Let the record show that many in Redskins Nation were running for cover after the 0-2 start…especially with both of those losses coming at home.  Even more so with one of those defeats in prime time and another to a team inside the division that was starting a rookie quarterback.  But now after five weeks, the Burgundy and Gold are right in the playoff mix at 3-2 with three straight victories.  Their 16-10 triumph over the Ravens is the franchise’s first win in Baltimore since the 1950’s.  Three games remain before the bye…and all are winnable:  a suddenly exposed Philadelphia, a Detroit that remains Detroit and a Cincinnati team that’s under .500.  If somehow they win all three- there will be plenty of Burgundy and Gold lenses looked through in early November.

Captain Kirk- for the second straight week Cousins completed over 70% of his passes.  Yes, his completed passes averaged under 10 yards for the second straight week.  And yes, he tossed an interception that should have resulted in points if it weren’t for a fumble through the endzone.  But he’s the Skins’ guy…and played well enough to deliver a road victory.  Star Trek Equivalent?  “The Omega Glory”- a long and convoluted tale about a planet that resembles the Cold War solves its problems with Kirk’s help.  One of the middling quality episodes that you don’t turn off but don’t hope for.

Running Aground- 20 carries for 60 yards.  No rushes on the team’s six third and one opportunities.  Matt Jones carried 14 times for 31 yards and although his number was called twice on fourth and one, the Skins appear to be open for contributions from Robert Kelley.  Is Evan Royster still in the league?

Reed Leads…for now- Jordan Reed led the team with 8 catches. He was also the top target on third down (4 of the 11 passes thrown were his way) and  he’s on a pace for 16 catches.  But Reed is also now being checked for a potential concussion…and if that’s what it is the tight end would have five dating back to his days at Florida.  He’s missed 14 games thus far due to injury over his 3+ year career.

Third and Failing by Passing- the Skins converted just 3 of 12 money downs, despite having 6 third and one situations.  They passed on all six of those opportunities… completing/converting just one of those.  Reed had four targets (two catches and one conversion) while DeSean Jackson was thrown to three times (all incompletions).  Cousins went 4-11 with one sack on third down.  Yardage breakdown:  2-7 on third and short, 1-4 on third and medium (4 to 6 yards needed), 0-1 on third and long.  The good news?  Only one third down longer than 6 yards.

D earns another good grade- what is it with the defense during the second half of their games?  In the three wins they’ve allowed just three field goals.  Sunday the Skins reversed their issues getting off the field on third down (57% opponents’ success was the worst in the NFL), holding the Ravens on 12 of 15 chances.  Duke Ihenacho and Will Compton led the way with 8 tackles apiece.  Granted, Baltimore fired Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman the next day (Marty Mornhinweg is the 5th OC in less than four years, each a previously failed head coach in the NFL), but it’s nice to stop somebody.

Special Situations- Jamison Crowder is the second Redskin to take NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors this season…after returning a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. Far from the embarrassment this unit once was, the kicking game is actually providing the differ Credit the direction of Special Teams Coordinator Ben Kotwica and Assistant Special Teams Coach Bradford Banta…and credit an improved depth  where players number 35-45 on the roster are able to contribute to this unit.

Flying Flags- a season low 4!  At first I thought the rest of the infractions would be on the second page…but not so.  Just one False Start (giving them 11, tied for 2nd in the NFL) and an Illegal Shift on offense…plus a Defensive Pass Interference and an Illegal Block above the waist on a punt return.  The only flag that really hurt was Will Compton’s PI that turned an incomplete pass on 3rd and 10 on the Ravens’ 43 into a 1st and 10 on the Skins’ 31…helping along a possession that would lead to a Baltimore field goal.

Dissecting the Division- Dallas now rules the NFC East by one half game over Philadelphia after the Cowboys’ win over Cincinnati…coupled with the Eagles’ loss to Detroit.  The Skins’ 3-game winning streak has them in third place of the NFC East and in the #8 spot in the NFC.  Three straight losses drops the Giants a full game into last place.  The division’s 12-7 mark is the best in the league…if that’s any consolation.

 

Advertisements