Sunday’s match up with the Eagles was frustrating to say the least. There were many opportunities for the Redskins to take a commanding lead and cruise to victory but that’s just not the Skins style. They make it tough on the fans but it was worth it Sunday as fans were able to witness that wonderful 90 yard game winning drive. The drive took 15 plays and was capped by an incredible 4-yard touchdown reception by Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left on the game clock. The Eagles last second desperation attempts failed and the clock went to zero as Fed Ex Field erupted, the fans watching from home finally got to pull the lever on the recliner, lay back and take the breath they had been holding the entire fourth quarter. The game as a whole closely resembled the weather. It was gloomy, muddy and a pain to watch at times, but there is always beauty in the struggle and here are the takeaways from Sunday’s 20-23 struggle.
“It takes failures. It takes learning from experiences.” “You need good quarterback play in this league to be successful, and you need to have drives like that at the end of games. All these games seem to come down to the last couple minutes and so you’re going to have a lot of those situations.” – Kirk Cousins, Redskins QB
With the orchestration of that last drive, Kirk Cousins won the game and may have clinched a bigger battle in the locker room. The quarterback controversy in Washington has been back and fourth for some time. Kirk Cousins however, has not been able to accomplish anything significant in measure to Robert Griffin III’s stellar rookie season. This was just one game, but could justify keeping Cousins at the helm long term with RG3 soon to return healthy. Cousins was 31-46 for 290 yards and a touchdown, also earned a rushing touchdown after picking up a fumble and sneaking in for the score. The highlight of the day though, was the seemingly perfectly placed ball to Pierre Garcon as the Redskins scored the game winning touchdown in the last seconds of Sunday’s contest.
“It’s what you work for, it’s what you look forward to, and to finally do it the right way…. get a touchdown at the end of the game to win the game…it’s definitely how you dream of it, and for it to come true, it’s a dream come true.”- Pierre Garcon
The defensive line has really been something to be proud of so far this year, even with last weeks let down vs the Giants. Sunday they managed to sack Sam Bradford five times. Trent Murphy had one sack, a few assists and also intercepted a desperation lateral by the Eagles to seal the victory for the Skins. Ryan Kerrigan had four tackles of his own. The secondary struggled a little but this was expected after the injury suffered by all-star cornerback DeAngelo Hall had him absent from Sunday’s action. Chris Culliver was beat deep on both plays with no help over the top from the safety. The Skins have had issues closing out games in the past and much of it has to do with the secondary giving up big plays, although they won the game, this pattern must be put to an end.
There is no doubt that Alfred Morris has proven himself to be the be one of the best backs in the league. His carries however have been split with emerging runner Matt Jones who burst on the scene a couple weeks ago with his 123 yard 2 touchdown performance against the St. Louis Rams. Now 2nd year running back Chris Thompson seems to be earning an increasing role in the rotation as he provides a different dynamic to this powerful rushing attack. He definitely turned some heads when he took a third and long draw play 42 yards and got the skins out of the shadow of their own end zone. The rushing attack was not spectacular Sunday in particular, after accumulating 127 yards collectively but has the potential to be lethal in the future.
How injured is TE Jordan Reed?
Time table on WR DeSean Jackson’s return.
The emergence of WR Jamison Crowder.
The advantage of Kicker Dustin Hopkins.