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Where did Redskins run game go? Gruden wants to recommit to Fat Rob

Where did Redskins run game go? Gruden wants to recommit to Fat Rob

Since the Redskins inserted Robert Kelley into the starting running back spot, Washington's ground game has stabilized and improved. It's well documented that Kelley limits negative plays in the run game - something his predecessor Matt Jones struggled with.

Kelley got his first start in London against the Bengals, and he ran the ball 21 times for 87 yards and a touchdown, good for more than 4 yards-per-carry. From there, Kelley gained 97 yards against the Vikings and 137 against the Packers, both Redskins wins. And in those post-bye week victories over the NFC North foes, Kelley got the ball 22 and 24 times respectively. 

RELATED: THERE'S LOTS OF TALK ABOUT TRENT WILLIAMS AT GUARD INSTEAD OF TACKLE. DON'T LISTEN TO IT.

Coming off the Green Bay win, it seemed obvious that getting Kelley the ball more than 20 times per game was a big boost for the Redskins offense. Against the Packers, Washington piled up more than 500 yards of offense and Kelley averaged 5.7 YPC.

The 'Skins headed to Dallas riding high for a Thanksigving matchup, and quickly got into a big hole en route to a shootout loss. Jay Gruden explained after the game that being down multiple touchdowns early in the game forced Washington to get away from Kelley and rely on Kirk Cousins' arm. The QB's performance was impressive, he threw for more than 400 yards, but Kelley got just 14 carries.

In the Cowboys game, that made sense. 

Against Arizona this past weekend, Kelley again got just 14 carries. And that did not make sense.

"There’s no doubt about it, we would like to get more of [Kelley] involved," Gruden said on Monday.

The Redskins never trailed by more than a TD against the Cardinals like they did against the Cowboys. Washington even held two different second half leads in Arizona, and still, Kelley did not get the ball enough. 

Further, Kelley was running the ball well in the desert. Where he struggled against Dallas - 14 rushes for 37 yards, good for just 2.64 YPC - Kelley gained more than 60 yards on 14 carries against the Cards, good for a 4.5 YPC average.

"We ideally would like to get that running game going a little bit more – more touches for Robert because he’s been very good as far as running the football," Gruden said. "We have got to make sure that we get him more involved, maintain the time of possession and stay more balanced."

Beyond a balanced offense, Cousins often throws his best passes off play action. Without a commitment to the run game, the play action passing looks struggle. Usually one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL, Cousins did not play his best against the Cardinals. Some of that was missing throws, and some of it was heavy pressure from the Arizona defensive line. 

Regardless of the reason for Cousins' struggles - he completed only 21 of 37 pass attempts - more run plays might have helped the Redskins quarterback get into more of a rythym, not to mention slow down the Arizona pass rush.

In six wins this season, the Redskins have run the ball nearly 28 times per game. In five losses, that number dips to 19 runs per game. The proof is in the numbers. 

More Redskins: JAMISON CROWDER'S TOUCHDOWN DANCE WAS BETTER THAN HIS TOUCHDOWN

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Here's why there's a prop bet that Kyle Shanahan's 49ers will blow a significant lead

Here's why there's a prop bet that Kyle Shanahan's 49ers will blow a significant lead

The Super Bowl always brings obscure prop bets that raise eyebrows. Outside of the annual wagers on the color of Gatorade poured on the coach or the duration of the national anthem, each Super Bowl brings unique bets fans can make.

This year, one prop bet revolves around San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and what happened the last time he was on the sidelines for a Super Bowl. That was, of course, the infamous 2017 Super Bowl, when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.

His team had a commanding 28-3 lead with 8:31 to play in the third quarter. But as the Patriots went on their run to cut the deficit, the Falcons couldn’t muster a score of their own to put the game away. Further, Shanahan’s play-calling faced scrutiny for his fourth-quarter decisions not to run the ball to expend the clock.

As Shanahan gets set for a chance at Super Bowl redemption, the sportsbook PointsBet is offering 100-1 odds that his team will blow another 28-3 lead in this year’s Super Bowl.

Some may be hesitant to take those odds, chalking up the 2017 Super Bowl as a one-off. But a deeper dive into his time with the Redskins from 2010-2013 shows that Shanahan’s offenses were susceptible to reeling off dynamic starts before lowly second halves.

In just his second game manning the Redskins offense, Washington took a 27-10 lead over the Houston Texans with under four minutes to go in the third quarter. The Texans then scored 20 unanswered points to win 30-27 in overtime.

Two years later, also in Week 2, Shanahan and company raced out to a 21-6 lead midway through the second quarter and looked prime to improve to 2-0 with then-rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. But the offensive productivity fizzled out, and the Rams came back to win 31-28.

Shanahan’s most significant blown lead in Washington came in the Wild Card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. In the Redskins’ first playoff home game since 1999, the team staked a 14-0 lead in the first quarter but failed to score again thereafter en route to a 24-14 loss.

During the 2013 season, his last in Washington, Shanahan saw his offense falter after building two-score leads in three games.

Against the eventual Super Bowl runner-up Broncos, the Redskins held a 21-7 lead in the third quarter before Denver rallied to win decisively, 45-21. Two weeks later, the offense led the team to a 24-14 first half against the Vikings, but managed just one field goal in the second half in a 34-27 loss. And in a Week 13 home game against the Giants, Washington led 14-0 early in the second quarter, but eventually lost 24-17.

None of Shanahan’s blown leads in Washington were as high as 25 points, nor were they on one of the biggest stages in sports. But when you’re considering the 28-3 prop bet this year, just know that there are other results beyond the 2017 Super Bowl to base your decision on.

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Jerry Jones and his $250 million yacht are ready for Super Bowl LIV in Miami

Jerry Jones and his $250 million yacht are ready for Super Bowl LIV in Miami

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was seen on his $250 million yacht in Miami ahead of Super Bowl LIV. 

Jones' boat, the Bravo Eugenia, is 357-feet-long, three short of a regulation football field.

He will be reportedly hosting the "biggest and baddest of all of the Super Bowl Week parties."

The Cowboys had Super Bowl aspirations ahead of the 2019 season but could not live up to the hype.

The Cowboys finished the season at 8-8 and have a lot of questions ahead of them during the upcoming off-season.

Regardless of whether his squad would be competing in Miami for the Lombardi Trophy, Jones would be at Super Bowl LIV, and after bringing in Mike McCarthy as the team's new head coach, Jones has taken his talents to South Beach for the big game.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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