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Redskins' hold off Giants late for big division victory

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Redskins' hold off Giants late for big division victory

The Redskins answered the bell in their biggest game in three years, taking first place in the NFC East with a 20-14 win over the Giants.

The Redskins dominated most of the way. They took a 7-0 lead on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to DeSean Jackson and expanded it when Cousins scored on a quarterback sneak to make it 17-0 just before halftime.

But the big kudos should go to the defense, as they harassed Eli Manning all day, picking off three passes and sacking him three times.

Manning got hot and threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to make it a one-score game with five minutes left. But the Redskins took possession with just over five minutes left. A 20-yard pass from Cousins to Jordan Reed converted a third and five and a nine-yard Alfred Morris run moved the chains and let the Redskins continue to grind the clock. New York got the ball back with 19 seconds left but were unable to mount a threat.

The win leaves the Redskins and Giants tied for first place at 5-6 with the Redskins holding the edge with a 2-1 record in the NFC East.

Key Play: The Redskins took a gamble to ice the game but failed when Cousins lost the handle on the snap on a fourth and one play. With the Redskins leading 17-0 Manning went to work to try make them pay with passes to Beckham for 13 and 31 yards. On third and goal from the four, Manning’s pass intended for Ruben Randle was picked off in the end zone by rookie Quinton Dunbar. The shutout was intact and that gave the Redskins enough of a cushion to survive a late Giants rally attempt.

[RELATED: Giants lose key OL starter to broken leg in 1st half vs. Skins]

Injury Update:

DL Chris Baker left the game in the first quarter with an elbow injury.

TE Derek Carrier left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury.

RB Chris Thompson left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury.

CB Quinton Dunbar left the game in the third quarter with a finger injury. 

Scoring drives:

First quarter

No scoring

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Second quarter

FG Hopkins 41

Drive: 12 plays, 56 yards, 7:01

Key plays: From their own 20 after a touchback, Cousins went to Alfred Morris for 12 yards and then to Pierre Garçon for 16. A bubble screen to Jamison Crowder got them into Giants territory and then they converted a third and two with a nine-yard screen pass to Chris Thompson. But a holding penalty and an offensive pass interference call set them back and they had to settle for the field goal.

Redskins 3, Giants 0

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Jackson 63 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 1 play, 63 yards, 0:11

Key plays: On the first play after receiving a punch, Jackson ran past the secondary and Cousins launched a perfect strike that Jackson caught in stride at about the 20.

Redskins 10, Giants 0

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Cousins 1 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards, 3:55

Key plays: This drive got off to a fast start, with Cousins looping a screen pass to Matt Jones. The running back rumbled for 45 yards to the Giants’ 35. After Morris converted a third and one with a one-yard run, Cousins went to Jordan Reed for 20 yards to the five yard line. Then on third and goal at the four Cousins fired a pass to Jamison Crowder, who was stopped just short of the goal line. Cousins’ sneak survived a replay review after the poked the ball over.

Redskins 17, Giants 0

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Third quarter

No scoring

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Fourth quarter

FG Hopkins 33

Drive: 9 plays, 35 yards, 4:58

Key plays: The Redskins got great field position at midfield when the Giants had to punt from deep in their own territory after a Ryan Kerrigan sack of Manning. Cousins went to Reed for 11 yards and a first down at the 40. On third and one at the 30, Alfred Morris powered for a gain of nine. But on third and three at the 13, Matt Jones was stuffed for a loss of one and Hopkins came in for the field goal.

Redskins 20, Giants 0

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Randle 40 pass from Manning (Brown kick)

Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards, 1:26

Key plays: The drive got off to a big start with a pass from Manning to Beckham that covered 31 yards with a 15-yard horsecollar penalty tacked on to bring it down to the Redskins 34. A sack of Manning set up fourth and 16 at the 40 but Randle got behind DeAngelo Hall and Manning hit him for the touchdown.

Redskins 20, Giants 7

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Beckham 21 pass from Manning (Brown kick)

Drive: 9 plays, 77 yards, 2:23

Key plays: Starting from the New York 23, Manning went to tight end Will Tye for 19 yards. The on fourth and two from the 43, Mannin found Tye again for 28 yards to the 28. Then on third and two from the 21, Manning went to Beckham who made a spectacular, diving catch right on the ensid of the end zone for the touchdown.

