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5 Best Super Bowl Bets Ever Made

Best SB Bets Title Photo

As Krusty the Clown’s financial guy explained on The Simpsons, “gambling is the finest thing a person can do – if he’s good at it.” The Super Bowl tends to be the biggest sports betting event in the United States and Canada, with millions of people looking to make a quick profit by showing off their ability to predict football. As a result, Super Bowl odds and props are among the most popular plays on an annual basis.

With Super Bowl LI around the corner, the sports betting world once again turns their attention to the NFL. Experts will pour over trends, statistics and franchise history in an attempt to discover an inside edge. However, it isn’t experts who always win big. The following five Super Bowl bets are among the best ever made, including sharp action by musicians, Vegas legends and even a random dude who decided to place a grand on the least likely outcome at the beginning of a championship game.

5. Random Punter Wins $50,000 On A Safety
Prop bets were dreamed up by genius Las Vegas bookmakers to pad their bottom line. A run of truly boring Super Bowls during the 1980s and 1990s lead to a reduction in wagering interest on the big game, so bookies needed to find another way to create betting entertainment for customers. The first famous prop bet ended up being one of their most expensive mistakes. When William “The Fridge” Perry rumbled into the end zone during Super Bowl XX, sportsbooks lost quite a bit of cash because they initially gave odds as high as 75-1 on Perry scoring a TD. In fact, the action was so furious on this prop bet that the odds eventually dropped to 2-1 before the kickoff.
Prop betting action has gained momentum since then, with sportsbooks becoming more sophisticated in their offerings. This didn’t deter a random punter from nailing one of the best prop bets in Super Bowl history. Jona Rechnitz wagered that the first score of Super Bowl XLVI would be a safety, betting $1,000 on 50-1 odds. He ended up collecting a $50,000 payout when Brady grounded the ball for a safety. Sure, some sportsbooks were offering 75-1 odds on the prop, but his $50,000 payout remains one of the best bets in Super Bowl history.

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4. Birdman Bets A Million On Green Bay
Flush with cash earned through a successful career in the music industry, Birdman spends quite a bit of his time and money growing his public reputation as a conspicuous consumer. In 2011, just before Super Bowl XLV, reports surfaced that he dropped a million-dollar wager on the Packers beating the Steelers along with a -3 spread. Apparently, part of the motivation was Lil Wayne, who’s a big fan of Green Bay. Shortly after the Packers win, Birdman tweeted “LETS GO PAINT THE TOWN RED… JUST CASHED IN A MILLI”, suggesting that he really did just win $1 million through his Super Bowl bet.
Amusingly, there’s a good chance that he made one of the worst Super Bowl bets in history the year after, when he stated that he was going to drop a $5 million bet on the Patriots against the New York Giants. There’s no word as to whether or not Birdman actually lost $5 million wager, although he claims that casinos wouldn’t touch his bet.

3. Bob Stupak Bets $1 Million On The 49ers
One of the true legends of Vegas, Bob Stupak fully embraced the high-risk, high-reward lifestyle of Nevada during the 1970s. He purchased, built and developed the betting establishment known as Vegas World, creating his own empire through smart promos that attracted vacationers and gambling fans around the world. In 1989, when Vegas World was pulling in revenues of more than $100 million a year, Stupak decided to show the world the right way to engage in high-stakes betting on the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XXIII had the Cincinnati Bengals listed as seven point underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers, so Stupak took the points and ran with them, betting $1 million against the spread. By the end of the third quarter, the Bengals were ahead 13-6, and Bob was looking good. When Jim Breech nailed his third field goal to put Cincy up by three in the fourth, Stupak probably knew that his win was secured, giving him a chance to enjoy the finest final drive in Super Bowl history without worry. Incredibly, this kicked off a year in which he also won the World Series of Poker and the Super Bowl of Poker.

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2. Billy Walters Wagers $3.5 Million On The Underdog
Considered “the most feared man in the history of sports betting”, Billy Walters is as elusive as he is successful, building a sports betting empire through extensive connections. As one of the biggest sharks in the industry, he’s been rumored to have the ability to manipulate lines through strategic betting, increasing his profits whenever he has an inside tip. A 60 Minutes interview revealed that Vegas bookmakers avoid his action at all costs.

He must have spotted an opportunity when Super Bowl XLIV rolled around, because he dropped $3.5 million on the underdog Saints beating the spread. The Saints went ahead and demolished the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31-17, and Walters collected a cool multi-million dollar payout to add to his already considerable wealth and prestige. Compare that to poker star Phil Ivey, who dropped $2 million on the same game, losing a wad of cash on the overwhelmed Colts.

1. 50 Cent Owns Birdman – Bets $1 Million On New York Giants
Music industry stars beef in different ways than regular people, throwing large money around to prove financial superiority. Before Super Bowl XLVI, Birdman challenged anyone to match his supposed $5 million bet on the New England Patriots, who were favored to win by a touchdown. During the previous Super Bowl, he reportedly won a million betting on Green Bay as favorites, so he felt pretty solid about his pick.

The only star to answer his challenge was 50 Cent, who was fresh off winning $500,000 by wagering on the Giants during the NFC championships. Surveying the situation, Curtis James Jackson III doubled his bet to $1 million, predicting that the Giants would beat the Super Bowl spread. Of course, the Giants would famously repeat their previous Super Bowl upset against the New England Patriots, so 50 Cent padded his NFL playoff total to $1.5 million.

Even more important, he won big while Birdman potentially lost $5 million. Perhaps one day, 50 Cent will end up changing his stage name to Cash Money Buckets.

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The Loser Papers – 2016 – Edition VIII

With their backs against the wall, the Washington Redskins traveled to Chicago on Christmas eve, and soundly trounced the hometown Bears. Due to the holiday, TLP had given all their employees the day off, which is why this Edition comes to you on Boxing Day. Our first article comes from the pages of The Chicago Tribune:

Turnovers, defensive ineptitude plague Bears in another lopsided loss

By Dan Wiederer – Contact Reporter
Chicago Tribune

By the end of Saturday’s game, the Soldier Field stands had emptied significantly. So, too, it seemed had the Bears‘ energy reserves. In an abysmal performance befitting a woeful season, the Bears were outclassed and outperformed by the visiting Redskins. And so the parting gift for the home crowd on Christmas Eve was a 41-21 loss, the team’s 12th this year and the latest reminder of how flawed this Bears group remains.

Bad news: Receivers Josh Bellamy, Alshon Jeffery and Cameron Meredith, running back Jordan Howard and left tackle Charles Leno all made tackles Saturday. That’s never a good sign with the offense losing the ball over and over and over again. QuarterbackMatt Barkley threw five interceptions as the Bears lost the turnover battle for the 10th time this season.

But equally disappointing, the defense had few if any answers to slow the Redskins. A week after allowing 451 total yards to the Packers, the Bears were gashed for 478 more yards Saturday, allowing 7.5 yards per play.

Within that debacle, the Redskins converted eight of their 13 third-down attempts. Four of those eight conversions came in situations in which the Redskins faced third-and-6 or longer.

“Third-and-long, we’ve got to be way better than that,” inside linebacker Jerrell Freemansaid. “Come on, man. We’ve got to be. When you get them in third-and-long, you have to get the ball back. You have to understand situations, know the route combinations, know what they can give you and what they can hurt you with. And then go make a play.”

