Hail Redskins Nation!!!! Once again #VictoryMonday is upon us after a hard fought division game that I'm sure had everyone (myself included) yelling at their television. After last weeks loss to the Giants, I didn't know what to expect from Coach Gruden and his play calling. I was very disappointed in his calls last week and for some of this game, I had that same feeling but luckily this week it didn't cost us the game. Only knock I have on the play caller is that sometimes he gets pass happy even when the run game is effective. This week was a little different, the run wasn't as effective but instead of keep feeding Alfred Morris the ball, Kirk Cousins ended up throwing the ball 46 times. Only 32 rush attempts for the game and in the second half the bulk of rushes came on the game winning drive. Not trying to rain on the parade but the coach has to stick the run to wear the defense down. Luckily this worked to the Redskins advantage this week by converting third downs and going on long time consuming drives. Holding the ball for over 40 mins and keeping the Eagles quick strike but inconsistent offense on the sideline. With the large time of possession discrepancy there is no way this game should've needed a 4th quarter game winning drive. But all in all it was a full 60 min effort from all three phases and came out with a much needed division win. Also it's the first time the team has won back to back home games since 2013. Now let's get to my 10 observations:
Kirk Cousins looked very comfortable running the offense, but like Robert Griffin when he was under center, he's leaving
The three TE formation that was so effective against the Rams, seems like Jay is scared to use it even tho it's been successful. It opens up the run and the passing game. If u recall when Kirk threw out of that formation Pierre Garcon was practically wide open on the same slant play each time.
The offensive line did a good job opening up holes and keeping the quarterback upright. Giving up only one sack and the running game produced 127 yards ( lowest output of the season). With Spencer Long getting his first start alongside Trent Williams, he had his bright spots and some rookie moments but overall did a good job at LG.
Trent Murphy (not more then two weeks ago I stated that he was in jeopardy of losing his starting
Chris Culliver obviously wasn't 100% and Sam Bradford exposed and exploited him all second half of the game. DeAngelo Hall hopefully be back in the starting lineup soon so that Culliver can move back to the slot where he is more effective. Bashaud Breeland is turning into a solid, physical and shutdown cornerback.
The linebackers, led by Keenan Robinson have been lights out. In coverage, filling the gaps, stopping the run, holding the edge Will Compton (led team wit seven tackles) has been filling in very nicely for Perry Riley (I said Compton would get the starting job at some point this season) and Ryan Kerrigan should've had a three sacks, instead of a single sack.
Jay Gruden has to go back to the Rams gameplan and use that philosophy going forward. The three TE set is a great play design, causes mismatches and has big play potential. In that game I believe it was just about 50/50 run to pass ratio and that is the formula for success. The redzone offense needs a better design, flow and some misdirection. To me it's become predictable.
Joe Barry has silenced a lot of his critics with performance of the defensive unit the first quarter of the season. The run defense is only giving up 78 yards a game, nine sacks (five sacks vs Eagles), and four forced fumbles and recovering three. Unfortunately no int's as of yet, but with all the injuries/suspensions and rotation of new bodies that's to be expected. As long as they're playing good coverage then I'm good.
Next week the Redskins travel to the 4-0 Atlanta Falcons for the toughest test of the season so far. Kyle Shanahan has implemented his offense and it has taken the Falcons offense and whole team to a different level. We must contain Julio Jones and their spark plug running back Devonta Freeman. He can run through you or past you. The defense is gonna have to be stout again in order for this team to win in that loud dome. Kirk will have to have another mistake free game and make timely throws when needed. All in all should be a good game that once again will come down to the fourth quarter.
As always #HTTR. You can follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio or on Facebook Carroll Porter III. Feel free to inbox, direct message or comment any questions, thoughts for topics of discussion or just to talk sports in general. If any local residents are interested in volunteering at FedEx Field during games for community service hours or just because. Check out the flyer below. Hail and enjoy #VictoryMonday #BeatDaFalcons