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Flashback Friday—Moseley boots Giants

Flashback Friday—Moseley boots Giants

I'll be posting some Redskins-Giants classics over the next week leading up to the season opener on Thursday. This one from December 19, 1982 needs no introduction for the readers of this blog. From the pages of The Redskins From A to Z.

RFK Stadium—"It was like a Hollywood script," the Redskins Mark Murphy said, "you couldn't have written it any better." Except that even fiction couldn't have been as compelling or exciting as the truth about this one.

A win would give Washington a playoff spot; a loss would put them in the muddled middle of the playoff picture. Before Mark Moseley, who was this close (thumb and index finger an eighth of an inch apart) to losing his job during training camp had a chance to attempt a game-winning, playoff-clinching record-setting field goal, the Redskins had to scrap and come off the mat and give him a chance to try it.

Washington turned the ball over five times in the first half, four of those being interceptions thrown by Joe Theismann. The first and third picks by the Giants led to touchdowns. The Redskins could only hold on to the ball long enough to tally a Moseley field goal and trailed at halftime 14-3.

After intermission, Washington began to get some control. Their 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to open the second half was exactly what Joe Gibbs had asked for at halftime, even though the scoring play wasn't exactly as he had drawn it up in the playbook.

After passes to Don Warren and Charlie Brown led to a first down at the New York 22, Gibbs called for a halfback option. Joe Washington was to sweep right, pull up and throw to Art Monk. New York, though, sniffed it out and Monk was covered. Washington reversed his field and took off around left end. The Giants were caught flat-footed and the only obstacle between Washington and the end zone was cornerback Terry Jackson. Theismann dispatched Jackson with a textbook cross-body block and Washington scooted into the end zone.

It had been snowing off and on the entire day and the field was wet and muddy. The point after attempt slipped off Moseley's wet toe, and the Redskins trailed 14-9.

As the fourth quarter began, the snow began to fall harder. It was time for a Riggo Drill, Gibbs decided, calling John Riggins' number eight times in 10 plays. It was good enough to get in position for Moseley to kick a 31-yard field goal with 6:23 left in the game to bring Washington to within 14-12. It was Moseley's 20th straight successful attempt, tying Garo Yepremian's NFL record for consecutive field goals made. He was hoping for an opportunity to break the mark.

Deprived of Washington turnovers, the New York offense did nothing in the second half. They were given a golden opportunity to salt away the game after their defense stopped Riggins short on a fourth and one at the Washington 40, but Scott Brunner was sacked twice and they had to punt. The Redskins took possession at their own 29 with 3:38 left.

On second down, Theismann found tight end Rick Walker over the middle for 20 yards to get the drive started. A facemask call pushed it forward to the Giants 44. Gibbs wanted to get inside the 30 for a field goal attempt.

On third and five from the 39, Theismann squeezed the ball to Brown between two defenders for 14 yards to the 25. Riggins ran for six to the 19 and then six more. Walker, though was holding on the second run and the ball went back to the 29. After two more Riggins runs, the ball was at the 25 and the Redskins let the clock run down to 9 seconds before calling time out. It was snowing as hard as it had been all day.

With the record, playoff spot, and game all riding on the kick, Jeff Bostic's snap and Theismann's hold were perfect. Moseley tried to get a little extra foot into it, giving the Giant's Byron Hunt a chance to get a finger on the ball. The kick wobbled, but it could not have been more beautiful for the Redskins and their fans. It cleared the crossbar with plenty to spare.

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a roster move just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.