Likes, dislikes, and more from the 27-10 win over the Raiders.
- Dominant defense! Midway through the 4th quarter, I tweeted out that I thought I was watching the most dominant defensive performance since the ’91 Super Bowl season. It nearly was. Until the Raiders final few yards with the clock running out vs Skins’ prevent, the Skins had held the Raiders to under 100 yards….first time since ’91 Eagles shutout on a Monday night. The Raiders finished with 128 yards….0-11 on 3rd-down. If not for two turnovers deep in their own territory, the defense would’ve gotten an easy shutout. The Raiders had no chance from the start of the game. The Skins picked off Carr on the opening drive and had two sacks on the Raiders’ 2nd possession. The Raiders averaged 2.7 yards on 48 plays. Pure dominance.
- Individual defensive standouts. I’m sure I’m leaving out many but here are the players that stood out at various times during the game. Preston Smith—so much stronger than he was last year. Ryan Kerrigan—healthy and tough to handle one on one. He’s sniffing out everything from screens to draws to reverses. Josh Norman—they don’t even throw at him. Monte Nicholson—he might be the biggest surprise of the season so far. DJ Swearinger—big hitter. The last two mentions/developments really make the loss of Su’a Cravens a non-issue.
- Chris Thompson. He set a franchise record for RB receiving yards with 150. He catches swing passes, checkdowns, screens and he’s very good as runner on draws and pitch sweeps. He’s arguably the most valuable player on the team right now.
- Kirk Cousins. He went 25-30 for 365 yards and 3 touchdowns. Of his 5 incompletions, there were 1-2 drops and Pryor didn’t help him on 1-2 others. He was perfect throwing quickly and short and near perfect on everything else. I thought his best throw of the night was a completion to Pryor while being hit simultaneously. He also managed the game very well at the end with a 24-10 lead. Instead of forcing a throw, he ran up the middle on 3rd and 4 for three yards which kept the clock rolling and ensured a short FG for a 3-score lead.
- Vernon Davis. He looks quick, agile, and he stepped up big with Jordan Reed out. Davis has made some great after-catch moves the last two weeks.
- Tress Way/punt coverage. Way punted the hell out of the ball knocking the Raiders inside the 20 three times on five punts. Two punts were returned for 4 yards.
- Coaching. For a 2nd straight week, Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky appeared to have the offense and defense 2 steps ahead of their opponent. I thought Gruden was very good as a play-caller tonight.
- Penalties. You really need to nit-pick to find much wrong with tonight’s blow out win but they were derailed offensively in the first half in particular by penalties. They finished with 10 for 77 yards.
- Two turnovers. This would’ve been a shut-out if not for Jamison Crowder’s fumbled punt and Perine’s fumble both of which came deep in their own territory.
- Terrell Pryor. I think the film may reveal some good blocks but he is really a slow work in progress as a receiver. He failed to break on two throws from Cousins that could’ve been catches but instead were incompletions. One of his two catches on the night should’ve been ruled incomplete. The Skins quick-snapped before the Raiders had a chance to challenge.
- End of first half decision to punt. In the moment, I didn’t like Gruden’s decision to take a delay of game penalty on 4th and inches at the Oakland 41 with :22 seconds left. After a Vernon Davis catch was ruled a first down, the clock was stopped with :39 sec left to review the spot. They moved the ball short of the sticks and the Skins took the final 17 sec of the play-clock attempting to draw the Raiders offsides. Instead of calling a timeout, they took the 5-yard delay penalty and punted. I think they should’ve gone for the 4th and inches to give themselves a shot at a FG attempt. A miss would’ve ended with :14-:16 sec left in the half and the Raiders needing a few big chunk throws for FG range. They hadn’t shown the ability to do that all night. The argument for the conservative route was making sure they took a 14-zip lead into the break and they were set to get the ball to open the 3rd quarter. I would’ve been more aggressive.
- The Raiders were awful. Most of what happened tonight was forced by the Redskins but damn the Raiders looked out of it from the start. They were outplayed, outhustled, and outsmarted and showed little fight all night long.
- Morgan Moses appears to false start a lot. It doesn’t always get called but it looks like he moves just before the snap 2-3 times a game.
- Fabian Moreau is a good special teams player. He is tough to deal with on punts.
- Josh Doctson. Finally! He had great ball skills at TCU and tonight’s TD was the first big catch of his career. He also dropped a first-half throw.
- David Amerson was the mark much of the night. The former Skins 2nd round pick was attacked all night. Cooley called it in the lead-up last week that Amerson wasn’t good enough in coverage.
- 14 points set up by turnovers? Sort of. Takeaways are huge but not all are easy score setups. Both tonight still required the offense to go 67 yards and 72 yards after the two interceptions. It’s misleading when the offense has to go long distances to call the points ‘setup by turnover’.
- Dustin Hopkins missed another long field goal. He’s 0-2 on kicks from 50+ yards out.
- Mack Brown. He always shows well when given a chance. He had big runs on the drive following the Oakland FG that cut the lead to 24-10.