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Bold Predictions: Take the Home Dog?

Bold Predictions: Take the Home Dog?

These aren’t the ’85 Bears, people.

They’re not even the ’05 Colts.

No doubt the Redskins face a very tough task on Sunday in facing the 6-4 San Diego Chargers at FedEx Field. But from listening to people talk and reading the message boards, you’d get the feeling that the typical Redskin fan thinks that he has a better chance of catching Jennifer Aniston on the rebound from Brad Pitt than the Redskins do of winning this game.

Such thinking goes to show you just how pervasive and overpowering the “what have you done lately” mentality is when people look at the NFL. Two and a half weeks ago the Chargers had just won to pull themselves up to .500 at 4-4. Washington had just beaten Philly to move to 5-3 and the playoff talk flowed freely in the Redskins locker room. Since then, the Chargers have gone to the Meadowlands, where the Jets had the ball inside the San Diego 10 with a chance to pull out a win in the waning moments before falling, and they have pummeled the Buffalo Bills, a team without a quarterback. For their part, the Redskins lost (according to the zebras anyway) a tough game on the road to a 7-3 Tampa Bay team and then led for most of the game against Oakland before losing.

These events have led to a view of the Chargers that is somewhat inflated and a view of the Redskins that is much more bleak than their body of work this season would suggest. Washington has won five games, San Diego has won six. The Redskins’ five victims have a combined record of 28-23 while the six teams the Chargers have beaten are 29-31. On the other side of the ledger, all of San Diego’s losses have come at the hands of teams with winning records while Washington’s loss to Oakland was the only one that wasn’t a “quality” loss.

The other factor in play that has made the Chargers not just the smart money pick but the choice of cash of all IQ’s is the Marty factor. This line of thinking says that Marty Schottenheimer will have his team primed to play so that he can stick it to his old employer just like Norv did last week. I’ve underestimated the psychological edge on occasion so far this year (see my prediction on the Giants game in the wake of owner Wellington Mara’s death as Exhibit A), but I don’t see this being a big edge for two reasons. First, Schottenheimer has remained on friendly terms with Dan Snyder and the rest of the organization. Second, Joe Gibbs is likely to have his troops quite well prepared, their motivation being survival in the competition for playoff spots.

The fallout of the past two weeks and, presumably, the Marty factor, has led to the Chargers being a three-point road favorite. I don’t follow such things very closely, but I would guess that, over the course of an NFL season you will find very few instances of a team being a home dog to a team that has won just one more game.

And, like most home dogs under most circumstances, I expect the Redskins to cover but not win. LaDanian Tomlinson won’t pile up a lot of yards on the ground but will be effective catching Drew Brees’ passes out of the backfield. Santana Moss should get untracked but Clinton Portis won’t. San Diego will get an early lead and hold off Washington at the end.

Chargers 23, Redskins 21

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NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Finally.

For the Washington Redskins, the 2017 NFL Draft represents a chance to find impact players, a search that begins with the 17th pick overall in the first round. All those discussions about whom the Redskins will select with their first pick will be answered Thursday night during the NFL's biggest offseason event.

To keep up with the NFL Draft, you'll need two things: A screen to watch it on and this live blog. Redskins fans and NFL fans who want to stay up to date with surprise picks, trades, analysis and anything else draft-related will want to keep this page open all night.


What: 2017 NFL Draft, Round 1
When: Thursday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
TV Channel: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN App

Here's what's happened so far. Let's head to the live blog:



5:05 PM - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has arrived. Surprisingly enough, fans aren't booing him. We'll have to wait until 8:00 p.m. for that.

4:45 PM - We're three hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like the Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing their choice for the No. 1 overall pick.

4:30 PM - JP Finlay is on the scene in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft. Several Redskins fans are out and about early.

4:15 PM - Oh, this is going to be fun. Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan is reportedly advising other teams on their picks at the draft. 

4:00 PM - And with that No. 17 pick, the Redskins could go in several different directions. There will be plenty of defensive lineman and pass rushers to choose from, as well as several high-end cornerbacks. JP Finlay identified the 22 players considered in-play for the Redskins at No. 17.

3:45 PM - The Redskins have the No. 17 pick. With the 2017 NFL Draft starting at 8:00 p.m., we are expecting the Redskins to make their pick at rough 10:15 p.m. ET.

3:30 PM - Want to get to know the NFL Draft prospects? Want to go inside the war room with a former GM? Ever wondered what a player evaluation looks like? Former NFL GM Charley Casserly and CSN's Julie Donaldson have you covered in our CSN Draft Room. It's your go-to source for 2017 NFL Draft material.

3:15 PM - The CSN team is all over the place today. Be sure to follow them on Twitter. Redskins Insider JP Finlay is at the Draft in Philadelphia. Redskins writer Rich Tandler and CSN anchor Chick Hernandez are at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. and NFL analyst Trevor Matich is in the CSN Draft Room. Be sure to follow @CSNRedskins for all your draft night coverage. 

3:00 PM - Welcome to CSN's live draft tracker for the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

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Morgan Moses serves as latest reminder that some draft picks take time

Morgan Moses serves as latest reminder that some draft picks take time

In the lead-up to the 2014 NFL Draft, NFL.com labeled Morgan Moses a "developmental project," touting his size and ability to move but also saying the Virginia prospect's inconsistency and up-and-down effort forced some teams to shy away from him.

Other sites, meanwhile, pointed to Moses' high ceiling as well, but no one was quite sure where the lineman would be selected. Eventually, the Redskins took him in the third round, 66th overall.

His rookie year, though, was a disappointment. He didn't log much time with the Redskins and when he did, he looked lost (especially on this infamous Monday Night Football play). 

The next year, however, he seized the starting right tackle job and has started in every game since, at times looking dominant. And now, the 26-year-old has a new, expensive contract extension to celebrate, after the Redskins made him the second-highest paid right tackle in the league.


The timing of the extension — just hours before the 2017 NFL Draft — is what's especially fitting, because Moses is another prime example of how being patient and developing a middle round draft pick can really work out.

Many times, fans or analysts will use words like "project" or call a player "raw." In both instances, a negative tone is often used. With Moses, that was the case, and after his nondescript first season there wasn't a ton of hope surrounding him (remind you a bit of Josh Doctson?).

But the Redskins were committed to improving him and Moses was committed to improving, too. Now, Washington has a pair of massive and talented tackles on each end of their offensive line, and No. 76 is No. 2 in professional football when it comes to money at his position. Both parties are happy.

Therefore, if (and when) the Burgundy and Gold picks up a member or members of this year's class who bring with them phrases like, "He may need to sit and learn behind a veteran" or "He has some tools but has yet to put them together," just remember not to fret. It's tempting to grade draft hauls the moment after the event's conclusion, but the real stars sometimes don't emerge until a few years down the road.