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Grading the Redskins: Defense 'manned' up in clutch

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Grading the Redskins: Defense 'manned' up in clutch

Defense

Grade vs. Giants: B

Comment: For the first 30 minutes Monday, Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense had its way at FedEx Field. The visitors converted 8 of 10 third downs, outgained Washington 273 yards to 156 and dominated time of possession.

Then the Redskins regrouped at halftime.

“We changed up what we were doing third down-wise,” said defensive captain London Fletcher, who finished with a game-high 12 tackles. “We came with a different type of coverage, brought some pressure, allowed [linebacker] Rob Jackson to rush a little bit more, and he was able to get a sack and a holding penalty.” 

Indeed, Jim Haslett’s adjustments – and timely plays at critical moments – made all of the difference. Jackson’s fourth quarter sack of Manning, for instance, came on a third down and prevented the Giants from immediately answering Pierre Garçon’s go-ahead touchdown. It was the only sack for a Redskins’ pass rush that struggled most of the night. But it ignited the crowd of 80,246 and changed the game’s momentum.

The Giants converted only 1 of 7 third downs in the final two quarters, and were limited to three points. They punted on three of their four drives. 

Overall, though, the numbers weren’t especially pretty for Haslett’s unit. It yielded 390 yards, including 117 on the ground. But the numbers didn't bother cornerback Josh Wilson afterward.

“You don’t win games by getting a lot of yards. You win games by getting points,” Wilson said. "At the end of the day, it’s about putting points on the board. And when they got down there, we manned up and stopped them. You guys can go calculate the stats, we’re going to go calculate the wins.”

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3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game. 

Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.

Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.

For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.

Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Mic picks up Packers trainer telling Cowboys' Tony Romo 'you deserve better'

Mic picks up Packers trainer telling Cowboys' Tony Romo 'you deserve better'

When longtime Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo lost his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott, there was general consensus that Prescott won the job fair and square when Romo got injured.

Romo himself said as much. But there are still people around the NFL who feel Dallas didn't do right by their 10-year starter. 

As Romo was leaving the field after the Cowboys lost to the Packers in the playoffs, Pepper Burruss, Green Bay's director of sports medicine, approached him. A microphone picked up Burruss saying what sounds like, "You deserve better." 

Take a listen. 

It's possible Burruss could have meant something else, like Romo deserved better injury luck. Maybe. 

Also keep in mind that Romo may have been leaving the field as a Cowboy for the final time of his career. What a note to leave on...

The 36-year-old has said he still wants an opportunity to start in the NFL. That won't happen in Dallas, so it's likely he'll move on to another team this offseason. 

According to Adam Schefter on ESPN Radio, the Cowboys may be willing to trade Romo to the team of his choice. 

Speculation has linked him to the Broncos, Bears, Jets and Texans.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins interviewed internal candidate for DC