Oct 17, 2016, 11:31 AM EDT
Here are my grades for some of the key players and other elements in Sunday’s 27-20 win over the Eagles.
Let’s give the Redskins’ offensive line an A+. They opened holes for three different running backs, setting up the team’s best day running the ball in nearly four years. They kept Kirk Cousins clean against one of the league’s top pass rushing units (the Eagles had at least three sacks in each of their first four games).
How often have the Redskins faced a fill-in player in a key position and then failed to exploit the weakness? Yesterday Ryan Kerrigan lined up against Eagles right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, a rookie getting his first snaps in the NFL. Kerrigan dominated the matchup, getting two sacks before the Eagles knew what hit them.
The team’s mindset is as solid as a rock. Past Redskins teams would have folded and allowed the Eagles 14-0 run on the kickoff return and interception return to turn into a tidal wave. Instead, they scored the next 10 points and reestablished control of the game.
I suppose that somebody will look at film of Matt Jones’ from yesterday and figure that he should have gained 300 yards. But he played pretty well while rushing for a career best 135 yards. His 57-yard run was the Redskins’ longest in a “run out the clock” situation (up by 1-7 points, less than 2 minutes left) since at least 1994.
Tight end Vernon Davis was ready to go in the absence of Jordan Reed. He had two receptions for 50 yards, not up to Reed’s usual production but good enough. He gets dinged a bit because of what turned out to be a very costly celebration penalty, but not a lot because it’s a dumb rule.
After being in town for just a couple of weeks Donte Whitner made an impact. He played 40 snaps, got four solo tackles and was solid in coverage. Duke Ihenacho started but played just 17 snaps. Read into that what you will.
Normally someone who plays just nine snaps has too small a sample size to evaluate. But Robert Kelley’s 45-yard run was a thing of beauty as he changed direction and navigated through traffic.
Josh Norman had a very quiet day. The Eagles threw at him just once, for 12 yards. It’s hard to have much impact when they won’t send any action your way.
Is it fair to give Kirk Cousins a C when he passed for 263 yards in a win? Maybe not but the pick six was ugly and he completed just eight of 20 passes after that. His passer rating was 85.8, under the NFL average of 89.5. So you can add a plus to the C but it was about an average quarterbacking performance.
DeSean Jackson probably didn’t have as big a day as he wanted to against his old team and he did have a drop of a likely TD. But he did have four catches for 55 yards, including a 35-yard reception that helped set up the Redskins’ first touchdown.
Who else deserves a good grade? Who should get a bad one? Sound off here in the comments!
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