DefenseGrade vs. Buccaneers: CComment: After Sundays too-close-for-comfort 24-22 victory in Tampa, a number of defensive players said they saw progress. After all, the team yielded 32, 31 and 38 points, respectively, in the first games of the season. Those same players, though, acknowledged that the unit's second half letdown at Raymond James Stadium left much to be desired.Indeed, the Madieu Williams-led defense limited the Buccaneers to a meager 132 yards in the first half, six first downs and a total of six points. Ryan Kerrigan and the rest of the Redskins front seven applied consistent pressure to Josh Freeman and, as a result, the quarterback never looked comfortable as he completed only 13 of 22 pass attempts for 88 yards. Freeman was also sacked once and picked off by DeAngelo Hall.The second half, however, was another story as the Redskins secondary struggled once again, proving particularly susceptible to the big play. Part of the problem, linebacker Rob Jackson said, was that Freeman was not subjected the same level of pressure he faced in the first two quarters.The rest of problem, however, was a familiar one: poor execution on the backend.The game, in fact, turned on a pair of long completions.On the first a 65-yard catch and run by Mike Williams in the third quarter the Buccaneers receiver raced past Josh Wilson down the sideline, then juked Wilson and Madieu Williams to gain another 30 yards after the catch. On the second a 54-yard yard reception by Vincent Jackson in the fourth quarter Jackson used his seven-inch height advantage to make an outstanding diving catch over Hall in the middle of the field.Both receptions set up pivotal scores for the Buccaneers as they overcame a 15-point deficit second half deficit. In all, the Redskins yielded 293 passing yards after permitting 326, 301 and 385, respectively, in Weeks 1-3. The unit allowed more than 293 yards passing only twice in 2011 and now ranks 31stwith an average of 326 passing yards against per game.You take a look at everything, Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday. Why do they make those plays? Thats what we do when we look at film. We talk about the things that we did to give up those big plays. Is it scheme? Is it personnel? Doesnt matter what it is. You have to take a look at what players do best and you have to adjust your scheme to fit your personnel.Potentially complicating matters will be overcoming the loss of safety of veteran Brandon Meriweather, who will miss a fifth game of the season after reinjuring his left knee in a pregame collision with teammate Aldrick Robinson.
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.
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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.
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