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Redskins-Bears Live Blog from FedEx Field

Redskins-Bears Live Blog from FedEx Field

Live from the press box at FedEx Field

Right now, just about an hour before kickoff, there are more media members in the stadium than fans.

It's right around freezing now and I can vouch for that. As I made my way through the media parking lot to the bus that takes me, the Redskins Band, the beer vendors and the luxury box servers, there were many patches composed of part water and part ice. It made the going a bit tricky.

The field looks like it's in great shape. They either have the greatest groundskeepers in the world or some damn fine painters. Whichever it is, the Steelers should look into borrowing them.

Suisham is nailing field goal tries from 40 with plenty to spare—he just nailed one that went just a few feet below the top of the goal posts as it went through. It seems that he's over that midseason slump he was in. You never know with a kicker, but he looks like he's a keeper.

There was some talk that Sean Springs would miss tonight's game with the back injury he suffered last week—make that four days ago—against the Bills. But he's active and out there warming up in the end zone just in front of me.

One somewhat surprising name on the inactive list is Todd Wade. It looks like Stephon Heyer is going to get yet another opportunity to make the Redskins wonder if they need to keep spending all of this money on Wade. Or on Jon Jansen, for that matter.

Starting next to Heyer will be Randy Thomas, seeing his first action since Week 2. His left arm is in a brace. It will be interesting to see what kind of form he's in. It's not as though Jason Fabini has done a horrible job by any stretch, but you have to think that Thomas is an immediate upgrade, kind of like making a December trade to shore up the O-line.

I've been coming to this stadium since it opened, sitting in the same end zone either in the stands or in the press box. I just found out that this is the West end zone. It's the one to the left as you're watching on TV, in case anyone cares.

After a week off, apparently out of respect for Sean Taylor, the pregame fireworks are back. Hopefully the smoke will clear prior to kickoff.

No surprise, the greatest play in Redskins history, by a vote of some fans, was John Riggins' fourth and one run in Super Bowl XVII.

We have a new press box announcer. I don't know if he's a fill in or if the other guy got the axe. Maybe the old guy finally got the name of the ball carrier and the yardage of the play right on the same play and retired.

First quarter

14:50—The Bears get the ball at the 34 and it feels like a major victory.

13:36—Chicago is operating without a huddle until a third and nine. The huddle apparently was insufficient as the Bears had to burn a timeout.

13:31—Rex throws both low and short of the first down line.

13:24—How did Cartwright miss blocking that punt?

13:00—Portis gains two yards, maintaining his average from last week.

12:33—An unimpressive three and out for the Redskins on their initial series.

12:00—A good punt by Frost, netting 39 as he angled it straight out of bounds. If he can do that all day, we'll take it. In fact, if he can do that for the rest of the year, we'll take it.

11:37—The tackling has not been very solid for the Redskins so far. Adrian Peterson broke a few to get a first down.

10:58—The Bears are huddling up on this series.

10:53—Grossman is down, he took a pretty good smack after firing an incompletion. Leg or knee got bent the wrong way, and there was an audible "ooh" in the press box when it was shown on replay. Rex is limping off.

10:44—The Bears had the screen called against a Redskins blitz and McIntosh got through quickly enough to prevent a cold Brian Griese from completing it. Bears punt down to Washington eight yard line.

10:31—Grossman is out for the rest of the game with a knee injury.

10:00—Skins in no-huddle now.

9:26—No gain for Portis on third and two. Skins will punt from their own 16.

8:45—Hester is influencing field position. 46-yard punt with 16 on the return and the Bears are in Washington territory at the 46.

8:30—Another missed tackle, this time by McIntosh. A loss of one becomes a gain of three.

5:43—Berrian had a step on Springs, but it didn't look like he made much of an effort to drag the second foot in.

5:32—Kedric Golston gets a hand on Gould's 47-yard field goal attempt and gets the block. That keept the Bears off the board and gives the Redskins their best field position of the day.

5:23—Another two-yard gain for Portis.

4:26—Back to back first downs on passes to Portis and Cooley. The no-huddle is rolling.

3:06—It stalls outside of the Red Zone as Cooley is a yard short.

2:36—I spoke too soon about Suisham. He was just well short from 47.

2:00—A third-down sack of Griese by Carter and a gang of others.

0:00—22 yards to ARE and the Skins convert after a sack.

End of first quarter
Redskins 0, Bears 0

15:00—It took nine security guards to subdue and remove some clown who ran onto the field and to where the players were about to snap the ball.

13:45—A great blitz pickup by Portis allows Campbell to Cooley for 22.

12:04—Another Red Zone trip ends with a field goal attempt—it's a miss, wide left. I'll never say another nice thing about Suisham again.

9:26—This time the Chicago screen against the blitz worked for nine. Third and one.

7:11—A sack by M. Washington slows a steady Chicago march. Third and 10. Griese misfires and the Bears punt.

5:01—Campbell goes out after taking a blow to the arm on a scramble. It looks like he's going to go back in, but it's not certain.

