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Washington Redskins 2019 Live Draft Blog

2019 NFL Draft …

Thursday, April 25: 8:00 p.m. EDT

NFL Draft, Round 1

ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes | NFL.com/Watch

 

THN will be live blogging here for the first round.  We’ll track the picks and the trades so you know what the Redskins options are when they pick, whether they stay at #15, move up, or trade back.

 

#1 – Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray – QB – Oklahoma

Both the Redskins and the Giants are reportedly still in on Josh Rosen via trade.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/04/25/report-giants-washington-tell-cards-to-call-them-about-josh-rosen/

2 minutes ago

The three teams that have spoken to the Cardinals this off-season about Josh Rosen are the Giants, Dolphins and Chargers. But Rosen has been a backup plan at best for all three. Arizona has no issues keeping Rosen; it is prepared to keep him if it doesn’t get a suitable offer.

#2 – San Francisco 49ers  – Nick Bosa – DE – OSU

#3 – New York Jets – Quinnen Williams – DL – Alabama

#4 – Oakland Raiders – Clelin Farrell – DE – Clemson

#5 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White – LB – LSU

#6 – New York Giants – Daniel Jones – QB – Duke

#7 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Josh Allen – DE – Kentucky

#8 – Detroit Lions – TJ Hockenson – TE – Iowa

#9 – Buffalo Bills – Ed Oliver – DT – Houston

#10 – Pittsburgh Steelers (From Denver Broncos) – Devin Bush – LB – Michigan

#11 – Cincinnati Bengals – Jonah Williams – OT – Alabama

#12 Green Bay Packers – Rashan Gary – DE – Michigan

#13 – Miami Dolphins – Christian Wilkins – DT – Clemson

#14 – Atlanta Falcons – Chris Lindstrom – OL – BC

#15 – Washington Redskins – ON THE CLOCK – Dwayne Haskins – QB – OSU

It’s starting to look very much like the Redskins will have their pick of quarterbacks or a number of other positions.

Adam Schefter reports Dwayne Haskins is on a straight track to Washington.

1 minute ago

Could this have gone any better for the Washington Redskins?

This was the right pick.  The Giants are going to regret reaching for Daniel Jones.  They could have had him much later in the draft.

 

As a Giants fan, I have not been this sick since the 02? Wildcard vs San Fran. Seriously, its bad enough you whiff on Haskins but now you’re going to be playing him 2 times every year? Giants fans remember this night because its going to haunt our franchise for the next decade. Fire Gettleman.

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Friday, April 26: 7:00 p.m. EDT

NFL Draft, Rounds 2-3 ABC, ESPN/ESPN2, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes | NFL.com/Watch

Saturday, April 27: Noon EDT

NFL Draft, Rounds 4-7 ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes | NFL.com/Watch

Death Of A Brand

Few things are as hard to stomach as the slow, deliberate, and seemingly intentional systematic dismantling of what we consider to be the institutions of our lifetimes.  For those reading this blog that institution may ostensibly appear to be the Washington Redskins football club, whose twenty year descent into a level of hell the depths of which even Dante Alighieri couldn’t fathom needs no introduction or recap here.  No, this is about the slow and steady demise of THN.  For those of us fortunate enough to have been around for the duration of the site it is easy to recall a time when the feature of the site was exclusive blog content and training camp photos.  The THN crew would get together for tailgates.  Mark was always coming up with new ways of making the site unique and interesting, from the cartoons to the graphics, including the ones the Redskins “borrowed”, to interviews with former and current players there was always something special about THN.  The forums were more or less an afterthought.

 

Seventeen years later everything has changed.  As many know Mark’s personal life circumstances have changed drastically.  Many of the THN staff who helped build it into the site it became moved on.  In 2002, almost no one blogged.  Now everyone has a blog.  Social media has made information available in seconds that used to take hours to compile.  Twitter has caused people to have no attention span for long-form writing.  The internet at large has become one big homage to self.  Everything is one giant “Look at me!”  I don’t care to look at you.  You’re not special.  What I do care about is that everything on THN other than the forums has become stagnant.  The forums are simply a cesspool of half echo chamber and half ad hominem.  And the one prerequisite member who replies to everything, has the last word on everything, and adds nothing to the discussion.  Quite frankly, it’s a small miracle the forums have any activity left, and to be clear, they have very little.

 

No one seems to like when this is brought up.  The reactions tend to be of the “who are you to have an opinion?” variety.  Well, I’ll tell you who I am.  I’m a person who hoped to somehow make a small difference in making THN more than just another message board forum with a handful of members.  There are thousands of those, all staying online for more or less no good reason other than to say they’ve been around since X date.  THN deserves a better fate than those sites.  It was first.  It was better.  It’s owner put more into it.  Unfortunately, you can’t make people care.  Granted the Dan Snyder years have made being a fan difficult.  Mark never made being a fan difficult.  Because of what this site has given me over the last seventeen years one guarantee I will make is that if this site is going out it’s not going out with a whimper.  It’s not going out as “just another Redskins site” because it never was just another Redskins site.  It’s The Hogs.net

