Redskins Show Signs Of Life, But Still Can’t Win At Home Against Dallas
The Offense Scored 24 Points:
During their previous 5 games, the Redskins offense managed just 53 points, and scored only 4 TD’s. Three of those TD’s came late in the game, essentially after the game was already lost, against defenses that were playing back. Today though the Redskins scored 24 total points, including three touchdowns, none of which were against a soft defense. The Redskins 24 points is the 2nd highest team total this season, and in fact the most points the offense has put up (the defense scored 7 points in the Giants game).
Redskins Ran The Ball 24 Times:
One of the biggest criticisms over the previous 5 losses was the abandonment of the running game. Only once in those 5 games did the Redskins manage 20 or more carries, and this was despite the defense keeping them in most of the games until the end. Against the Cowboys though the Redskins rushed the ball 24 times, which at the very least helped keep the time of possession relatively close.
Rex Grossman Showed Why He’s Starting:
Grossman has dealt with plenty of criticism this season and even entered the game to more than his fair share of boos, but he came out and had a very strong game. Now no one will mistake Grossman for Aaron Rodgers, but Grossman played well enough to win the game, throwing for nearly 300 yards and two TD’s while rushing for another. While Grossman did have his signature turnover, he kept it at just one and overall made smart decisions with the ball. Grossman stepped up in the pocket and avoided a handful of would be sacks, which was huge for keeping the Redskins offense moving the ball forward.
Special Teams Plays A Good All-Around Game:
I know some fans might be against this statement with two missed field goals which could have won the game for the Redskins, but Washington would not have been in the position they were in if not for their special teams play. Brandon Banks finally showed multiple positive returns, that set the Skins up in good field position. Consequently the Redskins kickers did a great job of limiting the Cowboys returns, which forced them into longer fields.
Defense Continues To Play At A High Level:
Given how the game started, it looked like the game was going to get away from the Redskins pretty quickly, but the defense came together and really challenged the Cowboys. Dallas couldn’t find much running room, averaging under 3.0 yards per carry. And while there were individual breakdowns in coverage, the Redskins got good pressure on Tony Romo throughout the game, which helped stall a number of drives. While in the end the defense couldn’t hold the lead, their play was still a positive for the Redskins.
Redskins Lose The Turnover Battle:
Another game, another negative in the turnover department. Now I don’t really believe Fred Davis fumbled, but that is what it was called, and it set up the Cowboys first score. The defense wasn’t able to muster any takeaways, and that is one of the biggest breakdowns we’ve seen from them. If the Redskins can start evening the odds in the turnover department, they should find themselves in the win column far more often.
Running Game Fails To Produce:
While it was nice to see the Redskins run the ball some, it was frustrating that far too many of their runs went for no gain or negative yards. Now I know the Redskins are dealing with plenty of injuries, but they weren’t running the ball well at the beginning of the year and now it is just pathetic. Which is sad considering both the Redskins and Mike Shanahan have a long tradition of great running games. Until there is a change in the production of the ground attack it will be hard for the Redskins to win another game.
Poor Coaching Decision, Affects Outcome Of The Game:
The one decision I really didn’t like for the Redskins was to try a 52 yard field goal in overtime. Yes Gano has the leg to kick it that deep, but a field goal that far is a 50/50 shot at best, and that is probably pushing it. Given how good Sav Rocca has been punting all season, I would have tried to pin them down inside the 10. Sure maybe you miss and they get a TB, but it is worth the shot, especially since missing the FG would give Dallas excellent field position. The Redskins should have played it safe there, and put the ball in their defense’s hands. Maybe it wouldn’t have affected the outcome, but it was a smart play.