The Washington Redskins may not have played a perfect game in Landover today, but they played a complete game with several dominating moments and few major errors. Today's win marks the first time the team has walked away with back-to-back wins this season, and the team remains in charge of its destiny in the division. You like that?
As the season progresses, Kirk Cousins continues to look more and more comfortable behind the Redskins' offensive line, and he continued that trend today. Cousins has learned to lean on his play makers, who today were Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, and Alfred Morris, and he led the offense to the end zone on the first three drives of the game. DeSean Jackson showed fans why he was brought here, and his touchdown came on a 77 yard play where he turned on the jets, leaving behind two Bills defenders. His quickness was a nice compliment to Reed's power; Reed dominated the defense and maintained his status as a top tier tight end, especially evident on one of his two touchdown plays when he simply reached over the defender and came down with the ball in coverage. On the ground, Morris was the hot hand, though he saw little action in the second half. His 48 yard run today was the longest of his career.
The defense fielded a shut out in the first half, including a stout goal line effort to deny Buffalo any points at the end of that half, and they managed to hold that stat until 9:04 of the third quarter when Dan Carpenter scored on a 32 yard field goal. The second half wasn't nearly as pretty as the first, especially the effort in the third quarter, but the defense held on. Both Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel saw time at the quarterback position against the Redskins, but Manuel was used only twice, and the players in burgundy and gold weren't fooled by his appearance. The defense was fairly prepared for the mobile Taylor, too, who totaled 61 rushing yards, had to deal with five sacks from five different Redskins (Will Blackmon, Preston Smith, Jason Hatcher, Ryan Kerrigan, Ricky Jean Francois) and eight QB hits. Ryan Kerrigan had a standout moment for his quickness off the left side that led to a sack/fumble, and Bashaud Breeland looked strong. Quinton Dunbar had some difficulty against Sammy Watkins, but that's not wholly unexpected from the converted wide receiver who is still making gains as a significant contributor on defense.
The arguably biggest error of the day came from Jamison Crowder, who lost a fumbled punt return. The rest of the effort by the special teams unit, though, was solid. The coverage units repeatedly held Buffalo to starting positions deep in the Bill's own end of the field, and Tress Way, who didn't have to punt until the second half, had 140 yards on three punts.
By the numbers: Cousins (22/28, 319 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 1 sack), Morris (14 carries, 84 yards), Jackson (6 receptions, 153 yards, 1 TD), Reed (7 receptions, 84 yards, 2 TD), Pierre Garcon (3 receptions, 34 yards, 1 TD), DeAngelo Hall (9 tackles)