Redskins 20, Giants 14

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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

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

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Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

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USA TODAY Sports

Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

More than 100 days remain before the Redskins take the field in meaningful NFL action.

Any and all excitement needs to be tempered, significantly, because what happens on a practice field in May without pads does not represent what will happen in September, October and beyond. 

Still, the Redskins group that took the field this week for OTAs showed promise. 

New quarterback Alex Smith looked crisp, connecting with a variety of wideouts and commanding the huddle. New wideout Paul Richardson made the best play of the session when he streaked down the field past rookie cornerback Greg Stroman and hauled in a deep pass from Smith. The play showed Smith's ability to identify open receivers downfield, as well as Richardson's ability to go up and grab a contested catch. Even Stroman, the seventh-round rookie, positioned himself well, he just fell victim to a perfect pass and tremendous athleticism.

That was only one play in a two-hour session. Again, don't take too much from May, when players don't wear pads or engage in any of the violence that the NFL is predicated upon. But the OTAs do serve a purpose, both for players and coaches, and there were nuggets to absorb and try to project for the fall. Here they are:

  • Jay Gruden made clear he's not concerned about the health of his offensive line. Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are recuperating from offseason surgery, but Gruden believes both are on track for when things start to matter. It's a good thing the coach isn't concerned because this was the 'Skins line in OTAs (left to right): Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, John Kling. Should that lineup take the field this fall, there will be trouble. 
     
  • The Redskins lost Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason, and the secondary depth will be something to watch throughout training camp. At OTAs, newly signed veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick lined up opposite Josh Norman in the team's base 3-4 defense. In nickel and dime coverage, Quinton Dunbar lined up opposite Norman and Scandrick moved to the slot. As things progress, it will be interesting to see if Dunbar surpasses Scandrick in base coverage, and what becomes of 2017 third-round pick Fabian Moreau. Stay tuned.  
     
  • Rookie running back Derrius Guice looked every part of the first-round talent many judged him to be before draft season rumors caused him to slide to the late second round. Guice cuts with authority and is able to see holes before they form and patiently wait to hit the open space. Guice also looked fine in pass-catching drills, one area that was a question coming out of LSU (but that says more about LSU's prehistoric offense). Watching the Redskins offense work, it seems clear Guice will be the heaviest used runner this fall.
     
  • That said, don't count out Robert Kelley. He looks leaner and plenty quick, showing a few impressive runs during the session. Byron Marshall also looked good, and Gruden pointed out his success in his post-OTA press conference. The running back group will have plenty of competition all the way through Richmond. 
     
  • Jonathan Allen has switched jersey numbers from 95 to 93. Rookie Daron Payne is now wearing 95. Payne and Allen both went to Alabama, both are huge, and both play defensive line. The number switch will take some getting used to. 
     
  • Zach Brown missed the OTA session as he was moving, and interestingly in his spot with the starting defense was Josh Harvey-Clemons. The second-year pro out of Louisville showed impressive speed in coverage, and remember he played safety in college and performed quite well. He has ball skills and great size to be a coverage linebacker. Some were surprised when the Redskins kept JHC last season at the cut to 53, but his development appears to be paying off for the organization. 
     
  • Another linebacker that made a play was Zach Vigil. He impressed for the Redskins late last season and was running the Washington second-team defensive huddle. At one point, Vigil broke through the line of scrimmage and blew up a run play. That prompted D.J. Swearinger to yell from the sideline, "OK Zach. OK ZACH!"
     
  • Speaking of Swearinger, the Redskins defensive captain seemed in midseason form when it comes to yelling encouragement on the field. Nobody hypes up the defense like Swearinger, particularly when the secondary makes a big play. On one pass Dunbar made a nice diving play to break up a pass, and Swearinger and Josh Norman got very fired up, shouting and jumping around. The entire defense responded. Little stuff like that helps disrupt the monotony of offseason work. 
     
  • Jamison Crowder looks jacked and quick. The end. 

 

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