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Redskins report card: Aces for O-line, Gruden, DJax

Redskins report card: Aces for O-line, Gruden, DJax

Here is my report card on various players, coaches, and other aspects of the Redskins’ 41-21 win over the Bears. If I missed an important grade or if you disagree with my assessment, feel free to hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

A

The Redskins’ offensive line allowed no sacks for the fourth time this season and the team rushed for 208 yards, the second-highest total of the season. There was nothing not to like.

DeSean Jackson was the only player to get an A after the Panthers debacle and he gets one again this week. Five receptions for 114 yards was impressive but he could have put up some historic numbers if he had not missed most of the second half with a jaw contusion.

On a short week after a bad loss Jay Gruden had his guys ready to play. The only strategic error he made was not challenging the spot after Jamison Crowder caught a third-down pass and appeared to have a first down before going out of bounds. It was marked short and it looked like a challenge would have been successful. Gruden kept the red flag in his pocket. But the score was 31-14 late in the third quarter so that can be overlooked.

Since returning from his suspension OT Trent Williams has not allowed a sack or a QB hit. And he was flatting Bears in the run game on Saturday. It’s hard to say that the four games off were a good thing but it Williams is much fresher than he normally is at this time of year after 15 games of pounding.  

Normally, passing for 270 yards and one TD might only warrant a B for QB Kirk Cousins. But adding in the two touchdown runs, one on the nifty read option play, and Cousins gets pushed up to an A.

B

How about RB Mack Brown coming in for a dinged-up Rob Kelley and picking up 82 yards on his first eight NFL carries? Brown put the bow on the Christmas Eve win with a 61-yard TD run.

I dog OLB Preston Smith when he is invisible during games so he gets some credit here. He flipped momentum with a field goal block and he also got a sack, a QB hit, and two hurries. If his other sack had not been negated by an unrelated hands to the face penalty he would have received an A (sorry, if it doesn’t count it can’t go into the grade).

RB Rob Kelley bounced back from having little production against Carolina (it wasn’t really his fault that he couldn't run through the wall of Panthers on every attempt) and had a solid game. It could have been a very good game but he played sparingly in the second half due to a knee sprain.

On four touches RG Chris Thompson gained 37 yards and scored two touchdowns. His grade is held back by his limited action. But he did make the most of what he got.

Not only did CB Josh Norman get his hands on some passes, he picked off two of them.

CB Bashaud Breeland got a pair of picks as well.

C

Jordan Reed has been out or very limited the last four games and TE Vernon Davis hasn’t filled his shoes. He had one reception for 13 yards and had a shot at a touchdown catch but it slipped through his fingers. In those four games, Davis has not found the end zone.

D

S Duke Ihenacho missed a couple of tackles and took some bad angles on Jordan Howard runs. The Bears’ back’s big game is not all on the D-line.  

The Redskins allowed an offense with a quarterback who couldn’t shoot straight to convert 70 percent of third downs. That’s some bad third-down defense.

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Browns GM admits trade talks with Redskins' Bruce Allen but 'takes two to tango'

Browns GM admits trade talks with Redskins' Bruce Allen but 'takes two to tango'

As the days inch closer to the NFL Trade Deadline on October 29th, the Redskins still sit with a giant hole on their roster as standout tackle Trent Williams continues his holdout. 

It doesn't have to be that way, but Redskins Team President Bruce Allen has said repeatedly he doesn't intend to trade Williams this year. And judging by the words from Browns GM John Dorsey right, Allen is telling the truth. 

"We’ve had a few conversations,'’ Dorsey said via Cleveland.com. "It takes two to tango."

The indication being Allen rebuffed the conversation, which is similar to what sources said during training camp that at least three AFC teams called to inquire about Williams and were told there was no discussion to be had. Well, the clock is ticking, and as each day passes, it makes less and less sense to have Williams in Washington. Or more accurately, to have Williams under contract with Washington but not actually in Washington.

Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan got asked about the trade talks and said quickly: "I don't know anything about that, so we’ll see about that."

The head coach then added, "You’re always looking to improve your roster by any means. Whether you’re acquiring by trade or acquiring it through free agency or obviously guys off the waiver wire, we’re always looking."

Cleveland is certainly interested in Williams, Dorsey made that clear without naming him. At 2-4, his team is underperforming against expectations, and star second-year QB Baker Mayfield has been sacked 16 times in six games. Dorsey knows he needs to bolster the Browns offensive line. 

"It’s a hard position to acquire, especially at this time of year. We’ll make a million phone calls. We’ll constantly work the phones," Dorsey said. "If nothing happens, we’ll move onto the next project. If we think we can improve the position, we’ll make a move if it’s right for this organization."

Compensation will be key as the Williams situation unfolds. The team will want a lot for the seven-time Pro Bowler and some teams might be unwilling to pay with a first-rounder. Williams is under contract for through 2020, but might want a new deal or more guaranteed money in his current contract. 

The calls will keep coming to Ashburn asking about WIlliams. The question will be if Allen will pick them up. 

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Landon Collins earns NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Landon Collins earns NFC Defensive Player of the Week

The wins just keep piling up in Washington, D.C.

Maybe that's not totally true for the Washington Redskins, but they are certainly moving in the right direction. The NFL announced Wednesday that Redskins safety Landon Collins won the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award after his dominant performance Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Collins did a little bit of everything in the Redskins' 17-16 win over the Dolphins, recording 12 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and two passes defensed. 10 of his tackles were solo and one was for a loss.

He was the only NFC player this week to record a sack, a pass defensed and a forced fumble.

Collins has now won Defensive Player of the Week four times in his career. He received the first three honors while a member of the New York Giants and had not won the award since Week 11 of the 2017 season. Collins is the first Redskin to receive the award since linebacker Keenan Robinson in Week 7 of 2014.

He is enjoying a strong start to his first season with the Redskins, as Collins is tied for third in the NFL and tied for second in the NFC for solo tackles. Collins is tied for seventh in the NFL and sixth in the NFC for combined tackles as well.

With Washington, D.C. in the winning spirit lately, between the Nationals getting to the World Series and the Mystics winning the WNBA Finals, hopefully Collins' and the Redskins' Week 6 performances are signs of more to come.

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