The Redskins’ first touchdown came on third-and-9, a 17-yard screen pass from Kirk Cousins to Chris Thompson to beat a Bears blitz. Still, Freeman said, it was more than just a well-timed play call against the extra pressure the Bears brought.

“At the same time, on those screens when you’re blitzing, you have to feel that,” he said. “You have to know what can hurt you and what can be coming.”

Good news: The best news for Bears fans is that only one line remains on the schedule. But in the spirit of the holidays, it’s important to acknowledge at least a couple of bright spots from Saturday’s game. So here goes. Both Howard, the rookie running back, and Meredith, the second-year receiver, topped 100 yards against the Redskins. Howard turned his 18 rushes into 119 yards. It was his sixth 100-yard rushing game this season and pushed him to 1,178 yards for the season, just 60 short of Matt Forte’s franchise rookie rushing record. Meredith’s nine catches went for a career-best 135 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown grab late in the first half.

Barkley has appreciated Meredith’s development.

“The way he always wants to keep moving after the catch is impressive,” Barkley said. “He has grown in a lot of ways in regards to finding open windows and feeling the defense, not just running his route like it says on paper.”

Extra point: The Bears announced 18,116 unused tickets for Saturday’s game, the latest indication of fan apathy as the team pushes to the end of another last-place season. Over the Bears’ final four home games, the team had a used-ticket average of 44,867. As a reminder, Soldier Field’s capacity is 61,500.

With fewer than 10,000 fans hanging around late into the fourth quarter Saturday, the sight of a mostly empty stadium proved jarring in the home finale.

“The fans expect more,” Meredith said. “We expect more of ourselves. So we can’t blame them.”

Up next: The Bears will make their first visit to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on New Year’s Day, facing a Vikings team that is sputtering to the finish line. After starting the season 5-0, the Vikings are 7-8 and were eliminated from playoff contention with Saturday’s 38-25 loss in Green Bay.

For whatever it’s worth, the Bears claimed the season’s first meeting against the Vikings, winning 20-10 on Halloween night at Soldier Field.

Final word: “Obviously it’s very disappointing. It’s disappointing to everyone, ourselves included. I feel bad for our fans.” — Bears coach John Fox.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-bears-redskins-turnovers-defensive-ineptitude-spt-1225-20161224-story.html

And from the Chicago Sun-Times:

‘Do your job’: Bears’ defense lays another egg in blowout loss

Mark Potash

Jerrell Freeman knew how bad it looked.

“The fans deserve better than that,” the Bears linebacker after the defense allowed 478 more yards in a 41-21 loss to the Redskins on Saturday at Soldier Field. “We had a lot of guys fighting, but we have to come out here and execute, whether you’re a vet, a young guy — when you step on that field, we expect you to come out and know your job and do your job.”

Determined to atone for a poor performance against the Packers last week, the Bears instead suffered an embarrassing ignominy — they got worse. After making steady progress throughout the season under coordinator Vic Fangio, they seem to have hit the wall, with Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense consistently keeping them off balance — zigging when the Bears were zagging, throwing screen passes to beat the Bears blitz and out-playing the Bears when they weren’t out-foxing them.

If it wasn’t a perfect play call, then it was Cousins outrunning Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee to the pylon for a nine-yard touchdown that told the story.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) leaves Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee (92) in his dust on a nine-yard touchdown run on a zone-read keeper Saturday at Soldier Field. The Redskins won, 41-21. (David Banks/Getty Images)

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) leaves Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee (92) in his dust on a nine-yard touchdown run on a zone-read keeper Saturday at Soldier Field. The Redskins won, 41-21. (David Banks/Getty Images)

“His speed snuck up on me,” McPhee said.

The Redskins seemed to sneak up on the Bears’ defense at every turn Saturday. With Cousins virtually playing catch with his receivers, the Redskins had 270 passing and 208 rushing. Cousins had pass plays of 57, 46, 29, 25 and 21 yards. Reserve running back Mack Brown capped the horrific day for the Bears’ defense with a 61-yard touchdown run with 57 seconds left. The Bears, who allowed five plays of 40 yards or more in their first 13 games, have allowed six plays of 40 yards or more in the last two.

“They didn’t do anything that surprised us, and that’s the reason for the frustration,” Freeman said.

Even in his low-key tone, Freeman couldn’t hide his emotions, laying the blame for this debacle on the defensive players for … just not playing well enough.

“[We’re] shooting ourselves in the foot — that’s the biggest problem,” said Freeman, who led the Bears with nine tackles in his first game since serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. “Knowing situations. Knowing the play. Knowing the defense we’re playing. It’s understanding what’s going on out there. We’ve got to be a better team than that.

“You’ve got to go out there and perform — do your job. Don’t be out there playing not to mess up. Go play ball. We had a good week of practice. Vic had a great game plan. He makes the call, go out there and do what you’re supposed to be doing.

“We’ve got guys counting on each other. [But] we’ve got guys running scot-free. We’ve got to tighten stuff up, regardless of who’s in there. You get on that field, we trust you to make plays.”

Freeman didn’t let himself off the hook. He was burned on a blitz on a third-and-nine from the Bears’ 17 when the Redskins had the perfect play call — a screen pass to running back  Chris Thompson, who went into the end zone untouched to give the Redskins a 14-0 lead.

“Yeah [it was a good call], but at the same time, when there’s a screen like that and you’re coming on the blitz, you’ve got to kind of feel it. You’ve got to know what can hurt you and what can be coming.”

About the only redeeming value to this loss was that the Bears’ defense didn’t make excuses.

“Not making plays. Not finishing,” McPhee said when asked what went wrong. “I think I had a good performance last week and I really didn’t do nothing to help my team win or put my team in a position to win. I’ve got to do a better job of winning my individual match-up and making plays for the defense; for the whole team.”

http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/do-your-job-bears-defense-lays-another-egg-in-blowout-loss/

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Redskins Beat Eagles And Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

Carson Wentz drove the Philadelphia Eagles all the way down to the 14-yard line in the game’s dying moments, before Ryan Kerrigan’s eleventh sack of the season, and arguably the most timely, ended their drive, and gave the Washington Redskins a 27-22 victory. Washington ended their two game losing streak, and kept pace with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card playoff hunt. Check all the NFL odds and scores.

Kirk Cousins had a rather pedestrian day with just 234 passing yards, but he threw two touchdown passes, including an 80-yard bomb to former Eagle DeSean Jackson. That gave Washington a 14-13 lead in the third quarter. He then hooked up with Pierre Garcon for another touchdown, and a 21-13 lead.

The joy was short lived though, as Cousins would then throw an interception to Leodis McKelvin, and he would return it 29 yards to the Redskins end zone for an Eagles score, and gave them some momentum. But at 21-19, the Eagles went for two and failed to convert when a pass to Jordan Matthews was batted down.

However, with just under five minutes to play, the Eagles took a 22-21 lead when Caleb Sturgis hit a field goal from 41 yards.

The Redskins stormed right back though, and Cousins led the Redskins into Eagle territory. They snatched away the lead with under two minutes to go, when Chris Thompson ripped off an electrifying 25-yard run to give them a 27-22 advantage that would ultimately be the final score.

