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Skins’ Fate in Their Hands

Skins’ Fate in Their Hands

It's win out and in for the Redskins.

If they beat Minnesota tonight and then beat the Cowboys next Sunday at RFK, the Redskins will be in the playoffs. They got the help they needed today when New Orleans lost to Philadelphia.

The Skins can only be the sixth seed as they can't finish with any better than nine wins. The Giants are in with 10. That means they qualify they will go on the road to face the number three seed, which it appears that Seattle is about to wrap up. If they should win that game, they would travel to Dallas.

The fact that the Redskins control their destiny is remarkable considering the adversity, some of it self-created, some of it just horrendous ill fortune, that they have encountered this year.

  • Losing RT Jon Jansen for the season in the first half of the first game.
  • Losing RG Randy Thomas for the season in the first half of the second game.
  • The stunning loss to the Giants, setting a pattern for blowing halftime leads. On top of this one was the failure to send it into overtime after getting a first and goal in the late going.
  • Another lost halftime lead in Green Bay when dropped passes cost the Skins dearly and the winning points were scored on a fumble returned for a touchdown.
  • A win over the Cardinals generated a firestorm of criticism for a nearly-blown lead and various game-management issues.
  • Cornerback Carlos Rogers is lost for the season while the Patriots are in the process of hanging half a hundred on the Skins.
  • The loss to the Eagles with virtually every move Gibbs and company made was put under the microscope and criticized.
  • Late Jason Campbell interceptions cost the Skins back to back games in Dallas and Tampa.
  • The murder of Sean Taylor would have been a crushing blow to the team had he been a little-used reserve player. The fact that he was the team's best player multiplied the effect exponentially.
  • Ironically, against Buffalo the Redskins didn't have a problem with burning too many timeouts. That gave Gibbs the opportunity to call back to back timeouts to try to ice the Buffalo kicker. The resulting unsportsmanlike conduct call turned a long game-winning attempt into a short one.
  • In wins over Chicago and the Giants, the Redskins lose Jason Campbell and Rocky McIntosh for the year although—and now it's not folly to say this—Campbell could be back for the playoffs.

So, like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail who fights on despite having limbs lopped off, the Redskins are pressing through the adversity.

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The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The Redskins have seven picks in the final four rounds of the draft today. Here are some of the top players available on offense. Will look at the defense a little later this morning.

Offensive line

G Dorian Johnson, Pitt—The Redskins probably would want him to add a few pounds to his frame, as at 6-5 he currently carries “only” 300 pounds. He’s smart, tough, and athletic.

G Nico Siragusa, San Diego State—At 6-4, his weight is about right at 319 pounds. A three-year starter with a great power game and pass protection skills that will need to be coached up.

RELATED: Redskins focus on defense in first 3 rounds

Tight end/receiver

TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech—He’s big enough to be your blocking tight end and athletic enough to line up split out wide.

WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma—One of the most productive receivers in the country and a Heisman finalist. He’s a little small at 6-0, 178 but he has excellent deep speed.

Running back

RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma—As a true freshman in 2014 he set the national record by rushing for 427 yards in a game against Kansas. He probably doesn’t have that kind of monster game in him at the next level but he will be a solid, reliable back who can handle a heavy workload.

RB Jeremy McNichols, Boise State—A very productive runner and pass catcher who posted over 2,200 yards of offense last year.

MORE REDSKINS: Three reasons to like the pick of Ryan Anderson 

Quarterback

QB Nathan Peterman, Pitt—Nobody would have batted an eye if he had gone off the board in the third or maybe even the late second round. If the Redskins are concerned about Kirk Cousins leaving as a free agent, Peterman carries a very similar set of skills.

QB Brad Kaaya, Miami—Another QB many thought may be off the board by now, Kaaya has the mental makeup to succeed at quarterback but his game needs a lot of polish.

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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Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 29, 25 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

At Redskins Park—Fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL draft; conference calls with players selected; Gruden will speak to media shortly after Redskins’ final pick.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 13
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 25
—Training camp starts (7/27) 89
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 134

The Redskins’ best late-round picks since of the last 10 years

While no aspect of drafting in the NFL is easy, it is much harder to find key contributors on the last day of the draft than it is in the first three rounds. The Redskins will have seven picks in this afternoon's draft to try to find one or two of them. 

Since the 2007 draft the Redskins have taken 56 players from the fourth round on. Of those, 45 played in at least one NFL game but only 12 of them were the Redskins’ primary starter at their positions for at least one season. Here are the five best of those players.

QB Kirk Cousins (round 4, 2012)—He was probably the most controversial pick on this list since the Redskins had just drafted Robert Griffin III a couple of days earlier. History proved Mike Shanahan right.

RB Alfred Morris (6, 2012)—This pick came a few hours after and with much less noise than the Cousins pick did. Many believed that the Redskins were set a running back with Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Morris not only surprised many by making the team but he lined up as the Week 1 starter. He went on to break the team’s single-season rushing record by piling up 1,613 yards rushing.

LB Perry Riley (4, 2010)—He didn’t get into the lineup until midway through his second season. Riley was always solid for four-plus seasons as the starter but never spectacular. The team let him go last year in training camp and he played well for the Raiders after they picked him up.

CB Bashaud Breeland (4, 2014)—Breeland started 15 games as a rookie. At first he was in the slot but after DeAngelo Hall was injured in Week 3, Breeland moved to the outside and he has stayed there ever since. He has seven career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

WR Jamison Crowder (4, 2015)—At 5-9, many teams thought Crowder was undersized and he didn’t run a great 40 at the combine. But he was big enough and fast enough to break the Redskins rookie record for receptions in a season and then to lead the team in touchdowns with eight last year.

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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