Washington Redskins Thoughts and Observations:
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By Staff Writer John Manuel:
1. Four Game Win Streak:
Redskins fans have to be thrilled not only with the four game win streak, but who those four wins have come against. They have beaten the four teams that the Redskins and their fans most want to see them beat. Three division rivals in the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants followed by yesterday’s win over the Ravens. Playing the Browns will be a change but once again its a must win Sunday in the playoff race. The Giants and Seahawks didn’t help but the Bears did and are suddenly in reach.
2. Tale of two halves for the defense.
The first half looked the same as the past as Joe Flacco and Ray Rice worked the Skins defense. But then came the second half and much like against the Giants the defense stepped up and made huge plays once again led by Rob Jackson. I don’t know what goes on in the locker room at the half, but it is working. Maybe the pregame game plan is horrible but then defensive staff is just amazing at half time adjustments. Could it be the players reacting to a defensive leader like London Fletcher at he half? I would love to know.
3. The offense was once again moving the ball pretty easy at times.
Griffin wasn’t great but he was still good until the injury. You can’t ask for any more from Kirk Cousins either. Our average offensive line sure is opening up holes in the run game consistently One concern is the fumbling of Alfred Morris and that needs to stop. Morris has been a monster all season but the only thing that stops this offense are fumbles and penalties as long as RG3 is under center.
4. As for Robert Griffin under center Sunday in Cleveland we will have to see.
It did not look good but RG3 is tough, real tough. And if he can go I am sure he will be out there. But if he can’t it will be interesting to see where the Shanahans go with Cousins under center. I still think he can do some of what Griffin brings but Morris will be heavily counted on. I am very happy that Shanahan used that 4th rounder on Cousins and not someone like Bobby Massie. I liked the pick then and really do now.
5. It took weeks but finally Brandon Banks was gone from kick returns.
Obviously Richard Crawford was a hero from Sunday and should hold onto the punt return job. I still think the Skins should stick with Niles Paul on kickoffs even with the fumble. As for Banks, I hope he is released like I said last week so the team can bring in a kickoff specialist. Kai Forbath once again was great on field goals but his kickoffs were bad. Real bad if he would have put his 2nd one out of bounds after the game was tied. Jacoby Jones didn’t make us pay but Josh Cribbs may Sunday if it doesn’t change.