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An “a win is a win” win

An “a win is a win” win

The Browns came to Washington for the first time since 1991. The game unfolded much like one from 1981. Clinton Portis was running like the Redskins' top back from 1971.

This was not a game for those who love high-scoring affairs. The first half was scoreless, the first time the Redskins have been involved in a scoreless first half since the Giants came to RFK Stadium on September 13, 1981. I like a good defensive struggle but this was more a case of bumbling offense than rib-rocking defense.

On the rare occasions when Derrick Anderson's passes found their targets, the Cleveland receivers usually dropped them. Anderson was three for 14 in the first half. That's a 21% completion rate.

Jason Campbell was better, but not by much. Jim Zorn's play calling was very conservative and somewhat puzzling. He seemed determined to get Fred Davis involved in the offense, to the point where he called the rookie tight end's number on an end around. Speed is not one of Davis' main attributes nor is he particularly elusive. You could have left your seat to get a cold one—hell, you could have gone out and brewed a cold one—in the time it took Davis to make his way across the field.

Clinton Portis picked up 75 yards in the half. He was a latter-day Larry Brown, hurling his body through cracks in the line, making something out of nothing time after time.

The scoring picked up in the second half as the Redskins put together two nice touchdown drives. After the second one took it up to 14-3, the Redskins had a pair of great goal-line stands. I'll go into them in detail in another post, but although the Browns ultimately scored, they had to burn off over five precious minutes of clock after their initial first and goal at the one.

This game won't burn up much space in the Redskins' 2008 highlight show except perhaps for a few Portis runs to show how he led the NFL in rushing. But there are no style points next to the "W" column.

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

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