Sunday, September the 24th was the night the Redskins played as one. Each and every player performed with a no quit, never surrender type of attitude. Hats off to Head Coach Jay Gruden for displaying discipline and staying with the run game, even though at times it looked as if it wasn’t effective. It’s time for us Redskins fans to put all the negative talk about the Redskins performing poorly in primetime or at home to rest. Every primetime or home game is a chance to rewrite history, change the story. This primetime Redskins versus Raiders matchup was without a doubt the best all around group effort we’ve seen in a long time from the Redskins. The last time a Redskins defense completely imposed their will on their opponent in such a dominating manner was back in 1991 against the Denver Broncos.
Redskins QB Kirk Cousins had a coming out party hitting 6 different targets, throwing for 365 yards on 25 of 30 attempts, 3 touchdowns and most importantly no interceptions. Cousins took this offensive unit and put them on his back, as any leader is expected to do. Cousins performed quickly and decisively. As per usual, Cousins gave all praise to the players around him as he’s done in the past. Each player showed us across the board why it is that they are starters. The offensive line made plays both at the line of scrimmage and down field as well. Several remarks were made about how the Redskins O-Linemen looked for people on the first, second and third level to hit or block. The main weapon on the Raiders defense, LB K. Mack was a non factor in the majority of plays. Morgan Moses had his hands full, but rose to the occasion and found ways to protect Cousins more often than not. RB Chris Thompson is playing on a whole different level, becoming one of the Redskins biggest threats on the offensive side of the ball. Other teams have named Thompson a matchup nightmare. WR’s Doctson, Crowder and Pryor all helped in the passing and running game. Blocking down field for their team mates, playing with a welcomed unselfish mindset steered the Redskins to victory. It was a total team effort on the offensive side of the ball. Samaje Perine’s fumble did not seem to faze the offense or coaches. We all can attest to years past where a turnover would suck the life and energy right out of the Redskins; that wasn’t the case on Sunday night. The Redskins took their setbacks and used them as a driving force towards success. Hail to the Redskins!
All Hail the record-setting Redskins defensive unit, including and especially Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky. This was total domination in its purest form. The Redskins defense had 4 sacks, countless hurries and knock downs, and my favorite stat: 0-11 attempts on 3rd down. Pressure and a lot of it was the goal for the Sunday night matchup with the Raiders. The Redskins defensive front line did its job masterfully with stunts, all out rushes and whatever else worked. They held the Raiders rushing attack to only 32 total yards as a team, in which All Pro RB M. Lynch only had 18 of those 32 yards. The Raiders entered this Sunday night affair at FedEx Field ranking 4th in scoring and 5th in rushing across the NFL. When you look at the numbers and take the team rankings into consideration, this was a complete Raider Nation domination. Josh Norman, who spent most of the game “picking daisies” (as he calls it when teams don’t throw his way), had a total of 0 approaching the fourth quarter: 0 pass attempts against, 0 yards allowed, and 0 catches given up. Despite all the noise coming out of training camp about his attitude, opposite side corner Bashaud Breeland put in a strong performance to complement Norman’s play. Thus far in the season, this Redskins defensive unit and Coordinator Greg Manusky are sending a message to the rest of the NFL: This is not your run of the mill Redskins defensive unit. We’re going to play physical and with a controlled but reckless mindset.
The Raiders did muster 10 points on two Washington miscues, but as already stated, it didn’t faze the team one bit. This is the brand of football that was promised to us Redskins fans coming out of the draft and throughout offseason workouts, OTA’s (organized team activities) and training camp. With all the success achieved on Sunday night, the Redskins still have a problem that needs to be addressed. Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins missed what’s considered by many to be a chip-shot field goal. The last thing we want or need is for the players to do all they can to get a win, and the kicker looses the game by missing a field goal or extra point. Competition needs to be brought in just to challenge Hopkins and get his mind back on the task at hand – successfully kicking field goals. Word of advice to Hopkins: Aim small, miss small. No need to taint this victory; that’s just a point of concern for this writer. Outside of that and the two turnovers, this Redskins team earned A’s across the board: coaches, players and fans. The 12th man was alive and rocking Sunday night during primetime at FedEx Field.
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