Category Archives: Redskins

Redskins-Ravens Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games. This time a 16-10 win at Baltimore to move to 3-2 that was thiiis close from being 17-16 …

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Jamison Crowder — 85-yard punt return to the house?! The Skins’ first PR TD in 125 games, since 2008. Pre-Obama.

Pierre Garcon — Good to see 88 in the end zone. First time this season.

Will Blackmon — Was not expecting a big kick return from 41, but here we are.

Trent Murphy — Picked up a half sack, is still pressuring QBs out there this year.

Jose Lobaton and Daniel Murphy — Loby hit a three-run homer, after hitting just three all season, and Murphy got two RBI basehits, after getting basehits all season long. This was a stressful and ultimately joyous afternoon.


Matt Jones — Fumbled on his own 15 and only got 2.2 yards/carry, bringing his bandwagon to a halt.

DeSean Jackson — Absent from the game plan for most of it. Got his first catch in the fourth quarter.

Jay Gruden and Sean McVay — While we’re on the game plan, and pardon me if I have this wrong, because I was watching a lot of Nats too, but I think they threw on 3rd-and-1 about five times and failed each time.

The run defense — Allowed 6.2 yards per carry. That Baltimore threw it 46 times is a gift.

Dustin Hopkins — Missed an extra point as well as his first FG of 2016, a 56-yarder that fell just short. I still love Dustin Hopkins.


Josh Norman — Banged himself up so badly in the first half he reportedly “could not move his right arm.” Then came back in only to get beaten for the game-winning (losing?) score … that was then overturned. God bless.

Duke Ihenacho — Broke up Baltimore’s fake FG pass attempt, which could not have been more obvious. Also whiffed on a 35-yard Terrance West run. Has a great name.

Kirk Cousins — The TD to Garcon was a beautiful throw. The INT inside his 20 was godawful. The results were just good enough.

Redskins-Browns Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games. This time a 31-20 win over Cleveland to get to 2-2.

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Josh Norman — Struggled with Terrelle Pryor Sr., but saved the day with a boss interception in the fourth quarter.

Jordan Reed — Good things happen when the ball is thrown to 86. Today those included his first two scores of the year.

Trent Murphy — A few tackles in the backfield plus his fourth sack of the year, a new career high.

Matt Jones — 138 yards and a TD on 24 touches, continuing his progression:

Week 1 — 33 total yards
Week 2 — 65 total yards
Week 3 — 79 total yards
Week 4 — 138 total yards

Arie Kouandjio and Spencer Long — Filled in fine at left guard and center, it seemed.

Dustin Hopkins — Nailed a 49-yarder to maintain perfection for the season. Continues to be a kickoff master.

Tress Way — Penned Cleveland on the 2-yard line when they needed it, averaged 53.5 yards on two punts.

NFC East — The Eagles, Cowboys, Giants and Skins are 7-1 outside of the division, with Skins-Steelers in Week 1 being the only loss.


The defense — Poor tackling. No resistance to the run. Couldn’t get off the field on third down. Allowed 70% completions and got just one sack on a rookie QB who was the backup to RGIII’s backup. Probably would’ve blown this game if not for two forced fumbles/recoveries in the second half.

Injured players — The Skins were already short, then Ryan Kerrigan, Su’a Cravens and others went out.

Jeff Triplette — Called Norman for “shooting a bow and arrow,” which isn’t a real penalty.


DeSean Jackson — Only five yards on two official targets. But also about 70 yards on two PI calls. Maybe throw the ball to 11.

Kirk Cousins — After a good start, this was Shaky Cousins. Threw a gross pick and made some bad decisions with the ball, but threw for three TDs on 78% completions. No longer on pace to threaten the season passing yards record, which is fine.

Redskins-Giants Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 29-27 win at New York …

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Su’a Cravens — Gorgeous game-clinching INT for the rookie safety/LB we all have high hopes for.

Kirk Cousins — This wasn’t Good Kirk, but it wasn’t Bad Kirk either (except for taking that sack at the end of the first half). A step in the right direction. By the way, he’s on pace for 5,275 passing yards, which would be the third-most ever.

