It wasn’t a pretty victory but a win is a win, and the Redskins 229 rushing yards laid the groundwork for a road victory in Los Angeles. The Redskins backs totaled 36 carries for 222 rushing yards against the Los Angeles Rams, a week after mustering just 34 yards on 13 attempts. Chris Thompson made mention that for head coach Jay Gruden, running the football was a point of emphasis this week. The Redskins only passed the ball 27 times yesterday.
On CSN’s “Redskins Extra” Thompson pointed out post-game; “Sean has been here, he’s been in our offense so I knew there were going to be adjustments on defense where they were going to figure out what we were doing at some point. In that second half, we were slow in that third quarter, and we just had to find ways to make plays. You know every NFL game, most of them are going to be this type of situation so we just had to stick with it and continue to fight.”
There is one thing that has haunted Gruden during his time here in Washington, he tends to get pass happy when the run game completely shuts down. He had a chance to live up to his reputation when the Rams clawed their way back in the game, twice, but stayed true to his game plan heading into the match-up.
On the ability to run the ball well and early, Thompson stated “Yeah coach Gruden was letting us know all week “I’m going to run the ball, I’m going to give you guys the ball” and his plan was to keep running it until we got it right. Rob [Kelley] was able to make a whole lot of plays out there, unfortunately, he got hurt, Perine and I had to step in and keep it going and we did. We did enough to win, I think we got 230 almost on the ground, so that was good and now I think as a group we just got to continue to keep it up.”
The Redskins thrived running the ball down the Rams gut, rushing for 122 yards on 16 attempts right down the middle of their defense. The key comment in Thompson’s second quote was “keep it up”. Under Kirk Cousins, a balanced offense has always been the winning formula. Often when McVay or Gruden would get pass happy, it applied more pressure on Kirk to win the game on his shoulders, while increasing the chances for a mistake to be made. Cousins himself acknowledges on a consistent basis he needs weapons around him to be successful, although he still had a shaky performance against the Rams, his best role is one where he doesn’t have to do too much. Consistency in play calling from Gruden along with execution from the offensive line will allow the Redskins to “keep it up” throughout the season.
A major test for the Redskins is forthcoming against two AFC West opponents, which will soon shed light on if this was a one-game fad or a thing Jay Gruden truly wants to establish in Washington.
What did you take away from the offensive performance this week? How confident are you in the Redskins ability to stick to the ground game? Let us know below.