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Green vs. Vikes in '87--The Myth Persists

Green vs. Vikes in '87--The Myth Persists

The myth endures.

On their Website, the Redskins ran an article on the 1987 season NFC Title game against the Minnesota Vikings. The set the stage for the game-turning play:

The Minnesota Vikings had the ball on the Redskins' 6-yard line with 56 seconds left in regulation. The down and distance was fourth and four, but the Vikings were looking for the touchdown. They trailed the Redskins 17-10 in the 1987 NFC Championship Game at RFK Stadium on Jan. 17, 1988.When they described the play, however, they delved into mythology that Darrell Green himself refutes.

The Vikings called "Smoke 83 Option," a play that would use (WR Anthony) Carter as a decoy in the corner of the end zone and would have (RB Darrin) Nelson in a one-on-one situation with linebacker Monte Coleman just past the goal line.

(QB Wade) Wilson dropped back to pass and found Nelson, who had eluded Coleman as planned. What the Vikings didn't count on was Redskins' all-everything cornerback Darrell Green.

One week after returning the biggest punt of his life--a 52-yard touchdown at Chicago to propel the Redskins to a 21-17 win--Green made possibly the biggest defensive play of his epic 20-year career. Carter was forced into the wrong pattern, leaving Green in position to cover him and make the play.

Green, who had played the whole game with sore ribs suffered on that punt return a week earlier, collided with Nelson as soon as the ball hit the running back in the chest. Green knocked the ball away--and the Redskins were Super Bowl-bound

A review of the play on a recording of the game reveals a couple of key errors in the account. First, Nelson was not in the end zone, he was around the one. Second, Green never touched the ball. Nelson dropped it before he even got there. Even Green himself admits that the ball bounced out of Nelson's hands before he got to the back. After the game Green said:

I looked like I was a hero; everybody thought I knocked it out, but Nelson wouldn't have caught the ball anyway.Darrell Green accomplished so many outstanding feats on the football field that he doesn't need to get credit for any that he didn't actually do. The record should be set straight.

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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.

Timeline

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:
Out:
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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