Jamison Crowder — Four catches for 78 yards, including a 55-yard TD. Also broke off a 50-yard punt return that featured him dancing on both sidelines.

Quinton Dunbar — I have no idea what he was doing on the punt return he accidentally touched that later turned into a TD for NY. But that high degree of difficulty one-handed red-zone INT made up for it. Also caught a fake-punt downfield pass like he was DeSean.

DeSean Jackson — Five catches for 96 yards and one beautiful score. Continues to look good this (contract) year.

Josh Norman — ODB got some (seven catches, 121 yards), but it took 11 targets to do it, and he never found paydirt. Oh, and Norman made him cry.

Jordan Reed — Unreal one-handed catch-and-run on a long third down for a first.

David Bruton Jr. — Even though it wasn’t ruled as such, that looked like an end-zone INT to me.

Trent Murphy — Another sack. That’s three in two weeks.

Chris Baker — Absolutely crushed Eli, forcing a fumble.

Dustin Hopkins — Five-for-five on field goals, and the only kickoff he didn’t touchback was a short one that was returned shy of the 25 (more on that later).

Tress Way — Who knew Tress Way had an arm on him?

Jay GrudenNot calling timeout at the end of the half was bad clock management, and running it on third-and-three on the final drive was too conservative, but they did have a more balanced offense and got a much-needed win at New York, so here we are.

The raised fists — Nice to see, in light of Gruden’s earlier comments.


Bashaud Breeland, Shaun Lauvao, DeAngelo Hall and Kory Lichtensteiger — All hurt, and Breeland and Lavau better not be for long. Hall’s may be an ACL.

Dashaun Phillips — All I know is he can’t stay with Sterling Shephard.

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Trent Williams — Had to play some left guard, where he’d never played before.

Matt Jones and Chris Thompson — Twenty-three carries for 88 yards. Okay.

Robert Kelley — Between the hair and lack of extra yards, it’s hard to tell the difference between him and Jones.

Orleans Darkwa — What’s an Orleans Darkwa?

Ben Kowitca (special teams coach) — Had a punt blocked (negated by penalty). Pulled off a successful fake punt. And I’m not sure if this is strategy or what, but each of the past two weeks Hopkins has pooched a kickoff high and to the right, and the other team hasn’t gotten it out to the 25. Something to watch.

Redskins-Cowboys Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games. This time a 27-23 home loss to Dallas …

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Josh NormanHis office remained mostly stationary, set up on the left side of the field. He did shut Dez Bryant down whenever they were matched up, though, and punched a fumble out of Ezekiel Elliott’s breadbasket. As good as advertised so far.

Trent Murphy — One-and-a-half sacks and a forced fumble! Trent Murphy sighting!

Chris ThompsonThis blitz pickup, on a third-and-seven, is a thing of beauty. Nice catch-and-run for 38 on the final drive.

Jamison Crowder — That was a hell of a TD catch. Also caught six balls on eight targets.

Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis — Ten catches and 121 yards on 12 targets for the duo.

Dustin Hopkins — Two shorts FGs and plenty of touchbacks. Did not leave a surprise onside kick well short of the 10-yard mark.

Alfred Morris — Scored an untouched go-ahead TD in his triumphant return. Wish we could cheer for him still.


Kirk Cousins — The missed connection with a wide-open Crowder and the back-breaking end-zone INT were bad enough. But it was the little things, too. He’s not good right now, and the Redskins are bad when he’s not good.

Those calling for Colt McCoy — Start Cousins until he’s hurt.

The defense — Dallas shouldn’t score 27 points when they don’t have Tony Romo. Chalk it up to adjustment issues? Maybe, but also to Norman and Ryan Kerrigan being surrounded by replacement-level talent.

Jay Gruden and Sean McVay — Fifty planned passes versus 15 planned runs in a game that was tight throughout. They were getting 4.1 yards per carry, too. The bloom is coming off of a lot of roses.

Bashaud Breeland — Had trouble with Dez and tackled Cole Beasley for pass interference on the goal line. Tough season for 26.

Kory Lichtensteiger — The much-maligned center somehow messed up the snap on a spike play, forcing a 10-second runoff with 18 to play. You don’t see that much.

David Bruton Jr. — Doesn’t tackle too good.

