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Redskins 23 - 17 Panthers


Will the real Washington Redskins please stand up?


Hello friends, JimmiJo here, joined by the Spaceman Spiff. 


Seriously, which team will we get to see today. The one solid in all quarters, playing fundamentally sound ball and making us believe that just maybe, this year they could be hanging around at playoff time? Or will it be the one who decides not all receivers should be covered? You know, the one that seems to believe no national embarrassment is too great to suffer.


If I am on this team on this day, I am playing like I have been punked-out on national TV (because I was) and I have something to prove. I am playing with a degree of urgency yet to be seen this year. I am playing like the season is on the line today. Because it literally is as far as I am concerned.


Speak amongst yourselves...




The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:

o   No. 25 RB Chris Thompson

o   No. 30 S Troy Apke

o   No. 39 CB Adonis Alexander

o   No. 74 T Geron Christian Sr.

o   No. 77 G Shawn Lauvao

o   No. 80 WR Jamison Crowder

o   No. 99 DL Caleb Brantley


Ok gang, showtime. Here's to a good game with no injuries. You can follow me live on Twitter @Skinscast. 


See you at the half.




Great start, poor ending. They need to produce in the 2nd half to win.




This team is consistently inconsistent.


I’m just glad I caught them on the good week. And if there was ever a time to go for two in a row, it’s this week.


I was poised to ask the players how much last week had to do with this. I didn’t have to. Most of the guys I interviewed spoke about getting the bad taste of last week out of their mouth.


To a man they wanted to put it behind them. No better way than to do so with a win against a 3-1 Carolina Panthers. The win preserves Washington’s first place position in the division.


If we are looking for heroes we have to start with Adrian Peterson. Coming in with multiple injuries (shoulder, knee, ankle), all he did was run for 97-yards on 17-carries with a 5.7 yard per carry average. The man is ageless, looking more like a first-year back rather than a guy near the end of his career.


On the other side of the ball was Josh Norman. It was clear in speaking to him following the game that the chatter in the media was starting to get to him. This game was important enough for him that he called a defensive backs meeting this week to get everybody on the same page.


Norman payed like the all-star the Redskins signed in 2016. In fact, the interception was his first since week 16 of 2016. But he wasn’t done. Norman punched out the ball to force a fumble later on a critical drive, robbing the Panthers of an opportunity to score.


Given the talk about Norman and the manner in which the New Orleans Saints bludgeoned Washington last week, it was fitting the game came down to a defensive stand that resulted in Carolina giving up the ball on downs.


This was a total team effort for Washington, with all areas contributing.


Alex Smith went 21-of-36 for 163-yards and two touchdowns. He finished with a passer-rating of 88.1.


Jordan Reed had a relatively quiet five receptions for 36-yards to lead the receivers. Vernon Davis on the other hand, made some noise bringing in 3-receptions for 48-yards to include a beautiful touchdown grab on a seam route that left him largely uncovered.


Smith did such a good job of looking off the safety that by the time he turned back to fire down field, Davis was running free and clear into the end zone.


Another hero on the day was Dustin Hopkins. All he did was kick a 6-yard field goal, the longest of his career. I asked the coach if he had discussed the kick with Hopkins prior to making the decision. Gruden told me it was special teams coach Ben Kotwica who proclaimed Hopkins ready.


“I thought it was a 53-yarder,” said Gruden. “When I heard it was a 56-yarder I thought about calling a timeout.

He didn’t and Hopkins made him look smart.


The Redskins fare best when they score first. They must be aware of this as they started red hot, jumping out to a 17-point lead before the Panthers got off the snide.


A total of 9-unanswered points later, Washington scored early in the fourth quarter to bring the lead back to 11. That lasted officially 1-drive, as the Panthers marched down with relative ease to score a touchdown and bring the game within 3.


Washington then mounted another drive to register another field goal to take the lead back to 6.


Then a defensive stand was needed.


Carolina was able to move the back to the midfield with relative ease. Washington tightened up and it all came down to a 4th-and-5 at the Redskins 16 with 38-seconds remaining.


