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Game Blog Vs. Rams First Half

Game Blog Vs. Rams First Half

Tandler’s Redskins GameBlog
Redskins vs. Rams

First Half

I went to the Redskins’ 2000 win in the Edward Jones Dome (not sure what it was called at the time) and it was loud. I’ve always thought that people who talked about putting in ear plugs in domes were wimps of some sort, but they may have had a point, I was thinking as the Rams took a 10-0 lead. Today, however, there isn’t nearly as much juice there. The Rams not being the defending Super Bowl champs certainly has something to do with it. So does Clinton Portis’ 47-yard TD run and Dexter Coakley’s gruesome injury.

Up just 7-0, the Redskins had better not let the Rams hang around for too long. They are now just one mistake or one fortunate play from being tied in a game that they have thoroughly dominated.

These referees are quite the huddlers. They discuss everything at length. They do seem to be getting it right.

What a costly, costly facemask by Sean Taylor. That’s just not smart football. Neither is the defense letting Fitzpatrick run around and around and score the tying touchdown. He’s not fast, he’s not elusive, and somebody has to tackle the guy. That was a bad drive for the Redskins defense. The Rams are picking up the blitzes and making them pay for the single coverage on Holt. Maybe it will wake up the offense.

Chris Cooley might be the second best receiver on the team when it comes to yards after the catch. He can bull through that first tackler in the open field and scamper for a bunch more.

Rock Cartwright can run, too. I hadn’t seen that second gear he has once he broke past the line on that third down play. Of course, he rarely gets in the open field like that.

This is not the solid effort that the Redskins needed. They couldn’t punch it in after a first and goal at the five, Moss picks up a 15-yard penalty for whining and then Hall kicks it out of bounds. One completion and the Rams are back in Redskins territory. They may win, but without a second-half turnaround they won’t get any bounce out of it. They’re playing like a 5-6 football team.

This offense just wasted a great opportunity with sheer stupidity. After Cartwright’s nice run to get them near midfield a bubble screen to Taylor Jacobs cost them 37 seconds. Nobody could get lined up and then when they finally did get ready to snap it 27 seconds after the play ended (you see offenses get plays off in less than 10 seconds) there was a false start. To keep teams from doing that intentionally to stop the clock, there is a 10-second burn off the clock by rule when that happens. Sheer bumbling by the offensive unit.

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.


Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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