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Redskins ride fourth-quarter rally to beat Browns

Redskins ride fourth-quarter rally to beat Browns

LANDOVER, MD— The Redskins started out like they were going to roll over the Browns, as many expected they would. But the Browns decided that they were not going to go down easily. In what turned out to be a back and forth battle the Redskins scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and came away with a 31-20 win.

Their first two possessions were extended drives that ended with Kirk Cousins throwing touchdown passes to Jordan Reed. It was 14-0 late in the first quarter and it looked like the rout was on.

But the Browns battled back to tie it at halftime and took a 20-17 lead in the third quarter. They were driving for more late in the quarter but running back Duke Johnson fumbled, forced by Will Compton and recovered by Quinton Dunbar. The Redskins put together a 91-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a five-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson.  

PHOTOS: REDSKINS 31, BROWNS 20

The Browns had a couple of chances to retake the lead but another fumble and Josh Norman’s first interception as a Redskin killed the drives. After the Norman pick the Redskins drove 39 yards for the clinching TD, which came on a one-yard run by Matt Jones.

Jones had his best rushing day since Week 2 of last season, getting 117 yards on 22 carries.

 Injury Updates:

Ryan Kerrigan left the game in the second quarter with a left elbow injury. He did not return.

LB Su’a Cravens left the game in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. He did not return.

S David Bruton left the game in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. He did not return.

LB Will Compton left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder strain. He returned to the game.

Scoring drives:  

First quarter           

Reed 8 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 12 plays, 75 yads, 7:20

Drive summary: The Redskins sprinkled a few runs into their game opening march but it went mostly through the air. Kirk Cousins went to Jordan Reed for 10 yards for a first down and midfield. Then a pass to Thompson and two to Garçon got them to the 37. After a holding penalty, Chris Thompson went around right end for 20 yards and a first and goal at the 10. On second down, Cousins fired over the middle to Reed and the tight end caught his first touchdown pass of the year.

Redskins 7, Browns 0 7:40         

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Reed 9 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 80 yards, 4:14

Drive summary: The Redskins got an assist to get this drive started when the Browns were flagged for pass interference on DeSean Jackson, giving the Redskins 50 yards to the Browns 30. Cousins went to Reed for a first down and then a pair of Matt Jones moved it to first and goal at the nine. On third and goal Cousins scrambled to his left and lobbed it to Reed in the back of the end zone.

Redskins 14, Browns 0 0:27       

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Second quarter

Crowell 2 run (Parkey kick)

Drive: 12 plays, 81 yards, 5:54

Drive summary: The Browns finally got their offense rolling. Isiah Crowell got it started with a 17-yard run up the middle. Then Kessler found Terrelle Pryor for gains of eight and 12 yards into Redskins territory. A pass to Ricardo Lewis picked up 13 yards for a first and goal at the five. Two plays later Crowell got into the end zone on some second effort.

Redskins 14, Browns 7 9:33       

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Pryor 9 pass from Kessler (Parkey kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 12 yards, 1:25

Drive summary: The Browns got a short field to start with after Cousins threw an interception to Jamar Taylor, who returned it 29 yards to the Washington 12. On third down from the nine, Kessler dropped back and fired to Pryor for the touchdown.

Redskins 14, Browns 14 7:55    

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FG Hopkins 49

Drive: 10 plays, 32 yards, 5:26

Drive summary: The Redskins started with good field position from their own 37. On third and one from the 46 Cousins rolled out a flipped short to Reed, who had plenty of space over the middle to rumble for 26 yards to the Browns 28. After Jones ran three times for a first down, an offensive pass interference call set up a third and 20 at the 27. A screen to Reed lost a few yards and Hopkins came in and booted the field goal.

Redskins 17, Browns 14 2:29    

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FG Parkey 51

Drive: 7 plays, 42 yards, 2:29

Drive summary: The Browns answered the Redskins’ field goal with a late one of their own. Kessler went to Gary Barnidge for 13 yards and then to Duke Johnson for eight yards into Washington territory. A pass interference penalty on Josh Norman gave the Browns 11 yards, giving them enough to bring in Parkey to kick the long field goal as time expired.

Redskins 17, Browns 17  

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Third quarter

FG Parkey 45

Drive: 11 plays, 48 yards, 5:35

Drive summary: Kessler got the drive started with an 11-yard pass that converted and third and nine. Then Crowell popped up the middle for 18 yards to the Washington 45. Crowell then converted a third and one with a six-yard run off the left side. On third and six at the 22 Kessler threw incomplete and Parkey came in and kicked the field goal.

Browns 20, Redskins 17 9:25                

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Fourth quarter

Thompson 5 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 91 yards, 5:28

Drive summary: The Redskins started back in the hole at their own nine after they recovered a Cleveland fumble. Cousins went to Jamison Crowder for 15 yards and then to Matt Jones for 16. Jones then ran twice for a first down at midfield. A pass interference call drawn by Jackson got them 21 yards to the 35. Jones engaged in some power running, barreling for 11 and 15 yards for a first and goal at the nine. Two plays later Cousins threw to Thompson on the right side and the back bolted into the end zone.

