Sunday’s victory against a winless 49ers team should have been much more comfortable than it actually was. The Redskins offense looked crisp from the start, and got off to an early 17-0 lead before allowing 17 unanswered points to end the half, and start the third quarter.
Unfortunately, some poor calls on the field, and a few mistakes in coverage led to a close game down the stretch. This may have been the 49ers Super Bowl, and the Redskins, who were banged up in the secondary before this game started, got even more dinged up as the game progressed. Still, a win is a win no matter how ugly, and 3-2 is a lot better than 2-3.
Below are my Studs and Duds of the game.
Kirk Cousins - Despite the ESPN headline saying “Cousins struggles as Redskins barely hold on to beat 49ers” (at least ESPN will use the name Redskins unlike another sites whose lead writer refuses to), Kirk played a very solid game. He was 25/37 for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns versus just one interception (which was just as effective as a punt). He also ran for 26 yards and a touchdown, and was sacked just once while averaging almost 9 yards per completion and spreading the ball around nicely. If this is what someone views as struggling, please let him “struggle” the rest of the season!
Chris Thompson - CT continues to dazzle in this offense. He is a major weapon in the passing game, hauling in four receptions for 105 yards on the afternoon. He ran the ball effectively, although his 2.1 yards per carry average doesn’t tell the whole story. The only negative was the early fumble that was recovered by Trent Williams.
Ryan Grant - Yes, Grant once again finds himself on the Studs list. He hauled in three receptions for 39 yards, but two of those receptions went for key first downs, and none of the receptions were easy catches.
Stacy McGee - McGee played his best overall game as a Redskins to date, showing good ability to play off blocks and make tackles and generate pressure on the quarterback.
Matt Ioannidis - Ioannidis continues to be the Redskins most effective defensive linemen. He was credited with 3 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 4 quarterback hits. He’s been a disruptive force all season.
Preston Smith - Smith continues to impress this season. He was credited with a half sack (he now has 4.5 over 5 games), 1.5 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits, multiple pressures, and a pass defended. Solid game for the youngster.
D.J. Swearinger - Swearinger was all over the field Sunday afternoon. He had a few nice tackles that stopped the 49ers short of the first down, and made a great diving defense of a pass midway through the 2nd quarter. He had 6 tackles in the game, with one for a loss.
Quinton Dunbar - Dunbar stepped up big-time with the loss of Norman, and then Breeland later in the game. He had solid coverage on some deep attempts, and showed very well tackling in the secondary. He had 8 stops and two passes defended to go along with his excellent coverage.
Zach Brown - It’s hard to call the man who leads the team in tackles a dud, but I thought Brown was poor in coverage (he was lucky his man dropped some easy catches) and missed some tackles on the day. Just not what we expect to see from him at this point.
Mason Foster - Foster did a nice job creating pressure when he was blitzed, but he struggled in coverage all afternoon, as San Francisco chose to attack underneath with backs and tight ends.
Ryan Anderson - The second round pick is literally the invisible man out there. I know Junior Galette is too, but no one expected much from him. Anderson on the other hand has been off to an incredibly slow start.
Dustin Hopkins - A missed extra point! Really! That could have cost us the game if...
The Refs - I know this may sound like whining, but man did this crew blow some big calls! The call on Davis’ “fumble” was just horrible! So was the personal foul on the block by Brandon Scherff, and the hit on a defenseless receiver by Montae Nicholson (clean hit with his shoulder to the shoulder of the receiver - this is football for hell’s sake!).
- Gotta give a shoutout to Trent Williams for playing hurt. I thought he played a good game. He was charged with a sack, but Cousins vacated the pocket and essentially ran right into Thomas on that play. TW blocked very well down field, and looked fleet of foot despite the knee issue.
- Jordan Reed is a BAD blocker!
- Morgan Moses is getting off the ball a bit too early to set up in pass Pro. He was flagged once, but a saw a few other times where he looked a half second early.
- Jamison Crowder is starting to look like himself again - this could be very dangerous; in a good way!
- Nicholson is going to be one hell of a Safety here for years to come!
- Kendall Fuller had a nice pick to seal the victory. He had nice underneath coverage.