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Inspiration

Inspiration

OK, one last "you heard it here first". Following the lead set here yesterday afternoon, the Redskins players were almost as annoyed about their Pro Bowl snubs as the blog was:

Washington Named To Pro Bowl Team (washingtonpost.com): Most Redskins players couched their disappointment, but the team's cornerback duo was blunt. 'I was robbed by someone without a mask,' Smoot said, his voice tinged with disappointment. 'Quote me.'

Springs, who is tied for the team high with four interceptions, declared, 'I played better than any cornerback in the league this season.'

OK, just kidding about the "here first" thing.

There is talk out there that this will lead to the Redskins' defense playing very inspired football on Sunday. In the same article, Marcus Washington, the only Redskin to make the Pro Bowl, said: "Guys that walk around not with chips on their shoulders, but with blocks on their shoulders. I think they're definitely going to take it personal. They're definitely going to raise their game to an even higher level."

Washington's comments aside, I've never been much of a believer in things like this inspiring players to significantly better play. If the fact that a man is getting paid anywhere from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions dollars a year to play in an event that happens just 16 times a year doesn't motivate him to do his absolute best every week isn't inspration enough, well, he can't be motivated. On top of that, if a player gets too jacked up on anger over a perceived slight, it could work to his disadvantage, particularly on defense. He could go for the Sports Center highlight big hit at the expense of his assignment.

Still, football is a game of emotion. If the snub helps Cornelius Griffin, Smoot, and Springs focus better and be a half a step faster it could be a slight advantage in the game against the Cowboys. That might help the Skins get ahead early and the emotions could snowball and things could keep going in the Redskins' favor.

Regardless, I don't imagine that if the game is close in the waning minutes Smoot will be lining up to cover Keyshwan Johnson and thinking "Man, I'm going to blanket him because I was snubbed for the Pro Bowl." Smoot will try to cover Johnson like a blanket because it's his job and it will help his team win.

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

More Redskins: Will the first round fall into place?

Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!