The Loser Papers – 2018 Edition VII

Did we win? When our last edition was published, the Redskins boasted a 2 game lead on the rest of the division, and a QB who, while not able to throw the long ball, was an efficient game manager, able to take what the defense gave and put a check in the win column. That seems like a year ago now, and while the Skins are not mathematically eliminated, they certainly seem to be circling the drain. To tell the truth, the editors here at TLP debated whether to even publish this edition. But here we are, bringing you, our faithful readers, a story from The Florida Times-Union:

Jaguars Review: 5 key moments from loss to Washington Redskins

Culture Change Begins At Home

I’m not going to bullshit anyone or attempt to blow smoke up anyone’s ass for cheap clicks here.  It’s been damn hard to write about the Washington Redskins this season or at least to write anything positive about the Washington Redskins.  Everything about being a fan of this team sucks monumental ass.  The owner is a self-absorbed douchebag who has no intention of learning from two decades of mistakes and would certainly never do the fanbase the favor of selling the franchise.  He employs the least qualified general manager in the league in Bruce Allen, who gets credit for managing the salary cap better than Vinny Cerrato.  If the best we can do as fans is applaud something better than Vinny Cerrato we deserve to suffer.  And suffer we have done and continue to do at the behest of the most inept organization in all of sports.  This club can’t get anything right even by accident.  A blind squirrel may find an occasional acorn but a blind, deaf, dumb, and willfully ignorant squirrel finds either a subsistence diet or a starvation diet and Redskins fans are finding both every year.

 

The simple solution would be for the Redskins owner, Daniel M. Snyder, to admit he’s a great fan but a terrible owner and to sell the franchise as a favor to the history and tradition of excellence he has been unable to carry forth during his tenure.  It’s not a question of wanting to win or to do the right thing.  It’s a case of not knowing what to do and not knowing or caring enough to find out what to do to return the team to a semblance of respectability.  It’s a case of doing whatever the hell he wants, damn the experts, damn the evidence, and damn the torpedoes.  And so here we are, with a team no one wants to manage, coach, or play for on game days.  Did the Redskins even take the field this past Sunday?  Josh Johnson, who hadn’t played a game in five years, put up more points than Mark Sanchez, the team’s first emergency quarterback option.  Signing Mark Sanchez was the team waving the white flag on the season.  Yet another, “Fuck it. We’ll try again next year.”  Evidently the team hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care about the dwindling number of fans.  Jack Kent Cooke must be rolling over in his grave at the thought of a fan hearing his or her own voice echo in an empty home stadium.

 

Everything about this organization needs a culture change from top to bottom.  When you never get anything right you’re doing everything wrong.  Since Dan Snyder won’t get the fuck out nothing else may matter in the grand scheme of things but if the intention is to keep any of the existing fanbase or to perhaps (gasp!) regain some of the recently lost fans then the team needs to remove Bruce Allen, whose only contribution to the franchise is cap management.  The team already has Eric Schaffer, the individual who actually manages the cap and who offers far more to football management than does Bruce “I only have this job because my last name is ‘Allen’ by any reasonable measure.  Jay Gruden may or may not be a decent NFL head coach but his time as head coach of the Washington Redskins has come and gone.  He and the team need fresh starts.  The sign of a quality head coach is one who can get his team up for a “meaningless” game.  Gruden can no longer motivate his team for games that still matter.

 

Fans are split on how to best effect the culture change of the Washington Redskins organization.  It has a long-standing history and tradition of success and of racism.  It has three Vince Lombardi trophies and three of the worst owners in the history of professional sports.  George Preston Marshall and Edward Bennett Williams couldn’t even sniff league approval to purchase the franchise in the year 2018, in a league very much dominated by old White men with good old boy values.  Those values and a billion dollars will get you where Dan Snyder is: Fuck all nowhere.  People get angry when it is suggested the team sign Colin Kaepernick.  The flag is a bone of contention.  To some Americans it means everything, to others it means nothing.  Neither side will ever convince the other of their position.  But the Redskins have tried waving the flag and giving fans the “land of the free and home of the brave” rhetoric and it is doing nothing to keep them standing at attention or saluting or even bothering to remove their caps.  It’s time to try the Constitution, if Dan Snyder and company can even recall of what the constitution of the franchise consists.

 

If liking players personally or agreeing with their personal actions in their personal lives was a requirement of signing teams would be hard-pressed to sign anyone.  We as fans and they as a business need to set aside feelings about what people do outside actual gameplay.  All we need to be concerned with is wins and losses.  All we need to have is hope for a better future than the present.  This franchise has been without hope for a very long time.  Even when we thought the team had a chance of making the playoffs we knew it had no chance of going anywhere once it got there.  Fans are welcome to disagree with that statement, and some will, specifically with the RGIII year, before he got injured.  Realistically, however, we hoped we had a shot at beating Green Bay.  No one expected it to happen.  And that’s the best we’ve been able to muster.  Hope that we could win one playoff game.  At least there was some hope.

 

Culture changes like signing Colin Kaepernick don’t signal the ability of an injury-decimated team to right the ship this season.  They don’t signal a belief that a 31 year old “malcontent” is the future of the organization.  What they do signal is an admission of guilt that the team philosophy has failed and that a new philosophy is needed.  You may not like it but the team needs to change everything from the philosophy to the attitude to the culture and that means changing the team name, the stadium location, the fan experience, the management, the coaching staff, the roster, and the concern for who does what during the national anthem.  Make the Washington Redskins organization the land of the free and the home of the brave by freeing it from the chains of stupid people making dumb decisions.  Leave football people free to make football decisions and football players free to do anything they choose outside the field of play.  Make the Redskins organization the home of the brave by signing the bravest player in the last several decades, one who was willing to give up his career for his beliefs.  Good players will want to play for an organization that supports its players rights to be people outside of the job.  It takes a brave organization to sign a brave player.

 

I welcome any criticisms, comments, or arguments but unless you have another viable solution to the “Redskins Problem” your speech may fall upon deaf ears.

 

 

 

The Loser Papers – 2018 Edition VI

With the victory over the Bucs, the Skins took a two game lead over the rest of the division, despite devastating injuries along the offensive line. Although they gave up ample yardage, the defense stiffened in the red zone, and took the ball away four times. Surely, this was a game this Tampa Bay team should have won. Let’s find out from The Tampa Bay Times what happened:

Bucs’ Jacquizz Rodgers has career receiving day, but costly fumble was his only takeaway

TAMPA  — Bucs running back Jacquizz Rodgers recorded his first professional 100-yard receiving game Sunday but had no reason to celebrate following Tampa Bay’s 16-3 loss to Washington.

Rodgers, who hadn’t logged more than 56 receiving yards in any of his previous 102 NFL games, had 103 yards on eight catches — which tied his career high — out of the backfield as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s top target.

The Bucs utilized their running backs as receivers — all three running backs caught passes — especially with tight end O.J. Howard minimalized in double coverage. Rodgers, who is the team’s top receiving back, was the biggest beneficiary.

“There was some stuff where Quizz caught a bunch of balls,” Fitzpatrick said. “He had a bunch where that’s where that was what they were giving us and we were just trying to dink and dunk at times and take what what were giving us and that was just the way that it went today.”

Four of his receptions were for 10 yards or more, including a 24-yard gain in the second quarter that was the biggest gain on the Bucs’ only scoring drive of the game.

But it was a costly fourth-quarter fumble — the third of four Bucs turnovers — that was all Rodgers could think about after the game.

“I’m (mad) as hell,” Rodgers said. “I fumbled. All the rest of that (stuff) don’t matter.”

Down 16-3, the Bucs were driving into Washington territory when Rodgers caught a pass in the middle of the field, pulled away from Mason Foster’s ankle-tackle attempt and turned upfield before linebacker Ryan Anderson punched the ball out of Rodgers’ grasp from behind.

Anderson hit the ball hard, and it sailed into the end zone, where it was recovered by Washington for a touchback.

“He punched it out,” Rodgers said. “I just need to do a better job of protecting the ball when I break a tackle. Guy did a nice play punching it out. I just have to do my job, and not fumble the ball. It’s that simple.”

“Yeah, (we) didn’t finish in the red zone,” Rodgers said. “We left a lot of points on the board today. When you turn the ball over as much as we did today, it’s hard to win.”

https://www.tampabay.com/blogs/bucs/2018/11/11/bucs-running-back-jacquizz-rodgers-has-career-receiving-day-but-costly-fumble-was-his-only-takeaway/

The Loser Papers – 2018 Edition V

Wow, this season is becoming fun, albeit a lot of work for the editors of TLP. Back to back divisional wins have been rare in recent history, and sacking Sheli Manning 7 times in a great defensive effort, seemingly even rarer. How great was it to see the sad sack QB pouting hit after hit? Along with the stellar defensive play, the resurgence of Adrian Peterson made this the editors favorite game of the season. To celebrate, we bring our loyal readers a trifecta of NY newspaper articles. The first comes from the pages of The New York Daily News:

Giants season only gets worse in loss to Washington

Now that that’s over with, the Giants can continue their firesale.

Eli Manning again showed nothing as his likely Giants farewell tour hit another season low in a 20-13 loss to Washington that looked a lot worse than the score.

Safety D.J. Swearinger intercepted two passes, Matt Ioannidis had 2½ sacks for NFC East-leading Washington.

Adrian Peterson caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith and ran for a season-high 149 yards, with the last 64 coming on a touchdown jaunt with 3:06 to play, as Washington (5-2) matched their best start since 2008.

Dustin Hopkins added field goals of 53 and 39 yards for Washington, who will finish the week with a 1½-game lead in the division. The three-game winning streak is their longest in two seasons.

Washington sacked a battered Manning seven times, forced the two turnovers and made big play after big play in sending the Giants (1-7) to its fifth straight loss.

Aldrick Rosas kicked field goals of 37 and 21 yards for the Giants. Manning, 30 of 47 for 316 yards, hit Evan Engram on a 2-yard touchdown pass with :17 to play.

Eli Manning.
Eli Manning. (Seth Wenig / AP)

Engram also let a scoring chance slipped away at Washington’s 32 when a short fourth-down pass went through his fingers with the Giants down 10-3 early in the fourth quarter.

