Happy belated birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who would have been 86 on Jan. 15 (his actual birthday), and a Happy Inauguration Day to all. Regardless of your political persuasion, everyone can enjoy a balmy Monday off of work in the middle of January.
Unless, of course, you’re working today, in which case thank you for choosing to procrastinate with the Redskins.
Yesterday’s playoff football action determined that the Baltimore Ravens will face the San Francisco 49ers on Super Bowl Sunday in two weeks.
Even if you don’t give two hoots about the matchup, there are many heart-stopping appetizers and hilarious commercials to be watched that day, so there is something for everyone.
To find out how the Redskins’ player predictions and a weird statistical anomaly played out, check the link below: Read more »
Tags: buffalo bills, london fletcher, Lorenzo Alexander, miami dolphins, new england patriots, new york jets, san francisco 49ers, Super Bowl, washington redskins
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Lorenzo Alexander is one of the few Redskins players to ever win the Media Good Guy award multiple years, and did so in both 2011 and 2012. Alexander has a well-deserved reputation for offering honest, thoughtful insight into his life and his role with the Washington Redskins.
So it should come as no surprise that the “One Man Gang” can handle himself comfortably on camera, providing CSN Washington with a player’s perspective in the lead-up to this weekend’s NFL Championship action.
Alexander has the benefit of having played each of the four remaining teams at home in the last two seasons, with the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots in 2011 and the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons in 2012.
He speaks with the poise and confidence of a veteran newscaster, and has a second career in sports if he so chooses.
Hear what he had to say, below: Read more »
Tags: Atlanta Falcons, baltimore ravens, Lorenzo Alexander, new england patriots, san francisco 49ers, washington redskins
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On Thursday, star linebacker London Fletcher was a guest on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on ESPN Radio.
Fletcher spoke with Cowherd about his thoughts on the four remaining teams left in the playoffs: the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, and San Francisco 49ers.
Fletcher has some “inside” knowledge on all four contenders. The Redskins played the Falcons and Ravens this year as well as the Patriots and 49ers last year.
Find out what London had to say about each team here (via ESPN Radio):
Tags: Atlanta Falcons, baltimore ravens, london fletcher, new england patriots, san francisco 49ers, washington redskins
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If any Redskins player should understand tonight’s Super Bowl matchup, it’s linebacker London Fletcher.
Beginning his illustrious career in St. Louis, his Rams played Brady’s Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, exactly a decade ago. In a shocking upset (which has since been questioned in Spygate), the Patriots pulled out a late victory, launching the first dynasty of the 21st century.
From St. Louis, Fletcher left to join the Bills, where he faced the Patriots twice a year for five years, solidifying his rivalry with New England.
After his time in Buffalo, Fletcher brought his talents to Washington, where he became a part of the storied Redskins-Giants tradition–two teams that have played the other 157 times. And after taking on these two teams a combined three times this season, he has a pretty good idea of what he’s looking at across the line of scrimmage.
Tags: Don Banks, london fletcher, new england patriots, sports illustrated, tom brady, washington redskins
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At the end of the second quarter, the Redskins were in a position to go into halftime with an amazing 20-17 lead. Standing between them was Tom Brady in the 2-minute offense.
Thanks to a 50-yard catch and run by Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots were in long field goal range with about a minute to go. Two plays later on a second-and-four play, Tom Brady scrambled up the middle for three yards before tucking into a slide. Here’s the play as it happened:
Tags: linebacker, london fletcher, mike shanahan, new england patriots, tom brady, washington redskins
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The last time that the Redskins clashed with the Patriots was in 2007 under mildy New England skies.
Quarterback Jason Campbell threw a touchdown and an interception, in addition to fumbling the ball three times on three sacks. The Redskins rushing attack managed only 47 yards on the ground, while the defense yielded 486 total yards to the Pats’ fabled offense.
Fans who watched it all the way through managed to see the Redskins tack on a touchdown onto the scoring parade, with the game mercifully ending at 52-7.
The scary thing is that some people expected that to happen again, yesterday–or worse. But the Redskins showed up in a big way.
This season has been defined by progress. When the team came out of training camp with 25 players with less than three years experience, it was considered a sign of progress towards a much-needed influx of youth. When the team started out 3-1, it was seen as progress towards competitiveness. When the team lost six-straight, but kept fighting and didn’t fracture emotionally, it was considered progress in character.
