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Redskins-Rams instant analysis

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Redskins-Rams instant analysis

Two games into the Robert Griffin III Era, this much is clear: the dynamic rookie makes the Redskins infinitely more watchable, but he does not guarantee a victory.Punter Sav Rocca had a punt blocked for the second consecutive week, wide receiver Josh Morgan lost his cool late and the injury depleted Redskins defense got torched by the Rams Sam Bradford-led offense in a momentum-halting 31-28 loss at Edward Jones Dome. The Rams victory ended an eight-game losing streak dating to last season.
The Redskins were on the move late in the fourth quarter when Morgan snagged a Griffin pass at the Rams 29-yard line. But the wide receiver drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for flipping the ball at Cortland Finnegan, moving Washington back to the 44. Instead of a first down, Redskins kicker Billy Cundiff was forced to attempt a 62-yard field goal attempt that came up well short with 1:18 left to play.
Griffin filled up the box score, passing for 209 yards and a touchdown and running for 82 yards and two more scores. But he also tossed his first career interception and suffered his first defeat.

Adding injury to insult, the Redskins also suffered some key injuries that bear watching. Defensive end Adam Carriker (right knee), linebacker Brian Orakpo (left shoulder) and cornerback Josh Wilson (undisclosed) all left the game.
Carriker suffered what appeared to be a serious-looking right knee injury on Rams second possession. Orakpo attempted to return after appearing to reinjure his problematic left shoulder. Wilson, meantime, was hurt while tackling running back Darryl Richardson with a head-first tackle in the third quarter.
The extent of the injuries was not immediately known. But if any of them misses significant time, it could prove to be a serious blow to a defense that can ill-afford it after yielding 63 points in two games.
Griffin appeared to steady the Redskins late in the third quarter when scored from seven yards out on a keeper. It was his second rushing touchdown of the game and it restored the visitors advantage, 28-23.
On the Rams next possession, linebacker London Fletcher bailed out the Redskins when he picked off Bradford in the end zone.
But it proved to only be a temporary reprieve.
Matthew Mulligan blocked Roccas punt deep in Washingtons end. Four plays later, Mulligan was on the receiving end of Bradfords third touchdown pass, a one-yarder that put St. Louis ahead 31-28 after a two-point conversion by Richardson.
Rocca has now had punts blocked on consecutive Sundays and it did not appear to involve any chemistry issues between Rocca and new long snapper Justin Snow.
The result would have been hard to imagine after the Redskins fast start.
On the Ramss first play from scrimmage, Perry Riley stripped Danny Amendola on the Rams first play from scrimmage, and cornerback Josh Wilson returned the ball 30 yards for a touchdown.
Later in the first half, Griffin would extend the visitors lead to 14-3 with a five-yard run and then 21-6 with a 68-yard touchdown pass to Leonard Hankerson. It was the first scoring reception of Hankersons career.
The rest of the half belonged to Amendola, who shredded the Redskins shaky seconday en route to tying an NFL record for receptions in a half with 12. In only two quarters, Amendola racked up 133 yards and a touchdown.

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Kirk Cousins has same odds of winning 2016/17 NFL MVP as Mark Sanchez

Kirk Cousins has same odds of winning 2016/17 NFL MVP as Mark Sanchez

Is it crazy to give a quarterback who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns last season the same MVP odds as a guy who went 0-3 in three starts and tossed just four scores in 2015?

According to the sportsbook Bovada.lv, no, it's not crazy at all. So that's why, when looking at their opening odds for the 2016/17 NFL MVP, you'll find Kirk Cousins right next to Mark Sanchez, with both signal callers listed at a long 150/1.

Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Tannehill, David Johnson, Alshon Jeffrey, Le'Veon Bell and Sam Bradford also check in at 150/1. Some of those names, like Jeffrey and Bell, should makes Redskins fans feel good, since they're both premier players at their position. But others, such as Sanchez and Bradford? Yeah, not so much.

The top five guys most likely to win the award are Aaron Rodgers (4/1), Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1) and Tom Brady (9/1). Meanwhile, if you squint hard enough, you can see Robert Griffin III near the bottom of the list at 250/1.

Not that this reminder is necessary, but here's a reminder anyway: Anything can happen in this league, so these rankings are not the be-all and end-all. Last year, for instance, Newton had 50/1 odds of being named MVP, and then he went out and did it anyway.

So, with that in mind, while Cousins is no favorite, perhaps his loaded arsenal of targets can help him claim the valuable piece of hardware. The NFL is a wild place, after all — but still probably not wild enough for Sanchez to rise to the top of the sport, which is why him landing next to Cousins hurts more than a little bit.

RELATED: COLIN COWHERD TROLLS KIRK COUSINS IN LATEST RANT

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Longtime NFL coach Dennis Green dead at 67; honored by Redskins great

Longtime NFL coach Dennis Green dead at 67; honored by Redskins great

Longtime Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green died on Friday morning from complications stemming from a cardiac arrest.

He was 67.

Green spent ten seasons as the Vikings head coach, amassing a 97-62 record which included four NFC North titles, eight playoff appearances and one NFC Champuionship game appearance.

After taking a break from coaching, he returned in 2003 to coach the Cardinals, spending three years at the helm, finishing with a 16-32 record.

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was lined up across from Smith-coached offenses throughout much of his career.

As a former Penn State Nittany Lion, Arrington had much respect for Green, a Harrisburg, Penn. native and former coach at Northwestern, a fellow Big Ten school.

He was a great coach, mentor and man R I P Coach Green 🙏🏾

A photo posted by Lavar Arrington (@lavarleaparrington) on

Green was one of the NFL's great people and great characters.

While he will always be remembered for his most-game meltdown after the Cardinals blew a 20-point lead to the Bears in a Monday Night Football game in 2006, Green's lasting memory will be his commitment to respecting the game and teaching it the right way. 

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Steelers may be without Le'Veon Bell for opener against Redskins

Steelers may be without Le'Veon Bell for opener against Redskins

For a franchise that's known for assembling some incredibly stout defenses throughout its history, the Steelers have recently constructed an offense with a surplus of talent all over the depth chart.

But that offense was dealt a major blow Friday morning.

Le'Veon Bell, the team's star running back who in just three seasons has become one of the league's most feared players, is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, according to ESPN. The reason for the penalty, though, isn't because he failed a test, it's because he missed one.

The appeal process is reportedly still going on, but if Bell doesn't win that process, he'll miss the first quarter of the 2016 schedule.

While the news obviously hurts the Steelers, it benefits the Redskins.

Washington is hosting Pittsburgh in the season opener on Sept. 12, and its run defense wouldn't mind seeing No. 26 on the sidelines in a sweatshirt during the matchup. The Black and Gold do still have the very capable DeAngelo Williams — who rushed for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 while filling in for an injured Bell — plus the always dangerous Antonio Brown, but their unit will of course be less threatening without its top tailback.

ESPN reports that Bell's appeal date hasn't been determined yet, but it should be heard before any meaningful football starts. He was also suspended for the first two contests last year following an arrest for a DUI and marijuana possession that occurred in August 2014.

RELATED: SIX REDSKINS HONORED FOR OFFSEASON WORK