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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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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

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back