Even though the touchdown came with just 1:56 to go, the Redskins still had a lot to do. After all, the Redskins defense had come up short at the end of games against Dallas, Detroit and Arizona. And it looked like it might happen again, as the Eagles rolled right into the Redskins Red Zone and appeared to have all the momentum going in their favor.

Fortunately, Kerrigan had other ideas. He forced the fumble with just 21 seconds to go, and did what playmakers do… made a big play. He ended the drive, the game, and the Eagles hopes of stopping the Redskins for beating them for the fifth time in a row.

With the loss, the Eagles fell to 5-8. After winning their first three games, they have come apart at the seams and dropped four in a row, and eight of their last ten.

The Redskins on the other hand, moved to 7-5-1 and are still on the hunt for the playoffs, albeit on the outside looking in. They will need help to get in and get over the Buccaneers, but it didn’t come this weekend. The Bucs beat the Saints 16-11 in a yawner, for their fifth straight win.

As for Redskins fans, they have the unenviable task of actually having to hope that the Cowboys win this week. After all, they face the Bucs. If the Cowboys can stop Tampa from winning their sixth game in a row, it will really help the Redskins’ playoff hopes. The Bucs face the Saints and the Carolina Panthers in their last two games and have an excellent shot of winning both.

Up next for the Redskins is those Panthers. At 5-8 the Panthers have struggled this season, but they handily beat the Chargers 28-16 on Sunday, and Cam Newton is never an easy assignment.

It is obviously a must-win for Washington.

Hail.

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The Loser Papers – 2016 – Edition VII

Oh Philly, once you were the media darlings of the East, rivaling Dallas in the number of talking heads gushing all over themselves about how they would win the division with a rookie QB at the helm. And, while the heads continue to gush in the face of mounting losses, projections have moved on to future years. Sunday’s win, makes five in a row for the Redskins over the team from the city where brothers love each other. Let’s check in with The Philadelphia Daily News to see what happened:

Five reasons the Eagles lost to the Redskins

by Paul Domowitch, DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST
THE BIG RUNS

The Eagles came into Sunday’s game ranked 13thin opponent rush average (4.1). But in the previous five games, only the Baltimore Ravens had given up fewer yards per carry than the Eagles (3.2).

Redskins, who rushed for 230 yards against the Eagles in Week 6, only had 107 Sunday. But 47 of them came on two long scoring runs. It’s the first time this season the Eagles have given up more than one rushing touchdown in a game.

The first was a 22-yard touchdown run by rookie Robert Kelley in the second quarter that put the Redskins up, 7-6. The second was a 25-yard scoring run by Chris Thompson with 1:53 left in the game that put the Redskins in front for good.

Kelley’s TD came on a run up the middle that took advantage of the Eagles’ lack of defensive line depth. Right guard Brandon Scherff slanted across and took out backup tackle Destiny Vaeao. Tight end Vernon Davis easily stood up end Marcus Smith, which allowed Kelley to get to the second level.

If everyone had been where they were supposed to be, Kelley should’ve been stopped after a seven- or eight-yard gain. But they weren’t.

Middle linebacker Jordan Hicks appeared to read the play wrong and was out of his gap, leaving a huge hole for Kelley, who then bounced outside around cornerback Nolan Carroll and raced into the end zone.

Safety Rodney McLeod didn’t lay a hand on him until he was at the one-yard line.

Thompson’s fourth-quarter run was the real killer. It came right after the Eagles had taken a 22-21 lead on Caleb Sturgis’ third field goal of the game with 4:59 left.

It was a misdirection toss play to the left off a fake jet sweep to the right by DeSean Jackson. Right end Vinny Curry actually got penetration and was able to get a hand on Thompson in the backfield before he headed for the corner, but was unable to make a play.

Neither of the safeties were in position to make a play. Malcolm Jenkins had blitzed from the other side, and Rodney McLeod bit on the fake jet sweep. Cornerback Nolan Carroll, who was in man coverage on Jackson, followed him across the formation when he went in motion. Linebackers Hicks and Nigel Bradham got stuck in traffic.

The only player left to stop Thompson after he turned the corner was cornerback Jalen Mills. But the Redskins running back had left tackle Trent Williams as an escort. He easily disposed of Mills, leaving a clear path to the end zone for Thompson.

The Eagles have given up 10 run plays of 20 yards or more this season. That’s the fifth most in the league.

RED ZONE STRUGGLES

The Eagles converted just one of four red-zone opportunities into a touchdown. Even worse, they scored just three points off their other three trips inside the Washington 20.

They drove 77 yards down to the Washington 3 on their second possession of the game, only to come up empty when Carson Wentz’s pass for tight end Zach Ertz was picked off by safety Deshazor Everett. Remarkably, it was Wentz’s first red-zone interception of the season in 71 attempts.

 In the second quarter, they drove to the Washington 13 and were going to go for it on a fourth-and-three when right tackle Jason Peters was flagged for his ninth false start penalty of the season. That forced the Eagles to settle for a Caleb Sturgis field goal.Their final failed red-zone trip came on their last possession of the game. After the Redskins took a five-point lead on Thompson’s touchdown, they drove from their own 25 to the Washington 14, only to come up empty. Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan beat backup right tackle Matt Tobin around the edge and forced a Wentz fumble. The interception and the fumble were the Eagles’ first two red-zone turnovers this season.

The Eagles came into the game ranked 19th in the league in red zone offense (53.7%). But they had been better lately. They were 5-for-5 in the red zone in the previous three games after converting just 7 of 18 trips into touchdowns in the five games before that.

THE CORNERS

The Eagles have given up 50 pass plays of 20 yards or more this season, including three more on Sunday, which actually was an improvement over the six they gave up last week to the Bengals and the five they gave up in each of the previous two games to the Packers and the Seahawks.

That total ties them with Oakland for the most in the league. The difference is Oakland has an offense that can offset that kind of defensive generosity. The Eagles don’t.

It was another tough day for cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll and Jalen Mills. McKelvin had five pass break-ups and played the Redskins’ receivers tough. But it’s feast-or-famine with him. He also gave up an 80-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson. To his credit, he redeemed himself a little later when he jumped a lazy route by Jackson and scored on a 29-yard interception return.

Carroll and Mills let Jackson get open along the sideline for that 21-yard toe-tapper on a second-and-10. Mills gave up a costly 33-yard completion to slot receiver Jamison Crowder on a second-and-10 on what turned out to be the Redskins’ game-winning drive.

McKelvin, Carroll and Mills, a seventh-round rookie, all are tough, physical players. The problem is none of them are very fast.

INJURIES

They clearly were a big factor Sunday. For the second time in three weeks, right guard Brandon Brooks was a game-day scratch because of an unspecified illness. He was replaced by rookie Isaac Seumalo.

Then, midway through the third quarter, Allen Barbre, the Eagles’ third right tackle this season, injured his hamstring and was replaced by Matt Tobin. Tobin had his problems with Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. It was Tobin who allowed Kerrigan to get to Wentz for the red-zone sack and fumble that squashed a potential game-winning touchdown drive with 12 seconds left.

The Eagles also lost long-snapper Jon Dorenbos with a wrist injury in the third quarter and running back/punt returner Darren Sproles with a concussion early in the fourth quarter.