John WallC’mon, man.


Matt Jones — Thirteen carries for 61 yards and a badly needed TD. Doesn’t seem capable of breaking tackles or getting extra yards.

DeSean Jackson — Three catches for 40 yards. He’d be a monster right now if Cousins was cooking.

Josh Doctson — Caught and ran one for 57 when the whole defense was keyed in on DeSean. Was also targeted on three end-zone fades, none of which were caught.

Redskins-Steelers Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a season-opening 38-16 loss to Pittsburgh at home on Monday Night Football …


Matthew McCounaghey — The burgundy-and-gold suit was a nice touch.

Jordan Reed — Impressive on the first drive, at least.

DeSean Jackson — Six catches for 102 yards. Reinforced the opinion that he’s in for a big year.

Chris Thompson — Scored a TD on the day his brother got out of prison.

Sean McDonough — Liked him in his MNF debut, especially when he asked Jon Gruden, “Do you want to blast your brother?” for punting on 4th-and-1 from the Pittsburgh 40.

Arthur Moats — Started at LB for Pittsburgh. Go Dukes!

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Kirk Cousins — So that was terrible. Inaccurate out of the gate, he had one bad INT dropped and another bad INT caught. Rushed throws and failed to scramble — or even move, really — all night. Clear regression from the second half of last year. Showed why you don’t hand out a huge contract based on a 10-game stretch.

Jay Gruden — Chose to kick and punt on two 4th-and-short situations in Pittsburgh territory in the first half. Resulted in three points. Mike Tomlin went for it twice on 4th-and-1 in Washington territory. Resulted in 14 points.

Bashaud Breeland — Had the near-impossible assignment of matching up with Antonio Brown most of the night, one-on-one in many cases, and was burnt for two TDs. Better gear up for more WR1s down the line.

Matt Jones — Seven carries for 24 yards. (Didn’t fumble or get hurt, though.)

Jamison Crowder — Fair caught with no one in his area code. Fumbled after making a first down (Pierre Garcon recovered).

Trent Williams — Penalized twice. That should be his season total.

Greg Toler — Looked real bad in coverage on a 42-yard catch by Sammie Coates.

The defense in general — No pass rush. Couldn’t stop the run. Couldn’t get off the field. May be a long season.

D.C.-area Dancing With the Stars fansSorry, y’all.


Antonio Brown — Penalized for twerking. Is so, so good.

Josh NormanGot into a shouting match with a teammate, and it was downhill from there. Didn’t play bad, and nearly made a couple big plays, but he was on the other side of the field from Brown most of the night. Bummer.

Ryan Kerrigan — Strip-sacked Big Ben and then got stripped himself. Better luck next time.


Redskins 2016 Offseason Grade: B?

Old friend of the site Bill Barnwell is handing out offseason grades over at ESPN, and his NFC East batch gives the Skins a B. Solid.

The highlights? Franchising Cousins and swapping Culliver for Norman. The lowlight? Not improving the backfield, unless you think cutting FroMo is addition by subtraction.

I thought it was a good offseason, though so much of it comes down to the draft. And at least Dallas got a C.

Redskins-Packers Predictions


As ever, these are our crackerjack staff’s predictions for the Wild Card game. Make yours down in the comments. Whoever comes closest gets to make a guest post on this here weblog.

JP Finlay: Redskins, 34-20

This seems ridiculous to write, but I think the Skins roll. Rodgers has been sacked 14 times his last two games. Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan have five sacks just between the two of them in the last two. It’s bad math for Green Bay between their slumping O-line and the Skins surging D-line.

Oh yeah, the Redskins offense is cooking. They will score. Wild Card round is usually about the hot hand; few are hotter than Kirk Cousins.

Are there reasons to worry? Of course. Aaron Freaking Rodgers ranks No. 1. And certainly some part of Gruden/McVay/Cousins could get tight. I just don’t see it happening though.

When you’re at a hot blackjack table, don’t get up.

Matt Terl: Packers, 24-21

I can’t believe, after everything, that this team has a home playoff game in which they were somehow (however briefly) favored. Like Kevin Stroop noted here earlier this week, that’s a hell of an accomplishment all by itself. I still feel like Rodgers and the Packers will wind up winning the game, but good on Gruden and Cousins and the Skins for even making this a conversation at all.