The Giants came into the game wondering whether the trades this past week of starting cornerback Eli Apple and 2016 All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison would be a problem. The Giants defense was fine. Its offense wasn’t, and Washington’s defense was very, very good.

A major difference was Washington capitalized in the red zone, especially in the first half. Smith (20 of 32 for 178 yards) capped a 10-play, 73-yard drive with a TD pass to Peterson, who stepped out of a tackle by backup linebacker Nate Stupar at the 4-yard line.

The Giants had two trips inside the Washington 20. Swearinger ended the first, stepping inside of Odell Beckham Jr., to intercept a slant pass at the 8-yard line.

Rosas kicked a 37-yard field goal on the second drive after passes of 11 yards to Beckham and 24 to Saquon Barkley, who was limited to 38 yards rushing, got the Giants in scoring position.

Beckham had seven catches for 125 yards.

Hopkins missed a 41-yard field goal after the Swearinger interception.

Washington never lost the lead in the second half as its defense kept Manning ducking most of the day.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-sports-giants-washington-gamebox-20181028-story.html

And this one from The New York Post:

The defense the Giants have left was almost enough

The players were different, but the result was the same. So was the performance of the Giants defense — good, but not good enough.

For three quarters, the Giants didn’t miss starters Eli Apple (trade), Damon “Snacks” Harrison (trade) and Alec Ogletree (hamstring injury). But when they faded in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Redskins, those players surely could have helped.

“Defensively, we tried to hold them as much as possible,” safety Landon Collins said. “We didn’t do a good enough job to hold them off.”

As was the case against the Falcons and the Saints the previous two weeks, the defense kept the Giants in the game. The Redskins had just 10 points and were struggling to sustain drives through three quarters, limited to 234 total yards. That changed in the final quarter, after the defense produced a turnover that seemed like it would change momentum.

Collins stripped Adrian Peterson and Olivier Vernon returned it 43 yards, to the Redskins 39-yard line. But the Giants anemic offense predictably couldn’t turn it into points, and Washington reeled off 10 straight points to ice the game, capped by Peterson’s 64-yard touchdown run.

“Every turnover you think is going to be a [difference-maker] and I thought it was going to be big,” Collins said. “But stuff happens.”

They happen frequently to the Giants, who have now lost five straight games. They also could lose more defensive starters by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, as general manager Dave Gettleman appears intent on rebuilding this uneven roster. That could include No. 1 cornerback Janoris Jenkins and maybe even Collins, if the right deal comes along. It doesn’t seem to be weighing too heavily on the young safety’s mind. The trades of Apple and Harrison, Collins believes, was the result of the front office going with the players they want to move forward with.

“I’m just playing it day by day. I love the Giants, they love me,” he said. “You never know, it’s a business. So whatever happens, happens.”

Right now, Collins said he is focused on the team’s many problems, and somehow getting this wayward season on track. He admittedly is “very surprised” to be 1-7 for the second straight season.

“I don’t like it,” Collins said. “It’s awful. It’s a hard feeling.”

It only got worse on Sunday.

https://nypost.com/2018/10/29/the-defense-the-giants-have-left-was-almost-enough/

And finally, from The New York Times:

Adrian Peterson Leaves the Giants (and Tony Dorsett) in the Dust

Adrian Peterson after running for a 64-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Redskins’ win over the Giants on Sunday.CreditCreditElsa/Getty Images

By Kevin Armstrong

Oct. 28, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Now 33 and still known as All Day, Adrian Peterson, the Washington Redskins’ punishing running back, concluded his work with a jog up the ramp to the visitors’ locker room on Sunday. He carried with him a memento: the jersey of the Giants’ rookie running back Saquon Barkley, who had written Peterson a message in black marker on his No. 26 when the two exchanged uniforms after the game.

“Thank you for what you did for the game,” the message read. “One of the best to do it. Much respect.”

It was one more acknowledgment of Peterson’s place in the game’s annals. He rushed for 149 yards and scored two touchdowns on Sunday in Washington’s 20-13 win over the Giants, and along the way he passed Tony Dorsett to claim No. 9 on the career rushing yards list.

“It means a lot. He’s a guy I looked up to playing for the Cowboys,” Peterson, who grew up in East Texas, said of Dorsett. “Just accomplishing the things that he accomplished throughout his career, that’s what I always kind of set myself up to be able to accomplish one day. Now that it is here, I can appreciate it and just continue to pass guys.”

Peterson’s odometer now sits at 12,863 yards, but he still showed off impressive speed in pulling away for a 64-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. With Washington ahead by 13-6 and 3 minutes 16 seconds remaining in the game, guard Brandon Scherff pulled to the right — “ready to hunt,” as Washington Coach Jay Gruden said later — and cleared a path. Peterson pulsed forward through a gaping hole to get out in front of the Giants. Aware that a defender would be looking to dive at his feet in a last-ditch effort, Peterson kicked his legs up after 25 yards.

He then trained his eyes on the stadium video board in front of him to track the distance between him and two defenders. They did not catch him until he crossed the goal line, and one pulled him down by his collar, drawing a penalty. Peterson shrugged it off.

Eli Manning was sacked seven times.CreditElsa/Getty Images

“It’s been a long drought since I broke one,” he said. “It felt good to break through.”

