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Too many turnovers


Too many turnovers


Grade vs. Giants: C+

Comment: Robert Griffin III and Co. scored 23 points – almost seven below their season average entering the game.

The reason? Themselves.

Four turnovers – one interception and three fumbles – not only signaled a season high, it also proved as costly as the secondary’s busted coverage on Victor Cruz late in the fourth quarter.

It was also uncharacteristic for the normally sure-handed Redskins’ offense: The unit arrived in the Meadowlands averaging less than one turnover per contest.

Alfred Morris’ third quarter fumble was his first of the season, but it put a damper on an otherwise outstanding afternoon for the rookie. Meantime, Griffin’s two turnovers (interception and fumble) marked a career-high for the star rookie.

“There are no excuses for that,” Griffin said afterward.

It was only fitting that the Redskins’ last chance to pull off the upset ended with Santana Moss getting stripped by Chase Blackburn near midfield. It was Moss’ first fumble since 2010.

Despite the carelessness with the rock, there was a lot to like about the offense’s performance. The 480 total yards were the most the team had gained since 2007 – and the unit did it without Pierre Garçon, who missed a second straight game with a foot injury, and Fred Davis, who was lost for the season in the first quarter because of a ruptured Achilles’ tendon.

Morris ran for a career-high 120 yards, Griffin (108.9 passer rating) outdueled two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning (78.9 rating), tight end Logan Paulsen grabbed a career high four passes for 76 yards and the offensive line did a decent job protecting Griffin from the Giants’ fearsome front four.

But the drive-killing turnovers – all of which occurred in the second half – proved too much to overcome. 

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Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.

Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.

“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.

But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?

Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.

So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?

It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”

There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it. 

MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 


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