Redskins Blow Opportunity, Postseason In Jeopardy After 38-14 Loss

All the momentum generated from the Thanksgiving Day win over the New York Giants fizzled as Washington failed to rise to the occasion and lost 38-14 to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night. The loss all but eliminates the Redskins from the postseason. Sitting at 5-7, head coach Jay Gruden and company would need to win out and still get some help in order to qualify for the playoffs.

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The win was the first for the Cowboys since losing star running back Ezekiel Elliott to a six-game suspension. Quarterback Dak Prescott, who had been in a serious funk over the last several weeks, finally got himself right. Prescott didn’t have great numbers – 11-for-22 for 102 yards – but he did throw for two touchdowns and he didn’t make many mistakes. Prescott was sacked just once and didn’t commit a turnover.

Gruden thought his team was ready to play but just couldn’t make plays when they were needed. “I wouldn’t say we weren’t ready to play,” Gruden said. “I think, one, they made a couple plays, and, two, we didn’t make the plays we normally make.”

For the Redskins, it was a game filled with mistakes. Quarterback Kirk Cousins looked impressive at times and did finish the game having completed 26-of-37 passes for 251 and two touchdowns. However, Cousins was sacked four times and threw two interceptions. That was not all. Cousins also fumbled twice losing one of them.

“It was just miscues,” said Cousins. “A dropped ball here, we had a nice drive down the field the second drive, just a tough turnover, and then it was one thing after another that were just mistakes. They happen, and we have to correct them.”

Jamison Crowder committed a few costly mistakes. He was on the receiving end of a Cousins’ pass that Crowder allowed to sneak through his hands. The pass was picked off by the Cowboys’ Jeff Heath. Just minutes later, Crowder then fumbled on a punt return giving the ball right back to Dallas.

Dallas, now 6-6, did not make mistakes and were aided by an outstanding performance by running back Alfred Morris. The Cowboys would rush for 182 yards led by 127 from Morris who carried 27 times and scored in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run.

After a scoreless first quarter, Dallas jumped out to a 17-0 lead thanks, in large part, to a dazzling 83-yard punt return by Ryan Switzer. Cousins and the Redskins would answer though with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Ryan Grant with just 59 seconds remaining in the first half.

The second half was all Dallas but for a Josh Docstson 14-yard touchdown reception from Cousins early in the fourth quarter. The loss does not officially eliminate Washington, but the chances of reaching the postseason are slim. To understand how slim – Dallas, Green Bay, Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, and Carolina must go 5-19 over the course of the next four weeks, and, of course, the Redskins must win out.

Winning out begins with a trip to Los Angeles where Gruden and company have to face the red-hot Chargers. A 19-10 win over the Browns last week gave the Chargers their third straight victory. L.A. is now 6-6 and has a very good chance of winning the AFC West. The Redskins will have to slow a very potent offense led by QB Philip Rivers. More importantly, the Chargers recent success is due to an improved defense that features one of the most feared pass rushes in the NFL. Joey Bosa (11.5) and

Melvin Ingram (8.5) have combined for 20 sacks so far this season.

If history is any indication, the Redskins own a 7-3 record over the Chargers all-time. The Redskins won the last time the two teams met in 2013. The last two times (2001, 2010) Washington played the Chargers on the road – the franchise was in San Diego – the Redskins lost.

Redskins Defeat Giants, Face Must-Win Against Cowboys Thursday

It was far from pretty, but sometimes pretty doesn’t matter. Washington got two touchdown passes from quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Redskins defense held the hapless New York Giants to just 170 yards of total offense in a 20-10 Thanksgiving Day victory.

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“We found a way to win and the defense kept us in the game all night long,” said Cousins, who connected on 19-of-31 passes for 242 yards. “This game just tests you every week and you have those moments throughout the game that emotionally you just get punched in the gut.”

The Redskins were tested all game long as Cousins and the Redskins’ offense produced all of one field goal in the first half. In fact, the Giants and Redskins combined for nine punts and just six points in the opening half of play. The winners’ first-half scoring drive consisted of 38 yards. The big play on the drive was a 37-yard pass interference penalty. That gives you an idea of how lethargic the offenses were in the first half.

“There were several sloppy plays that I would chalk up to the fact that they were sloppy because it was a short week,” said Cousins. The Redskins had faced New Orleans in a tough 34-31 loss just four days prior to Thursday’s win. “I’m glad we found a way to win.”

Find a way they did. Cousins would locate Jamison Crowder on a 15-yard scoring strike in the third quarter to give Washington a 10-3 lead. The eventual game-winner came on a 14-yard toss to last year’s first-round pick WR Josh Doctson with 3:31 left in the game. A Nick Rose 33-yard field goal with 1:49 to play provided insurance.

The Giants’ lone touchdown also came on a Cousins’ pass, one that Janoris Jenkins intercepted and returned 53 yards for a score late in the third quarter. The 53 yards on Jenkins’ return were more than the Giants’ entire offensive output of the second half. Head coach Ben McAdoo’s offense gained 47 yards and exactly one first down in the final two quarters of play.

