The Washington Redskins looked very good for the first 11 minutes of the 1st quarter. The offensive line had suffered injuries to four of the five starters, so the starting offensive line facing the Cowboys defense included two rookies making their first NFL game debut. At center was rookie Chase Roullier and at right guard was rookie Tyler Catalina. Roullier replaced injured starter Spencer Long and Catalina replaced the injured Brandon Scherff. They played very well and the Redskins were able to run the football. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was protected well and his play-action passes were successful.
However, the drive stalled and the Redskins were attempting a field goal to increase their lead which would have made the score Redskins 16 to Cowboys 7. Unfortunately, the field goal was blocked and run down near the goal line by Dallas. A play later the Cowboys punched it in for a touchdown. Instead of the score being 16 to 7 in the Redskins favor, it became 14 to 13 with Dallas leading. With that, the Cowboys had the momentum.
In spite of a valiant effort by a Redskins team with many injuries on both offense and defense, the Cowboys led by 7 as the time was running down. The defense held and the Redskins had a chance for a final drive to try to score a tying touchdown when Cousins’ pass was tipped at the line, intercepted and run back for a touchdown. That made the score 33 to 19 instead of 26 to 19. Redskins mistakes, three turnovers and lots of injuries gave Dallas the victory. The Cowboys only had 2 more 1st downs than the Redskins. That 10-point swing caused by the blocked field goal was the turning point in the game in my opinion.
The Redskins are 0 and 3 in the NFC East Division now, and have a record of 3 wins and 4 losses. A win in Seattle would make the team .500, with 4 wins and 4 losses at the halfway point of the regular season. After facing the Seahawks, the Redskins will have 8 games left to play. Fans who are giving up on the season already are giving up too soon. This Redskins team has character and when healthy, they can compete with and beat any NFL team. I believe our team could have and should have won all 4 of the games we lost. They were “in” and even led in those 4 games. One less mistake here, a better play call there, and with fewer injuries, the Redskins could be 7 and 0. I have faith that the Washington Redskins will have a winning season and will be in the playoffs as the NFC East Division champions or at least as a wild card team. Anyone calling for a coaching or quarterback change at this time is badly mistaken.
Having said that, I do believe we need a real kick returner and not use Jamison Crowder or Chris Thompson running back punts and kickoffs. Even with basically a new offensive line, I feel Head Coach Jay Gruden should continue to call run plays to set up the play-action passes. There has to be some balance in order to win the time-of-possession battle and keep the defense “fresh.” It takes twice the energy to play defense, so when the defense is on the field too long, fatigue sets in. It is not too late for WR’s Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson to break out big time and give the offense twice as much explosiveness. Gruden needs to activate TE Jeremy Sprinkle for the game against the Seahawks. He needs to incorporate WR Brian Quick into the game plan and design more plays with TE Vernon Davis included as QB Kirk Cousins goes through his progressions.
Keep the faith, Redskins fans! There’s lots of football left to play and our guys can get on a winning streak. Let the bandwagoners, the pouters, the doubters and do-withouters jump ship. We don’t need them anyway. True Redskins fans are not fair-weather but all-weather fans.
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