To paraphrase a question that is making the rounds in political circles these daysare the Redskins better off today than they were one year ago?Its easy to go overboard with the Redskins 40-32 win over the Saints in New Orleans. After all, you dont have to go back more than one year to find the Redskins with a big opening day win over a quality opponent. They created all sorts of buzz a year ago when they beat the Giants 28-14 in last years season opener. Players talked about there being a new attitude in the locker room, that things would be different in 2011.And the good feelings lasted a while as they moved to 2-0 and later to 3-1. But things came crashing down after that and they won just two of the their final 12 games.But at least right now, this one feels different. The main reason, of course, is the play of Robert Griffin III. It could be argued that he hadthe best debut any rookie quarterback has ever had.Rex Grossman had a pretty good day against the Giants, completing 21 of 34 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns. But nobody walked away from that game thinking that a star was born and maybe the Redskins had their long-term solution at the most important position on the field.But there was more than that. An offensive line that was thought to be a weakness was very much a strength, as Griffin was sacked just once and the Redskins rushed for 153 yards.Against the Giants, Grossman was sacked four times and the Redskins rushed just 75 yards.Tim Hightower was the main runner against the Giants and he picked up 72 yards on 25 carries. At 2.9 yards a carry his performance was passable but not spectacular. Today Alfred Morris picked up 96 yards on 28 carries, a 3.7 average. Morris was not spectacular but he did become one of just five players to rush for at least 90 yards and score two or more touchdowns in his NFL debut. Advantage: MorrisA year ago against the Giants, the defense put up better numbers than they did yesterday. But, with all due respect to Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, and company, the Saints are a much better offense. And against New Orleans they came up big on a couple of occasions.Late in the third quarter the Saints were threatening to halve the Redskins lead. Trailing 30-14, Brees drove the Saints to a third and goal at the three. His pass to Darren Sproles was on the money but London Fletcher came up and knocked the ball loose.Then, the only time after the first quarter that the Saints had the ball with a chance to tie the game, their drive lasted just one play. DeJon Gomes, filling in at safety for the injured Brandon Meriweather, picked off Brees deep pass and returned it 49 yards to the three. One play later Morris put the game out of reach with a touchdown run.There were some down moments. Mike Shanahan may have been able to pull Griffin in the fourth quarter and let Kirk Cousins have some fun if not for a blocked punt late in the first half that turned a 20-7 laugher into a one-score game. Later in the game the prevent defense didnt prevent much of anything. And rookie safety Jordan Bernstine suffered a knee injury that might cost him the rest of the season.Despite that, the Redskins have plenty of reasons to feel good about themselves today and their fans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.Should they feel better than they did a year ago? It seems that they should, but time will tell.
Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo has a lengthy medical history.
Despite rookie quarterback Dak Prescott's strong play early in the preseason, the last thing the Cowboys needed was another injury to their franchise quarterback.
On Thursday night, early in the Cowboys' preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Romo attempted to slide safely to the turf.
As he went to the ground, he was awkwardly tackled from behind and crumpled up in pain.
Defensive end Frank Clark made a hard yet leagal tackle, but the angle of the tackle and Romo's slide combined for a painful scene.
Romo walked off the field on his own power but was immediately attended to by trainers as Prescott prepared to take over.
Romo was on the field for three plays before being hit by Clark.
The 36-year-old has played in all 16 games in just five of his ten NFL seasons as starting QB and missed all but four games last season after suffering a broken collerbone.
Stevan Ridley hit the free agent market today after the Detroit Lions released him. The news should not come as a surprise as Ridley has struggled since his knee injury in 2014.
Fans thinking Ridley might be able to help the Redskins depleted running back corps need to think again. Last season, Ridley played in nine games for the Jets, getting one start. He rushed the ball 36 times for 90 yards, an average of 2.5 yards-per-carry.
The Redskins run game struggled last year, but their stats look impressive next to Ridley. As a team the Skins rushed for 3.7 YPC, and presumed starter Matt Jones averaged 3.4 YPC.
The Redskins may well look for help at running back, especially as Jones is dealing with a shoulder injury and will sit out the remainder of the preseason, but Ridley is highly unlikely to be the answer.
Elsewhere in the running back world, reports show that five teams are interested in former Bills running back Karlos Williams. Who those teams are, however, remains a mystery.
It looks like Brian Stork will play for the Redskins after all.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media Stork, who was acquired from the Patriots yesterday, will report to Redskins Park this weekend to get to work with the team.
New #Redskins center Bryan Stork is expected to be in town and ready to go this weekend, source said. Would shut down retirement talk.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2016
Shortly after the deal for Stork was reported on Wednesday word came out that the third-year center and guard would retire. It appears that he reconsidered overnight and will join the Redskins.
Stork, 6-4, 315, started 15 games as a rookie including the Patriots’ Super Bowl win over the Seahawks. Last year, however, he missed the first seven games of the season with a concussion but he did start eight games, including two in the playoffs.
Just what Stork’s role in Washington will be remains to be seen. Speaking to the media today after a practice at Joint Base Andrews outside of Washington, Jay Gruden spoke of Stork as a depth addition. That may be true but he also could get a shot at displacing incumbent center Kory Lichtensteiger, who is 31 and coming off of a season where he missed 11 games with a neck and shoulder injury.
For his part, Stork has not been a model of durability during his two NFL seasons, missing 10 games due to injures including the seven with the concussion noted above.
The situation will sort itself out over the coming days and weeks. The only thing we know now is that Stork is likely to report and that alone makes their line better and deeper.