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Game Blog Giants at Redskins

Game Blog Giants at Redskins

First Quarter
If the first series is any indication, the Giants will be throwing on early downs to give Eli Manning some time to throw. It almost worked, but Plaxico Burress dropped his first-down bomb.

Somebody on the Redskins must have tipped the referees off about defensive holding on their running plays. Dallas got called for it twice last week and now there is another one in the early going today against the Giants. I don’t recall it being called up until then.

Clinton Portis is going to pop one today. He’s come close a couple of times already on the first offensive series. All he needs to do is make one guy miss and he’ll be off to the races.

Slick and slippery. That’s what Santana Moss was on that little bubble screen that he took to the house. Derrick Dockery did a good job of getting downfield out in front of Moss and the defensive back had absolutely zero chance of getting around him to try to make the tackle.

As one person up here noted, a 7:08 drive with a lot of running is just what you want in Christmas Eve. It would be great to be down in the victorious locker room by 4 PM.

New York does seem to have the Washington defense a bit off balance as they are throwing on first and 10 and running on second and long. The strategy is keeping Manning in the pocket with time to throw and giving Tiki Barber some running room. When they had to pass on third and four, the ball got batted in the air by Phillip Daniels. Still, the drive netted the Giants a field goal.

That was the worst pass Brunell has thrown all year, by far. Perhaps he was out of synch with Thrash, the intended receiver, but it looked like he just didn’t see Chase Blackburn, who got one of the easiest touchdowns a defender will ever get.

It’s not hard to see why Antonio Brown isn’t getting any time at receiver despite his speed. He has no moves at all. If he stops going straight ahead or does any more than a full-speed veer, he’s dead.
I was going to type that the Redskins are setting up a play-action bomb by running on every first down, but I didn’t. I could go back in the chronicle here and do so, but it wouldn’t be right. Good adjustment by Moss on Brunell’s underthrown ball. He’s showing that he’s the complete package as a receiver, not just a speed demon.
 
Second Quarter
Portis was very, very close to breaking it on his first carry of the second quarter. He was just off balance enough when a Giant defender brushed him to get knocked out off bounds. It’s coming, I tell you.
Ade Jimoh is an animal on special teams. As the gunner, he had a Giants trying to both hold and clip him, but Jimoh wouldn’t have any of it. He got to Chad Morton as soon as he caught the punt and made a textbook open field tackle.

It is indeed the season for giving. Manning returned Brunell’s gift-wrapped interception favor with one to Lamar Marshall that should have had a bow on it. Jeremy Shockey has no idea where the ball was, apparently not believing that Eli had thrown it right between the “9” and the “8” on Marshall’s jersey. Happy Holidays, indeed!

The Giants don’t know what hit them on Portis’ TD toss to Cooley. That’s the best spot on the field to try that one from; when they ran it in St. Louis it was near midfield and you don’t expect a running back to have the skills to complete that one. This was just an easy toss to a wide-open Cooley. That’s going to set the New York defenders back on their heels a bit on the toss sweep from here on out.

It’s unusual to see the Redskins playing as soft as they are on this two-minute drive by the Giants. They’re in field goal range thanks to a questionable personal foul call on Ryan Clark and the rush really hasn’t come close to Manning and the coverage has still been rather soft.

New York gets a lucky break to get back into it. Burress should be ashamed of himself for being able to do nothing more than bat Manning’s pass into the air and Toomer should be commended for great concentration in making the catch in the end zone. It doesn’t look like there’s enough to overturn, although it’s very close.

Still, you have to like a 21-17 lead at the half. The Giants still don’t have an answer for the Redskins’ offense.

Third Quarter

That was not the series that the Redskins needed to respond to the Giants’ score near halftime. An OK run, a dropped pass, and a sack, that’s not the way to grab the momentum back. The Giants not only get the ball back, they have decent field position at their own 34.

Clutch special teams play by the Redskins with the blocked chip-shot field goal attempt. For the Giants to score on that drive would have put momentum back on the Giants’ side.

Patrick Ramsey came into the game the last time the Redskins played the Giants, too. The circumstances were quite different as New York had the game well in hand at that point. We’ll see how much Ramsey has learned in his 14 games on the bench.

Clinton Portis—or, more accurately, the offensive line—needs to step it up if the Redskins are going to stay in control. A solid running game is any quarterback’s best friend, especially a rusty one.
It really is too bad that Santana Moss is just a speedster who really isn’t much of a receiver. After bailing out Brunell on an underthrow earlier, he made a great adjustment on Ramsey’s pass and took it to the house again.

A very smooth, cool Manning going to Shockey to convert a third and nine. There were Redskins jumping all around and he calmly found  lane to throw to for a big first down.

This already has been a higher-scoring game than many thought at 28-20 and it’s not even the end of the third quarter yet. Manning is hanging tough.
 