3:42—A three and out for the Bears. Griese is awful.

2:49—Campbell is down again, this time the cart is coming out. It's a knee or something very painful in the lower leg. It has season-ending written all over it.

2:49—Chris Cooley is going to the locker room, too. Appears to be an ankle injury.

2:23—Leigh Torrence makes a good play to knock a punt out of bounds at the one.

1:50—Griese scrambled and chose to dive a yard shy of the first down. Of course, we haven't seen Collins in action yet, so we don't yet know who the worst QB on the field is yet.

1:07—Collins gets blindsided and stripped, trashing decent field position for the Redskins. Now the Bears have a shot at getting on the board.

0:24—Interception and big return of 53 yards by Springs. Now the Redskins have a shot from the 21.

Yoder 21 pass from Collins (Suisham kick)
Redskins 7, Bears 0

A nice pass by Collins, who had all kinds of time to throw. Yoder did a nice job of hanging on to the ball as a defender tries to strip it away around the one.

0:04—After getting no interceptions all year, Springs gets two in the half. Both were on passes intended for Hester.

End of first half
Redskins 7, Bears 0

With the injuries, this could be a pyrrhic victory for the Redskins.

 

Off the top of my head, this is the first time that the Redskins have held the opposition scoreless in the first half. Having a halftime lead, however, is no guarantee of success as we well know.

Campbell is out with a torn patellar tendon.

14:57—I don't know if the Bears think that Rock Cartwright is Hester, but they sure kicked away from him there.

13:02—A great run on a little screen to Portis, as he dodged and weaved for 54 yards on third and two. The dreaded first and goal at the one.

Sellers 1 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 14, Bears 0

11:50—Landry drops a sure pick after it rolled out of the TE's hands.

10:38—An offside call against M. Washington nullifies a third down stop. Third and two from the 21. Then the play clock ran out on the Bears

9:26—A nice catch by Berrian followed by a circus job by Olson has the Bears in scoring range.

7:42—The Bears commit their second false start of the drive, first and 15.

6:56—A false start negates a third and nine stop. Then another delay of game pushes them back five more.

5:59—Torrence makes another play, a good tackle to force a field goal attempt.

FG Gould 30
Redskins 14, Bears 3

The Bears ate up 6:28 to get just three points. If the Redskins don't give them a short field it will be tough for Chicago to catch up.

Of course, I remember typing something similar at this point in the Bills game.

4:33—A three and out, of course, does not help the Redskins' cause in the least. Nor does a punt and penalty that gives the Bears the ball just past midfield.

3:23—The Bears might just have put together a three-play, 48-yard TD drive. A pass to Berrian in the end zone was ruled incomplete but it looks like Chicago may have a good case in its challenge.

Yes, they did.

Berrian 17 pass from Griese (Gould kick)
Redskins 14, Bears 10

3:04—Portis is back in after missing a series with what was announced as a stomach virus. He immediately picks up seven.

1:26—A holding call against Heyer negates a 13-yard completion on first down into Chicago territory. First and 20.

End of third quarter
Redskins 14, Bears 10

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Over/under: Redskins pass catchers in 2017

Over/under: Redskins pass catchers in 2017

Our offseason over/under predictions for the Redskins rumbles on.

Today we are predicting the numbers involving the Redskins pass-catchers.

Redskins receivers/tight ends over-under

The Redskins’ receiving corps was forced to undergo some changes after top wideouts DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon departed via free agency.

How will their replacements do?

How will the talented holdovers perform? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins pass catchers stats.  

RELATED: OVER/UNDER - KIRK COUSINS

WR Terrelle Pryor, 1,000 receiving yards

Tandler: I know that a lot of people, including Finlay, are looking for a huge year out of Pryor. I think he’ll do well, but a thousand yards is going to elusive. He did go over 1K last year with the Browns with terrible QBs throwing to him. But Pryor also had the benefit of being one of few viable receivers in Cleveland. That’s not the case here. He won’t get anywhere near the 140 targets he got last year. Under

Finlay: Not sure when I said a huge year for Pyror, that seems like Tandler throwing shade, but I do think he is capable of 1,000 yards. The quantity of targets will certainly drop, but the quality should be much greater. In today's NFL, 1,000 yards is no longer the benchmark it once was. The bulk of the league deploys a pass-first offense, and the Redskins definitely do. 25 wideouts went over 1,000 yards last season, including two on the Redskins. Over 

RELATED: WHO IS NEXT AT QB FOR THE REDSKINS?

