What was that Sunday?  A 24-10 thumping of St Louis where the Redskins looked like a contender instead of a pretender?  A game where mistakes were at a minimum?  If this weren’t the 8th win in the team’s last 26 games, there’d  probably be a little more an even keel approach to the aftermath of the club’s first double digit win over a fellow NFC team since the 2012 season finale.  Thank goodness it’s a short week before Thursday night football…

Kirk Beams Up– Cousins completes 23 of 27 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown (Mark Brunell against the Texans, anyone?).  While he did throw a ton of short stuff–he was able to extend the field with 20+ yard tosses to Jordan Reed and Ryan Grant.  Let’s see how he does against the New York Giants Thursday night;  last year he tossed 4 interceptions in a season path defining 45-14 loss.

Saved by the Tandem– remember the episode when Zack realized Slater was his equal?  While Mr. Morris ripped off an early 35-yard run Matt Jones outshone the veteran…tallying 123 yards on 19 carries while scoring two touchdowns.  As the season progresses the two should in a perfect world evolve into a true “thunder and lightning” backfield…able to take advantage of what the opposing defense isn’t best suited to contain.  We just have to figure out how to get Lisa Turtle opportunities.

Life Without Desean– No #11, no problem.  Just no secondary-busting deep threat.  Ryan Grant did average 15 yards a catch…while Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon each caught 6 passes.  Jamison Crowder grabbed a 7 yarder.  Will they need to apply more pressure against opposing secondaries?  Certainly.  Is this a good start?  Of course.

Third and a Glass Half Full– the Skins converted 8 of 16 attempts…6 of 12 on called passes and 2 of 4 on called runs.  Cousins completed 9 of 11 passes (he was sacked once) with his top target being Pierre Garcon (4 targets, 3 catches and 2 conversions including a touchdown).  Matt Jones carried the ball on 3 of 4 run plays (2 conversions).  Distance breakdown: 3 for 5 on short yardage (less than 4 yards needed), 3-3 on intermediate (4-6) yardage and 2-8 on 3rd & long (7+ yards needed).  Just like last week, 50% of their 3rd down plays were long distance.  Not a good long term trend…

Case for the Defense– for the second straight week the D allowed just one touchdown.  They held Nick Foles to under 10 yards per completion and limited the rams to 2 for 12 on third down.  The defense set the tone in the first half, allowing just 3 first downs while forcing three 3 & outs the first five times the Rams had the ball.  Trenton Robinson in making his first start of the season at strong safety tallied 6 tackles…tying for the team lead with Keenan Robinson.  These Rams will never be concerned with the The Greatest Show on Turf, but this is a far cry from the club that gave up the third most points in the NFL last year.

Flying Flags– the Skins were penalized 7 times for 53 yards…down 4 infractions and 35 yards from week one.  Four were on offense (including 3 holds– 2 by Jordan Reed), two were on defense and the other penalty was a holding call on a kick return.  Bashaud Breeland picked up where he left off last year, getting whistled for an illegal use of the hands (Breeland ranked 3rd in the league in penalties last year).  Were they costly?  Reed’s first hold turned a 2nd and 11 from the Rams 21 into a 1st and 20 from the 30 that resulted in a field goal…you could say 4 points were lost on that flag.  The worst penalty could have been Terrance Plummer’s hold on a punt return that forced the offense to start on their own 9…but Kirk Cousins was able to move the offense to midfield before they had to punt.

Adequate Teams–  Tress way averaged 40.7 yards on six punts…none of which were returned by the Rams.  Jamison Crowder returned 5 punts for a total of 12 yards (10 yards his longest return) while Rashad Ross notched a 23 yard kickoff return.  The new kicker whose name in no way references a Billy Zabka movie made his lone field goal attempt from 46 yards while drilling his 3 extra points.  Only one of his five kickoffs was returned…and that one runback reached the 20.  But in the absence of the bully, Daniel LaRusso runs amok and harrasses poor Ali to the point of where she has to drop out.  Thornton Mellon’s kid turns out to be a trust fund jerk.  And Terry never learns the true lesson of whatever the moral to the story was in “Just One of the Guys”.

Dissecting the Division– only two weeks into the season the 1-1 Redskins are in 2nd place of the NFC East.  Dallas has won two games but has lost two players for a big chunk of the season:  while Dez Bryant could be back for game five, Tony Romo is out eight weeks minimum (in Brandon Weeden they trust).  The Giants (0-2) take third due to a better points differential than Philadelphia.  The early small sample size would result in the Skins taking over first place with a win Thursday plus a Dallas loss in week three.  But it’s only September.

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