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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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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

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

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys who can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

lucky-whitehead.jpg

Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys. The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.

Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation.

The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.

 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

RELATED: COWBOYS WR LUCKY WHITEHEAD'S DOG REPORTEDLY HELD FOR RANSOM