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Likes, dislikes, and more from the shocking 17-14 win at Seattle.  One of the best and most surprising wins in years.

Good:

  1. Defense.  The defense was the #1 reason the Redskins won the game.  With six starters out on offense, zero running game, etc, the defense needed a huge day and delivered.  They held Seattle to 1 for their first 8 third-down chances forcing FG attempts (missed) and punts.  There was pass pressure pretty much start to finish and the D got two interceptions and nearly 1-2 more.  It was one of the best defensive days in years given the context. 

  1. Seattle self-destruction. The Skins couldn’t have won this game without significant help from Seattle.  The Seahawks had 16 penalties for 138 yards, 3 missed FGs, and 2 turnovers.  They needed all of that help to win.
  1. Zach Brown. There were many standout performances on defense (Lanier, Norman, Compton, and others) but Brown stood out more than anyone else.  He led the team in tackles, had several QB hurries and hits, and caused at least one of the interceptions when he got quick pressure & rattled Wilson.  I doubt they win the game without him today.
  1. Vernon Davis. He got hurt during the game but was one of the only targets that seemed to get open consistently.  He had 6 big catches for 72 yds including 3 on the touchdown drive in the first half.  He had a huge catch and run on what could’ve been the deciding drive but Tyler Catalina got called for an unnecessary block in the back.
  1. Kirk Cousins. He led his 11th 4th qtr/OT drive to win a game in his brief 2.5 yr career as a starter.  That final drive and those two throws to Quick and Doctson will be remembered for a long time.  They looked dead, and he drove them 70 yards in 4 plays with 1:34 left to take the lead.  As far as the game he played before the final drive, he was much better than most think.  With six offensive starters out, ZERO running game, too many drop-back play calls, and up against a very good defense in a tough road environment, Cousins didn’t make the killer mistake.  Yes, he took sacks but how many times did he get crushed on a completion?  Almost all of them.  Also, how many of the six sacks could’ve been avoided?  Maybe two, but if he had forced throws under that pressure, he would’ve made mistakes and the masses would’ve killed him for throwing picks and losing the game.  He completed 21-31 for 247 yards and made enough plays before the final drive to give them a chance on a great defensive day.
  1. Josh squared. Josh Norman may have gotten beat on Seattle’s go-ahead touchdown but the attitude and physicality he brings to the defense makes a difference every week he’s there.  His tackle on the 3rd and one late in the 4th quarter was a giant play.  Josh Doctson had the best catch of his brief career.  That catch is the kind he made over and over again in college.  He’s got a ton of talent, hopefully it’s on the verge of being realized.

Bad:

  1. ZERO running game.  The Skins just couldn’t run the football today.  23 for 51 yds and it seemed worse than that.  How many 2nd and longs because of 1 yard or less first-down run you ask?  Seven!  Kelley wasn’t very effective and they gave Perine a shot early but his fumble in the first half cost him more chances.  That fumble was Perine’s fault….he didn’t give Kirk a place to put the ball. 

  1. Special Teams. A partially blocked punt, a near-missed PAT in the first half after a snap/hold issue, and too many ineffective punts by Tress Way.  His last punt was a net 21-yd punt that allowed Seattle to start their go-ahead drive from their own 29 instead of deeper in their own territory. 

  1. Questionable pass-play calls. Where was the quick game?  I hate criticizing play-calling but I was very surprised that Jay Gruden dropped Cousins back as much as he did today.  The quick pass game wasn’t used enough in my view considering the issues the back-up offensive line had protecting.  You could see that Gruden felt they could go deep today with Earl Thomas out and he called some of those shots but they just couldn’t protect consistently enough and the lack of a running game kept Seattle coming.
  1. Skins next-to-last drive. After Seattle cut the lead to 10-8, the Skins made some big plays to move the football into Seattle territory.  However, after a 1st and 10 at the Seattle 47, two penalties derailed what could’ve been the drive to end the game.  There was a false start and then a Tyler Catalina unnecessary block in the back on a nice run after catch by Vernon Davis.  

More:

  1. Game-winning touchdown. For those wanting the Skins to kill some clock and win with a walk-off touchdown, that’s crazy talk.  Down 14-10 against that team in that stadium, you punch it in when you’re able to punch it in.  Scoring wasn’t a guarantee after the Doctson catch. 

  1. The Wilson sack at the end.  What should’ve happened after Wilson was sacked with 11 seconds left is that the clock should’ve continued to run but it didn’t.  The clock stopped for 4-5 seconds after the Wilson play was ruled a sack.  It shouldn’t have stopped.  If the clock was handled correctly, the game may have ended on that play.  Instead, after they stopped the clock, they restarted it and then stopped it with 4 seconds left to review the play to determine if it was indeed a sack as called or an incomplete pass.  They correctly upheld the sack ruling but didn’t adjust the clock.  Hence, the Seahawks had 4 seconds left and one final play.  For those wondering why there wasn’t a 10-second run off….the review didn’t result in overturn of the call on the field so the clock remained where it was when they had stopped it.  

  1. The near 2-point return. What a great interception & return by DJ Swearinger on Seattle’s 2-point conversion.  It would’ve been a huge 2 points if they had lateraled their way in.

  1. A couple of under-the-radar moments. After Josh Norman’s great tackle to stop Seattle on 3rd and 1 with 8 minutes left, Seattle’s punt barely rolled into the end zone for a touchback.  Starting from their own 1 would’ve been a problem for the Skins.  Another moment came in the first half on a 3rd and 22 draw where Chris Thompson got 10 yards on a run that took 12 SECONDS!  Burning some of the clock on that long run probably cost Seattle a play or two on their final drive before the half. 

  1. Ryan Anderson lined up as fullback. Anderson was in on offense on the two goal-line situations as Kelley’s lead blocker.
  1. Terrell Pryor had a 3rd-down catch and drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone on Richard Sherman. The Skins scored their first touchdown two plays later.
  1. D-Hall’s return was a success. I was really surprised Gruden put him back there on punt returns in his first game back but with Crowder out, there was nobody else to do it.  He did a nice job in coverage and knocked down the final Seattle Hail Mary pass.
  2. Brian Quick was being checked for a concussion after the game.  It happened on his catch on the final drive when he was hit helmet-to-helmet by Kam Chancellor.  It should’ve been a penalty.
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