The Redskins got their first win of the year when the went to LA to defeat the Rams 27-20 on Sunday afternoon. Professional NFL Power Rankers everywhere dropped the Redskins after their Week 1 loss to the Eagles. Problems on offense included the line, the run game, and Kirk Cousins connecting with his WRs(so the whole offense stunk). The Redskins were ranked in the low-mid 20’s or bottom 3rd of the league. Not Good.
A win does a lot to boost the confidence of the fans, team, and pundits. The Redskins are now 1-1 along with the Cowboys and Eagles in the NFC East(sorry Giants, you’re trash right now). The Redskins now average 18th on the Power Rankings gathered here. They face two tough teams from the AFC West in back to back prime time games before their Week 5 bye. They need at least 1 win against either the Raiders on Sunday night, or the Chiefs on Monday night to stay competitive in the division.
Is their ranking too high or too low this week?
Washington can be a force when its rushing attack gets going. Over the past three seasons, the Redskins are 15-2-1 when rushing for at least 90 yards as a team (3-13 when they don't). The 229 rushing yards Sunday against the Rams were Washington's second most in that span.
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The Redskins survived another mediocre effort from Kirk Cousins thanks to a thunderous rushing attack and a defense that came up clutch when needed. They're not in their groove yet, but the win in Los Angeles was absolutely crucial, because they face the Raiders and Chiefs in the next two weeks.
Things could have come unraveled very early in the season but QB Kirk Cousins led the big drive when it counted and the Redskins emerged with a tough victory over the Rams. All it means, really, is that a terrible start is averted. The injury issues of TE Jordan Reed remain a concern. The offense simply isn’t the same without him. And the Redskins face a tough game with the Raiders coming to town to play Sunday night at FedEx Field.
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It appears they figured something out. No Redskin rushed for more than 30 yards in Week 1 loss, but three had 67-plus in Sunday's victory.
Tied 20-20, with the Rams having just made a field goal and a little over seven minutes to play on Sunday, Kirk Cousins and the little-known Samaje Perine took over. Perine went for 2 yards, then 12, before a Cousins completion to Jamison Crowder for 8. Perine went back to work: 5 yards, 10 yards, 3 yards, up to the Rams' 40. That's when Cousins found an easy completion to Terrelle Pryorthat opened up for a big gain down to the 17. After Perine picked up 6 more yards, Cousins converted a third-and-manageable with a pretty lob to Ryan Grant for the go-ahead score. You won't see this drive on the highlight shows, but it was the difference -- the massive difference -- between Washington starting 0-2 and 1-1.
This is the offensive line we've been expecting to see from the Redskins. There is talent there, and Bill Callahan is one of the better line coaches in football. Against the Rams, Washington's line looked like one of the better units in football too.
Washington's run game was dominant, and it's become obvious that Chris Thompson is the guy to lead the attack. This running-back-by-committee thing that's going on in the NFL needs to stop to a degree, at least for teams that have a guy like Thompson to handle most of the carries.
Thompson is the most explosive guy in Washington's backfield and one of the most explosive players on the offense in general. He opened up the running game and prevented the Redskins from having to try winning strictly with the pass.
Defensively, the Redskins have been impressive through the first two weeks. They're playing a more physical brand of football up front than in years past, and guys like Josh Norman are helping to keep things tight on the back end as well.
This is a team people need to watch out for because it could be dangerous.
They ran all over the Rams, which is a good sign for the offense. Now they have to amp up the passing game.
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Maybe it’s time for Washington to at least see if Chris Thompson can handle more carries. The past two seasons, Thompson averaged 6.2 and 5.2 yards per carry. Yet, he has had double-digit carries in a game only once (12 carries, 73 yards vs. Detroit last season). Thompson had 77 yards on three carries Sunday and was Washington’s best player. It can’t hurt to find out if he’s capable of more.
The Redskins went into L.A. with the right plan of going power run-heavy to take pressure off Kirk Cousins in a new offense. It also better protects and rests their defense. Cousins will need to figure it out soon, however, with shootouts ahead.