Without Dorenbos, the Eagles turned to emergency long-snapper Brent Celek on what would’ve been a 50-yard field attempt by Caleb Sturgis in the third quarter. But they never got the kick off. Celek’s snap was a little low and holder Donnie Jones wasn’t able to get it down.

A field goal there and the Eagles wouldn’t have needed a touchdown at the end to win.

NO BIG-PLAY GUY

The Eagles controlled the ball for 36 ½ minutes Sunday, which was their third highest time of possession of the season.

They outgained the Redskins, 383-334. They had eight more first downs than Washington (24-16). They converted a season-high 50 percent of their third-down opportunities.

And they scored 16 offensive points.

Because they’re getting pretty much nothing from their outside receivers, the Eagles are playing the football equivalent of station-to-station baseball.

They have had just six pass plays this season of 30 yards or more. That’s the second fewest in the NFL. Carson Wentz had 32 pass completions against the Redskins on Sunday. Just one of those 32 was longer than 16 yards.

In the seven games prior to Sunday, Wentz was just 8-for-35 with one touchdown and five interceptions on throws that traveled 20 yards or more in the air.

In their loss to Cincinnati last week, 62 of the Eagles’ 80 offensive plays were out of two- and three-tight end sets. On Sunday, it was 45 out of 76.

On their final drive, eight of the 10 plays they ran were with “12’’ personnel (1RB, 2TEs, 2WRs).

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/eagles/406037555.html

But what about the rookie QB?

Wentz outstanding in face of obstacles

by David Murphy, Daily News Columnist

Whenever it is that the story of the Carson Wentz era in Philadelphia is written, Sunday might be Chapter 1. The scene: a pale field, a low sky, a rookie dropping back through the penetrating cold. On the scoreboard: 21 seconds to go, five points to overcome. He’s marched them 61 yards in a minute and a half. Fourteen remain. They are one throw, one scramble, one something away. This is why they drafted him, for his unique ability to make this kind of play.

Except, if he makes it, it doesn’t make for much of a story. There is no quest to be had, no challenge to overcome. It does us no good for Chapter 1.

He doesn’t make it. Not this time, at least. And therein lies our point of departure. It’s not that he fails: It’s that he never gets a chance to succeed. The kid never sees it coming. By the time he arrives at the top of his drop, his fate is secured. A Pro Bowl defensive end beats a fourth string right tackle off the snap. The No. 2 overall pick crashes to the turf. The ball bounces free. From his spot on the ground, all he can do is watch. For a couple of seconds, the football lingers on the turf, just out of reach.

And yet, this was one that everybody should circle. Save it to the DVR and store it away. They say there are no moral victories, and they are probably correct, but in a season where wins and losses are secondary to the means through which they are achieved, the legacy of Sunday’s loss lies not in the penalties or injuries or turnovers, but in the mean game of quarterback the rookie signal-caller played.

Doug Pederson said it after the game, and he was correct. This was Wentz’s best performance yet, and, considering the circumstances, it isn’t really close. As he snapped his chin strap and jogged onto the field in the wake of a 25-yard touchdown run by Chris Thompson that gave the Redskins a 27-22 lead, the Eagles were playing without three of their four running backs, two of their top four pass-catchers, their No. 2 tight end, and three of their five Week 1 starters on the offensive line (along with their top backup). Yet they were in it to the end, with that final drive a microcosm:

A 16-yard completion to Jordan Matthews at the Eagles’ 45-yard line, a 16-yard bullet to Trey Burton in tight coverage at the Redskins’ 39-yard line, another strike to Matthews, this one for 12 yards and a first down at the 27 with 42 seconds remaining, on 3rd-and-10 a 13-yard completion to Zach Ertz at the 14. The previous three-plus quarters had featured much of the same, Wentz bobbing and weaving his way through the deteriorating situation up front, Lane Johnson suspended, Brandon Brooks scratched with an illness, Allen Barbre injured midgame. He finished with 32 completions in 46 attempts for 314 yards and a touchdown despite being sacked four times and pressured countless others.

“It’s crazy watching him now to really understand that he’s a rookie,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “All these situations he’s been put in and performed at a really high level, I see that only getting better as the game slows down for him.”

Coming off an abysmal outing in the Eagles’ blowout loss to Cincinnati, Wentz came out firing: a third-down strike on a crossing route while on the run, a bootleg scramble for a first down, a beautiful deep ball to Nelson Agholor that resulted in a 44-yard defensive-pass interference penalty, another third-down conversion to Mattehws. All of this on the Eagles’ first two drives.

“He shows me something every week,” Jenkins said. “He’s out there doing whatever he can to make plays, whether he’s extending the play with his feet, whether he’s diving, stepping out of sacks left and right. He’s a competitor, man. He’s been doing whatever he can within his ability to give us a chance to succeed. Today was no different.”

You watch Wentz in games like this and you can’t help but think that one day he’ll look back and marvel at how easy the game seems. Dak Prescott might be winning the first-year battle, but the Eagles sure look like they’re going to win the 10-year war: We might not know how Prescott would look if forced to play quarterback in a maelstrom like the one that engulfed Wentz against the Redskins, but it isn’t too hard to project what Wentz would look like behind the Cowboys’ offensive line. Give this guy time to drop five steps, give him a receiver who can go deep and keep his feet in bounds, give some semblance of a first-down running game, then see how that arm and those legs play.

“He came out and proved today why we drafted him,” Pederson said.

The end has yet to be written. But the story is well under way.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20161212_Murphy__Wentz_outstanding_in_face_of_obstacles.html

Inquiring minds want to know how The Philadelphia Inquirer sees it:

Wentz’s late fumble seals Eagles’ 4th straight loss

by Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER

By the time Carson Wentz sprawled on the grass after fumbling away the Eagles’ last hope for a victory Sunday, the Eagles were down to their fourth right tackle, third long snapper, second left and right guards, and only one running back.

A fragile season continued to crack in a 27-22 loss to the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. There were untimely penalties, unforeseen absences, and an unsuccessful comeback attempt. Those have been problems throughout a season that can no longer end with a winning record now that the Eagles dropped to 5-8 and lost their fourth consecutive game.

The injury report swelled throughout the afternoon and players included Darren Sproles, who left for a concussion evaluation after a hit that enraged the Eagles sideline. It would have made for a resilient win if they scored on their final drive, when Wentz marched the Eagles 14 yards from the end zone in the final minute. But hope ended when Ryan Kerrigan beat reserve right tackle Matt Tobin around the edge and knocked the ball from Wentz’s grasp.

“We’re 14 yards away from winning,” left tackle Jason Peters said. “Then we wouldn’t even be bringing up the stuff that went wrong.”

After coach Doug Pederson questioned the effort of his team on Monday, the Eagles appeared more energized than any point in their losing streak. Wentz played what Pederson called the rookie’s “best game of the year” because of how he endured changes on the offensive line. He finished 36 of 42 for 314 yards with a touchdown, an interception, and a fumble. Both turnovers came in the red zone.

Right guard Brandon Brooks missed the game with an illness, forcing Isaac Seumalo into the lineup. Allen Barbre, who was the Eagles’ third right tackle to start this season, left the game with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Tobin.

The leading Eagles rusher was Ryan Mathews with 15 carries for 60 yards. He was the only running back remaining after Sproles and Wendell Smallwood exited the game. Five players left because of injuries, including three offensive starters.