Todd Davis: Redskins, 27-23

I’m completely with Finlay on this game. While it would be the most Washington thing to buck the very strong “hot teams win WC games” trend, Green Bay just can’t score consistently right now and the Skins shaky secondary really isn’t something the current group of Packers receivers looks capable of exploiting. Biggest concern is Turnover Cousins returning as playoff sphincters clinch, but he’s playing with house money and it would take an awful lot of disaster to knock this group’s confidence right now.

Andy Peden: Packers, 28-27

I said before the season I was no longer emotionally invested in the Skins. That probably wasn’t the right description. I think it was more like I’m not going to let the losses ruin my day, but I still care. So now that the unbelievable has happened (division champs) and I actually believe this team can win a playoff game, I will have my soul crushed Sunday.

Jack Kogod: Redskins, 27-21

BANDWAGON is out in full force. I’m still not on it though. My brother asked when I’d quit with the “don’t care about the Redskins” act, and I honestly don’t have an answer. I’m not sure what it would take to get me invested in this franchise again. The new GM is definitely a good start, but I still feel like it’s a long way off. That said, I would love for this team to make my friends and family happy again, even if it means Dan Snyder being happy.

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Chris Mottram: Packers, 34-31

The Panthers get the bye week they deserve (although you could argue Week 17 against the Bucs was one too lol) after proving to be the best team in football this season. I’m hoping they get to the play the Redskins in the Divisional Round cause that team SUCKS, but Carolina shouldn’t be afraid of whoever comes to town.

Jamie Mottram: Redskins, 30-20

Given how little was expected, I’m happy with this season no matter what. Just like 2005 and 2007. And 2012, too, if not for the franchise-crippling injury at the end there.

The Redskins hired a real GM, found their quarterback (we think) and won the NFC East. All good things. All great things. But that doesn’t mean I’m just fine with a loss on Sunday.

You don’t root for nine wins, or the division, or to be hanging from the bottom rung of the NFL’s upper class.

They have about a 50-percent chance of winning Sunday. Then maybe a 40-percent chance on the road against Carolina or Arizona next week. And then maybe another 40-percent chance should they make it to the conference title. After that, let’s take it back up to 50, because who knows. There’s about a four-percent chance Washington goes all the way, is what I’m saying. That’s four points better than Dallas, Philly and New York.

Beat Green Bay, make it to the elite eight. Then go win the whole fuckin’ thing.

Composite prediction: Redskins, 28-24

The Redskins Are Playing With Found Money

Guest writer and longtime Skins fan Kevin Stroop stops by to give thanks before Sunday’s Redskins-Packers playoff game at FedEx Field.


This has to be one of the most unexpected division titles in Redskins history. As a fan, I am still in shock.

So how does this year feel different than the 2012 division title? Well, simply put, there were no expectations on this team this year. In 2012 there was a hint of optimism coming into the season. There was none of that this year.

We all remember the 2012 season and what that felt like. That second-half run to the playoffs and division title gave us a hint of what we thought was to come. The stadium in that week 17 game vs. Dallas was unlike anything I have ever felt. Euphoria doesn’t even begin to describe it.

We had invested so much in that team and expected so much that it felt like the payoff we deserved. We finally had a Super Bowl-winning coach and a game-changing franchise QB. Good times were ahead of us. Reality proved to be a lot different.

In 2015, we were still recovering from the aftermath of the 2012 season. The fans were apathetic. The team’s goals were simple: find out if they had a quarterback and show some improvement over last year’s four-win campaign.

Winning the division wasn’t even a consideration. For good reason, every single NFL prediction had the Redskins finishing in last place in the division. Vegas had them at 125-1 to win the Super Bowl and 15-1 to win the NFC East. Any sampling of NFL previews looked similar to this, from Bleacher Report:

This era of Washington football is dark and grim … General Manager Scot McCloughan has a long way ahead of him to rebuild this franchise, and [Jay] Gruden, while seemingly inept, appears to have job security heading into his sophomore season as the top dog. No one in Washington is thinking about laying it on the line for 2015. You shouldn’t be, either.

