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Flashback Friday—Manley’s “sneeze” helps Skins win

Flashback Friday—Manley’s “sneeze” helps Skins win

Redskins 27, Saints 24
November 6, 1988
RFK Stadium

The second Flashback Friday brings you a game against the second opponent the Redskins will face in 2008 (hey, I might be on to a pattern here).

With the mention of Dexter Manley here earlier this week, I remembered this very Dexter moment from 1988.

RFK Stadium--Chip Lohmiller's 23-yard field goal with 47 seconds left gave the Redskins the lead, but they couldn't rest easily until the Saints' Morten Anderson missed a 49-yard attempt with four seconds on the clock as they hung on to beat New Orleans.

The key and most memorable moment of this contest, however, was not a placekick, not even a pass or a run. It was provided by Dexter Manley and, well, here's the story.

The Saints had broken on top 24-17 after having been tied at halftime. Early in the fourth quarter, they were in position to make it a very difficult uphill struggle for the Redskins to pull this one out with possession at the Washington 20. After a third down incompletion, it appeared that Anderson would come in to attempt a near-automatic 37-yard field goal. New Orleans tackle Jim Dombrowski changed all of that, though, when he took a swing at Manley. Dexter did not retaliate and the dead ball foul made Anderson's attempt a 52-yarder, which was partially blocked.

As it turns out, Dombrowski was the one retaliating as, after the play, Manley had spit in the offensive player's face. "He suckered me and I bought into it," said Dombrowski.

"I think I might have sneezed on him," said a coy Manley.

Even after the expectoration situation, the Redskins still trailed by a touchdown and were backed up at their own six. The combination of Doug Williams to Ricky Sanders took care of that little problem. Sanders turned a little hitch pass into a 42-yard gain and later found a seam between a pair of defenders to catch Williams' eight-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 6:35 to play.

Washington got the ball back less than a minute later on its own 31 and embarked on the winning drive. A pass to tight end Don Warren picked up 32 yards. Then Timmy Smith was called upon to pick up some yardage and burn off some clock as he handled the ball on the next seven plays, six of them runs. Art Monk scooted to the five on a reverse and then Lohmiller was called in. Anderson's attempt at the end was wide and short and the Redskins got away with the win.

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

Related: NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

The Redskins have interviewed some high-profile candidates for their open defensive coordinator position. When it was reported that they will meet with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, the reaction among the fans was, “Who?”

Let’s take a look at what Tarver’s qualifications are to get the job of running the Redskins’ defense.

Before becoming a coordinator: At the age of 22, Tarver took a coaching job at West Valley College in California, and did that while earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Santa Clara. After that he was a graduate assistant at UCLA for three years before getting into the NFL in 2001, when the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. Tarver worked his way up to outside linebackers coach in 2005 and did that job until 2010, when he was let go went Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Stanford, Dennis Allen hired Tarver to run the Raiders defense in 2012.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Note: If you want more complete stats on Tarver’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2012 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,672 (18th), points 443 (28th), takeaways 19 (26th), 3rd down 39.1% (20th), DVOA 12.5% 29th
Notable players: DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston

It should be noted that Allen had a defensive background so he had a hand in these numbers. This team just wasn’t very good as indicated by the fact that Seymour, at age 33, was one of their best defensive players.

2013 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,918 (22nd), points 453 (29th), takeaways 22 (21st), 3rd down 43.1% (28th), DVOA 10.3% (26th)
Notable players: S Charles Woodson

They did make an effort to shore up the defense by bringing back Woodson and drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round. But Hayden only played in eight games and Woodson could only contribute so much at age 37. The pass defense struggled, ranking 29th in DVOA.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

2014 Raiders (3-13)

Rankings: 5,721 (21st), points 452 (32nd), takeaways 14 (30th), 3rd down 38.5% (14th), DVOA 6.3% (26th)
Notable players: LB Khalil Mack, S Woodson

Allen was fired after an 0-4 start and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach the rest of the way. Sparano has an offensive background so perhaps Tarver is more fully accountable for these results than those in other seasons. They did draft Mack with the fifth overall pick but his impact as a rookie was limited as recorded four sacks. Hayden again missed half of the season and, again, the defense was near the bottom of the NFL.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.