That was as far as they would go as Cam Newton skimmed the ball off of the field for a harmless incomplete.


It was a much need win. It keeps the Redskins in 1st place in the division at 3-2 with Dallas coming to town next Sunday.


What’s not to like?  






Saints 43 - Redskins 19



Postgame thoughts


When the ground game never gets going and your receivers are missing in action as they have been for the first month of the season, it turns out it's pretty difficult to put points on the board. Conversely, when your defense practically begs the home team to start off hot by picking up penalties on three early 3rd down plays to keep drives alive, you're going to face an uphill battle. And if both of those things happen at the same time to the same team ... well ... you get a blowout of epic proportions.


This game wasn't competitive for very long and it had as much to do with what the Redskins weren't doing as it did what the Saints were doing. Redskins defenders showed zero discipline as they took selfish fouls to keep New Orleans on the field. And, let's not forget, coming into the game, the Saints were averaging 34 points and more than 400 yards of total offense per game.


Had the Redskins simply been able to limit them to their average showing, it might not have been too embarrassing. Alas, this one turned into a rout, the kind that all too often occurs during primetime games. Had the Saints actually tried to run the score up, rather than being content to just hand the ball off a dozen times in a row just to keep the 4th quarter clock running, New Orleans honestly could have scored 60. I'd make a joke about the Redskins being the homecoming opponent, but it hurts too much because this franchise actually tries to have a homecoming game each season.


Alex Smith looked like a big bag of average tonight. The receiving corps continues to collect a paycheck while rarely collecting passes. Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson both suffered injuries during this game. Trent Williams and the offensive line looked uncharacteristically beatable during Monday Night Football. And Jordan Reed was allegedly also involved in this particular game. Or so I'm told.


In all seriousness, the Saints followed the blueprint set forth by the Colts earlier this season and blitzed early and often. Just like during Week 2, the offensive line struggled to handle the additional pressure and the entire offense sputtered as Smith took sacks and/or missed his intended targets. Why would any team in the league would stray away from this concept when facing the Redskins? Until they show they can make teams pay for overloading the line of scrimmage, expect more of the same.


Simply put: With two weeks to prepare, the Redskins had a chance to send a message to their division rivals and to secure a statement win. That didn't happen and things are only going to get more challenging moving forward. No one in the visitor's locker room should feel good about their performance on Monday Night Football. Lord knows many 'Skins fans take it personally when the franchise lays an egg like this one. Hopefully more than a few players conduct some soul searching and really dig into why this happens as frequently as it does when this franchise is asked to play before a national audience.


Pregame thoughts


Hello friends,


It's been a while, but I'm thrilled to be back on the sidelines providing coverage of the burgundy and gold. It's been two weeks since we last saw the Redskins in action, and while a Week 4 bye week is generally awful, this one might actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Several important players -- to include Adrian Peterson and a few members of the offensive line -- are already nursing injuries, so a little rest and recovery is never a bad thing. Additionally, every other NFC East team has completely fallen apart while the Redskins enjoyed their time away. The Eagles, Giants and Cowboys have gone a combined 1-5 the last two weeks, vaulting Washington to the top of the divisional standings without even taking to the field.


If they'd like to remain in first place in the division though, they're going to have their work cut out for them. I'm not sure if you know this, but Drew Brees is good at football. And with roughly 200 yards passing tonight, he'll surpass Peyton Manning for the most passing yards in NFL history. The locals are fairly certain Brees will lock up that honor before halftime. And with the sheer number of weapons at his disposal, they might not be wrong.


Michael Thomas might not be a household name, but he's having as solid of a season as any wideout in football. Ted Ginn Jr. wasn't much in Miami, but he's a fairly solid deep threat when Brees is involved. Mark Ingram returns from a four-game suspension to add depth to the backfield, which already boasts the ridiculously talented Alvin Kamara. In short, this offense is built to win shootouts, if need be.


And with the Saints' defense, that's always a possibility. For the Redskins to emerge victorious, they're going to have to finish drives with touchdowns and avoid turnovers. Settling for field goal attempts and/or being careless with the football is a recipe for disaster. You might recall that roughly a year ago the Redskins held a two touchdown lead late into the fourth quarter ... and they still found a way to blow the game. Because Brees and Kamara were that good.


Two offensive players I'm watching tonight are Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. Peterson spent about a month in New Orleans, before he was shipped off to Arizona amidst rumors he didn't have it anymore. Safe to say while he doesn't hold any ill will towards his former team, he'd still be happy to show them what they're missing. For Thompson, the Superdome is where he suffered his season-ending injury last season. Obviously he'd love to have a productive evening and leave New Orleans healthy and happy with a victory.


On defense, I'll be keeping an eye out for Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen. Both defensive linemen have gotten off to a strong start this season and their ability to generate pressure in the backfield will go a long way towards determining how successful the defense is against Brees and friends. The Redskins desperately need the front four to win their battles, so they can have extra defenders drop back into coverage. If they need to send six or seven defenders to get to the quarterback, it's going to get ugly.


Speaking of ugly, the last two players I'm hoping to see plenty of are Jamison Crowder and Ryan Kerrigan. Both are key players at vital positions. Neither has gotten off to the start they hoped for. If one or both of them makes an appearance on Monday Night Football, that'd be huge for the away team.


This is my third trip to New Orleans. The first was the dawn of the RGIII era. The second was last season's epic collapse. If nothing else, I think it's safe to say tonight's game is going to be memorable, one way or the other.




The Redskins declared the following players as inactive: 

o   No. 18 WR Josh Doctson

o   No. 30 S Troy Apke

o   No. 32 RB Samaje Perine

o   No. 39 CB Adonis Alexander

o   No. 74 T Geron Christian Sr.

o   No. 77 G Shawn Lauvao

o   No. 99 DL Caleb Brantley


No. 13 Maurice Harris is expected to start in place of No. 18 Josh Doctson at wide receiver

No. 66 Tony Bergstrom is expected to start in place of No. 73 Chase Roullier at center.

No. 73 Chase Roullier is expected to start in place of No. 77 Shawn Lauvao at left guard.




·         The Washington Redskins lost to the New Orleans Saints, 43-19, on Monday in front of an announced crowd of 73,028 people at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

·         The Redskins forced a fumble late in the second quarter and have now forced at least one turnover in all four games this season and eight consecutive games dating back to Week 14 of last season.

·         Quarterback Alex Smith connected on 23-of-39 passes for 275 yards and one interception for a 69.9 passer rating. Smith also recorded one rushing touchdown. It was the 15th rushing touchdown of Smith's career.

·         Running back Kapri Bibbs recorded his first career rushing touchdown on a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

·         Running back Chris Thompson finished with a team high six receptions for 45 yards (7.5 avg.) and now has hauled in 155 career receptions with the Washington Redskins. Thompson has now passed Kelvin Bryant (154) for the sixth most by a running back in franchise history.

·         Wide receiver Jamison Crowder finished with four receptions for 55 yards (13.8 avg.).

·         Wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr. hauled in four receptions for 50 yards (12.5 avg.).

·         Wide receiver Maurice Harris made his first career start and recorded his first reception of the season.

·         Harris finished with three receptions for 47 yards (15.7 avg.)

·         Wide receiver Michael Floyd made his first career start as a Washington Redskins. 

·         Linebacker Mason Foster finished the game with a team high 10 tackles (six solo). Foster has now recorded double-digit tackles for a third consecutive game. The streak is the longest of his career. 

·         Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan made his 116th consecutive regular season start, the longest active streak among active NFL linebackers. Kerrigan has not missed a start in his NFL career.

·       Kerrigan remains as one of six NFL players (and only three non-quarterbacks) to have started every game since the start of the 2011 season (Brandon Carr, Patrick Peterson, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford).

·         Kerrigan registered a sack for a loss of eight yards. He has now recorded 500 career sack yards. 

