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Redskins' five turnovers lead to major damage


Redskins' five turnovers lead to major damage

CHARLOTTE--The Redskins turned the ball over five times against the Panthers, a recipe for disaster when playing a quality team on the road. But to pour salt onto the wound, the Panthers scored following each takeaway.

Kirk Cousins interception, Panthers TD— Cousins third pass attempt of the game sailed over the head of DeSean Jackson and into the arms of safety Kurt Coleman. He returned it 28 yards to the Redskins 31. It took them just three plays to score on Cam Newton’s screen pass to Jonathan Stewart.

Matt Jones fumble, Panthers TD— Jones took a pitch from Cousins and looked to have some open ground in front of him. But Luke Kuechly stripped the ball away and Thomas Davis recovered at the Redskins 24. It took six plays but the Panthers got in the end zone again on a five-yard touchdown from Newton to tight end Greg Olsen.

Kirk Cousins fumble, Panthers FG— The Redskins had a promising drive going and were in Carolina Territory when defensive end Kony Ealy got the lineman’s triple play, a sack, strip, and recovery when he knocked the ball out of Cousins’ hand as he tried to pass. The Panthers moved from their own 38 to a Graham Gano field goal as time ran out in the first half.

Cousins fumble, Panthers TD— On the first play of the second half, nobody picked up blitzing cornerback Bene Benwikere. He got to Cousins, knocked the ball loose, and recovered it at the Washington 11. Three plays later Newton threw to receiver Devin Funchess for the touchdown.

Jordan Reed fumble, Panthers FG— The game was already well out of hand when Cousins threw to Reed for 13 yards to get into Carolina territory. But while running after the catch cornerback Josh Norman stripped the ball and Kuechly retired.

Add it up, it's five turnovers for 27 points. It's hard to when when you are giving away points like that.

RELATED: Redskins Twitter goes nuts after refs negate Culliver Pick-6

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Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history.

But is he the best running back for the Redskins right now?

The Redskins signed Peterson, 33 years old and a 12-year NFL veteran, to a one-year contract. They have been hit with injuries at the running back position, most notably the loss of second-round pick Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL. They didn’t make any moves when that diagnosis was announced a week and a half ago. But they lost two more backs to short-term injuries last Thursday and they decided that now is the time to go out and get somebody.

Is the need for a running back really there? Rob Kelley was the starter for the last half of the 2016 season and for seven games last year before a variety of ailments sent him to injured reserve. Samaje Perine became the starter after that and while he struggled at time he also showed growth potential.

Kelley is 25 and Perine is 22. In the absence of Guice, they could develop and when Guice returns next year the team would have a good stable of young running backs.

But now, Peterson is in the picture. We don’t yet know what his role will be, but they did not sign him to be the back who is inactive on game days. He will get some carries and that will take work away from Perine and Kelley.

Now, if Peterson is more productive than either of the two younger backs then that is a worthwhile swap. But what does he have left in the tank at age 33?

Last year, playing for the Saints and Cardinals he gained 529 yards on 156 carries, a very pedestrian average of 3.4 years per carry. That is very similar to the production of Perine, who had 175 carries for 603 yards, a 3.4 average. In his two years in the NFL, Kelley has averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

By signing Peterson, however, the Redskins are hoping that Peterson has one more big year, or at least a medium year by his standards, left in him. After all, it was just in 2015 that he led the NFL in rushing for the third time in his career as he ran for 1,485 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The Redskins would be delighted if he could get half of that total.

Any free agent signing can only be evaluated when the contract details are available. We only know that it’s a one-year deal and according to some reports he did not get any money guaranteed at signing. That seems to be a team friendly deal, but we will have to see what might kick in if he is on the Week 1 roster.

As with everything else, time will tell if this move works out. If the money is right, it’s a low risk transaction with some possible upside for Washington.

Back during minicamp while talking about how quickly Alex Smith would have to get up to speed with the offense, Jay Gruden said that the Redskins are not in a rebuilding mode and that they need to win now. After the trade for Smith, the Peterson signing is another indication that patience may be wearing thin.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Adrian Peterson, per multiple reports and confirmed by NBC Sports Washington.

Washington added Peterson as their running back group took a number of hits this preseason. Rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the year in the preseason opener, while Byron Marshall, Martez Carter and Samaje Perine got hurt in the second preseason game against the Jets.

Peterson is a huge name. He’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and he’s one of only a handful of rushers to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.

His best seasons came with the Vikings, but Peterson hasn’t delivered top flight results since 2015.

If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peterson could be a tremendous steal for the Redskins. There is no way to know until he suits up in the preseason, which could happen as soon as this Friday night against Denver.

On the roster, Washington has Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson available at running back. At his best, Peterson is significantly better than that group.

Will the Redskins get Peterson at his best?

That’s the big question. And with two preseason games remaining, he will get the chance to prove it.