Earning the 2015 division title was a complete surprise. Clinching a division title in the NFL with eight wins is like finding $100 on the ground; you grab it and thank your lucky stars. Yes, the Redskins were fortunate to play in a bad division and they were fortunate to play only three teams with a winning record. But let’s not discount the team as pushovers.

They are 6-2 in their last eight games and also 6-2 at home. Kirk Cousins has put together an impressive string of games. The defense has come together and the Redskins have their key players on both sides of the ball playing well and staying healthy.

It’s not uncommon for a home team to defeat a team with a better record in the playoffs. And for all the talk about how bad the NFC East is, the Redskins were a respectable 5-5 out of the division.

Looking ahead, we do not know what 2016 will bring to this team. I think it is reasonable to assume the core will be back in Burgundy & Gold and we will eagerly anticipate the start of the season. There is no guarantee of a carryover to next season, though.

Occasionally, teams have this kind of year only to fade the next season. Look no further than the NFC East, where each team has won exactly two division titles in the last eight years, and no team has repeated as division champ since Philly in 2004.

In 2016, we may find out that Cousins is not a franchise QB. The team’s running woes may prove fatal. The defense may stink. The first-place schedule may bury them.

However, the NFC East should be there for the taking. Dallas should be better, but the Giants are doing Giants things, and the Eagles are recovering from the dumpster fire that is (was) Chip Kelly, so there is hope.

As for me, I am going to enjoy the ride this time, unburdened by expectations. I will be at the game on Sunday hoping for a win, but more than satisfied with the team if they lose. The enjoyment I’ve gotten from watching them this year has been found money, and I’m spending it without any regrets.

Have You Ever Looked At Jay Schroeder’s Pro Football Reference Page?

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 10.23.56 PMKirk Cousins’ amazing 2015 regular season, capped off by a fantastic Week 17 performance, brought something obvious into focus: Washington hasn’t enjoyed excellent quarterbacking during the modern, pass-heavy era.

Cousins broke a franchise record with 4,166 passing yards, you see. That’s only good for 10th in the NFL this season, but it’s more than any Washington passer ever, breaking Jay Schroeder’s 29-year-old mark of 4,109 in 1986.

I hadn’t thought about Schroeder in some time, but when I did think of him a few things came to mind:

*He had really blond hair and a very strong arm.
*He spent a good long time in the Blue Jays farm system.
*He bridged the gap between Theismann and Williams-Rypien.
*He was a decent quarterback, but not quite good enough.
*He was traded to Oakland for Jim Lachey, who was awesome.

While that’s all true and interesting enough, I didn’t realize just how fascinating Schroeder’s career was. Behold its curious magnificence, via his Pro Football Reference page:

1. Washington went 24-7 in games started by Schroeder, and 2-1 in playoff games. QB wins are bullshit, but that’s incredible, and it’s a credit to those Joe Gibbs-led Skins teams (and certainly to Gibbs himself).

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2. Schroeder threw 22 picks the year he set the record. That sounds like a ton, and it is, but it was also in line with his body of work and very much a sign of the time. Those 22 INTs tied Hall of Famers Phil Simms and Dan Fouts that year for fourth, and HOFers Warren Moon and Dan Marino threw 26 and 23, respectively.

3. His completion percentage that season was only 51.0%. And that’s actually slightly above his career average of 50.8%.

4. Schroeder was No. 1 in ’86 in yards per completion with 14.9. He actual led the NFL in this stat three times, and his career high was 17.0 with Oakland in ’89. (As a point of comparison, Cousins only averaged 11.0 this year, though he did complete 69.8% of his passes, so their yards per attempt were similar.)

5. His QB rating across three seasons with the Skins was only 73.0. That’s not great, even then. He did post a 90.8 with the Raiders in ’90, though.

6. He posted winning records with the Raiders and Cardinals, too. Schroeder went 32-25 across five seasons with Los Angeles and 5-3 in his one season with Arizona. He even led the Raiders to an AFC Championship game, meaning he was one win away from the Super Bowl with two different teams, going 12-4 both seasons. Not bad for a pretty mediocre, somewhat forgettable QB. (Or was he?)

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