·        Defensive lineman Daron Payne recorded one sack for a loss of six yards and now has two sacks on the season. Payne finished the game with four tackles (three solo), two quarterback hits and a forced fumble.

·      Linebacker Pernell McPhee appeared in his 100th career game and returned a fumble 24 yards to help set up a Redskins score in the second quarter.

·         Cornerback Fabian Moreau recorded his second forced fumble of the season and finished with five tackles (three solo) for the game.

·         Kicker Dustin Hopkins connected on a 53-yard field goal in the first quarter and has now recorded six career field goals of 50 yards or more. With the field goal, Hopkins has now recorded the third-most field goals of 50 or more yards in team history.


Mistakes were made and Destino got his hands on a press pass!  I am reporting from within the wonderfully climate controlled, and entirely dry, press box.  Who says the fan experience at FedEx field isn’t great?  Not me (not today).  I am joined by Spaceman Spiff, who has managed to wrap himself and all his treasured equipment in plastic and is currently out on the field rolling around in the muck.   


Stop me if you’ve heard this before: There are reasons to feel good about the defense, the passing game has started slow, and the running game is unreliable.  There are differences, but in general we find ourselves entering week three on familiar ground, asking a familiar question.  Is this team any good?  (and maybe adding a quick “please please let them be good” under our breath.)   


Are the Redskins as good as the team that beat the Cardinals or as bad as the team that got shut down by that stunning Colts defense?  Have the wide receivers introduced themselves to Alex Smith?  Has Peterson informed Jay that running towards the sideline isn’t his style?  Can we beat an injured Aaron Rodgers in the rain?   


We’ll find out together.  (Time for some more free food!)          


The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:   

No. 17 WR Michael Floyd  

No. 30 S Troy Apke 

No. 32 RB Samaje Perine  

No. 39 CB Adonis Alexander  

No. 74 T Geron Christian  

No. 77 G Shawn Lauvao  

No. 99 DL Caleb Brantley  


The Packers declared the following players as inactive:  

No. 8 QB Tim Boyle 

No. 19 WR Equanimeous St. Brown  

No. 20 CB Kevin King 

No. 22 RB Darius Jackson 

No. 27 S Josh Jones  

No. 70 T/G Alex Light  

No. 82 WR J’Mon Moore


Diet Pepsi fueled update #1

A quarter into this one and FedEx field is magical place where dreams can come true.  Alex Smith and his stable of receivers have been dominant.  The Packers, having failed to stop them within the rules turned to pass interference, but the results were the same.  Touchdowns.  Sweet sweet touchdowns.


Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense took the quarter off.   Good for them, they deserve a break. 


Personal notes:  B Mitch is now sitting in front of me.  Close enough that I could bop him on the head if I were so inclined.  Probably a bad idea.


Watching the game in the press box feels a little like watching a football game while at work.  We’re all watching a game, but without any of the noise you'd normally associate with that.  Professionals.  Every single one of us.


A lot of ugly cheese hats behind the end zone. 


Free chocolate cake powered update #2    

Those of you hoping for a shut out are disappointed, and some fans in the forums are no doubt finding reasons to frown with a mouth full of ice cream.  Reasonable fans should be thrilled.


The Redskins defense managed to keep the the Packers quiet but the Pack were able to stretch their legs a bit.  Against Rodgers one blown coverage is all it takes for him to make a 64-yard touchdown pass look like pitch and catch.  I get the impression that they’ll look much more capable in the second half. 


Alex Smith gave up an interception but the Redskins offense continued to produce big plays and finish drives.  Peterson broke off a 41-yard run and Davis caught a 50 yard pass.  Most importantly the drives continued to end with touchdowns and not the field goals that doomed the Redskins in the home opener.  They'll need to continue to play well in the second half.  Rodgers will not go gently into the night. 


Personal Notes:  I chose the Vikings in survivor league.   


Coffee coffee coffee!  Update #3

Alex Smith and the offense took the 3rd quarter off, completing one pass for zero yards, scoring no points, and managing just a single first down.  Momentum has definitely swung towards the Packers who held the ball 10 minutes and scored the quarter's only points (7).  That said, the damage on the scoreboard wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.   


