Monday, October 17, 2016

Week Six: Observations of the Redskins vs Eagles

From the  first snap of the ball the Redskins defense was all over the rookie Carson Wentz and made him look like one.
Via redskins.com



























 Hail RedskinsNation!!!!! It's the fourth #VictoryMonday for the Washington Redskins and a second division win. At (4-2) the team is in second place and ahead of most analyst predictions. Yesterday's game was the most complete the Redskins have played all season. Steady improvement and progress are helping make this team look like the NFC East defending champs. Jay Gruden almost found a way to give the game away, like he did the momentum of the 2nd quarter. I'm starting to question his football I.Q. In the second quarter after the kickoff return by Philly after a excessive celebration penalty by Vernon Davis which put the Redskins up 14-0. The offense had just run the ball down the Eagles throat, just returned a kick so the defense wasn't rested and what does Gruden do....comes out passing. This helps the Eagles defense out so they can just pass rush instead of trying to stop the run. Philly having no choice but to blitz and it pays off by forcing Kirk out the pocket and making a ill advised throw which turned into a Pick-6 and a tie ball game. After that the offense went back to running the ball and the end result was 230 yards rushing as a team and Matt Jones had his second 100 yard game of the season. As I've been stating the last few weeks about Joe Barry and his defense, they've been playing well but the stats didn't back it up....well yesterday the performance and stats backed it up. Giving up under 100 yards rushing, under 200 yards passing and 5 sacks says alot. The Eagles offense was top 5 coming into this week....I have a feeling it wont be after this game. Be sure to tune into Sports On The Hill Podcast tonight at 7pm est as we start off talking #Capitals, #Wizards and recap the Redskins game starting at 8pm est. You can call in to listen or to give your feedback at 347-884-9299 or can stream it live here   http://bit.ly/2dZfy5Z . Now let's get to my observations:



Via redskins.com
Kirk Cousins is improving in his confidence and commanding the offense but he still makes the bad decision in a crucial situations occasionally. The pick 6 could've been the beginning of the end but I enjoyed seeing him brush it off and step up after that mistake. With the schedule getting tougher he will have to limit and eliminate those mistakes going forward. He made some impressive throws in tight windows but didn't try to force the issue which is when he gets in trouble. Still haven't connected long with DeSean Jackson but it's only a matter of time.


Via redskins.com
Since Spencer Long has taken over at center you can see and improvement in protection and run blocking. Shawn Lauvao has got to get more consistent at LG. I constantly see him on the ground or getting pushed into the backfield. He's a great pulling guard, that's when he's on the move and coming around and sealing the edge but straight up run blocking needs improvement. Once again you have to give credit to Bill Callahan for his stellar work improving this offensive line.



 The wide receiving corp was supposed to be one of the stronger units on this team this year and it's proving to be true. With Jordan Reed out there was more pressure on the WRs to perform and they answered the call. Jamison Crowder is becoming a real weapon in the slot with teams doubling DeSean Jackson and zoning Pierre Garcon. Kirk and D Jax working on their timing but was still a bit off on the deep pass that should've been a TD. All in all this unit is becoming one of the best in the league.

Via redskins.com
 With 34 passes and 33 rushed Jay finally learned what balance is. Even if you don't get the big hitters early, you have to stick with it to wear the defense down. In the second quarter he got away from it but quickly realized in the third quarter once Philly had gotten back in the game.It definitely got the best out of Matt Jones with 16 carries for 135 yards and a TD. His best run was also his longest of the day, a 57 yard gain on a 3rd and 7 to seal the game in the fourth with a minute left to seal the victory.



Via redskins.com
 With Jordan Reed out there was a big void (25% of the passing offense) and someone was needed to step up in the passing game and the running game to take some of the pressure off of Kirk. Vernon Davis stepped up with two huge catches for 50 yards and a TD. Both catches were just what the offense needed at the time. Robert Kelly is pushing Matt Jones to be better and I've been saying since
preseason that Kelly would be the starting back this year. Matt is not going to let that happen without putting up a fight as we saw. Kelly's 59 yards on five carries certainly wore up the Eagles and woke up Matt. The 45 yard long was a great effort run and shows how hard "Fat Rob" is to bring down once he gets going.

Via redskins.com
The front seven has been most impressive over the last two weeks by getting pressure, collapsing the pocket and actually getting to the quarterback. Trent Murphy is making a statement this year and I like what he's saying. I wrote earlier in the year that if he didn't start showing improvement in getting to the QB or even getting pressure he could be labeled a bust and wouldn't be resigned when his contract was up. He's startring to look like a 2nd round pick. Ziggy Hood is looking to be a great signing. His experience, leadership and work ethic are showing in his results.His impact might not show up on his stat line but it shows up on the field. With 5 sacks as a defense with pieces missing, imagine when the defense gets the other pieces back.

 The ILB corp has been solid in pass coverage, stopping the run and being in the right alignments which is very key for the whole defense to be successful. Will Compton is proving why he's the captain and play caller. Mason Foster has fit in seamlessly and the OLB's are doing their thing
wreaking havoc and causing confusion. Preston Smith got his first sack of the season, if he can get locked in he can help this defense become even more effective. Ryan Kerrigan had a 2 1/2 sack day abusing the rookie RT and forcing the Eagles to keep a RB or TE on that side to chip him to slow him down.

Via redskins.com
Joe Barry has finally got his scheme and play-calling right after all the injuries and substitutions have been figured out. In case fans didn't notice it's been 6 straight quarters without a offensive touchdown and 3 straight games of not allowing a TD in the second half. Fans were calling for his firing and now look at this unit. It's a marathon not a sprint and Joe Barry is showing why he deserves this job. The tackling has also improved. Still room to get better, but definitely improving week to week.


Via redskins.com
                                                                             The secondary has been playing well the last two weeks shutting down the opposing WRs, The competition hasn't been elite but the fact that they shut them down shows how talented they are. Bashaud Breeland came back this week which put most players back in their usual roles which is why I believe the unit looked and played so well yesterday. Josh Norman playing with a soft cast on the hand that he hurt last week vs the Ravens. The safety combo of Duke Ihenacho and Will Blackmon are working well as a tandem and will only improve when Su'a Cravens comes back from concussion protocol.


The special teams unit gave up a kickoff return for touchdown but for the most part was solid. The excessive celebration penalty forced Dustin Hopkins to kickoff from the 20 instead of the 35 which led to shorter kick which got returned. Hopkins hit a 50 yarder to extend the back to 10 to help keep the Eagles comeback at bay.

 Next week is a winnable game in my opinion and going on the road is always a challenge but Detroit has a good team but the Redskins are better. Be sure to go follow @SportsOTHP on twitter, Sports On The Hill Podcast page on Facebook or go check out our website www.webngames.com for my blogs and a archive of our shows. You can call in at 347-884-9299 to listen live or call in and give your opinion or feedback on my articles or any DC sports team starting at 7pm est.. We cover it all. "DC sports without the politics "You can stream the show live at 7pm est here:  http://bit.ly/2dZfy5Z     #HTTR4LIFE


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