And when the Redskins showed up yesterday, they proved that they have the heart to show up ready to play. Last week’s late loss to the Jets could have deflated this group, but they rose to the occasion. Injuries and suspensions have utterly decimated a Redskins’ offense that nearly out-dueled the NFL’s No. 2 offense. The defense picked off Tom Brady, who hadn’t thrown an interception since Week 9.
Even in a loss, yesterday was a fine example of progress, as the Redskins played perhaps their best game all season. Yesterday, the Redskins showed that their progress is paying off, and that there’s a lot to look forward to, both immediately and in the future.
Special kudos for yesterday’s game go out to the following players:
On Offense: Roy Helu
Who else? This young man is showing the vast potential of mid-round backs in the Shanahan system, putting up three-consecutive 100-yard games with his 126 yards yesterday. With yesterday’s performance, he is:
- The first rookie running back to accomplish this feat in franchise history.
- The first of his 2011 rookie draft class to do so.
- The first Redskins running back since Clinton Portis went five-straight in 2008.
- The first 100-yard rusher against the Patriots this season.
Even though he didn’t get his first career start until Week 8 against San Francisco, Helu has already accomplished multiple feats never seen before in this organization. That’s not just noteworthy, that’s downright impressive.
On Defense: Barry Cofield
Cofield will never get the credit that he deserves as the 3-4 nose tackle in Washington, but fortunately, he doesn’t seem to mind. He finished yesterday with five tackles, putting him at 55 on the season. He added in a half-sack of Brady, and was credited with his league leading (among nose tackle) ninth pass defensed.
On Special Teams: Brandon Banks
Admittedly, this recognition goes for his overall performance, not just what he was able to do on special teams. Banks got all of his work on kickoff returns yesterday, managing 117 total return yards. But when you combine that with his 49-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter–now we’re talking. Notes on that pass:
- Was the first by a Redskins receiver since Oct. 5, 2008, when Antwaan Randle El threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chris Cooley at Philadelphia.
- The longest by a non-quarterback in Redskins’ history, beating the previous long of 48, set on a Randle El pass to Moss vs. the New York Giants on Dec. 30, 2006.
- It was the first of Banks’ career. He did not attempt a pass in college during his time at either Kansas State or Bakersfield College (Calif.).
- The touchdown reception was the 35th of Moss’ tenure with the Redskins, tying him with Ricky Sanders for seventh-most in team history.
Here are the rest of your random assortment of game notes: Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, barry cofield, brandon banks, David Anderson, Donte Stallworth, evan royster, Jabar Gaffney, josh wilson, new england patriots, rex grossman, roy helu, Santana Moss, sav rocca, stephen bowen, washington redskins, Willie smith
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With only two minutes left in the game, it looked like the Redskins were destined to capitalize on a defensive takeaway and drive the length of the field. Here were my exact thoughts at the 2-minute warning:
In the classic kiss-of-death scenario, the CBS crew flashed the Tom Brady stats that he hadn’t thrown an interception in 200 consecutive passing opportunities, good for best in the league.
Thank you, CBS statisticians.
Two plays later, Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson ended that streak, plucking the ball away from would-be receiver Tiquan Underwood in the back of the end zone. This follows in a long tradition of sports commentators ruining streaks for players, but the Redskins were the beneficiaries today.
In other television news, Brady was shown on the sidelines, trading obscenities with an assistant coach. Brady remained seated on the bench, but the assistant had to be restrained by other players, including Underwood and Bill Belichick. Whatever soap opera is being played out on the Patriots’ sidelines can only be a benefit to the Redskins at this point.
And that seemed like a logical perspective. By getting the takeaway, not only had ample time to march the length of the field, but they had the opportunity to tie or win it without giving Brady another chance with the ball.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Santana Moss was flagged for offensive pass interference on a goal line reception, pushing them back to the 15. On third-and-goal from the 10, Moss was hit as he made the reception, jarring the ball loose and causing an awkward hot-potato shovel pass to the safety in coverage.
By losing today, the Redskins ensure a losing season and eliminate themselves from playoff consideration. But for the first time all season, they stood toe-to-toe with a quality opponent. Excluding the two Cowboys games, they haven’t played all that well against bona fide playoff competition.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Patriots are as bona fide as it gets, and they were playing all of their star players. This was a Redskins team lacking both starting tight ends, both starting tackles (three offensive linemen total), and nearly pulling off something that 79 percent of football fans thought to be impossible.