Fourth Quarter
 
I told you that Portis was going to break one. Although 19 yards isn’t exactly coast to coast, he could have gone for 80. Besides, as it gives them a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, it may have been the most important 19 yards of the season for Portis and the Redskins.
 
I doubt that the Giants will be abandoning the run at this point. They have little hope of Manning drops back on every play. They need two touchdowns and Barber is their best offensive weapon and their best chance of getting the scores.
 
That may have been a little early to go for it on fourth down, especially with six yards to go and over ten minutes to play. A field goal would avoid the necessity for a two-point conversion.
 
After getting played to a standoff for most of three quarters, the Washington offensive line is now beginning to dominate the players in front of them. They’re blowing them back off the line and Betts and Portis are running hard into the holes.
 
One holding call and one possible PI that wasn’t called may have wrapped this one up for the Redskins. The hold brought back a New York TD and the non-call let stand a fourth-down incompletion. I certainly don’t want to imply that interference should have been called on Shawn Springs, just that I’ve seen it called on similar plays.
 
Who is the best team in the NFC now? You could make a case that the Redskins are playing better than anyone now and they have improved more than anyone over the past month. They hung 35 on the Giants, a team that shut them out less than two months ago. That’s all you need for a yardstick to tell how well this group is playing right now.
 
Hail to the Redskins.

Postscript

It’s quite a challenge to get a Redskin to actually acknowledge that he accomplished something out on the field. In the interview room I tried to get Santana Moss to say something about being a big-time player making big plays in a big time game. He talked about hard work and credited Clinton Portis for making the safeties cheat to help with the run. Renaldo Wynn’s block wasn’t a great individual effort, according to Wynn, it was a great scheme that Danny Smith called at the right time.

Clinton Portis did boast—about his passing ability. His success on the ground was due to Moss keeping the defense back on its heels, the offensive line, and great play calling.

As long as that attitude prevails, nobody is going to want to play this team in the playoffs should they get there.

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Redskins and Morgan Moses agree to five-year extension

Redskins and Morgan Moses agree to five-year extension

The Redskins have signed one of their own to a contract extension.

According to multiple reports, the team has reached agreement with right tackle Morgan Moses on a five-year contract extension. The deal will make him the second-highest paid right tackle in the NFL.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

Moses was entering the final year of his rookie contract. Absent an extension he was slated to become a free agent in 2018.

Moses, who just turned 26, was a third-round pick of the Redskins in 2014. He played sparingly as a rookie, appearing in eight games and starting one. In training camp in 2015 he was installed as the starter at right tackle and he has started all 32 games since then.

The highest-paid right tackle in the game is Lane Johnson of the Eagles. His contract averages $11.25 million per year. Second on the list is Ricky Wagner of the Lions whose deal has an average annual value of $9.5 million per year. So look for Moses’ deal to come in somewhere in the $10 million per year range.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

Of course, the details and fully guaranteed money are the most important aspects. Those will be reported in the coming days.

Moses’ extension means that the Redskins now have both of their offensive tackles under contract through at least the 2020 season. Left tackle Trent Williams signed a five-year, $66 million contract extension in 2015.

The extension was first reported by ESPN.

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

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Will McCloughan advising other teams hurt the Redskins in the draft?

Will McCloughan advising other teams hurt the Redskins in the draft?

Redskins’ college scouting director Scott Campbell acknowledged earlier this week that the team’s draft board will have Scot McCloughan’s influence on it. The Redskins may not be alone in having a McCloughan imprint on their draft tonight.

According to Mike Garofolo of NFL Media, the former Redskins GM has resumed the scouting service that he ran prior to being hired by the Redskins in January of 2015. He supplied his evaluation of various draft prospects to teams who paid for his service.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

Team president Bruce Allen has let it be known since they fired McCloughan in early March he was free to do work for other teams. And apparently, McCloughan is doing just that, providing his evaluations to teams that the Redskins are trying to outsmart in the draft.

The report did not specify to which teams McCloughan has been providing reports. However, Garafolo did say that McCloughan is “not giving up” information about the Redskins’ strategy. Of course, that’s a very gray area. If McCloughan tells a team that he gives Player X a third-round grade that team can reasonably guess that the Redskins have a similar grade on him. Teams are hungry for any tidbits about what other teams are thinking and they can put such nuggets to good use, especially if they are considering a trade.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

However, it’s possible that the Redskins’ board has changed enough to make whatever information McCloughan might be leaking out so outdated as to be of very limited use. Had the Redskins really been highly concerned about what McCloughan might say to other teams they either would have kept him on the job or they could have continued to pay him through the end of the draft and prohibit him from working anywhere else until after the final pick is made on Saturday evening.

If it’s not anything else it’s a reminder that the guy the Redskins let go a month and a half before the draft is so good at evaluating draft talent that other teams are willing to pay for him to provide them with those evaluations even this late in the process. This may not be an issue for them in this draft but it could be a problem as they try to grow a winning program through the draft in the coming years.

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