A week after the Redskins held the Eagles (now 3rd best in the league) to just 263 yards offensively, they shut down the best offense in the league; 270 total yards and a miserable 10 points. That's nearly a touchdown less than anyone else has held them to.
We've wondered about the Redskins "identity" and perhaps one has emerged: we're Goliath slayers. Don't look now but the Redskins have the highest strength of victory in the NFC, with wins over Carolina (6-8), Jacksonville (8-6), and two out of three of the NFC's best in the Cowgirls and Saints (18-10 between them).
We almost look like a complete team:
- Ben says "The Redskins have a kicker" and I am inclined to agree. In the last two games Shaun Suisham (pronounced Your Washington Redskins Kicker) is 6-6 on Field Goals. Admittedly they were short range but isn't it nice to have a guy who can reliably score you 3 points? Especially when your offense can't seem to close the deal in the redzone.
- Drew Brees is still in the MVP discussion. Did Jason Campbell outplay Brees? 204 yards and a touchdown (with no picks) vs. Brees 207 yards and an interception suggests so. There are still some things that JC needs to work on (like fumbling the ball on 3rd and 1 and raising that completion %) but he played a good enough game to beat the NFC South's best. Cheers to that.
- Carlos Rogers showed up. Drew Brees threw a pass right at him that would normally have bounced harmlessly off his chest. This time Rogers caught it, and the offense would convert for 3 points. More impressive was Rogers' end of the game swat down of a touchdown pass (that would have given the Saints the game). I just spoke with a friend of mine on the phone and this is what he said: "Didn't you just know that Drew Brees was going to win the game?" In fact, I was watching the game with my girlfriend's family (Cowboys fans, incidentally, and it was strange to watch them semi-root for the 'Skins, though they couldn't do it very convincingly) and I thought the exact same thing. But Carlos Rogers, the unlikely hero, looked more like a reliable starting CB than he has at other times this year. And the defense finally played as though the game was on the line. And it was.
- Can enough be said of Ladell Betts? 22 rushes for 119 yards plus 43 receiving for a total of 162 yards from scrimmage. Four straight 100 yard rushing games (with career highs of 155 and 171). His YPC in the month of December is 5.4.
- Andre Carter continued to impress as he led the team in tackles with 7 and picked up another sack. He's slowly and steadily turning away the "bust" label. Commensurate with this terrifying picture of him and his recent performance, I refuse to criticize this man.
- That Shawn Springs deflected pass to Marques Colston was a thing of beauty. I thought the pass was catcheable yet Springs acrobatically swatted it away. As impressive was Sean Taylor (closing a lot of ground in a hurry) who thoughtfully went right after Colston, eliminating even the possibility of a post-deflection catch. That is how a pass is defended.
- Todd Wade played for an injured Jon Jansen (calf) and, as far as I could tell, did just fine. The Redskins had 161 yards rushing for 5.2 YPC and allowed only 2 sacks against a New Orleans pass rush that ranks 9th in sacks with 36.
Post your own gameday comments below. Victories like this one make me excited for 2007.
[editor's note, by Skin Patrol] And a ginormous Hogs Haven thanks to Zknower for keeping an eye on the site in my absence. Apparently I don't know the difference between the Saints and the Eagles.
Update [2006-12-18 11:29:48 by Skin Patrol]: Recaps: Redskin Report, Covering the Redskins, AOL Fanhouse, Official Site, The Post, Curly R.