I worry that the Redskins may have taken their foot off the gas a bit too early in this one.  Wouldn’t be the first time Gruden went conservative too early in the second half when his team held a lead. 


Time to find out just how good this defense can be.


Personal Note:  That familiar dread is slowly creeping its way in.  If you've been a Washington Sports fan for long enough, you know what I'm talking about. 


T-shirt toss has no place in a world with t-shirt cannons.  


End of game.

“It feels good man, especially after a rough week” - Josh Norman. 


Final thoughts on today's game have to start with the defense.  They deserve the lions share of the credit considering how the second half played out.  The unit surrendered 17 points to Aaron Rodgers (and the Packers) and through three games have allowed just 14.7ppg. That’s a significant improvement over the 24.3ppg they averaged by the end of last season.  They’re healthy again and it shows.   


The Packers also dropped some passes.  It had to be said.  I said it.  We can move on.   


Peterson and the rushing offense had a bounce back performance.  This fills me with happiness for some reason.  There is just something about the Redskins featuring a power running game that feels right.   


If there is a cloud in the silver lining, it’s the offenses disappearing act in the second half.  Alex Smith and the passing game followed up a brilliant first half of football with a second half stat line that is almost unbelievable:  2/5 passing for 6 yards.  Three first downs and three points for the offense in the second half.   


Only explanation for this is that Jay Gruden decided to turtle early.  Today, it worked.   


We won, and it feels good.  










Greetings my friends, it is JimmiJo and I am joined by the man with a tripod stuck up his...backpack; Spaceman Spiff.

I am so excited I am about to pee myself. Not just because I am sitting next to Spiff. But also because this team played one of the most solid football games last week in a long time. I will put last week up against any game I can remember over the past, what, 5-seasons? I haven't been this excited after a season-opener since probably 2012 and the big win against the Saints.


The run game was magnificent. The defense spectacular. And the level of competency at the quarterback position an obvious upgrade.


In fairness it was a game of two-halves. The offense cooled significantly following halftime. But their objectives were different. They had the Cardinals beaten and needed only to hold-on


What say you?


Here's the question; was that the real Washington Redskins? Or, was it a game where things came together? I think we begin to answer that questions today. In come a very beatable Indianapolis Colts. They have a quarterback and they have a running back. Not much else.


If last week was an example of the real Redskins; today should be another W. But if not, or if they come out anemic and struggle for the win, we might be having a different conversation next week.




The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:

o   No. 13 WR Maurice Harris

o   No. 30 S Troy Apke

o   No. 32 RB Samaje Perine

o   No. 39 CB Adonis Alexander

o   No. 55 C Casey Dunn

o   No. 74 T Geron Christian Sr.

o   No. 99 DL Caleb Brantley


The Colts declared the following players as inactive:

o   No. 28 CB Chris Milton

o   No. 37 CB Lenzy Pipkins

o   No. 38 RB Christine Michael

o   No. 58 DE Tarell Basham

o   No. 71 T/G Denzelle Good

o   No. 74 T Anthony Castonzo

o   No. 96 DE/DT Denico Autry


Ok gang, we are ready to roll. Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast




This team is exactly who they have always been. Middle of the pack? If we are being generous.


I admit it, I got pretty excited last week when they played a really solid football game. Today, was like so many other games I’ve watched them play over my 13-seasons.


Muddling. No identity. Anemic offensively. A defense just as apt to collapse on third-and-long as to stop the opponent.

They were so poor Indianapolis took the entire 3rd quarter off and still made it look easy. The problem with that is they allowed the Redskins to pad the stats, making it seem like a much closer game.


In fact, the Redskins earned more first downs (20-17), total yards (334-281) and time of possession (33:20–26:40) than the Colts. They won the turnover battle (2-1). And ran 11-more plays (71-60).


Not only did I never believe they were going to win; I never even thought they were in it.


So what went wrong?


