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Defense Set The Tone, Offense Sealed The Victory Over Raiders

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The defense set the tone, and Chris Thompson was the difference maker in Redskins win

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In an upset that took place in a dominating fashion, the Redskins defense stymied the elite Raiders offense, holding their offense to under 100 total yards for 59 minutes of the football game Sunday night. At one point the Redskins out-gained Oakland by nearly 400 yards with a 463-71 advantage and finished the night out-gaining Oakland 472 yards to just 128 yards by Oakland. Although the secondary made the biggest play to start the night, the front seven of Washington dominated the battle in the trenches. Quarterback Derek Carr had very little time to throw with comfort, but when he did the corners and safeties were on the receiver’s hips or were flying to the football after a completion.

In past seasons, the Redskins have struggled at creating the kind of interior pressure they did last night, against one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, no less. Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis collapsed the pocket on a few occasions. Ioannidis has been a player who has stood out amongst the line since training camp, and has gotten better every week of playing since pre-season. Allen, after very good but quiet outings his first two weeks as a professional, had his best game to date. The two promising young players on the line will be a staple in Washington for some time if their production continues to grow and remain consistent.

The pass-rush and secondary fed off of each other all night, sacking Carr four times, while holding the Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree duo to a combined two catches for just 13 yards and intercepting Carr two times on the night. The edge rushers had Derek Carr under duress all night, Preston Smith, Junior Galette, and Ryan Kerrigan all had their share of wins on rushes. Veterans like D.J. Swearinger and Josh Norman, especially Norman, took this week’s matchup personally.

The Redskins defense set the tone against the Raiders with four sacks, three turnovers, zero percent on third downs, and 128 total yards allowed for a 2.9 yard per play average. Offensively, Chris Thompson was the difference maker in the game for Washington.

Thompson is having his breakout year in the NFL. Although he is a known commodity in the Redskins community, many are witnessing Thompson establishing himself as one of the best offensive secret weapons in the league. Last year was Thompson’s best year as a pro with 705 yards from scrimmage, and five touchdowns on the season. So far in three games, Thompson has 350 yards from scrimmage with four touchdowns and 13 yards per touch offensively. After each Raiders score, the Redskins responded by going back to Chris Thompson, retaking any momentum the Raiders may have attained trying to get back in the ball game. After the Raiders touchdown drive, Thompson amassed 74 yards on 2 touches in the responding drive. Following the Raiders’ field goal drive, Thompson rushed for 15 yards on 3 carries, to contribute to a Redskins eight-play drive ending in a field goal.

The Redskins were underdogs coming into the game, and while some predicted an upset, few could have foreseen such an elite performance from start to finish.

How does your outlook change, if at all, on the remainder of the season after the Sunday Night Football win? Chime in on the comments below.