WR Josh Doctson, 6.5 touchdown receptions

Tandler: When Kirk Cousins sees how well the 2016 first-round pick can get up and high-point the ball Doctson will immediately become the favorite red zone target. I’ve predicted as many as 10 TDs for him this year. That’s bold, perhaps crazy, but I feel safe going with at least seven. Over

Finlay: 10 TDs for basically a rookie wideout is nuts. You're talking Odell Beckham/Randy Moss production. Doctson does have great size and potential for the red zone, but I need to see before I believe. Only Jamison Crowder got to seven touchdowns in 2016, and that was with Kirk Cousins throwing for nearly 5,000 yards. Under

RELATED: OFF-FIELD MISTAKES WON'T IMPACT ON-FIELD RESULTS

WR Jamison Crowder, 1,000 receiving yards

Tandler: This is the safest bet on the board. His familiarity with Cousins will make him a security blanket when the quarterback gets in trouble. He’s learning and getting better; he ticked up almost 250 yards and 2.5 yards per catch between his rookie and second seasons. And Crowder is durable. Over

Finlay: I like this one. Crowder went for about 850 yards last season, a jump of about 250 yards from his rookie season. Another year with that improvement gets him past 1,000 yards with room to spare. Early last season, Crowder was the 'Skins best receiver. He posted more than 500 yards before the Redskins bye week. In the second half of the year, the focus shifted to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, which probably wasn't a coincidence as both players demanded the ball knowing they were headed for free agency. I expect Crowder to steadily produce all season in 2017. Over

RELATED: OFFER TO COUSINS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH

TE Jordan Reed, 12.5 games played

Tandler: Although we’re hesitant to make predictions about a player’s health, the fact is that this is the only variable for Reed going into the season. If he is on the field he will produce receiving yards and touchdowns by the bushel. Injuries, not defenses, are what slows him down. He skipped OTAs to spend more time strengthening his body and the results should show. But bad luck happens so this is a tough call. He’s due for some good fortune. Over

Finlay: Tandler is setting these totals with Vegas-like precision. This one is tough. In the last two seasons, Reed has played in 26 games, making 17 starts. I would argue the more important stat is starts, because that's when Reed is actually healthy. Last season, after separating his shoulder against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Reed tried to gut out a few performances against the Panthers and the Eagles. He was ineffective in both, yet those count for games played. In nine starts in 2015, Reed was a monster, putting up nearly 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. Starts are what matter, and the Redskins should hope for at least nine of them. Under

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FINLAY: Redskins' statement was a mistake, but won't impact on field results

FINLAY: Redskins' statement was a mistake, but won't impact on field results

The Redskins made a mistake issuing a statement about their failed long-term contract negotiations with Kirk Cousins. The team offered too much specific information.

On the field, however, starting next week in training camp, the statement will make zero impact.

Centered around the roller coaster that occurred between Bruce Allen’s statement on Monday afternoon and Kirk Cousins’ Tuesday interview with Grant and Danny on 106.7 the Fan, some Redskins fans think that hopes for the Burgundy and Gold are buried this fall. 

Was Allen’s statement a wise move? No. There was no reason to publicly put out the team’s offer, or more importantly, tell the world that Cousins never countered. It seemed like an attempt to control the conversation, and a lame attempt at that.

But here’s the thing: A deal was never happening

Cousins knew that. The Redskins knew that.

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

And the zaniness of Monday and Tuesday should not have any impact on the 2017 season.

If Cousins can do anything, it’s compartmentalize. 

Last season, he dealt with almost the exact same public mess of a contract squabble. The team never offered him remotely close to market value, and the QB still came out and threw for nearly 5,000 yards. 

Cousins will again block out the noise, and deliver his best possible performance for the Redskins. The team should be better too. An improved defense should help immediately (even if that jump goes from bad to average), and a rebuilt receiving group should give Cousins the weapons to again run Jay Gruden’s potent offense. 

There are fan theories that the team might implode, and eventually, go to Colt McCoy or Nate Sudfeld at quarterback. I don’t see that happening. 

Cousins is under contract for 2017. The coaching staff, and the players, know what he can do. Personally, I don’t think the season unravels. Cousins is a good player. He's established a baseline for his performance over the past two years. 

The time since the franchise tag deadline doesn’t change that. The time since the franchise tag doesn’t change Jordan Reed’s ability to get open. It doesn’t change Jamison Crowder’s quickness on the inside or Trent Williams power on the outside.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

I don’t expect the Redskins to run off 13 wins. I’ve already written that I don’t even think the team will make the playoffs. To be clear, however, I don’t think Bruce Allen’s statement will make a difference once the players take the field in real games. 

On Wednesday, Chad Dukes of the Fan asked me if it’s possible that the Redskins season unravels, and things go sideways with Cousins. I don't expect that, and Dukes wondered if I was being overly optimistic. 

Could things fall apart? Sure. Anything is possible in the NFL, and especially with the Redskins. 

For me, however, Cousins' talent in the Redskins offensive system will mitigate the local penchant for crazy. Cousins has thrown for 9,000 yards and completed more than 68 percent of his passes in the last two seasons. He also bet on himself, again, to produce at a high level in 2017.

I think Cousins is smart. I think Gruden's offense will work. I think the Redskins defense will be improved. 

I don’t think this team makes the playoffs, but they should be close. I also don’t think this team implodes. 

Looking at the big picture, I definitely don’t consider myself an optimist. A realist, perhaps, but only time will tell. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! 

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