Since signing with the team in August, Peterson has rushed for at least 90 yards five times, and Washington has won all five of those contests. The Redskins are now 5-2 and in first place in the N.F.C. East, while the Giants continued their tumble to 1-7 and last place in the division.

Washington quarterback Alex Smith has enjoyed the front-row view to Peterson’s revival.

“I think it’s the same thing over the course of his career that people have talked about: the combination of the size, the speed and the physicality,” Smith said. “It’s such a unique combination to see those three things, and I don’t feel like he’s slowed down much.

“He’s still running hard, still brings it every play, running with an edge. Fun to see, fun to be back there with him and it’s the same thing: a guy that I think brings a lot of energy to us.”

While Peterson impressed, Giants quarterback Eli Manning, another aging star, failed to keep pace. Manning, 37, was sacked seven times. He completed 30 of 47 passes for 316 yards but also threw two interceptions, including one in the red zone. When asked if he was concerned that the Giants would give another quarterback a look as the team entered its bye week, Manning said: “I have to worry about just doing my job, trying to play and prepare. That is not my decision.”

Peterson has put pain behind him this season. In a Week 5 loss to the New Orleans Saints, he sustained a dislocated shoulder but insisted that he could take a pounding along the way to show his teammates what it takes to win. After fumbling against the Giants, he followed his own advice by keeping his attention trained on the end game.

“For me, it was about locking in, letting that play go,” he said after the game.

As locker room attendants picked up discarded ankle tape and packed his helmet and pads into a burgundy travel bag, Peterson folded Barkley’s blue jersey into a backpack, and said he planned to give his two touchdown footballs to his sons.

He talked about the breakaway run with the reserve quarterback Colt McCoy by his locker stall. McCoy marveled at Peterson’s ability to keep running with defenders giving chase.

“All day, all day,” McCoy said. “You could’ve run home, All Day.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/28/sports/football/nfl-adrian-peterson-redskins-giants.html

The Loser Papers – 2018 Edition IV

The sweetest job the editors of TLP have is to publish issues from the s***hole town of Dallas. It makes us downright giddy. You can’t fool us, that caravan of folks coming up from South America is marching to Arlington to see their favorite team. Before the game ended with a resounding DOINK, the Redskins were thoroughly outplaying the Cowchips, though it wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard. But how did justice prevail? Let’s find out from The Dallas Morning News.

 

The decision was obvious in Cowboys-Redskins. But again, Jason Garrett botched it

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett claps on the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, October 21, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett claps on the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, October 21, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

Even before Sunday’s 20-17 flop finally played out at FedEx Field, you had a pretty good idea that Jason Garrett wouldn’t go radical at the end. He’s simply not that kind of guy. He’s Ward Cleaver, not Johnny Depp.

A coach of a superior team might be able to get away with playing for the tie instead of a win, even if the numbers say it’s not the way to go.

Garrett must realize before it’s officially too late that he’s no longer coaching a superior team, at least not on offense. Pro Football Focus still ranks his offensive line in the league’s upper third, but closer to the bottom of that grouping than the top. His quarterback is game, but he’s no Patrick Mahomes. And, with the exception of Cole Beasley and an occasional flash of brilliance from Michael Gallup, his wide receivers and tight ends don’t make up for the quarterback’s shortcomings.

None of the above is any revelation if you’ve watched this team play. Neither is the difference between the Cowboys’ record at home and on the road.

Frankly, the Cowboys are closer to what they played like Sunday than what they seemed in a rout of the Jaguars. And if Garrett doesn’t come to the same conclusion soon and remains true to his nature instead, he’ll miss some makeable playoffs.

Before we get into what’s left of this NFC East race, let’s revisit the final 52 seconds Sunday:

On first down, Dak Prescott hit Cole Beasley for 9 yards to Washington’s 37, a play that cost the Cowboys a precious 24 seconds. Then a 6-yard reception by Beasley ate up another 16.

Two pass plays. Forty seconds.

With 12 seconds left, Zeke Elliott ran the ball up the middle for 2 yards to the Washington 29. And then Garrett called a timeout with 3 seconds remaining to go for the tie, which, incredibly, was his plan the whole time.

Not a touchdown. A field goal.

Not a win. Overtime.

Believe it or not, The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published research earlier this year that examined every instance over the last 10 years in which NFL teams went for the tie (PAT) or win (2-point conversion). Coaches overwhelmingly chose to avoid the risk of immediate defeat (89 percent) and kicked. For the most part, it cost them. They won 40 percent of the time, a figure less than the average success rate (50 percent) of a 2-point conversion.

Researchers found the same risk-averse nature among NBA coaches. When needing a 2-point field goal to tie or a trey to win, they went with the former 71.1 percent of the time. The 3-point gamblers won 17.3 percent of the time.

The coaches who went for the tie: 14.5 percent winners.

An old baseball adage holds that you go for the win on the road and the tie at home. I don’t have any numbers to back it up, but it makes sense. And for obvious reasons, especially for these Cowboys.

As you may have noticed by now, the Cowboys aren’t very good on the road this season. They’re 3-0 at home and 0-4 outside JerryWorld. If you’ve got a chance to steal a game in the final seconds, thus avoiding any more time in a hostile environment, it seems prudent to give it a shot.

Garrett didn’t even try to win in regulation. No pass into the end zone. No passes to the sidelines.

Just three plays in 49 seconds to set up a long field-goal attempt by Brett Maher.

Of course, we’ve seen this sort of thing before. Garrett passed on a fourth-and-1 in Houston and lost a winnable game, 19-16.

From all available evidence this season, Garrett doesn’t appear to care for his offense any more than you do. Maybe his coaches in the box Sunday apprised him of receivers running free in the end zone, a startling view Tony Romo pointed out on the broadcast. Maybe Garrett has more confidence in his kicker than his quarterback.

Whatever Dak’s problems, Garrett can’t continue to coach around him like they did in 2016. The Cowboys don’t have the same offensive line. The tight end occupies a TV booth. And defenses have made adjustments.

What’s required in the absence of those former glories is a coach willing to take a few gambles. Be bold. Give this offense and team a jolt.

Because, incredibly, it’s still not too late for the Cowboys. Of the nine games remaining, only two (Washington and New Orleans) are against teams with winning records. The Eagles have the same record as the Cowboys after blowing a win at home against the Panthers. The Giants are a mess.

And the Cowboys next get Washington at home, where they look like their old selves.

Until then, the head coach could do himself a favor and consider what those researchers found about coaches going for the tie instead of a win:

They made their decision by focusing almost entirely on the prospect of losing immediately, neglecting how the future was likely to play out.

See the future, Jason, before yours runs out.

https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-cowboys/cowboys/2018/10/22/decision-obvious-cowboys-redskins-again-jason-garrett-botched

The Loser Papers – 2018 Edition III

How did it get to be Thursday so fast? The editors apologize for the lateness of this edition, our typesetter called in sick the first part of the week. Anyhoo, let’s get right to the fun. Two articles from the Charlotte Observer:

 

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) scrambles with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Landover, Md.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) scrambles with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Landover, Md. Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP Photo

Cam Newton inconsistent in Panthers’ loss to Redskins

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/article220025215.html

And

Panthers dig a hole, can’t climb out in road loss to Washington.

BY MARCEL LOUIS-JACQUES

It’s difficult to win games if you can’t hang on to the ball; Carolina found that out the hard way Sunday.

The Panthers couldn’t climb out of their hole after three first-half turnovers, losing to Washington 23-17.

For the second week in a row, the Panthers struggled against a team they probably should’ve beaten, but there were no special teams heroics to bail them out on the road.

The NFL’s best rushing team hardly looked like it as Washington controlled the line of scrimmage and capitalized on Carolina’s mistakes.

Three who mattered

Josh Norman: The reunion between the Panthers and Norman drew an expected amount of attention during the days leading up to Sunday’s contest, but the Washington cornerback welcomed his old team to his new home with an interception and forced a fumble in the first half.

Torrey Smith: He didn’t show up on the stat sheet through the game’s first three-and-a-half quarters but caught four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown on the Panthers’ first drive of the fourth quarter, capping the drive with a two-point conversion to bring the Panthers within 20-17.

Adrian Peterson: The former MVP turned back the clock Sunday, gashing Carolina’s eighth-ranked rushing defense for 97 yards on 17 carries.

Observations

Despite DJ Moore’s two first-half fumbles, Ron Rivera kept the rookie wide receiver in the game to close the half. The rookie repaid Rivera’s faith with an 18-yard catch that set up the Panthers’ first touchdown of the day.

Rivera earlier in the week said the Panthers would keep linebacker Thomas Davis on a pitch count in his first game back from a four-game suspension. It didn’t look like any pitch count was in effect Sunday; Davis appeared to play the entire game and showed few signs of rust, if any.

Washington entered the game with the league’s sixth-best rushing defense but hadn’t played a team ranked better than 18th in rushing offense. It proved its standing is no fluke, holding the Panthers, who averaged a league-best 154 rushing yards per game through four games, to a season-low 81 yards on the ground.

Cam Newton threw his first interception in five career games against Washington — a team he previously played some of his best football against. Newton averaged 251 passing yards in the four previous matchups, tossing nine touchdowns and running for two more.

Worth mentioning

Julius Peppers passed Charles Woodson for the seventh-most career games played by a defensive player in NFL history.

Thomas Davis recorded his 1,000th career tackle, joining an exclusive club of now 25 players in NFL history to do so.

In his return from a fractured foot, tight end Greg Olsen caught four passes for 48 yards, and nearly made a highlight-reel one-handed grab on the Panthers’ final drive of the game but didn’t get his second foot in bounds.

They said it

“They only guys who don’t make mistakes are the ones who don’t play.” – Greg Olsen on his advice to D.J. Moore

“I just told him to keep that same energy but they got the juice. They won, ain’t no point in me talking. I don’t want to have no Twitter beef with nobody.” – Cam Newton on trash talk with Josh Norman

“That was Devin Funchess who caught the ball though. That’s all I know, I know how to play hard for my team, 110 percent. Like I tell y’all, I’m gonna give my all for this team every single play that I can.” – Devin Funchess on whether he “Moss’d” Washington CB Quinton Dunbar.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article219623745.html

The Loser Papers – 2018 Edition II

Maybe it was the rain. Maybe it was the injuries. Maybe it was the refs, who are obviously out to get Clay Matthews. But, whatever the reason, the Green Bay Packers fell to the Redskins on Sunday. Let’s check in with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and find out what’s up with that.

