Here is my review after looking at the recording of the Redskins-Bengals game. The second half is here,go here to see the first half review.Third quarterThat was just a good, competent drive for the Redskins first offensive touchdown. The only thing of note was the last play, when Robert Geathers tried to take Morris head off behind the line of scrimmage, but the RB spun out of it and scooted into the end zone.Jarvis Jenkins had a big hand in making a third-down stop on the Bengals ensuing possession. He got into the hole and made the initial contact on BenJarvus Green-Ellis. That held him up long enough for the rest of the defense to take him down.You have to love the way Alfred Morris runs. During the second TD drive he just willed his way through a pile of bodies to pick up seven additional yards. He ran the last five yards with his torso parallel to the ground.The edge defenders have to play the option soft when Banks is in. His speed just terrifies defenses. Good adjustment by Kyle Shanahan to get him in there.Again, Morris. Hes stopped dead after a two-yard gain on second and five at the 12. But his legs keep churning and he moves the pile for enough yardage to get the first down.Had Griffins left foot not been a few inches out of bounds, his arms-out dive to the goal line with the ball touching the pylon would have been an all-timer.But they got the TD on the next play anyway as Griffin found Santana Moss in the front of the end zone with a pinpoint pass on the move. That tied the game at 24-24.Its hard to say for sure, but it doesnt appear that Josh Wilson was touched while he was on the ground after recovering Green-Ellis first fumble in 590 career touches. The all-22 might provide a better view. The veteran refs probably would have let the play proceed and then, since it was a turnover, take a look on the automatic review. But the replacements blew the whistle and signaled timeout very quickly so even if the Redskins had prevailed on a challenge, Wilson would not have been given very many return yards, if any.Fourth quarterThe Redskins twice got good field position after tying the score and twice they squandered it. The first one, after the fumble recovery, was torpedoed by a second-down sack. They got the ball at the end of the third quarter on a punt and that one ended with Mike Shanahans controversial decision to punt on fourth and one from the Cincinnati 44.One of the disadvantages of having Banks in on offenseblocking. Griffin ran on third and eight from the Washington 49 and came up a yard short. Had Banks been able to get anything resembling a block on cornerback Nate Clements it looks like Griffin would have been able to squeeze out another couple of yards and they could have kept the drive alive.Another thing to look for on the all-22 is DeAngelo Halls facemask penalty. It didnt look like he was close enough to Green to do anything to him. It wound up being only a six-yard penalty since Green caught the ball and got down to the 12 but curious anyway.I can see why some wanted pass interference called on the deep pass to Hankerson but I really dont see it. Mays was between Hankerson and the ball and he is allowed to maintain that position. Yes, Hank went to the ground but not until the ball did.It just looked like Richard Crawford was tentative in his coverage of Andrew Hawkins on the 59-yard touchdown pass. He didnt quite believe what his eyes were telling him and by the time he figured it out, Hawkins was well past him.Although they didnt go no-huddle, the Redskins were efficient during their 90-yard drive to make a game of it again. They got off 12 plays in about three and a half minutes. That is a switch from what weve seen in the recent past.On the earlier challenged touchback, the ball was just inches from bouncing in the field of play. Niles Paul was just inches, maybe a foot or so, from legally batting the ball back on the onside kick. It would be a stretch to say the Redskins are about 18 inches away from being 2-1 but it wouldnt be a huge one.The Redskins should have declined the delay of game penalty after Cincinnati took a delay of game from the Washington 36 after the 2:00 warning. Its easier to put a team in the hole from the 41 than it is from five yards closer in.The officials were correct (after being corrected) not to run 10 seconds off of the clock after Leonard Hankerson was injured after the Redskins were out of timeouts and already had received a free timeout when Evan Royster was hurt. The rules, however, do call for a five-yard delay of game penalty in such a situation.Another RG3 Moment happened when Adam Jones hit him out of bounds after a scramble. Jones went sprawling while Griffin remained upright. Goes with the Superman socks.Public service announcementplease do not work on the assumption that the guys in the TV booth know the rules. They dont. There is never, ever a runoff if the clock is stopped.
The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.
That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.
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Will the Redskins go with a defensive player in the first round of the 2017 Draft?
Finlay: The Redskins haven't drafted a defensive player in the first round since 2011 when the franchise grabbed Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th pick. In fact, the team has only drafted five defensive players in the first round over the last 15 years.
History suggests Washington will stay away from a defensive player, but sources in Ashburn have suggested otherwise. Assuming the talent is there when the 'Skins pick at No. 17, Scot McCloughan would like to bolster the team's defensive line specifically.
Things will get complicated should Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook slide to 17. Rich Tandler certainly would like to see the Burgundy and Gold add a top-flight running back.
Tandler: Many fans believe that conducting a draft is like going into a grocery store with a list. Defensive lineman is at the top of the list so you go to aisle 12 and put a DL in the cart. Safety is next on the list so you push the cart over to that aisle and pick out one of those.
No, a draft is much more unpredictable. There might not be a defensive lineman who is close to worthy of the No. 17 pick when the Redskins are on the clock. Talk of taking the best available player is like fingernails on a chalkboard to some. But if you’re reaching for need in a draft, you’re losing that draft. Sure, if a player in a position of need is just a spot or two down from the best available you think about it. Still, staying true to your board is the way to build a team.
The other thing to consider here is that we haven’t gone through free agency yet. Needs will shift after that. Suppose the Redskins sign two starting-caliber D-linemen and lose both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson in free agency? Defensive line is no longer a five-alarm priority and receiver will be.
More offseason questions:
Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!
Twice in the last five seasons Pierre Garçon logged more than 1,000 yards receiving as a member of the Washington Redskins, including the 2016 season. He's caught 376 passes in Washington for 21 touchdowns over 74 games.
Outside of a foot injury that cost his six games in 2012, Garçon has been arguably the Redskins most durable wide receiver, and he's known to be a hard worker in the weight room and the practice field.
Despite all that, Garçon doesn't know that he will be back with the Burgundy and Gold once free agency opens. In fact, that uncertainty led the 30-year-old wideout to post a simple question on his Instagram page.
The top of the Redskins offseason questions remains QB Kirk Cousins. Garçon and fellow wideout DeSean Jackson are headed for free agency, as is standout defensive lineman Chris Baker. Reports show that the team has made little to no contact with any of the players or their representatives, though many conversations could be planned for the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis later this month.
Garçon's question seems simple, but the answer remains a mystery.
Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!