Happy Tuesday, sports fans.
First, some quick housekeeping. For a number of reasons, but mostly because real life gets in the way, I'll be discontinuing my Tuesday Stat of the Week post. From here on out, I'll have a Three Good/Three Bad every Tuesday and a single Stat of the Week post on Friday, as well as an occasional other post. I know, I'm bummed about it, too.
Anyway, back to the stuff you came for. The Washington Redskins were certainly not at their best in their 32-21 loss to the New York Giants on Thursday, and as a result, many of the positives from the Week 2 win have switched over to the dark side.
#1. Jordan Reed
Jordan Reed has been among the most positive takeaways for the Redskins this season. He added six catches for 96 yards on Thursday, bringing him to 19 catches for 241 yards and a touchdown already on the year. Reed was especially valuable against the Giants, however, as he routinely provided a safety net for an often floundering Kirk Cousins. Under pressure with some frequency, Cousins needed plenty of help from his receivers, and Reed provided a big, comforting target.
The one caveat with Reed is he got called for an offensive pass interference on the third play from scrimmage, which is the 82nd penalty he's been flagged for already this season (roughly).
#2. Will Compton
Filling in for an injured Perry Riley, Will Compton stayed mostly off the radar. For an inside linebacker, that's not ideal, but it's also not a terrible thing, necessarily. You want to see him flying around the field making plays, and he made a few, but you mostly just don't want to see him missing tackles. He was credited with eight tackles and made the plays he was supposed to make, and he was solid in run defense against a versatile backfield.
Speaking of run defense, how about Terrance Knighton and Chris Baker? The Redskins are third in rushing yards allowed per game, with 75, and only the Buffalo Bills (74) and the Giants (74.7, partly due to the Redskins abandoning the run game on Thursday) have been better. The biggest reason for this massive improvement from last year, when the Redskins allowed 107.6 rushing yards per game, has been the addition of Knighton. It also doesn't hurt having Baker come in when Knighton needs a rest, and he seems to be playing with a bit more juice this year, perhaps because he's having more fun playing with his best friend. (Has anybody else called them SwaggyRoast yet? I feel like somebody probably has by now, but I haven't heard it. Anyway, SwaggyRoast.)
Honorable Mentions: Chris Thompson, Keenan Robinson, Rashad Ross, Jamison Crowder
#1. Terrance Plummer
Yeesh. Plummer was a mess in this game, which is less than ideal for a player who has yet to make a positive impact on the field. He was beat by Rashad Jennings on a punt on the Redskins' first drive, then when that punt was nullified due to offsetting penalties, Plummer was beat again by Jennings, this time for a blocked punt that turned into a safety. That play counted.
When the Giants punted on their first possession, Plummer got flagged for a holding. On a fair catch. Holding on a fair catch. Amazing.
#2. Josh LeRibeus
LeRibeus came in for Shawn Lauvao on the first play of the Redskins' second drive, and it was kind of all downhill from there. He was consistently overmatched, often in the backfield a few steps behind his fellow offensive linemen and never looked comfortable. It's honestly kind of incredible that LeRibeus is still on the team, really. He's never been even an average player at the NFL level, but the Redskins' offensive line has been so miserable over the years that nobody has managed to bump him from a job. It doesn't say much for the other interior o-linemen though, does it?
#3. Strength and conditioning staff
This isn't really fair, it might not be their fault that half the team is walking wounded. Still, I've got to mention this, because it's getting ridiculous. On top of all the other injuries Washington has suffered this season, the Redskins saw Lauvao, DeAngelo Hall, Darrel Young, Kedric Golston and Morgan Moses all get banged up on Thursday. The latter three all returned to the game, but it doesn't mean they were at full strength. LeRibeus and Colt McCoy didn't practice on Monday, either.
I'm blaming the strength and conditioning staff, probably unfairly, because everything is somebody's fault, right?