Green Bay Packers defense breaks down in first half, allowing four touchdowns

LANDOVER, Md. – Late last week, Green Bay Packers defensive passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. issued a very public warning to his group as it prepared for Sunday’s game at Washington after Minnesota had thrown for four scores, including a 75-yard deep touchdown in the middle of the field.

“We’re going to get tested,” Whitt cautioned. “They should test us because we put a negative play on film.”

Coach Jay Gruden and quarterback Alex Smith did just that in a decisive first half in which Washington scored all four of its touchdowns in a 31-17 victory over the Packers.

“Jay wanted to be aggressive early,” Washington wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr. said. “And it worked for us.”

Smith hit tight end Jordan Reed for seven yards on Washington’s first play, and then found fellow tight end Vernon Davis for 20 in the middle of the field. On the very next play, Smith attacked Packers safety Kentrell Brice and cornerback Jaire Alexander on a deep post route that resulted in a 46-yard touchdown to Richardson and a quick 7-0 Washington lead.

“We was in Cover 4,” Brice said of that play. “I was doing what was asked of me to do. Anything else you can ask the coach.”

Added Alexander: “Cover 4, we played a different kind of; some kind of technique, I’m not too sure. Just play them as they go, as they get down the field you pick up on the routes.”

While Brice and Alexander chose not to say much about that play, cornerback Tramon Williams said the play wasn’t so much Washington attacking the players, but the scheme.

“It’s not always going to be based on them trying to challenge what they saw on film as much as it’s based on you’ve got a good, veteran quarterback who reads the coverage and knows you’re in a defense that they can beat,” Williams said. “They can beat you with that deep ball, that post ball, and we’re in that defense and we’re in that defense a lot and they’re going to attack it because that’s the defense we’re in. It goes both ways. You’re putting pressure on the player because the routes that they’re running is a beater for that coverage. So it gets kind of tough. As a player, you just have to protect yourself and know where your weakness is in that coverage.”

“I thought we had them on their heels in the first half,” Smith said. “They didn’t have a very good beat on what we were doing, run and pass. It was fun.”

Allowing Washington to cover 75 yards on four plays on its opening drive was a harbinger of things to come for Pettine’s group the rest of the half. The next Washington scoring drive covered 79 yards, but 47 came by way of pass interference penalties on Alexander, Williams and Davon House.

The third scoring drive featured a 34-yard pass to Reed and then a 41-yard run by Peterson. The fourth scoring drive featured a 50-yard pass to Vernon Davis and an 18-yard reception by Washington receiver Jamison Crowder.

Washington moved nearly at will in the opening 30 minutes of play, to the tune of 323 yards of total offense with an average of 9.8 yards per play. Their only speed bumps were a punt in the first quarter and a Ha Ha Clinton-Dix interception in the second.

To cover that much ground in just a half, Washington hit on nine plays of 12-plus yards and five plays of 20-plus yards.

To put that into context, Washington had five plays of 20 or more yards in its first eight quarters of the season heading in.

Green Bay also allowed an 80 percent conversion rate on third down and could not get to Smith or stop running back Adrian Peterson. The Packers had just one hit on Smith in the first half and did not record a sack or tackle for loss.

“They just did a good job of taking their shots and executing,” Packers corner Josh Jackson said. “We just gotta try to get stops earlier, make plays earlier.”

The performance looked like a continuation of the defense’s issues over the final three quarters of last week’s tie against the Vikings, when it gave up 22 points, 326 yards and 4 of 7 third downs.

“I would say that come the fourth quarter, overtime of last week, some of that carries over to the first half, but I thought our guys did a good job of setting their jaw,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “The defense gave us plenty of opportunities in the second half.”

That indeed was the case, as the defense forced four consecutive punts and allowed just 63 yards and a late field goal after a turnover, but it was too little too late after the first-half implosion.

“They made plays,” McCarthy said. “They took the shots in one-on-one and they converted them. That’s what this league’s about. To score points, you have to make big plays. That’s always been the case and they did a heck of a job of it in the first half.”

https://www.packersnews.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2018/09/23/green-bay-packers-defense-breaks-down-first-half-vs-wahington-four-touchdowns/1381369002/

The Loser Papers – 2018 Edition I

What’s this? An edition of TLP after week one? For the first time in Jay Gruden’s coaching career, the Redskins won their opener, so necessity dictates we check in with newspapers local to the Phoenix area to find out just what happened. From the pages of The Arizona Republic we get this offering:

Cardinals get pushed around on defense, can’t find any flow on offense in opener loss

Bob McManaman, Arizona Republic

Redskins Vs Cardinals 2018
(Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Republic)

Of all of the things that were said by the Cardinals following their season-opening 24-6 disaster of a loss to the Washington Redskins, one comment seemed to stand out above all others. It came from quarterback Sam Bradford, who said, “We can’t let this game beat us twice.”

