal caller went 25 for 30 in the air and found the end zone on the ground, too.

1) 2017 - Redskins 17, Seahawks 14

If someone in your life thinks they can't do something, just pull up the box score or highlights from this contest. They will then realize that nothing is impossible, because the Redskins beating the Seahawks on this Sunday should've been impossible, yet it somehow happened anyway.

Washington went into Seattle's harsh environment down six starters, including three on the O-line, but Kirk Cousins kept things together and found Brian Quick and Josh Doctson for long completions on a harrowing last drive to steal this result. It wasn't quite UMBC over Virginia, but it was absolutely a stunning final nonetheless. 

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