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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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Josh Norman goes on 3-minute rant on misconstrued comments on Dak Prescott

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Josh Norman goes on 3-minute rant on misconstrued comments on Dak Prescott

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is upset with the way his comments about Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott were portrayed by some media outlets this week.

Speaking after a humbling 31-21 loss to Dallas at FedEx Field on Sunday, Norman went on a three-minute rant disputing the portrayal of comments he felt were not critical at all of Prescott, just a general observation of how NFL quarterbacks will play if you don’t put pressure on them.

“[Prescott] is a great football player. Dak always has been a great football player,” Norman said. “And they did a great job out here today and they showed that. But what I will not do [is] allow the media - or whomever the case may be – [is] stir my words and change them to what they want it to be. It never has been the case. Never have been the case.

”Prescott torched the Redskins for 26 of 30 passes and 269 yards with three touchdowns. He was intercepted once, but after a scoreless first quarter Dallas took control of the game. At 6:18 of the second quarter, Prescott hit wide receiver hit Devin Smith for a 51-yard touchdown pass. Norman was beat in coverage on the play, though he refused to say one way or the other if he was supposed to have safety help.

Prescott completed 25 of 32 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-17 win against the New York Giants in Week 1. His passer rating was a perfect 158.3. Norman was asked about that performance on Thursday.

"You stand back there in the pocket all day and go through your first, second and third reads and come back to your first one, OK, cool. Anybody can do that," Norman told reporters in Ashburn, Va.

"At the end of the day, he's been playing well. As you can see, he's evolved. He's growing in the system. He's just taking his keys and picking his targets.

”Newspapers and websites across the country picked up those comments and in many cases used a truncated form of the full quote in headlines and tweets: “Anybody can do that.” That was what angered Norman.

“Because that’s the reason why athletes, entertainers, don’t even want to [expletive] with you guys to be 100 with you,” Norman said. “It’s no need. [Prescott is] my brother. That’s a kin….He’s a great quarterback. All these guys that we play are. I just wish that media would respect that and understand and don’t try to twist people the best opportunity, the chance to get out there. It just really sucks when that happens, man. It really does.”

The comments drew attention from some members of the Cowboys’ organization. Team vice president Stephen Jones addressed them on a radio show in Dallas and deemed them unnecessary. Norman didn’t disagree because he insists he wasn’t trying to take shots at Prescott.

“It’s sad. But now you’ve really got to watch the [reporters] that are doing great jobs. You got to suffer with me because of the spoiled rotten apples that come from hell,” Norman said. “It’s unbearable man. The good reporters that actually come in here and do a job they supposed to do, they hold their head high and you respect them. But it’s those sour apples, man, that make you all jobs suck. It really is, man. And it’s sad. It really is sad. Because you pin us against each other. You pin my brother against my other brother. You don’t have to do that. You don’t.”

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Adrian Peterson passes Jim Brown on all-time TD list: 'Means a lot more than the other ones will'

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Adrian Peterson passes Jim Brown on all-time TD list: 'Means a lot more than the other ones will'

FEDEX FIELD -- In his season debut, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson made his presence felt early. In the first quarter of Washington's Week 2 loss to the Cowboys, the 34-year-old running back punched it in the end zone from one yard out, giving Washington an early touchdown lead over their rival.

This touchdown was no ordinary touchdown, however. It marked Peterson's 107th career rushing touchdown, passing NFL legend Jim Brown on the all-time rushing touchdown list. 

"Man, it's just a blessing. it continues to show me how blessed I am," Peterson said on passing Brown. "To have the opportunity and ability to pass some of the greats that paved the way."

Brown played for the Cleveland Browns for nine seasons. He's considered one of the best, if not the best, running backs to ever play the game. He won the league's Most Valuable Player award three times, making first-team All-Pro eight times.

Last year, Peterson passed the likes of Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk, and even Redskins great John Riggins on the all-time TD list. Passing Brown meant much more to Peterson than any of those.

"He was the first one that paved the way for us," Peterson said. "This one means a lot more than the other ones will when I pass them because Jim Brown is a guy I looked up to. I've talked to him on several occasions, just the look in his eyes when I'm talking to him, it's like '[wow].' That is just motivating to me."

There was a time Peterson may have questioned whether he would pass Brown on the all-time rushing touchdown list. After stints with the Saints and Cardinals in 2017, Peterson was a free agent just last August, wondering if any team would call him again.

Washington did, and for the most part, it's worked out for both parties. In 2018, Peterson rushed for over 1,000 yards and earned the team's Offensive Most Valuable Player award.

Of course, Peterson has dealt with adversity in Washington as well. Just last week, he was a healthy scratch in Philadelphia, something he had never been before in his 13-year career. But the running back held his head high, stayed positive and professional through it all.

His teammates appreciated the running back's professionalism as well.

"Man, I appreciate him bouncing back from last week," Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson said on Peterson. "Anybody could have been frustrated. he stepped up as a leader. He stepped up as a man, he stepped up as a ballplayer, a teammate. He came out and put all that stuff behind him and left it on the field. When he came out, he performed for us, and I appreciate that."

Unfortunately, Peterson's accomplishment was overshadowed by the rest of the Redskins afternoon. It wasn't pretty, as Dallas cruised to a 31-21 victory, scoring on five-straight possessions at one point.

"It feels good to have passed him today, but it's bittersweet because we didn't get this divisional win," Peterson said. 

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