Rookie running back Samaje Perine gained 100 yards on 24 carries and Crowder had game-highs in receptions (7) and receiving yards (141). The 84 rushing yards allowed and the four sacks of Giants’ QB Eli Manning are steps in the right direction for a Redskins defense that is far from where it needs to be. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky needs his unit to be equally sharp this coming Thursday when the Redskins travel to AT&T Stadium to take on the Dallas Cowboys.

Like Washington, Dallas played on Thanksgiving Day though the Cowboys’ result was far less pleasing. Dallas lost for the third consecutive week and the Ezekiel Elliott-less offense produced a mere six points. In the three games since Elliott began serving his six-game suspension, the Cowboys have put up a whopping 22 points. The defense hasn’t fared much better giving up 92 points in the three losses.

At 5-6, the Redskins cannot afford a loss on Thursday if they wish to continue entertaining the idea of the postseason. Head coach Jay Gruden believes his quarterback can lead his team to the playoffs. “It’s kind of like baseball – October, right? Mr. October?” said Gruden. “Consistency is very important but the bigger the game, the bigger the show you want your quarterback to have.”

In 2015 after starting 3-5, Cousins was able to lead the Redskins to a 9-7 finish and a berth in the NFC playoffs. Washington will not face the same Cowboys team that beat them 33-19 in October. Dallas has been ineffective since the loss of Elliott. To finish the season, the Redskins have four very winnable

games with the Chargers, Cardinals, Broncos, and the Giants for a second time.

Redskins-Vikings halftime update

The game started fast. The Vikings deferred and wanted to test their Defense against the Redskins injured offense. Game on. Redskins promptly marched down the field and quickly threw a Touchdown pass to Maurice Harris. Coach Gruden had to challenge the ruling, but the Redskins clicked. Minnesota quickly and efficiently responded with a touchdown of their own. Maybe this game of a broken offense vs a strong defense has shootout potential.

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The first half moved quick. Shot for shot. Punt for punt. Touchdown for field goal? The Redskins offense has been able to move the ball. Able to put points on the board. The issues so far has been the defense. That stellar defense that held it together against Seattle couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down. Minnesota moved the ball at will. Then it happened. 1:45 left on the clock, 1 time out, and Cousins throws his pick. His notorious pick. Minnesota again quickly scored. The defense, this time put in a tough spot, still could not stop the Vikings.

This isn’t how many expected this game to be. A 27-17 half. The Redskins scoring 17 on a strong defense would typically mean the game is close. For many, especially after last week, the defense was viewed as the strength. The unit that could rally past injuries and could keep this team afloat. Right now they’ve been sinking us and the Vikings are ready to raid and pillage.

Need to Know: Redskins vs Vikings

Week 10 of the 2017-2018 season is upon us. The Washington Redskins will take the field here in Landover, Maryland in just a few short hours to take on the Minnesota Vikings. The DTC crew is live from FedEx field with 5 quick thoughts you need to know before kickoff at 1:00pm eastern.20171112_152715673_iOS

  1. The weather. The forecast earlier this week was calling for a slight bit of rain showers with the possibility of snow showers. It looks like the rain has decided to hold off and its not quite cold enough for any type of wintery precipitation. The field is in as good as condition as possible for a mid-November game. The grass is green outside the numbers, and in as moderate shape as possible inside the numbers for a mid-November game.  
  2. The offensive line seems to be getting a little healthier. It looks like Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff will possibly give it a go today, with Long and Lauvao still questionable. That means there is a chance that the full starting offensive line may be ready to go. If this offensive line is healthy enough to create some running lanes for Rob Kelly, Chris Thompson and the running game, it would be a huge boost to this offense.
  3. Maurice Harris was promoted to the 53 man roster yesterday. That may mean the Redskins aren’t expecting Brian Quick to be cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol. It will be interesting to see if Maurice Harris is on the field to return kicks and punts, and if he gets any run at WR.
  4. Teddy Bridgewater is slated to be Case Keenum’s backup. It’s not hard for me to imagine that if Case struggles that Mike Zimmer pulls the plug and drops Teddy Bridgewater in. It will be interesting to see how long the Case leash is. The Redskins defense may have to ultimately game plan for 2 different quarterbacks.
  5. Stephon Diggs had a field day against the Redskins defense just one year ago. Diggs was targeted 15 times and caught 13 for 164 yards. Of which most came in the first half against Kendall Fuller. Fuller is playing leaps and bounds better this year; however, it will be interesting to see if Fuller can get the better of Diggs today.

Game Preview: Vikings at Redskins w/BJ from Vikings Territory

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The Vikings and Redskins will battle again this week for the fifth time in eight season. This is the second time in as many seasons that the Vikings will come to DC and just as in past years these teams mirror each other in more than just record and conference positioning. Neither team can run the ball very well and both teams have playoff-caliber defenses. The Vikings have talent at wide receiver with average quarterback play, while the Redskins have talent at quarterback with average (below-average) wide receivers. Joe and Steve recap the week that was in Seattle and preview the upcoming game with BJ Reidell who covers the Vikings for multiple outlets including the About the Labor Podcast, VikingsTerritory.com, and Bleacher Report as well. Steve and Joe both have the Redskins winning… but what about BJ? Tune in and find out! (photo credit: Redskins.com)