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Bears—After Further Review

Bears—After Further Review

Let's dive right in to looking at what I posted live last night and how it stands up to review 24 hours later:

Pregame

Suisham is nailing field goal tries from 40 with plenty to spare—he just nailed one that went just a few feet below the top of the goal posts as it went through. It seems that he's over that midseason slump he was in. You never know with a kicker, but he looks like he's a keeper.

After he was short on a 47-yarder—well short—and wide on a shorter effort, it appears that Suisham isn't yet a certain solution as the team's kicker for the next decade.

One somewhat surprising name on the inactive list is Todd Wade. It looks like Stephon Heyer is going to get yet another opportunity to make the Redskins wonder if they need to keep spending all of this money on Wade. Or on Jon Jansen, for that matter.

I think that a good chunk of Wade's money was guaranteed and I don't think that Jansen is ready to go just yet, so the prospect of Heyer becoming a regular next year isn't strong. But he does represent inexpensive depth for the time being.

First Quarter

12:00—A good punt by Frost, netting 39 as he angled it straight out of bounds. If he can do that all day, we'll take it. In fact, if he can do that for the rest of the year, we'll take it.

While Frosty had a few poor boots, he did average a net of 38.2 yards. Against Hester—in fact, for almost any game—that's mission accomplished.

10:53—Grossman is down, he took a pretty good smack after firing an incompletion. Leg or knee got bent the wrong way, and there was an audible "ooh" in the press box when it was shown on replay. Rex is limping off.

Most of the time, watching the game in the press box is like watching the game while you're at work in an office. It's fairly quiet, people are working and having muted conversations. When they showed the replay of the play where Grossman got hurt, there was the spontaneous reaction like you would get from a group of fans watching a game in a sports bar.

Second Quarter

13:45—A great blitz pickup by Portis allows Campbell to Cooley for 22.

Clinton Portis is hardly having a banner season, but he still plays for my team. Not every so-called star RB will do things like this and love it.

2:49—Campbell is down again, this time the cart is coming out. It's a knee or something very painful in the lower leg. It has season-ending written all over it.

It may or may not be season ending. Remember, we thought that the blow to the knee he took against the Steelers in the preseason would knock him out for the year and it just put him out for the preseason. I wouldn't be shocked to see him play against Dallas if the Redskins are in a position to keep playing after that. No inside info here, just a hunch.

Third Quarter

Off the top of my head, this is the first time that the Redskins have held the opposition scoreless in the first half. Having a halftime lead, however, is no guarantee of success as we well know.

I was wrong about this. They Redskins had held the Lions scoreless in the first half, too.

5:40—The Bears ate up 6:28 to get just three points. If the Redskins don't give them a short field it will be tough for Chicago to catch up.

Of course, I remember typing something similar at this point in the Bills game.

The Redskins defense, for the most part, did a good job of forcing the Bears into dinking and dunking down the field after it got to be 14-0. Of course, you'd like to see them shut the door completely, but they're not that kind of defense at this point.

Fourth Quarter

A big third down conversion attempt as the fourth quarter opens. A pass to Betts a few minutes ago got the Redskins their third third-down conversion in 11 attempts.

14:55—Cooley with a 33-yard grab to convert. Collins threw a nice pass to his TE in the seam of the zone.

I neglected to mention that Cooley bounced off of an attempted tackle and rumbled for an additional ten yards or so after making the catch.

6:57—Third and goal at the five now after a run stop and good coverage by Doughty.

FG Gould 22
Redskins 17, Bears 13

That was a good job of tightening up as they got to the goal line, but the earlier part of the drive was just too easy. The Redskins will need a touchdown if they are going to win.

I didn't go into Griffin's tackle of Peterson on first and goal at the one. That set the Chicago offense back to the four and they couldn't punch it in from there (good to see another team having difficulties starting from first and goal. Obviously, if the Bears tie the game up there, it's a different deal altogether.

6:00—Stop the presses. The Redskins have thrown on consecutive first downs with a four-point lead. And they both were complete.

4:00—A great throw by Collins again converts a third and four after two runs.

2:45—Third and six at the 16. I've got to think that the Bears will bring the house and that if Collins can get the ball off the result will be a touchdown.

Betts 16 pass from Collins (Suisham kick)
Redskins 24, Bears 13

There has been a lot of talk about the Redskins trusting Collins to pass in situations like this while keeping the chains on Campbell. That may be the case. It also may be a case of Saunders, Gibbs, and company finally decided that they'd had enough of the futility of running into a wall all the time.

0:34—Fourth and goal at the four. The Bears will try the FG and then the onside kick.

FG Gould 21
Redskins 24, Bears 16

Ya think that Joe Gibbs would be getting hammered today if he'd kicked a field goal here? It just didn't make any sense. You have about 30 seconds left to play. You need a touchdown, a two-point conversion, and a field goal to send it into overtime. Yes, you need two scores but you're at the four. Lovie Smith is saying that he has a better shot of hitting a Hail Mary pass than he does of getting the ball into the end zone from four yards away. Fourth down at the four represents by far your best chance of getting the needed touchdown part of the equation.

If you're at the 20 with fourth and four, yes, kick the FG. But from the four, you have to go for the TD.

0:00— The Redskins have now allowed two touchdowns in their last three games and they are 1-2.

This is DC and Redskins Nation so, of course, the talk is all about the quarterback position. What gets overlooked is that the defense. They kept the Redskins in a game in which the offense committed six turnovers. Yes, they allowed one late play that put the Bills into field goal position but the game should have been over long before that. And against the Bears they control the action almost the whole way.

 

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Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan spoke to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco about the loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and how the Falcons will rebound in 2017. 

In the process, he took a shot at former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play-calling and put some of the blame on his style of coaching for the disastrous fourth quarter.

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in," Ryan said. "As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

Those are some harsh words from Ryan and not exactly a ringing endorsement of Kyle Shanahan. This loss will surely haunt him should he never get back to another Super Bowl.

"There's always going to be a little sting," Ryan said. "You never lose that. Hopefully we've got four Super Bowl victories after this one, but that doesn't mean we won't still be like, 'Damn, let's talk about the other one we should've had."

Redskins fans may be able to relate to Matt Ryan's pain as some were vocal about Kyle Shanahan's play-calling during his time in Washington. Maybe Kirk Cousins takes notice of Ryan's comments as well before he considers San Francisco next off-season.

MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS STATEMENT WAS A MISTAKE, BUT WON'T HAVE IMPACT ON THE FIELD

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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