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Will Montgomery receives accolades

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Will Montgomery receives accolades

Will Montgomery is one of the more unassuming players on the Redskins’ roster. Most days, in fact, he’s perfectly content to quietly slip in and out of the locker room as the cameras crowd around Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris.

On Monday, though, Montgomery received some unexpected praise for his standout play when he was mentioned in Peter King’s Monday Morning QB column in Sports Illustrated. King named Montgomery, the Redskins' 29-year-old center, as the ‘Dr. Z Unsung Man in the Trenches of the Week.’

Indeed, Montgomery had a good week in the midst of a stellar season. According to ProFootballFocus.com, the former Centreville High and Virginia Tech standout is the second ranked center in the league behind John Sullivan of the Vikings. The website says Montgomery has allowed only one sack, one quarterback hit and three hurries.

Montgomery has also played every snap. 

“The center, thankfully, doesn’t have many one-on-one blocks,” Montgomery said when asked about the ranking. “And because we’re running the ball so much, we’re just pounding that rock and running play action passes. Those stats are great, I guess.”

What matters more to Montgomery, he said, is where the Redskins rank in rushing yards. Through 10 games, they’re second in the NFL – only five yards behind San Francisco’s total of 1,797.

“As O-linemen, the only stat we want to know about is how many yards rushing we had,” Montgomery said. “No. 46 helps with that. No. 10 helps with that. When we run the ball well, it sets up everything else we want to do during the game.”

Asked about his individual stats, he again credited Griffin and Morris with helping to make him look good.

Which, of course, was typical, humble Will Montgomery.

“Those guys get a lot of yards,” he said with a smile and a shrug. “You have to give them their props.”

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Odell Beckham gets yards, but Josh Norman's Redskins get the win

Odell Beckham gets yards, but Josh Norman's Redskins get the win

Hype doesn't even begin to describe the attention put on Sunday's matchup between Josh Norman and Odell Beckham. The pairing of star cornerback and star receiver overshadowed the Redskins-Giants game, even though Washington came in desperate for a win.

Beckham versus Norman didn't disappoint either. It's overly simplifying the chess match between the two to declare a victor, but one side definitely left Giants Stadium smiling. 

Make no mistake, Beckham got his. He recorded seven catches on 11 targets for more than 100 yards.  But it's what Beckham didn't do - score a touchdown - that stands out.

Norman's play was solid throughout. He almost snagged a first half interception of Eli Manning and delivered a big hit on rookie Sterling Shepard in the second half that resulted in a personal foul penalty.

In the end though, Norman's team won. And that's what matters.  

"It's an awesome day. Straight awesome day," Norman said after the game.

As the players took the field before the game, the Giants Stadium crowd shouted a lot of ugly comments Norman's direction. Then throughout the game Norman was repeatedly booed by the crowd.

"Towards the end I was just celebrating with my teammates, victoriously, you can't ask for nothing better than that."

Much too much was made of the Beckham/Norman pairing, and perhaps for the next NFC East game between the 'Skins and Giants the focus will be different. But on Sunday, Norman and Beckham were the story.

"He made some plays and I made my plays," Norman said of Beckham.

"We got a team win. That's what it was – the Washington Redskins versus the New York Giants."

MORE REDSKINS: Beckham Jr. gets into fight with kicking net

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Redskins survive behind makeshift offensive line

Redskins survive behind makeshift offensive line

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—When center Kory Lichtensteiger and left guard Shawn Lauvao went out of today’s game with injuries, Spencer Long had to go in and play center. The only other active reserve offensive lineman was tackle Ty Nsekhe.

So the plan, as possibly drawn up on a white board by Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan on the sideline (there is no dirt to draw things up in on the field turf surface at MetLife Stadium), was to move Pro-Bowl tackle Trent Williams to guard and put Nsekhe into the lineup in Williams’ left tackle spot. Gruden said that he had confidence that Williams had enough knowledge of the offense to know how to handle things at left guard.

He apparently didn’t ask Williams.

“I didn’t know anything,” said Williams. “At tackle, especially left tackle, you kind of live on an island. Ninety-nine percent of the time you’re blocking the guy over you. But when you move inside there are so many calls, so many little intricate things that you have to pay attention to, that I didn’t know any of them.”

Long was able to help him out some, Williams said.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins was not at all taken aback when he went into the huddle and three of his five offensive linemen had not started the game.

“OK, next man up,” he said when asked what was going through his mind. “In this league you have to have that mentality. If any other thought hits your head you’re doomed to fail.”

Whatever anyone was thinking, the line combination worked. The Redskins ran for 30 yards in the first half with their line intact and got 60 in the second half with their makeshift group.

Gruden developed some confidence in the group. With the Redskins trailing by a point they got the ball needed a field goal to win. Matt Jones did a good chunk of the work to get Dustin Hopkins into position to make the kick, chewing up the clock while picking up 36 yards on seven carries. Williams loved it.

“It felt great,” he said. That’s the best feeling in the world when you can win the game by eating up the clock and running the ball.”

It was fun for Sunday. Now they will have to see how serious the injuries to Lichtensteiger and Lauvao are and configure what they have available for next week.