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Redskins watch Bengals run away with a win


Redskins watch Bengals run away with a win

In summary: Earlier this week, Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett lamented his units propensity for surrendering big plays, particularly in the passing game.

On Sunday, the Redskins defensive secondary struggled again in a 38-31 loss to Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and the Bengals.

The defeat, Washingtons second in a row, had veteran cornerback Josh Wilson searching for answers after the unit yielded 300 or more passing yards for the third time in three games this season. In 16 games last season, the unit yielded 300 or more yards only twice.

It was apparent from the opening play of the game that the Bengals planned to exploit Washingtons defensive backs. The visitors struck on passing touchdowns of 73, 59 and 48 yards, the first coming on a trick play to open that game that seemed to catch the Redskins defensive backs unawares.

We have to make plays, Wilson said. They game-plan, too. We have to be able to think. Its very surprising. Were a way better unit than this. We have to step up and take responsibility.

Giving up 38 point is not our M.O., he continued We have to put up some stops and make plays. If I knew the problems, we wouldnt be giving up 38 points.

Wilson got beat in one-on-one coverage when he gambled and missed the ball and Armon Binns in the first quarter. Binns took Daltons pass 48 yards for a touchdown that put the Bengals ahead 14-7.

In the fourth quarter, rookie Richard Crawford bit on a double move and got beat on a 59 hookup between Dalton and Andrew Hawkins that gave Cincinnati the winning margin.

When you get double move, you cant it was a learning experience, said Crawford, who was playing for Cedric Griffin, who left the game with strained hamstring. I apologize to my teammates. That game was kind of on me. It was my fault.

In addition to the scoring passes, the Redskins secondary surrendered plays of 38, 27, 25 and 22, as well.

Injury update: Big plays are a growing concern. So are injuries.

With Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker already done for the season and Brandon Meriweather not yet ready to return, the Redskins will be monitoring injuries to Trent Williams (knee), Evan Royster (knee), Roy Helu (foot or ankle), Griffin and Crezdon Butler(hamstring).

Williams, the starting left tackle and likely the most important player on offense behind Robert Griffin III, was injured in the first quarter. After a stint in the locker room, he played four plays in the third before leaving the game again.

After the game, Williams said he planned to have an MRI on Sunday night. He walked with a limp and sported a heavy brace on his right leg as he exited the stadium.

I dont what it is as of now, Williams said. I havent even looked at the replays. I just felt it give out on me.

I could go left, just had trouble going right, he added. Didnt really want to risk giving up a big quarterback hit.

For updates on the others, click here.

Griffin feeling the heat: Griffin completed 21 of 34 passes for 221 yards and accounted for two scores, one running and another passing. He also led the team in rushing with 85 yards.
And, once again, there were questions about how he is being used and whether all the designed runs will eventually lead to an injury. In addition to being sacked six times and hit 13 times on passing plays, Griffin also rushed the ball a career-high 12 times. In all, he has 32 carries in three games.

One play in particular seemed troubling. On an option in the second quarter, Griffin was hit hard by defensive end Carlos Dunlap, causing Griffin to fumble. Griffin was slow to get off the turf.

Coach Mike Shanahan does not agree.

I think we had 20 designed runs, relative to the option, over the first two games and I think he was contacted four times, Shanahan said. Even though its a designed run, he doesnt always get contacted. Now, if he had those designed runs and he was getting hit quite a bit, obviously you couldnt do that.

Take it to the Banks: One of the few bright spots was the creativity the coaching staff used in deploying Brandon Banks on offense. The pint-sized wide receiver carried the ball three times for 29 yards, including a 21-yarder on an option pitch in the third quarter.

Hes very good at that and thats one of the reasons why we kept him, Shanahan said.

By the numbers: Through the first three games, the Redskins defense has yielded 1,288 total yards.

The 213 yards on the ground Alfred Morris had 78 to go along with Griffins total were the most in a single game since Shanahan took over in 2010.

The 99 points the offense has scored the past three games is the most during a three-game stretch since 2005.

Rob Jacksons interception in the end zone marked only the fifth time in NFL history there has been an interception returned for zero yards for a score.

Quotable: Griffin on getting knocked down early and often. Cincinnatis ends were trying to run at me and get quarterback hits on me. Some teams think if you hit the quarterback enough, theyll stop coming after you. I just want to let everybody know that will never happen.

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Could Redskins bring back Terrance Knighton to help in the middle?

Could Redskins bring back Terrance Knighton to help in the middle?