What was the difference between the best team of the 2000s and your Redskins? Today, it was about five yards.
What fans should take solace in, is that this team has proven that they’re headed in the right direction. The guys that head coach Mike Shanahan called “developmental picks” and “guys that projected well,” are now working their way into the lineup and playing competently. Obviously guys like Roy Helu are exceeding simple competency.
The Redskins could have folded today in the first quarter when the score was 14-3 and the Patriots were rolling. This had all of the makings of a blowout, and no one would have been terribly shocked. But instead, they clawed their way back in, literally taking it down to the last minute.
If the youthful core on this roster can stay healthy and continue to develop, they’re going to beat teams like the Patriots and win games like today’s down the road. Unfortunately, it just didn’t quite happen today.
That’s all from FedExField, where the Patriots held on for the win: Washington 27, New England 34.
Tags: 2011 season, fourth quarter, josh wilson, mike shanahan, new england patriots, roy helu, Santana Moss, washington redskins
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Due to technical difficulties, the title of top Redskins performer today had to wait until after the game. The good news is that it’s still a relevant question, and it’s still 100 percent up to you. Who shined brightest this afternoon?
Tags: 2011 season, most valuable player, new england patriots, top player, washington redskins
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Through the first three quarters, Helu has 21 rushes for 105 yards. By cracking the century mark, Helu is the new standard of consistency among rookie running backs, becoming the first in his 2011 draft class to rush for three consecutive 100-yard games.
He is also the first Redskins rookie running back in franchise history to pull off this feat.
Running for this many consecutive 100-yard games hasn’t been accomplished by a Redskins running back since Clinton Portis reeled off five-straight between Week 4-8 in 2008.
Are there really 104 rookies in the league that scouted out better than this young man? If so, he could be one of the best-kept secrets of the 2011 NFL Draft.
In other news, welcome to Washington, receiver David Anderson. Anderson was brought in as a slot receiver insurance policy when Santana Moss went down, but has quietly contributed in almost every game that he’s been active. This week, he finally got to show off his touchdown strut, and elected not to do his patented No-Strings-Conan-O’Brien Dance. Instead, he followed teammate Jabar Gaffney’s lead, and pulled off the “Landover Leap” into the crowd.
Anderson was wise enough to find some Redskins fans that were willing to catch him though.
This game is turning into one of the most unlikely shootouts of the year, with both offenses beating the respective defenses. The Redskins need only a single point to match their season-high in points, dating back to Week 1 against the Giants.
New England on top with the ball and 15 minutes to play: Redskins 27, Patriots 34.
Tags: 2011 season, David Anderson, Jabar Gaffney, new england patriots, roy helu, Santana Moss, third quarter, washington redskins
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It’s said that playmakers make plays, no matter where you put them. It’s said that Brandon Banks is a playmaker. But no one said that Banks could throw the ball.
The Redskins lined up with Roy Helu in the backfield, who took the handoff from Rex Grossman, and pitched it to Banks, who had snuck into the backfield.
The Patriots defense doesn’t view Banks as a viable pro passer, and they shouldn’t. He’s a speed demon by trade, and this was clearly a play where the Redskins were looking to seal off the edge and rush the ball with Banks. The linebacker was closing in, the safeties were charging in, and the cornerbacks were cheating off of their receivers.
That is until Banks slowed his roll-out, looked up field, and threw the football across his body to a wide-open Santana Moss, about 35 yards downfield. Moss had to come back for the reception, but had his man beat, and danced his way to the end zone.
That gimmick play looks like a keeper.
The receiver-to-receiver pass was the first since Antwaan Randle El hit Chris Cooley for an 18-yard touchdown on Oct. 5, 2008 against Philly. The 49-yard completion was the longest by a non-quarterback in Redskins history, and the longest of Brandon Banks’ life.
He never threw for a longer pass in college or high school–Pee Wee stats were unavailable.
The play was also Moss’s third touchdown this season, 55th for his career and 35th as a Redskins player, tying him with Ricky Sanders for seventh all-time.
The kickers tacked on the additional four and six points to bring the game to a 20-20 tie at the half. This is six points more than the Redskins have put up all season in the first half.
Brand new ball game in Washington, with the Redskins and Patriots knotted at 20.
Tags: 2011 season, brandon banks, new england patriots, rex grossman, roy helu, Santana Moss, third quarter, washington redskins
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