Redskins 24, Browns 20 10:39  

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Jones 1 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 4 plays, 39 yards, 0:35

Drive summary: The Redskins got a short field to work with after Josh Norman’s first interception for Washington. Cousins went to Garçon on the sideline for 23 yards and then Jones got rolling around the left end for 16 yards to the one. After an offside penalty Jones powered up the middle for the TD.

Redskins 31, Browns 20  

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Junkies' call Mel Kiper's stance of the Redskins taking Tua Tagovailoa over Chase Young 'preposterous'

Junkies' call Mel Kiper's stance of the Redskins taking Tua Tagovailoa over Chase Young 'preposterous'

What should the Redskins do with the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? 

Some believe Washington has an easy choice and should take Chase Young. Some think they should consider taking Tua Tagovailoa despite drafting Dwayne Haskins a year ago. ESPN's Mel Kiper is a proponent of both.

"You can have all the Chase Young's you want," Kiper said Thursday. "This is a quarterback league all the way.

"If the medical staff clears [Tagovailoa], and the medical staff is going to be key to this," he continued. "If they sign off, you take Tua at No. 2. You don't trade the pick, you don't take Chase Young. And if Haskins turns out to better, than great then we can trade Tua."

This goes against what Kiper said just a month ago. In a mock draft from January 24, Kiper wrote, "If you scanned Washington's depth chart, you probably wouldn't pick out an edge rusher as its top need. It might not even be in the top three. And yet, the Redskins absolutely can't pass on Young -- unless they get bowled over with an offer from a team trading up."

Anyway, The Sports Junkies took time to react to Kiper's comments on their Friday show. Eric Bickel, J.P. Flaim and Jason Bishop had particularly interesting takes on whether the Redskins should consider drafting a quarterback in the first round in back-to-back years.

That's preposterous," Bickel said. "That's the part where it falls apart."

"You can't draft quarterbacks back to back in the first round and have them battle it out," Bishop said. 

"It would be just like what happened in Arizona," Bickel said in response. "They'd have to unload Haskins and get what they could."

The Cardinals did exactly what Kiper is proposing for the Redskins last season when they took Kyler Murray with the first pick despite drafting Josh Rosen in the top-10 the year prior. Arizona, similar to the Redskins this year, hired a new head coach after taking Rosen. 

The Cardinals then traded Rosen to the Dolphins on Day 2 of the draft last year in exchange for a second-round pick (Andy Isabella) and a 2020 fifth-round pick. Murray went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and Rosen only made three starts for the Dolphins in 2019. 

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and if the Redskins believe Tagovailoa gives them a better chance to compete for a Super Bowl than Dwayne Haskins, then they shouldn't worry about taking a quarterback in back-to-back drafts. It's certainly worked out for the Cardinals so far. But there are no certainties in the draft, as Flaim points out. 

"I think [Kiper's] just saying that," Flaim said. "The reality is if you really believe Tua is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Like, if you're evaluation is Tua's going to be a Russell Wilson, he's going to be an Aaron Rodgers, he's going to be an elite quarterback in the league, and Haskins is just going to be a guy, he could be a starter, then you take Tua. But it's so inexact you have no idea."

Washington's interest in Tagovailoa is unknown at this point, though they will be meeting with him and Joe Burrow prior to the draft. Head coach Ron Rivera did say however, the Redskins are, 'just doing our due diligence,' in meeting with the top two quarterbacks in this year's draft. 

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Report: NFL teams haven't contacted the Redskins about a Trent Williams trade

Report: NFL teams haven't contacted the Redskins about a Trent Williams trade

Trent Williams reportedly made his demands clear. He either wants a new contract or he wants to be traded, according to a report from NFL Network on Thursday. 

As the situation for the disgruntled left tackle continues to play out, the Redskins haven't received any trade inquiries about Williams, according to Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver.

"Has there been any trade interest around the league? So far, no," Silver said on an NFL Network appearance Friday. "Nobody has called Washington saying 'We'd like to talk about coming and getting Trent Williams.' Maybe that'll change."

Following up on earlier reports, Silver acknowledged that there has been a line of communication between Williams and new head coach Ron Rivera after changes to the medical staff — the root cause of the offensive lineman's original rife and distrust with the team. 

Rivera is widely regarded as a coach that players can trust and enjoy playing for. Silver commented on how that may impact Washington's direction with Williams' future.

"I think organizationally the feeling is 'Look, if Trent Williams doesn't feel comfortable with this situation, and doesn't want to be there for Ron Rivera, we're not going to spend a lot of time trying to appease him," Silver said.

After sitting out for the entirety of the 2019 season, Williams has one year remaining on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $14.5 million, none of which is guaranteed.

When Williams signed the deal in 2015, he set an NFL record for the highest-paid offensive tackle in league history. But as value has increased, the seven-time Pro Bowler has slid further down the list of highest-paid tackles, currently ranking eighth in highest average salary, according to Over the Cap.

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