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Need to Know: The Redskins' five longest plays of 2015

Need to Know: The Redskins' five longest plays of 2015

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 4, 54 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 146 days ago. It will be 100 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 54; Preseason opener @ Falcons 68; Final roster cut to 53, 91

I’m enjoying a vacation week in the Outer Banks. While I’m gone I’m presenting a few of the most popular posts from earlier this offseason (Note: A few details may not be updated) as well as some posts looking back at some of the team’s best performances. Thanks for reading, see you again on Monday, June 6.

The Redskins' five longest plays from scrimmage of 2015 (all touchdowns):

78 yards—Kirk Cousins screen pass to Matt Jones vs. Saints One of the up-and-down rookie’s better moments as he took a short pass and showed a great knack for following his blockers all the way to the end zone.

77 yards—Cousins deep pass to DeSean Jackson vs. Bills Midway through the third quarter Cousins spied Jackson running all alone down the left sideline. Jackson dodged a couple of defenders on his way in for the score.

71 yards—Colt McCoy deep pass to Rashad Ross @ Cowboys This was almost too easy. In the fourth quarter of the Redskins’ meaningless season finale at Dallas McCoy launched a deep pass to Ross, who was a good 15 yards past any defenders.

63 yards—Cousins deep pass to Jackson vs. Giants The Redskins were struggling offensively until they lined up in a run formation and Cousins launched one deep to Jackson to give the home team a 10-0 lead. They held on for a 20-14 win.

56 yards—Cousins deep pass to Jackson @ Panthers The Redskins were able to hang in with the eventual NFC champs for a while as the teams twice exchanged touchdowns in the first quarter. Washington’s first score came on Cousins long pass to Jackson. It is interesting to note now that current Redskins corner Josh Norman was called for holding on the play, a penalty that was declined.

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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Rams

Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Rams

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 19, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Raiders at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No media availability

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 13
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (11/23) 24
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 40

Last look at Redskins vs. Rams

—Before the game, I confidently told someone on Twitter that Ryan Grant would get about as many targets (6) against the Rams as he did against the Eagles. But as it turned out, Grant was targeted just twice. The second time was on the game-winning touchdown in the last two minutes. A big difference between this week and last was that Kirk Cousins attempted just 27 passes against LA compared to 40 vs. the Eagles. That led to fewer opportunities for receivers and Grant was one of those who saw his chances drop the most.

—Cousins started well and finished strong but he didn’t do much in the middle. It seems that he was rolling along well until he misfired on a fade pattern to Josh Doctson and then on another throw to Chris Thompson. That ended a goal to go opportunity in a situation where a touchdown would have given the Redskins a commanding 17-0 lead. The next time the Redskins had the ball Cousins was sacked on his first passing attempt and he fumbled a snap a little later. In the third quarter and early in the fourth he completed some passes but many of them were for a minimal gain. To his credit, he didn’t panic and force a turnover. And, of course, he came through on the final drive, completing three of three passes for 42 yards including the 11-yard game winner to Grant.

—During the week leading up to the game, Jay Gruden emphasized the importance of getting to the quarterback. It didn’t play out as well as I’m sure Gruden would have liked. They got two sacks of Jared Goff, one by Preston Smith and one by Ryan Kerrigan, both in the Rams’ possession late in the first half. They pressured Goff on other occasions but overall their pass rush possibly was not as good as it was against the Eagles. Then, they at least got to Carson Wentz even though they had issues bringing him down. Too often, Goff had plenty of time to operate and that helped keep the Rams in the game until near the end.

—Chris Thompson has been the Redskins’ offensive MVP so far. He has improved each year and yesterday he was at his peak. What you really had to like on the 61-yard touchdown run on the draw play was his patience. He was almost standing still as he took the handoff from Cousins as he carried out the pass-blocking fake and chose his path for when he got the ball. He said that the play was designed for him to go one way but his read took him someplace else. It took him to the end zone for the second time that game.

—One surprise early in the game was that Montae Nicholson started at strong safety in place of DeShazor Everett. Nicholson made no glaring errors before he left the game with an AC joint sprain. The depth chart here apparently is set after the team announced that Su'a Cravens, the starter until he left the team to contemplate retirement, will not return this season. 

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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All you really need to watch of this video is the first 10 seconds.

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NFL Power Rankings: Serious contenders already starting to emerge

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NFL Power Rankings: Serious contenders already starting to emerge

The NFL season is already one-eighth of the way done. That's a bit sad, isn't it?

Playing two games in professional football is roughly equivalent to playing 10 in the NBA or 20 in MLB. That means two things: 1) The season flies by, and 2) Contenders begin proving themselves early.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS

This year is no exception. So far, those trending toward the top of CSN's rankings have looked dominant, and figure to be in the hunt all season long. Those at the bottom, meanwhile? Hey, it's never too early to start doing some draft prep.

Wondering where your team is (and how far Dallas fell, because that's something everyone enjoys)? Check out the link above or below.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS