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Redskins - Bears Winners and Losers

Winners

DeAngelo Hall:  With four picks and a touchdown, this one is a given.  Hall is the type of player who is going to jump routes and will occasionally drive you nuts giving up big plays (which is probably why he's been with 3 teams in his young career).  But when he guesses right, he's practically guaranteed to make a play.  The catch on the pick-6 was beautiful. 

Ryan Torain: Last week, he beat up on an undersized defense that was built to stop the pass.  This week, he was even more impressive against one of the best run defenses in the league.  On the last real play of the game, every single person in the building knew he was going to run the ball, and he still broke off 27 yards.  He fumbled twice, but I think that can be chalked up to inexperience and the fact that the Bears D was excellent at punching balls loose.  The Skins put the ball on the ground 5 times, so it wasn't just Torain that was struggling.

Rocky McIntosh: 8 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.  This defense is noticeably better with Rocky than without him.  On the sack, McIntosh wasn't assigned to pass rush, but he saw an opportunity when Cutler escaped the pocket and he went for it.

London Fletcher: Made a heads-up play in the pile, stripping Cutler and recovering on the goal line.  Also collected 8 tackles. 

Albert Haynesworth:  Made a couple of huge plays in the backfield, including a pretty good impression of the LaVar Leap.  His teammates were all over him after the third down running play he stuffed.  It looks like Haynesworth has won some respect and acceptance from the rest of the defense.  Maybe this is finally the end of the drama.

Brian Orakpo:  Notched two sacks, bringing his total to 7 which is tied for 3rd in the league.  The pressure on Cutler wasn't as consistent as I had expected it to be, but I think that's just because the Skins only sent 4 or 5 rushers on most plays.  His two neutral zone penalties were strange, and after the game he said he was surprised that the refs hadn't warned him that he was lined up off sides.  I'm not sure if that's normal or not, but I doubt Orakpo will get caught like that again. 

Jim Haslett:  All offseason, Haslett had been preaching turnovers over yards.  His defense took some flak for the yardage numbers it had allowed over the first few games of the season, and a lot of people were questioning the wisdom of converting a solid 4-3 into a 3-4.  But at this point, the Skins' turnover differential is +7, which is tied for second with Pittsburgh, and behind only the Jets

Hunter Smith:  Managed to keep the ball out of Devin Hester's hands without shanking any too badly out of bounds.  It wasn't pretty, but who wants to risk letting Hester break Brian Mitchell's return TD record against the his old team?  He also handled two bad snaps that could have turned into disasters. 

Chris Cooley: Had 7 catches, including one to extend the Redskins game-winning possesion. He also had a few key blocks in the running game, sealing off the edges to get Torain into space.

Honorable Mention:  Phillip Buchanon crossed the field and made the tackle at the 1 that saved a touchdown, but got beaten badly on the Bears' only offensive TD... LaRon Landry had a solid game overall but should have picked that ball off instead of head-butting it all the way back to the line of scrimmage... Brandon Banks had another solid day returning kicks, but put the ball on the ground on the opening kickoff.  

 

Losers:

Donovan McNabb:  Last week, he made some impressive plays in a collapsing pocket.  This week, he made terrible decisions under pressure from Chicago's blitzes.  We got seriously lucky on the delay of game penalty that negated a pick 6.  All game, he never really seemed to settle into a rhythm.  I don't think it's anything to worry about though; McNabb can come out flat one week and then bounce right back to Pro-Bowl form the next.  I'm just happy that he had his bad game on a day when our defense was playing lights-out. 

The O-Line:  The Bears were able to bring very quick pressure at McNabb on blitzes.  Julius Peppers tested both of our tackles and had very little impact, but Israel Idonije was in McNabb's face all game.  On McNabb's pick six, Idonije was lined up over Trent Williams, and it looked like Williams may have been confused about the play call.  He came off the line and pulled into the secondary, as if he expected a screen pass or run to the right.  Our interior linemen also whiffed on a few linebacker blitzes that they should have recognized.  The blocking was solid in the running game, but it looks like they're missing Clinton Portis' ability to pick up blitzers. 

Graham Gano:  Yes, the wind pushed his 38 yarder wide.  But without the wind, it would have barely snuck in the left upright, and the wind was blowing right to left.  He has talent, but he needs to show more consistency.

Mike Martz:  Chicago RBs Matt Forte and Chester Taylor averaged 4.1 and 6.7 yards per carry.  They came out of the half with a lead.  And what was their final playcalling mix?  13 runs, 40 passes.  It makes me glad we have a coaching staff that values the run.

Jay CutlerCalled out DHall in the postgame interview, leaving millions of fans rubbing their foreheads.

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