“That’s the max effort,” Pederson said. “This team did an outstanding job today.<TH>… Any loss in this league is tough. The way the guys hung together and battled right to the end, it makes it tough.”

And although there was disappointment after the game, the way the Eagles performed compared to recent weeks was the reason safety Malcolm Jenkins said Sunday was “probably the least disappointing” of the close losses this season. Jenkins knew that when the Eagles look back at Sunday, they’ll bemoan “a couple of penalties or plays here or there.”

The first big mistake came in the first quarter. After taking a 3-0 lead on the opening drive, the Eagles could have extended their lead when they reached Washington’s 3-yard line. Wentz forced a third-down pass to tight end Zach Ertz that was intercepted by Deshazor Everett. Wentz called it a “miscommunication” with Ertz, but the Eagles were left with no points.

The next play that will bother the Eagles came early in the third quarter. They entered halftime with a 14-13 lead and forced a three-and-out to begin the half. Sproles returned the ensuing punt 72 yards for a touchdown, but a flag rested near where he caught the punt. Ertz was charged with an illegal block in the back, nullifying the touchdown.

“I feel terrible about it,” said Ertz, who led the Eagles with 10 catches for 112 yards.

After an Eagles punt, long snapper Jon Dorenbos left the game with a wrist injury. Two plays later, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins found former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson for an 80-yard touchdown. Jackson raced past Leodis McKelvin just as he did against opposing cornerbacks when he played in Philadelphia.

The Eagles tried cutting Washington’s lead with a field-goal attempt on their next drive, but they didn’t have Dorenbos. Brent Celek sputtered a snap that kept the Eagles from even kicking the 50-yarder and gave Washington possession at its 46-yard line, leading to a Redskins touchdown.

McKelvin found redemption early in the fourth quarter when he returned a Cousins interception to cut the Eagles’ deficit to 21-19. The defense then forced a punt, with Sproles waiting for the return.

While camping under the ball, Sproles was pummeled to the ground by Everett. The hit injured Sproles and angered his teammates. A flag was thrown and a scuffle ensued, with Peters restraining himself from an ejection.

“That was a cheap shot,” Peters said.

The Eagles drove to Washington’s 23-yard line, when Pederson sent the field goal unit out to try to take the lead. Celek left with a stinger, forcing Trey Burton to become the long snapper. The snap was high, but Donnie Jones still placed it down and Caleb Sturgis nailed a 41-yard field goal to take the lead.

The defense could not hold a one-point lead. The Eagles allowed Washington to convert a fourth and 1, then watched Chris Thompson run for a 25-yard touchdown to take the 27-22 lead with 1 minute, 53 seconds remaining.

Wentz took the field for a chance at a game-winning drive. It was the fifth loss this season when Wentz had a chance to win or tie the game in the final minutes. He drove the Eagles 61 yards, looking every bit like the franchise quarterback. Then on second down, Wentz dropped back and looked left. He never saw Kerrigan coming around his blind side.

Kerrigan whisked away Tobin, who was playing with an injured knee, then dropped Wentz to the turf and knocked the ball from the quarterback’s grasp. The Redskins recovered, and the Eagles were left with another loss.

“Just a tough one,” Wentz said.

The Eagles had chances to win and overcome injuries. Instead, they head to Baltimore for next week’s meeting with the Ravens on a four-game losing streak with a crowded injury report and lamenting a few plays that swung the game.

“It’s tough — we’ve lost, four, five, maybe six, when we’re there at the end,” Peters said. “There’s a lot of games that got away from us.”

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/Wentzs-late-fumble-seals-Eagles-4th-straight-loss-.html

Bonus Links:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20161212_Eagles_fans_see_DeSean_Jackson_at_his_best.html

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20161212_Bowen__Banged_up_Eagles_fall_short_again.html

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20161212_McLane__Wentz_makes_strides__even_in_loss.html

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20161212_Brandon_Brooks_misses_second_game_with_illness.html

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20161212_Domo__Redskins__D-Jax_shows_value_of_deep-threat_receiver.html

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20161212_Eagles_end_up_using_three_long_snappers.html

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20161212_Birds_angered_by__cheap_shot__on_Sproles.html

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Cardinals Put Cog in Redskins Playoff Hopes

After four lead changes in the second half alone, Carson Palmer hit J.J. Nelson with a 42-yard pass with less than two minutes remaining, to take a 31-23 lead and put the game away for good. In the process, the Redskins lost their grip on the second wild card spot as they fell to 6-5-1; and coupled with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers win, put the Redskins on the outside looking in, as they drive for the playoffs over their last four games. You can check an American site that offers updated NFL lines for this week’s pertinent playoff match-ups.

Palmer threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns on the day, but second year running back David Johnson was the difference maker.

He not only scored twice, but led all running backs in carries and yards (18 for 84), while simultaneously leading all receivers in both receptions and yards (9 for 91). He scored one on the ground, and one in the air for good measure. The Redskins didn’t appear to have an answer for him all day.

“I think he’s the best player in the NFL,” Palmer said after the game.

The struggling Redskins defense helped him look like the best player in the NFL anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

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Redskins Cowboys Thanksgiving Special Graphic

There’s an incredibly talented man in my Twitter timeline by the name of Paul Nichols. If you’ve never seen his Redskins artwork, please follow him @PaulNicholsDC. You can check out his website at paulnicholsart.com.

Check out this beauty piece that he came up with for today’s big Redskins versus Cowboys match-up:

cycnpi4uaaabvgc

Man that would look great in my den!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Scalp the Cowboys.

Follow me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet and Paul @PaulNicholsDC

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Washington vs. Green Bay: Packers Suffer Fourth Straight Loss

The Redskins beat the Green Bay Packers, and soundly. Every Redskins player seemed to deliver their best possible performance. Kirk Cousins’ 375 yards and three touchdowns is an even bigger big deal when you realize that Robert Kelley also rushed for 137 yards and three scores in the same game (Click Here for the Updated Football Odds).
 
And then there was Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder, who delivered 116 yards and one touchdown, and 102 yards and one touchdown, respectively. 
 
The Packers now have four straight losses, and with the way their defense is currently playing, their 4-6 record is likely to get worse. As of the Sunday game, they had allowed 153 points in the previous 4 games. That is poor regardless of how you look at, or analyze things. They are barely keeping up with Minnesota and Detroit. They wish they had the run that the Redskins are enjoying.

Everyone knows and appreciates the weapons the Redskins have at their disposal, but they have struggled at times to unleash their tools to make headway in the season.

However, that changed with the Sunday game, which saw the Redskins offense really come to life for perhaps the first time this season.

Kirk Cousins was the star of the show. He found Crowder for 53 yards with less than Five minutes left. The Redskins have every reason to push for a win against the Packers. Naturally, it was an opportunity to deliver some much-needed vengeance against the team for the 38-18 loss they suffered against the Packers last season in a wild-card playoff game.

Kirk Cousins had one of his best halfs as a Redskin, throwing two long touchdown passes against an albeit banged up Packers secondary, in the span of three plays. 

For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers passed for 351 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Jared Cook caught six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
 
Green Bay looked like they might turn things around a couple of times in the second half. They had a big break / play on the first play of the fourth quarter when Stark managed to ramble 31 yards, after Rodgers threw a pass to him in the flat, and there were no Redskins in sight due to some sort of defensive blunder. That brought the Pack to within 5 at 22-17.
 