When Terrance Knighton signed with the Patriots this offseason, word was the Redskins tried to talk him into staying in Washington up until the last minute. The man affectionately known as "Pot Roast" gave the 'Skins some good play at nose tackle in 2015, and the team and fans liked Knighton. But the big man with 96 career starts in seven years as a pro chose to go home to New England. 

The Redskins, however, may get the chance to bring back Knighton after all.

Knighton has dealt with weight issues throughout his NFL career as well as debilating cluster headaches that forced him to miss games and practice time. In 2015, Knighton played well at times for the Redskins, but was not the high-impact player that he demonstrated with the Broncos in 2014. With the Redskins, Pro Football Focus rated Knighton at +5.7, good, but down significantly from his +18.7 in Denver in 2014.


That said, Knighton would likely be a welcome addition for Washington. The team lacks a true nose tackle, and at 6-foot-2 and 300 lbs., Knighton fits the role well. Further, Knighton knows the players - especially his best friend from childhood Chris Baker - the coaches and the scheme. 

Stopping the run cold be a problem for Washington this fall, and while Pot Roast will not change that on his own, he can be a good piece of a defensive line rotation. That assumes, though, that Knighton is in shape and ready to play. Pro Football Focus shows that Knighton has played 36 snaps this preseason, though he did not play New England's last preseason game against the Panthers.

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Redskins trade target Bryan Stork fails physical; Washington to recoup draft pick

Redskins trade target Bryan Stork fails physical; Washington to recoup draft pick

The process of acquiring Bryan Stork has not been easy. After agreeing to a trade with New England for a conditional seventh-round pick, the former Patriots center was unsure if he wanted to be traded to the Redskins. Saturday, Stork relented, and said he looked forward to coming to Washington.

His stay won't last long. Chris Cooley reported the news first.

Stork's failed physical means the Redskins will not get the boost to their interior offensive line the club hoped for when they made the trade for the former Florida State center. Kory Lichtensteiger had a rough game Friday night in a win over the Bills, and while the veteran center likely would have retained his starting spot even with Stork on the team, GM Scot McCloughan preaches competition at every position. Stork's arrival would have brought that. Good news for Washington is that the team will get back their draft pick.


For Stork, this could signal the end of the line. With four concussions in two seasons and now a failed physical, it makes sense why the 25-year-old was so seriously contemplating retirement after just two seasons in the league.

As a rookie in 2014, Stork started 11 games and played in a Super Bowl. The 2015 season Stork was limited to just six starts. The trend for 2016 looks like even less.

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Does injury doom Marshall's chances of making the Redskins' roster?

Does injury doom Marshall's chances of making the Redskins' roster?

With running back Keith Marshall out for at least three weeks after suffering a sprained elbow and the roster cut looming, the Redskins’ coaches are going to have some tough decisions to make. Marshall’s hopes of making the team’s 53-man roster may fall victim to bad timing.

All NFL rosters must be cut to 53 players by Saturday. Matt Jones and Chris Thompson are locks to be two of the running backs. It looks like Robert Kelley, who took advantage of the opportunity that he had when Marshall went out against the Bills, is a strong favorite to claim a third spot.

Will the Redskins carry a fourth running back? If they do, will it be Marshall? That would be tough to do. With the season opener against the Steelers coming up two weeks from today they would have to carry an injured running back for at least the first two regular season games and possibly longer depending on the results of the reevaluation. With Jones recovering from an AC joint sprain, Thompson best suited to the third down role, and Kelley unproven the Redskins would need someone who could be of more immediate help. That means perhaps keeping Mack Brown on the roster, or picking up a back on waivers from another team.

And beyond the three-week window, the Redskins have to be concerned about Marshall’s durability. He lasted until the seventh round in the draft due to his difficulties staying on the field when he was at Georgia. Do the Redskins want to stretch their roster numbers to keep him on when his history says that he could end up out with another injury soon after that?

If Marshall had been stellar in practice or if he had been a preseason star (he wasn’t, with 16 carries for 28 yards, an average of 1.8 yards/carry) it might be a more difficult decision. But he wasn’t, so it’s hard to see the Redskins jumping through hoops to keep him around for the 2016 season.

However, they may want to keep him for future seasons. Sometimes in an NFL environment players learn how to take better care of their bodies and how to avoid getting injured. Perhaps they will put Marshall on injured reserve, have him spend the season and the 2017 offseason around the facility, and let him give it a go next year.