Offensively, Washington never got into a rhythm. The run game never got going. And the defensive-pressure cause problems all day for Alex Smith and the Redskins. I asked Smith if one area contributed more than the other (lack of run game versus defensive pressure) and he admitted that both played a significant role to their lack of production.


Smith finished the day 33/46 for 292-yards for a 88.3 passer rating. Not exactly Kirk Cousins’ type numbers (all he did was throw for 425-yards and 4 touchdowns with one pickin Minnesota’s tie with Green Bay).


Jamison Crowder was the leading rusher for Washington on the day. That’s right; a wide receiver was the leading rusher. Crowder ran for 29-yards on 2 carries (reverses). Second was Adrian Peterson for a scant 20-yards on 11-carries and a paltry 1.8 yards per carry (give me a second while I breath into this bag).


Given Crowder was the leading rusher, it is only right that Chris Thompson led all receivers with 92-yards on 13-catches. Those are wideout numbers. Next came Jordan Reed who logged 55-yards on 6-catches.


If your top two receivers are a running back and a tight end, you can suppose there were a lot of check downs in the game. As in;


All. Damn. Day.


Defensively, Mason Foster was all-world. Every time Washington made a play on defense, he was in it. Foster logged 11-tackles (8-solo). Then there was D.J. Swearinger. All he did was intercept Andrew Luck twice, at the most-needed times (when the game was getting threatening to get away).


But they were the exceptions. By and large this was a thorough butt-whooping by the Colts. Their pressure defensively created all kinds of problems for Washington’s offensive line. Offensively, they spent the day in third-and-short. And on those occasions where they had a long way to go on 3rd down, they seemed to convert more often than not.


It is just week 2 however. Likely no-one will think about this game in December. This assumes they begin playing better and winning some games.


Here’s hoping they do.


Tank Ain't Empty Yet

All offseason if you talked to Doug Williams all you heard was "We're gonna fix the run game".  And when the Draft came around, after passing on him in the First Round, all 5-11, 225 lbs of LSU stand out, Derrius Guice fell into their lap. The pick completely re-energized the team and the fans with thoughts of a legit NFL Running Back to give them the missing part of their Offense.  




Fast Forward to the first week of Pre Season in New England where Guice, six carries in, had just started to show what he could do when when he was tackled & was extremely slow to get up. His knee required season ending surgery. The fan base instantly fell into the Pit of Misery. They knew they were right back to where they started at with Rob Kelly appearing to be the lead back. But then, thanks in part to Trent Williams, the team worked out 33 year old Running Back Adrian Peterson. Many were sceptical that at 33 he had anything left in the tank. They signed him right away instead of waiting until after Week 1 where the money wouldn't be guaranteed. Then they fed him the ball for nearly an entire drive in a pre season game. On his first run, he showed everyone else to the bench behind him as he took the RB1 slot. 




Today, in the Arizona desert, Peterson took the field as the starting Running Back of the Redskins. AP would go on to be featured in the second series of the First Quarter. The future Hall Of Famer would score his 100th career touchdown in the Second Quarter, which tied him for 7th all time.




At the end of the First Half, AP had 53 yards on 14 rushes to go along with that career touchdown.


By the end of the Third Quarter, Peterson was closing in on a 100 yard day.  91 yards on 20 rushes with an average of 4.6 yards.




With two minutes left in the Fourth, 0n 3rd & 9 at their own 8 yard line, Alex Smith hit Peterson with a short pass to the right. Peterson would take it for 56 yards before being tackled & stripped of the ball, turning it over to the Cardinals.  


Peterson would end the game with 26 carries for 96 yards & 1 touchdown. He also caught 2 of 3 passes for 70 yards. That accounts for 164 yards of a total 466 yards of Offense.






So this just happened.




Cardinals RB David Johnson just signed his extension & is calling for a Cards win to start their season. Now that he's got his pockets straight will he be playing with a purpose to prove he's worth it? And will the Redskins newly stacked D Line be prepared to show that the Cardinals just wasted their money? Tune in tomorrow, same Skins time, same Skins channel...

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