Cousins turned things around in just two plays and negated that score by finding Garcon (behind LaDarius Gunter at the Packers 30) who covered the rest of the seventy-yard score. The Redskins were back on top 29-17.

Then with 10:04 left, Rodgers fired a touchdown pass to Jared Cook that brought them to within a score again at 29-24.
 
But for every break the Packers could muster up, the Redskins seemed to have an answer. They eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter with two more unanswered majors and earned a hard fought 42-24 final. Not even the swirling wind and failed touchdown conversions could stall Washington on their path to victory. Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense proved too much for the decimated Packers defense to handle, and the Redskins are now 6-3-1. Short week – Cowboys up next for Thanksgiving.

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Halfway Through Hell Week

It’s unfortunate that we won’t get to revel as long as we should in the sweet delicious win that avenged our playoff loss last year. I can honestly say that if that is what a complete game looks like from this squad, then we can play with anyone anywhere. Not depending on injuries, not depending on the weather, and not depending on other teams helping us by underperforming. ANYONE. ANYWHERE. Our defense made the stops it needed, and our offense finally showed killer instinct by putting our foot on their throat in the 4th quarter. Dropped balls hurt us and there were two defensive delay of games penalties that left you scratching your head, but if that’s the only thing holding us back… then the sky is the limit.

I say again, it’s a shame to not get the full time to reflect on the good that was accomplished on the field this Sunday. However, with playoff implications all over these two games this week in the fact that one win directly affected the wildcard outcome and the other is necessary to repeat as division champs, we simply can’t afford to look back while we’re halfway there. Plenty of time to do that during our 10 day break before Arizona.

Dallas week is always a holy week of ritual and preparation as we ready ourselves against the hell spawn that dwells in that outhouse of a town called Dallas. While most of us are closing shop and winding down for a nice holiday, the Redskins are in a frenzy trying to prepare in what very well may be the most important week of their season. If they don’t get a break, then neither do we. So let’s review some of the elements impacting the skins:

Standouts

The easy ones to identify, and I’m sure every major sports outlet is already reviewing ad nauseam, are named Cousins, Crowder, Kelley. I won’t address the first two here and instead will let their excellence on the field speak for me. As for the latter, I’m already on record for calling for Fat Rob for a while so I’m very pleased with his emergence as our lead back. Something about him reminds me of Morris in how he’s a low profile player that never stops fighting for yards. Granted they are completely different running styles, but the result is the same. The beauty of this being that now with a running game to respect, and a DJax to stretch safeties, then there really is no good answer for our offense. It’s a paper-scissors-rock match of you can put eight men in the box to stop the run, but then we’ll burn you deep. If you pull your secondary back, Fat Rob is punching you in the mouth. Anything in between will suffer from Cousins’ best attribute of executing a quick intermediate passing game.

The player I would like to identify though is Maurice Harris. Something about the man just screams tough competitor every time I see him on the field. He’s had only four catches, but three have been on third downs to move the chains. He was only brought up due to Josh Doctson being put on IR, but at 6’ 3” he’s the tallest WR on the skins roster. With his crucial plays, including a heck of a leaping catch on a necessary third down where we were looking at our second punt with no points on the board, he’s looking like a foreshadow of a future in which the skins boast serious size at the WR position. Don’t be surprised if in a year our WR rotation looks like Garcon, Crowder, Docston, Ross, Grant, Harris.*

*Note, there is no DJax in that rotation and that there is only one WR above 6’… a trend in line with what McCloughan preaches: big men who work hard and are team first.

 

Injuries

DeSean “Glass Cannon” Jackson was yet again dealing with nagging injuries coming into the game this past Sunday. While he without a doubt is a force when healthy and has to be respected by defenses every time he steps onto the field, the Redskins offense is beginning to develop into a creature that doesn’t necessarily HAVE to have the likes of Jackson on the field in order to move the ball and put up points. We did that plenty against the #1 Defense in the league without him, but talent like his is boon when it can make it to the field. It was clear once the game started Sunday that his injuries would be of no issue, in fact he was played incredibly well. I look forward to seeing that again on Thursday.

Nick Sunberg on the other hand is an injury that cannot be dismissed. He has participated ZERO in practice due a back injury. McCloughan brought in a Free Agent, but make no mistake that will have little impact on this week. In fact, this has the potential to be a HUGE impact on our offense. Why do you ask? because of red zone issues. Currently the Skins have redzonaphobia and until that changes anything that endangers our field goal unit endangers our offense as a whole. Ironically, the offense is playing just well enough that our punt unit isn’t affected by this injury (Seriously, the Skins average one punt a game. Our offense is by far the most effective unit at avoiding 3-and-outs in the NFL right now) but is not playing well enough to be able to avoid relying on the field goal unit for salvation. The Long Snapper-Holder-Kicker is a tripod relationship based on timing and accountability and when we lose Nick, you can expect it to suffer. It’s no surprise that Gruden stuck to going for two against the Packers and I argue that’s not due to the wind. A bad snap/hold is a high risk with an unpracticed tripod, and if we’re gonna take a risk it might as well be a 2-point risk instead of a 1-point one. I know that our offense looked like a juggernaut against the Packers and the redzone wasn’t an issue then. One game alone does not break a trend though, and until we consistently walk away with 7 points injures like this will have a greater impact than they should. Taking into account the likelihood of a close game Thursday where every point matters, ask the Steelers how it feels to be down a due to missed 2-point conversions.

….. Other that that though, we’re looking great from a health perspective. Morgan Moses is playing hurt, but not that you could tell the way he he’s holding down the right side. Honestly *knocks violently on wood* our injury report (or lack thereof) is a bright spot for this team right now.

 

Schedule

The NFL schedule-makers — Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Howard Katz, Vice President of Broadcasting Onnie Bose, Senior Manager of Broadcasting Jonathan Payne and Senior Director of Broadcasting Michael North — have effectively stuck a thumb in the eye of the Skins this year in the form of our schedule. I REALLY hate the excuses of a short week, but the fact of the matter is the data doesn’t lie. Teams with short turnarounds generally play very poorly on Thursday. The fact that we played Sunday night as opposed to Sunday afternoon means we are in a direr spot because you can’t call Sunday night a restful one with players not leaving Fedex Field until 1am much less getting home till 2 hours later due to traffic. I was at the game and I can tell you I was dog tired the next day without playing 60 minutes against an NFL caliber team. So the exhaustion is real. Here’s hoping our skins can overcome basic human needs and the fact that they have less than 3 full days to recuperate. If there ever was a time to do it, it’s Dallas week.

Also, figures that four people with “Broadcasting” in their title who have never played a snap in the NFL would make decisions based on dollar signs and not on competitive balance. Thanks Goodell, really glad your crack team is at it again to ensure the best possible product is on the field at all times.

 

Weather

While Jerry World is an enclosed stadium so there is no issue of dealing with the same kind of elements the Skins faced this Sunday, I would be remise if I didn’t at least address Kirk’s play in the bad weather. The wind on Sunday was BAD. How bad? Enough that it impacted field goals, kick offs, punts, and Rogers’ deep ball. You know what wasn’t impacted by it? Captain Kirk’s throws. Maybe it’s a byproduct of growing up in Michigan, but holy cow can Cousins throw accurately into the wind. He explained in interviews after the game that it’s all about how he puts a spiral on the ball to cut the wind. I don’t care if it’s his spiral, arm strength, or magic pixie dust that’s causing it. All I know is that teams with quarterbacks that can play well in winter conditions do well in the post-season.