There is a lot of weight in those eight little words, and the Cardinals would be wise to reflect on them before they suit up for next week’s game in Los Angeles against the Rams. But first, they have to throw Sunday’s game in the dumpster like a three-legged couch, Bradford says.

“Obviously, no one wants to start the season like this,” he said. “We felt like we were in a much better position. We felt like we were going to come out here and play much better than we did. But it’s one game. We’ve got to figure out a way to bounce back. We’ve got to figure out a way to watch the film (on Monday), figure out what needs to be corrected, correct it, and we can’t let this game beat us twice.”

  • There was Arizona’s 13-percent efficiency on third-down conversions (1 of 8).
  • There were the nine penalties for 67 yards, some of which came at the absolute worst moments.
  • There was the lack of any real run defense, as the Redskins gashed the Cardinals’ front seven for 182 rushing yards. Adrian Peterson led the way (96 yards on 26 carries), surpassing Jim Brown for 10th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list and scoring his 100th career rushing touchdown.
  • And no offense, but the Cardinals showed next-to-nothing on offense, as Washington (429 yards) more than doubled Arizona’s yardage output (213). Bradford only threw for 153 yards and David Johnson finished with just 37 rushing yards, although he did account for the team’s only touchdown – a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter.

“There’s some things that we definitely have got to go back and correct and that’s going to start with me,” Wilks said. “As I told the guys, this one game doesn’t define our season.”

Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks and quarterback Sam Bradford talk about their season-opening 24-6 loss to the Washington Redskins. Arizona Republic

If you’ve ever been to a bad movie, just be thankful you won’t be in the Cardinals’ team film-study session Monday morning. There are going to be a lot of people squirming in their seats. Especially when they have to re-watch Alex Smith carving them up for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“I thought he was sensational,” said Jay Gruden, who had lost each of his previous four season openers as Washington’s head coach.

There is plenty the Cardinals can learn about this loss, but it’s important that nobody starts reaching for the panic button prematurely.

“We had a ton of missed tackles, (poor defensive) fits and stuff like that, but those are all correctable,” linebacker Josh Bynes said. “It’s not like we’re sitting here going, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s the last game of the season and this is doom.’ This is the first game of 2018.

“I don’t know if you knew this, but I started off 0-7 when I was in Detroit. I’m not saying we’re at that level, but we also finished the season 7-2, so all I’m saying is, it’s not defining who we are right now in the first game of the season. It’s just the first game, we’ve got to correct our mistakes and not let it happen next week.”

azcentral sports’ Kent Somers, Greg Moore and Bob McManaman talk about the Cardinals’ season-opening 24-6 defeat against the Washington Redskins. Arizona Republic

What defined the Cardinals on Sunday was rather obvious. They had trouble finding any rhythm or flow on offense in the first half because the Redskins completely dominated time of possession. Washington used it to its advantage, soaking up 18 minutes and 10 seconds off the clock on three long touchdown drives to take a 21-0 halftime lead.

The Redskins went about getting into the end zone in different ways, showing plenty of diversity in coordinator Matt Cavanaugh’s offense.

On their first foray, the Redskins leaned on their running game behind Peterson and Chris Thompson. On six occasions, the two combined for eight runs of at least eight yards. The Cardinals’ defensive line got pushed around and abused and Smith capped the 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Thompson.

After that drive of nearly six minutes, Washington went 73 yards on 15 plays, consuming just over nine minutes until Peterson ran for a 1-yard touchdown. The key play in the series was a 22-yard pass from Smith to tight end Jordan Reed. Smith was under heavy pressure, but he spun out of trouble and threw on the run, hitting Reed in stride.

“I’ve sat back and watched this offensive line the last two years and dreamed about playing behind an offensive line that’s aggressive and plays with the technique that they do,” said Peterson, who appeared in six games last season for the Cardinals. “They did a great job of allowing me to slow my game down and take advantage of what they created for me.”

Before the Cardinals knew what happened, they were down 14-0 and it was about to get even worse. After a second straight three-and-out by Arizona, Washington took over with 3:17 left in the second quarter and this time went 92 yards for yet another score – a 4-yard strike from Smith to Reed in the right corner of the end zone.

“Smith threw it on a stop route to make a play on the ball and get it in the end zone,” Reed said. “He slowed me down with the throw and kept me in bounds with it.”

Key plays included a 23-yard pass play from Smith to Thompson, an 18-yard catch and run by Peterson and then three consecutive penalties by the Cardinals to further help the Washington cause. There was a neutral-zone infraction, illegal contact and a personal foul on defensive end Chandler Jones for unnecessary roughness upon diving onto Smith after a strip sack.

Add all that up and the Cardinals clearly thought they would be better than this.

“Obviously, we’re all disappointed in our performance, but you can’t hang your head,” Bradford said. “You’ve got to understand that this season is 16 games. A win or a loss, it counts just as one. We’ve got to make sure that next week we put this in the past, we corrected all the mistakes and we’re ready to go out there and play LA.”

https://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nfl/cardinals/2018/09/09/arizona-cardinals-washington-redskins-nfl-week-one-game-recap/1249574002/

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