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Washington Redskins Postgame Thoughts Week 16

December 24, 2012 in Washington Redskins Post Game Recap

By Staff Writer John Manuel:

My postgame thoughts on Washington Redskins must-win over the Eagles:

1- My first thought after the game was that was too close of a win against a bad Eagles team.

But then I thought about it and a win is a win and that makes six in a row.  Now the Redskins have a week to get ready for the Dallas Cowboys and a chance to win the NFC East.  I didn't expect the Eagles to lay down especially in Andy Reid's last home game.  It wasn't spectacular on either offense or defense like we have seen in recent weeks but it was a win and that is what Washington needed.

2- Robert Griffin's return was solid as expected.  By the stats he put up another 100+ QB rating which is what he does every week.

The early one run to the right didn't look like the RG3 we are used to seeing but everyone knows by now that RG3 is a complete quarterback.  We love that he can take off and go for 20, 30, 40 or more at a time but he can also stand in the pocket and make all the throws.  Griffin moved the ball down the field all game and especially in the first half before Alfred Morris got going.  I would expect RG3 to be ready for next Sunday and put on another show.

One coaching call I didn't like.  I think that Shanahan or Shanatan according to Rob Riggle, should have gone 4th and 1 late in the game.  Morris could have gotten that yard.

3- Everyone knows what Pierre Garcon has brought to this team since his return by now Josh Morgan is making a difference also.

Unlike Garcon, Morgan is not putting up bigger numbers but he is becoming a threat to get into the endzone.  A receiving core that looked very shaky after Fred Davis went down has stepped up during the winning streak.  Passes are being caught and I would not put the Griffin interception on Morgan.

I love what Leonard Hankerson is adding in the blocking game.  Actually I like what a lot of the receivers are doing in the blocking game.  And it would be wrong to not mention Santana Moss and what he has done.  I have lost track on how many big touchdowns he has pulled in.

4- I wasn't thrilled with what the defense did today.

The return of LeSean McCoy made it a much tougher day for Haslett's crew.  Madieu Williams always seems to be a second late, especially in the red zone.  We are seeing that way too much and probably why DeAngelo was playing a lot of deep safety today.

Big ups to Ryan Kerrigan today.  Kerrigan has been good, but not great all season, which he needs to be with the injuries.  Today he was great getting after Foles and hopefully he can do the same versus Dallas.  I love the effort by Barry Cofield getting to the outside in stopping screens and quick passes.  I wish the last two drives the Redskins went after Foles like they did earlier in the game.

5- Finally, an easy one.  IT's freakin' DALLAS WEEK!!!



Washington Redskins: Thoughts and Observations Heading into Week 16

December 18, 2012 in Washington Redskins Post Game Recap

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By John Manuel:

Here are my biggest observations after the Washington Redskins win in Cleveland:

1- First place!  Once again, first place!  

No one could expect the Redskins to be sitting in first place with only two games, especially after the Carolina loss.  But the team holds full control on winning the NFC East by beating the Eagles and Cowboys.  Not only that, but a win over the Eagles this week and lots of help and they could clinch at least a wild card spot.  Winning the final two games would most likely set up a match-up at home, yes at home with the Seattle Seahawks.  Pitting two of the NFL's hottest teams both led by rookie quarterbacks having stellar seasons.  There is a lot of work to be done but today is a good day to be a Redskins fan.

2- Have to give a big hand to Kirk Cousins after yesterdays performance.  

Cousins struggled the first few possessions but then got it going much like Robert Griffin has all season.  You couldn't ask for more from Cousins and how me moved the offense Sunday.  The Shanahans deserve a lot of credit as well for the way they prepared Cousins for the Browns.  Both the Shanahans and Cousins stayed the course even after the early interception.  Usually it has been the defense adjusting at the half in past weeks, but yesterday a lot of credit should go to the offensive staff.  No need to discuss Kirk Cousin's trade value yet, he is here and we may still need him.

3- When Brian Orakpo went down in week two it looked awful for the foreseeable future at the outside linebacker position opposite Ryan Kerrigan.  But no player has stepped up in recent weeks like Rob Jackson.  

Jackson continues to make big plays when big plays are needed like yesterday's interception.  Obviously I want Orakpo back in his normal position but Jackson and also Lorenzo Alexander have made the loss of Orakpo less of a major hit.  I really hope Alexander, like Darrel Young get Pro Bowl nods this season.  Both are very deserving to represent the NFC for special teams and fullback.  The overall defense has shown improvement each week and Jim Haslett should be off the hot seat as well.  

4- Before the season I was stilled worried that we didn't have the pass catchers a rookie QB would need to be successful early on.  

Then Pierre Garcon went down followed by Fred Davis but others have stepped up.  The team just doesn't lose when Garcon plays and his big play ability has rubbed off on others.  Aldrick Robinson has been quiet as of late, but Leonard Hankerson made both his catches count with 2 touchdowns including the perfect toss by Cousins.  I am very thrilled that Shanahan held onto Santana Moss as well.  I am guessing Shanahan is also.  Santana has been consistently taking advantage of his opportunities all season.  As for the loss of Davis, Logan Paulson is not the pass catcher Davis is, but the run stats do not lie and he has to be a factor in that.

5- I mentioned that I hope both Darrel Young and Lorenzo Alexander make the Pro Bowl this season but here are a few others who should get consideration as well.  

Obviously Robert Griffin III should be in contention.  I would figure that Aaron Rodgers is a lock to return.  It probably comes down to four guys battling for two spots.  Griffin, Brees, Ryan and Wilson all deserve to be there based on their play and what RG3, Wilson and Ryan have done with their teams.  Its a tough call but you have to figure Griffin will do well with both fans and players.  

As for running back Alfred Morris should be close.  After Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin it will come down to Morris and Marshawn Lynch.  Morris will most likely get the first alternate spot.  I think its almost a lock now that Trent Williams will be going.  His play has been superb and he has been getting talked up a lot.  Kai Forbath came on too late to make the team but has been great too.