Likes, dislikes, and more from the 20-10 win over the Giants.
- Defense. The defense held the Giants to 3 points, 170 yards, 7 total first downs, and 2 for 14 on 3rd down. Kerrigan was a terror with two sacks and multiple QB hits/hurries. Zach Brown was impactful most of the night too. Coverage was good despite the Giants having at least five dropped passes. Three of those were by their rookie TE Engram.
- Giant offense helped out. The Giants were awful offensively. They are one of the worst offensive teams in the league and they had injuries coming into the game. Their offensive line was bad and their receivers dropped 5-6 passes including a couple that would’ve resulted in first downs.
- 2nd half running game. Samaje Perine had a great 2nd half after a first half where it appeared they had no shot to run the ball. He rolled up 89 yards after the break. The Skins finished with great balance (31 runs-31 passes) which is necessary against the New York defense.
- Jamison Crowder. Crowder was THE guy in the pass offense for Cousins tonight. 7 catches for 141 yds and his first touchdown of the year. He did have one drop on a first-half 3rd and 10 that would’ve put them in the red zone.
- Tress Way. Best day of the year for Way. He had 4 punts inside the 20 and would’ve had a 5th but Pete Robertson didn’t know the rules and ran one of the downed punts into the end zone. There was a huge field position swing on his 55-yard punt in the 2nd quarter with an additional 10-yards because of a penalty.
- Fed Ex turf. Cold weather ends the growing season around these parts and the Redskins never seem to have a way to keep the grass in decent condition. It happens every year. I’m not sure why other cold weather cities like Pittsburgh and Philly can keep their fields playable but the Skins haven’t been able to do it for years. I love tradition too but it may be time to go to a non-grass option.
- Short-yardage offense. The Skins missed on two 3rd and 1s and a 4th and 1 a week after missing a crucial 3rd and 1 and two weeks after missing a 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1. These drive-killing plays would’ve cost them the game against a better team like it did the last two weeks.
- First-downs that should’ve been. Josh Doctson caught an easy pitch/catch on a 3rd and 15 but inexplicably ran out of bounds one yard short instead of turning up field for an easy first down. Jamison Crowder dropped an easy 3rd and 10 ball in the first half that would’ve put the Skins in the red zone.
- 4th and 1 punt/go for it/delay of game debacle. Gruden wasn’t decisive enough and it cost them a timeout and ended with a disorganized-looking delay of game penalty that sent the punt team back on the field. On a night like tonight with so many new players out there, I’m not going to kill him for what happened but it isn’t the first time that things have been out of sorts in big situations (see last week). I actually thought his original decision to punt was the right decision. The Giants weren’t going to score without a momentum-changing play and good field position.
- Kirk Cousins. This wasn’t going to be an easy game for the offense for many reasons. The Giant defense is capable and very familiar with the Skins. Add to that, the Skins rolled out a new center, tackle, and had back-ups playing new positions on occasion due to injuries. With that said, Cousins threw the ball well when he had time and people were open. He led another 4th quarter go-ahead drive (leads league with 4 this year) that he capped off with a great throw to Doctson for the game-winning touchdown. His touchdown pass to Crowder in the 3rd quarter was another example of his willingness to extend plays more often this year than last. Red zone efficiency is often a result of a QB that can create and extend. Cousins is better at it this year. It was a good night (19-31/242 yds/2 TDs/1 INT) for Kirk even though he had the pick and got sacked 6 times. How many of those sacks were on Cousins? I thought he could’ve been more decisive and unloaded the ball on two of them but he had nowhere to go with the ball and protection broke down on the others. **UPDATED** The interception was his fault. Upon further review, I don’t think he or anyone else can blame it on the turf. It just seemed his footwork was off and that caused the high throw. With that said, Byron Marshall did have both hands on the ball and had a chance to pull it in despite everything. One more thing, Kirk took two delay of games and nearly had another. Steve Spagnuolu and the Giant defense confuse him more than any other team and it’s not close.
- Final drive/defensive holding was questionable. On the Skins game-winning drive, I think they got a break on a 3rd and 3 defensive hold call on Cockrell vs Doctson. There wasn’t much to it. It turned out to be an important play/call in the game.
- Pete Roberston’s one-man touchback. On a punt that should’ve been downed at the Giant 7-yard line, Robertson got excited and ran with the ball into the end zone. The Skins lost 13-yards of field position on that doozy. He did make a nice tackle on the opening kickoff of the game.
- Jamison Crowder didn’t have to pounce on the punt that he thought hit Fabian Moreau. It actually hit a Giant player. Good thing he recovered it well.