 

Fans

I was at the game this Sunday and even though the Packers always travel well, it was nice to know that their large numbers meant nothing as the noise levels from the crowds decidedly favored the Skins. That made me very happy. However, there is one area in which the fans have been loud that makes my heart very much the opposite of happy. For whatever reason, there still seems a lack of buy-in on #8 being our field general. You’ve read it in the papers, you see it on twitter, and you can hear it on the radio. For whatever reason, it seems like regardless of what Kirk does he always has detractors. I know you can’t please everyone all of the time, but there comes a point when enough is enough.

Maybe it’s leftovers from the RGIII era. A time when the Skins bandwagon got a lot bigger than it had been due to a media darling taking the reins of this team. Eventually after that historic season (a season that without Cousins’ two wins, including a HUGE clutch game against the Ravens, the playoffs never occur for us) we were left with a battle between Skins fans and RGIII fans. That fight continued to be fought bitterly and openly last season and the echos still reverberate every time a bad throw happens. The echos always sound the same way:

“He’s a game manager”

Yes, he’s a game manager in that he manages to win games.

“His arm strength isn’t elite”

Got three +40 yard passes into 20mph+ winds last Sunday that say otherwise

“He doesn’t show emotion”

Maybe because Kirk saw firsthand what happens when you make noise off the field and the harrowing vulture-like approach media coverage in the Washington area takes. In the land where everything is a controversy and back door conversations make it to the front page of the WaPo regularly, it’s no wonder he’s so guarded. He lost the popularity contest to Griffin, and had been cast as an unwanted stop-gap until a real quarterback comes along. GUESS WHAT FOLKS! A real quarterback isnt’ coming, HE’S HERE. You can’t crush every record not owned by someone named Sammy Baugh and not be the real deal. Saying otherwise is an insult to all of the other great Redskins signal callers who unanimously say Kirk is for real (No, Donovan McNabb isn’t counted in that group).

After the “You Like That” moment which was an outlier in the Cousin’s behavioral displays last year, he’s started to show his true nature with “Ooooouuuuweeee” and “How do you like me now”. Which should take away the last bit of ammo the detractors had.

He can throw, he can read defenses, he can lead this team, and his desire to win is evident. All he has left to do is be successful in the last remaining test for a Redskins Quarterback, what is without question the most important indicator of a GREAT Redskins quarterback…. Winning against the Cowboys.

Finish this week from Hell Kirk, BEAT DALLAS.

 

HTTR,

@BryanK3ys

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The Loser Papers – 2016 – Edition VI

Here we go again, following Captain Kirk into the second half of a season where he seems to play better every week. Now, Green Bay, Wisconsin is a sleepy little town of just over 100 thousand, so the pickin’s are slim when it comes to newspapers. We’ll have to make do with the Green Bay Press-Gazette reprinting articles from other local papers, such as The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Packers’ season careens out of control

Bob McGinn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 1:10 a.m. CST November 21, 2016

 Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder reels in a 44-yard touchdown pass while being covered by Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins in the third quarter Sunday night at FedEx Field. (Photo: Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder reels in a 44-yard touchdown pass while being covered by Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins in the third quarter Sunday night at FedEx Field. (Photo: Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

 

LANDOVER, Md. – No one wants to be labeled as a bad football team. If the Green Bay Packers aren’t one now they’re getting extremely close to it.

Playing a critical November game against a solid but beatable opponent from within the conference, the Packers ultimately were blown away, 42-24, by the Washington Redskins on Sunday night at FedEx Field.

The Redskins (6-3-1) amassed 515 yards against a defense that collapsed like a cheap suit in the fourth quarter. Exposed by a pass rush that bordered on non-existent, cornerbacks Quinten Rollins, LaDarius Gunter and Micah Hyde could hardly have played any worse.

NFLScoreboard | Standings

BOX SCOREWashington 42, Green Bay 24

MONDAY MORNING HEADLINESWrite the Packers-Redskins headline

GAME BLOGReview Tom Silverstein’s live coverage

Pierre Garcon’s 70-yard touchdown reception 40 seconds into the fourth quarter opened the floodgates.

Jamison Crowder hauled in a 53-yard over route to set up another touchdown, and Robert Kelley ended a shameful performance by Dom Capers’ unit by charging 66 yards up the middle.

Kelley, the rookie free agent from Tulane, carried 24 times for 137 of Washington’s 151 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins finished with a passer rating of 145.8 on a windy, cold night, completing 21 of 30 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns.

Jay Gruden, the Redskins’ coach, was stunned by Cousins’ accuracy in the blustery conditions.

CHATSubmit questions for Ryan Wood’s Monday chat

RELATEDCook, Starks provide shot in arm for offense

RELATEDPackers’ defense has no answers for collapse

“I don’t know how he did it, especially the one to Pierre,” said Gruden. “And the one to Crowder was a great throw.”

The Packers drooped to 4-6 with their fifth defeat in the last six games. They’re two games behind Detroit and Minnesota in the NFC North and in a four-way tie for 11th place in the NFC.

Of the 16 teams in the conference, the Packers find themselves ahead of only Chicago (2-8) and San Francisco (1-9). Yes, their situation is that bad.

“Six losses puts your ass against the wall,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Disappointing. Reality is we are 4-6. We understand clearly what is in front of us.

”This is no time for personnel evaluation or coaching evaluation. This is our football team, the 2016 Green Bay Packers. We are going to rally and stick together.”

It’s the Packers’ worst position after 10 games since McCarthy’s first season, when a 4-6 record turned into 8-8.

Playoffs? Playoffs? It should go without saying that the Packers are playing terrible football. Probably their only chance is to hope the Lions and Vikings fall apart and they can sneak into a division title.

The defense now has allowed 153 points in the last four games. It can’t stop anybody anymore.

RELATEDPackers have lost their luster

INSIDERThumbs down to depleted pass defense

DOUGHERTYDefenseless Packers in disarray

The offense, with Aaron Rodgers (115.0 rating) playing solid football, can’t protect or run the ball behind a beat-up offensive line.

Even the old reliable, Mason Crosby, has fallen apart. He missed a field-goal attempt from 36 as the special teams turned in another subpar showing.

In their last 22 games, the Packers are 9-13 (.409). In the 22 games before that, they were 18-4 (.818).

“Pass defense is all about getting the quarterback off his spot and having the pass rush to do that,” McCarthy said. “And be able to cover, especially on the up-field shoulder. They definitely have a perimeter group that is explosive, and they got behind us today.”

Ten months ago, the Packers beat the Redskins, 35-18, in the NFC wild-card playoffs, so this result represented a 35-point shift. Last Sunday, Tennessee’s 47-25 drubbing of Green Bay marked a 70-point difference from the teams’ last meeting.

The Packers also lost the turnover battle, 2-0, and plummeted to minus-6. That, perhaps, is the most telling sign of all that a team is playing bad football.

The Packers couldn’t have been more inept offensively in the early going. On their first three possessions, they ran nine plays without registering a first down and gaining a total of 6 yards.

