The Redskins put together their most complete game I have seen in the Jay Gruden era Sunday night at home against a very good Raiders team. From the opening whistle, this team was in sync, and played like a playoff contender all evening. The offense finally got on track, and the defense played the best all-around game I have seen in decades!
Below are my Studs and Duds of the game.
Greg Manusky - I usually start with offensive Studs first, but I'm going a bit off the path here. Greg Manusky was the Stud of the game with the way he had this defense prepared to play against one of the most explosive offenses in the entire NFL. Manusky called an almost perfect game, mixing up his blitzes and coverages nicely, and keeping the Raiders offense off balance all evening. It's still very early in the season, but it appears the defense has already bought into his scheme, and will run through a wall if he simply says the words. Magical, is the only word I can think to describe this performance!
Jay Gruden - While I'm on coaches, I might as well give Jay Gruden yet another Stud status for Sunday nights game. Gruden mixed the run and pass nicely, and his offense basically had their way with a very solid Raiders defense at home in Prime Time!.
...and now, onto the players!
Kirk Cousins - Captain Kirk was back, and in a big way. I think by now, we are all getting used to his slow starts to the season, realizing he will break out at any moment. Well, Sunday night was his official break-out of the 2017 season. Cousins lit up the Raiders defense to the tune of 365 yards and three touchdowns, going a remarkable 25/30 on the evening. Some of the passes he threw in this game were just amazing!
The entire Redskins offensive line - Led by Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff and center Spencer Long, the Redskins line looked outstanding against one of the better young defenses in the NFL. Moses struggled a tad with Mack off the edge, but who wouldn't. Overall, the unit kept Cousins pretty clean all evening (only allowed one sack), and the power running game paved the way for 116 yards rushing. It was a thing of beauty to watch Williams, Scherff and especially Long pull and get downfield on runs and screens.
Chris Thompson - To date, Thompson has been our offensive MVP. He caught 6 passes for 150 yards and a TD, and chipped in 38 yards on the ground. When I wrote this past offseason that Thompson should be our starting running back, I was not kidding!
Vernon Davis - Davis filled in admirably for the injured Jordan Reed. His blocking was very good, and he was huge in the passing game, catching 5 passes for 58 yards and a touchdown. Even at his age, he may be a more complete tight end (and certainly more durable) than Reed.
Zach Brown - Brown is just a complete monster on defense! The guy is literally everywhere. He delivered some vicious blows to running backs and receivers Sunday night, and played excellent in coverage. What a free agent signing this young man has turned out to be!
Preston Smith - Smith is well on his way to stardom, as the third year pro is really beginning to come into his own at OLB. Smith recorded another sack, was in the backfield on multiple occasions, had a nice tackle for a loss, and was disruptive all evening long.
Jonathan Allen/Matt Ioannidis - Allen and Ioannidis were the standouts on the interior of the defensive line Sunday night. Both men generated a good push up front and each recorded at least a partial sack on the night. Both young players are only going to get better with time.
Josh Norman/Bashaud Breeland/Kendall Fuller - The cornerback trio held the Raiders receiving duo of Cooper and Crabtree to just two receptions for 13 yards and no touchdowns. They tackled well, and Fuller had a nice INT.
Montae Nicholson - The Redskins may have finally found their free safety! Nicholson was exceptional in coverage, coming up with a beautiful interception on the Raiders first pass play of the game, and showing his big hitting ability. This kid is looking like a draft steal!
Fabian Moreau - Moreau is becoming a special teams demon! This kid is going to be a legit player!
...Unfortunately, I don't have much for you after this game, so take my opinions with a grain of salt please. I am really nit-picking a bit.
Dustin Hopkins - Hopkins missed another very makable field goal Sunday night. Although it didn't end up coming back to bite us, this is becoming a bit concerning.
Jamison Crowder - Fumbled punt (again). Not much more I can say here.
Give me your thoughts on the Studs and Duds in the comments section.