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Redskins vs. Packers report card: Coach and QB get top grades

Redskins vs. Packers report card: Coach and QB get top grades

Here is my report card on some players, coaches, and various other aspects of the Redskins’ 42-24 win over the Packers.

If you think I’m off or if I didn’t issue a grade where you think one is needed, hit the comments.


The fourth-down call alone would warrant the top grade for Jay Gruden. If the Redskins go on to make the playoffs it will go down in team lore. The call was a highly calculated gamble that took into account the score, the wind, how well Aaron Rodgers had been moving the team, and the play of the Redskins’ offensive line.

If I must explain this grade for Kirk Cousins to you, well, go take off your No. 10 jersey and actually watch the game.

For a while it was looking like Rob Kelley was going to have his first dud game as a starter as he got tackled for losses a few times. But he ended up with three TDs on his ledger and the clinching 66-yard run. As Gruden said, it’s going to be very hard to unseat him from the starting role. He does need to improve his hands when it comes to receiving but he gets a pass on that for now.

If you get over 100 yards receiving and score on a long touchdown pass like Pierre Garçon and Jamison Crowder both did, you get an A.



I had to look for a reason to downgrade Sean McVay’s play calling on offense because I’m handing out a lot of A’s. They averaged 8.3 yards per play and scored six touchdowns and a field goal on their last eight possessions (excluding the last series of kneel down plays) so it was hard. But I didn’t like the calls on either of the two-point conversion tries. It’s essentially a fourth and two play, throw the ball. It turned out to be a footnote but the misses could have been critical.

Rookie Su’a Cravens was his normal active self with a tackle for loss and a pass batted down. The facemask penalty could have been very costly had the Jordy Nelson “touchdown” been negated on replay.

As a whole, the defense played pretty well. They gave up 24 points to the Packers, about what the Packers average on the year. It’s also a point above the league average per team per game. When they really needed a takeaway, Josh Norman got it. In all they had two sacks, the fumble recovery, and an interception. In all, a good effort.


The Redskins’ strong safeties, Donte Whitner and Duke Ihenacho, both got burned on deep passes to tight ends. On both plays the tight end got behind them and the safety couldn’t catch up. Whitner did lead the team in tackles with 10 so the strong safety position didn’t get downgraded too far.

The officiating crew of John Hussey didn’t do a bad job overall but that touchdown “catch” by Jordy Nelson was just an awful call. What was worse was there were perfectly clear replay angles to provide evidence one way or the other but Hussey copped out with “the play stands”. Come on, man.

Preston Smith did not follow up on his big game against the Vikings. He was quiet, with two tackles. We will have to see if his game last week was a breakout or a blip.




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The Steelers won't tag Le'Veon Bell, meaning the RB will soon be an unrestricted free agent

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The Steelers won't tag Le'Veon Bell, meaning the RB will soon be an unrestricted free agent

Most NFL teams spend years searching for All-Pro offensive weapons. But in the past few days, the Steelers have indicated they're about to move on from two such players.

On Tuesday, Antonio Brown met with team management, and the franchise reportedly decided trading Brown was in their best interest.

Then, on Wednesday, Pittsburgh's GM said there would be no more tags applied to Le'Veon Bell, meaning he'll be an unrestricted free agent this March. 

There had been speculation the Steelers may continue their messy relationship with the running back by placing the transition tag on him. In the end, though, he'll get what he's wanted for quite some time now, albeit later than he wanted it: a chance for a big new contract on the open market.

Now, for all the Redskins fans reading this (hopefully of which there are many, because that'll make my bosses happy), the obvious, yet longshot, question is: Any chance Bell comes to Washington?

The answer, as with any high-priced free agent these days, is almost definitely not. The Redskins don't have money to burn like they routinely did a decade ago, and Bell's going to be craving lots of cash.

Furthermore, if the 'Skins are going to sign a running back, they're much more likely to bring back that Hall of Famer who went over 1,000 yards in 2018 despite arriving in August. Adrian Peterson's yearly salary should be about a third of what Bell's will be, the deal will be shorter and everyone on the Burgundy and Gold would welcome additional time with that particular No. 26.

Bell's going to make someone's offense a lot scarier in 2019. Just don't expect it to be Jay Gruden's.


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2019 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Who are the Redskins taking at 15?

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2019 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Who are the Redskins taking at 15?

As the calendar turns toward spring, one thing consumes the NFL: mock drafts. Leading up to the NFL Draft on April 25, many will try to predict which players each of the 32 teams will select. Though no one will know for sure until the names are called, it's still interesting to see what potential directions teams might go in.

Let's take a look at what some people believe the Redskins will do with their first round pick.

ESPN's Mel Kiper's NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Drew Lock (QB, Missouri) Kiper currently has Washington taking a quarterback in the first-round, but maybe not the one people were expecting. While Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins are viewed as first-round locks by many, the Missouri product's placement in the draft is not as certain. In this scenario, Kiper has Murray and Haskins off the board before Washington gets on the clock, making Lock the best available passer remaining. In his senior seaosn, Lock finished with 3,498 passing yards and 28 touchdowns.

CBS Sports' R.J. White: Devin White (ILB, LSU) Not a quarterback here. White has the Redskins using a pick on the junior linebacker. With questions surrounding what will happen with Zach Brown as well as pass-rushing linebacker Preston Smith, White could fill a need for the Redskins. 

CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) The Redskins take a passer in both of these mocks as well, just a different one. Jones, the junior from Duke, slides in at No. 15 behind both Murray and Haskins. However, Wilson also has Lock going before the Redskins pick, while Trapasso has him falling to No. 28. 

Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) More Jones here for the Redskins. The passer, who threw for 22 touchdowns in 2018, is the fourth quarterback off the board in this mock draft as Haskins, Murray and Lock all go in the top 10. 

USA Today's Luke Easterling: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) Starting to see a theme here? Not only does this mock draft have the Redskins selecting Jones, but it has them moving up to No. 12 to make the selection. Easterling describes Jones as, "a raw but promising passer." 

NFL Analyst Charley Casserly: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) Describing him as a passer with "excellent field vision, anticipation and accuracy," Casserly likes Jones in Washington.

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig: Montez Sweat (DE, Mississippi St.) As mentioned earlier, Preston Smith's time with the burgundy and gold could be coming to an end. Sweat, who recorded 11.5 sacks last season, impressed at the Senior Bowl and could make an impact from Day 1. While many see the Redskins taking a quarterback, Standig sees inside linebacker as a priority