“They can’t run the ball and they have trouble pass protecting,” an executive in personnel for an NFL team said. “Not a good combination.”

McCarthy trotted out a new personnel grouping on the second snap, with Randall Cobb, James Starks and Ty Montgomery with Rodgers in the backfield.

But it failed and wasn’t seen again after nose tackle Ziggy Hood beat Corey Linsley with a back-door move and tackled Starks for minus-1.

“We’re just not playing for 60 minutes,” Rodgers said. “We just need to find a way to get off to a better start.”

The offense actually took flight when McCarthy inserted Richard Rodgers for Jared Cook at tight end and began throwing an avalanche of short passes to blunt the Redskins’ heavy rush.

Rodgers’ fourth-and-7 pass for Cobb fell incomplete but cornerback Bashaud Breeland was penalized for illegal hands to the face of Davante Adams.

McCarthy went for it again on fourth down a few plays later. With two yards to go, Rodgers eluded onrushing linebacker Trent Murphy and scrambled right for seven.

A first-and-goal pass to Cook clanked off his hands when he and Rodgers couldn’t get together on a wheel route to the left that was wide open and should have been a 6-yard TD. Then Don Barclay’s holding penalty against former Packer Cullen Jenkins put the Packers into a third-and-goal hole at the 13.

Once again, Rodgers eluded the rush and eventually found Jordy Nelson in the back of the end zone for the TD. Cornerback Josh Norman knocked the ball from Nelson’s grasp but replay supported the call on the field that it was a catch.

“He’s got such a quick release,” one scout said. “It makes it tough on the rush.”

That drive took 8 minutes, 29 seconds, covering 75 yards in 17 plays. Then the rejuvenated Packers moved 38 in nine for Mason Crosby’s 36-yard field goal.

Rodgers continued to get the ball out of his hand quickly, and an 11-yard pass to Richard Rodgers gave Green Bay a first down at the 13.

On first down, Barclay was penalized for holding nickel linebacker Su’a Cravens. Rodgers scrambled beautifully for 17 after faking Murphy into the air. Starks bounced outside for minus-2, then Rodgers appeared to be responsible for a 10-yard sack by Ryan Kerrigan when the line slid left.

Defensively, the Packers limited one of the NFL’s more diverse offenses to 171 yards and nine first downs in the first half. Washington punted on its first two possessions before getting started on its third.

Cousins hit Maurice Harris, a rookie free agent from California, on third snd 6 for 14 with Gunter in coverage.

On third and 2, offensive coordinator Sean McVay managed to get DeSean Jackson matched against nickel back Micah Hyde in the left slot. Jackson made a nifty move, broke to the post, made the catch at the 2 and tumbled into the end zone for a 17-yard TD.

Trailing by three with 3 ½ remaining in the half, the Redskins rolled 75 yards in eight plays to take the lead into halftime, 13-10.

On third and 4, tight end Jordan Reed beat Hyde inside for a gain of 28 to the Green Bay 21. When Morgan Burnett missed the tackle in the right flat, Reed was able to turn an eight-yard pass into a gain of 18.

Following a timeout, McVay dialed up a run inside that Kelley turned into a 10-yard TD.

“It was a one-back power play,” said one scout. “The ‘backers overran it.”

Gruden elected to try for two points rather than kick the extra point on a windy (23 miles per hour at kickoff) night. The call, a dive with 5-foot-7 Chris Thompson carrying inside, was turned back by the Packers.

The Packers had the Redskins stopped for a three and out to start the second half. Mike Daniels, however, was penalized for roughing Cousins on a hard knockdown and the third-and-6 incompletion became a first down.

On third and 5, Reed worked free in the middle of a secondary depleted by the loss of cornerback Demetri Goodson with a knee injury in the second quarter.

Reed’s gain was 28 to the 21. From there, Kelley gained six in two carries and Julius Peppers beat right tackle Morgan Moses around the corner for a 4-yard sack.

Dustin Hopkins followed with a 37-yard field goal to cap the nine-play, 63-yard drive that put Washington ahead, 16-10.

The Packers averted disaster on Hopkins’ kickoff that landed and died inside the 5. Jeff Janis seemed to freeze, and Richard Rodgers had to make the recovery at the 2.

Rodgers, on third and 3, found Cook on the right side against free safety Duke Ihenacho and hit him deep for 47. Ihenacho, Will Blackmon and strong safety Donte Whitner have had to alternate at safety because David Bruton and DeAngelo Hall both ended up on injured reserve.

“That is their weakness,” one scout said, referring to the inability of the Redskins’ safeties to match up in coverage. “And Green Bay’s tight ends are good receivers.”

When the drive bogged down, Crosby’s 36-yard attempt missed to the left by a few feet.

The Redskins increased their lead to 22-10 by covering 74 yards in seven plays. On third and 11, Crowder ran by cornerback Rollins from the No. 3 position on the left and hauled in the long pass at the 6 for a 44-yard TD.

Back came the Packers, covering 75 yards in six plays to score when inside linebackers Will Compton and Cravens blew a coverage leaving Starks all alone in the left flat. Rodgers flipped the ball to him and the result was a 31-yard TD.

“One of the linebackers had to pick him up and they didn’t get there,” said one scout.

The Redskins extended their lead to 29-17 on a 70-yard TD pass to Garcon. Gunter was playing off as if he might be in “quarters” coverage and expecting safety help.

When Ha Ha Clinton-Dix moved forward in coverage, Garcon sped inside of Gunter. He made the catch just inside the 30 and scored easily.

On third and 12, Cobb caught a pass for 47 from the left slot. He skipped away from attempted tackles by nickel back Kendall Fuller and Whitner.

Cook beat Blackmon on a 6-yard slant for the TD, culminating an eight-play, 82-yard march as the Packers moved closer, 29-24.

Cousins converted on fourth-and-1 with a 2-yard sneak. Three plays later, Crowder ran an over route with linebacker Joe Thomas giving chase. It was worth 53 yards, and then Kelley barged across for the 1-yard TD.

Hopkins’ extra-point attempt caromed off the right upright, and the Redskins led, 35-24.

Cook then fumbled the ball away on a hit by Norman. Two plays later, Kelley ran up the gut and broke right for 66 yards to the 4, then crashed in on the next play for a 4-yard TD.

“You cannot not take care of the ball,” said McCarthy.

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/mcginn/2016/11/21/mcginn-packers-season-careens-out-control/94103962/

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Flashback Friday: This Day in 1985

On this day, November 18th in 1985, the Washington Redskins lost their quarterback to one of the most horrific injuries ever broadcast on live TV.

Joe Theismann suffered a horrific compound fracture of his leg while being sacked by New York Giants linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson during a Monday Night Football game at RFK Stadium.

Theismann said during a 2005 interview with the New York Times:

“The pain was unbelievable, it snapped like a breadstick. It sounded like two muzzled gunshots off my left shoulder. Pow, pow! It was at that point, I also found out what a magnificent machine the human body is. Almost immediately, from the knee down, all the feeling was gone in my right leg. The endorphins had kicked in, and I was not in pain.”

An ESPN poll voted it, the NFL’s “Most Shocking Moment in History”.

The Washington post dubbed it, “The Hit That No One Who Saw It Can Ever Forget”.

Which is absolutely true. You can’t unsee it no matter how hard you try.

But here it is if you dare…

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