The Skins now sit atop the NFC East with a 3-2 record, and enter a stretch of the season that will see them play five key division games over the next eight weeks.
Below are my Studs and Duds of Sunday’s contest against the Panthers with some added video for your viewing pleasure.
Adrian Peterson - Father Time has certainly not yet caught up to AP. The 33 year old warrior, who was battling a shoulder and knee injury, carried 17 times for 97 yards (a 5.7 YPC average). Most mortals would have sat this one out, but not Peterson, who despite having to have a staffer removed his pads for him because his shoulder was so sore he could barely lift his arm, still looked to run over, around and through the Panthers stout defense.
Vernon Davis - Another one who Father Times has yet to lay a finger on, Davis caught three passes for a team high 48 yards and a touchdown early on.
Jordan Reed - Reed made some great receptions on the afternoon, but none was better than his sick one-handed stab on a pass in the middle that was high and behind him. He led all receivers with five receptions and chipped in 36 yards.
Chase Roullier - Man does this kid move well in space! The line may not yet be 100 percent in sync in pass protection, but when they ask Chase to pull, trap, seal at the second level and led plays out in space, the guy is a beast!
Watch Chase Roullier pull and blast the Panthers DT on this Pop-Trap! This is a thing of beauty! Sealed perfectly by both Scherff and Bergstrom. This is what you call “creasing them”. Love this play! pic.twitter.com/znNk6PLhHq— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 15, 2018
Josh Norman - Playing against his former team brought out the best in Norman Sunday. He had his first interception since 2016, and forced a fumble which the Redskins recovered. His coverage and tackling were very solid on the afternoon. Maybe Jay Gruden needs to yell at him at halftime of games more often!
D.J. Swearinger - Swearinger led all Redskins defenders in tackles, while also adding a sack (which also forced a fumble that a Panthers linemen recovered), and two quarterback hits. He nearly recorded a safety on a hit at the end of the second quarter on Newton in the endzone where it looked like he was shot out of a cannon.
D.J. Swearinger looks to have McCaffrey out of the backfield. When he stays in to block, D.J. comes on the blitz and gets the strip-sack on Newton - which unfortunately falls right into the hands of an offensive lineman. pic.twitter.com/nF4gcwq75V— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 15, 2018
Daron Payne - The box score may not show it, but Payne was a disruptive force on the afternoon. He was recognizing and chasing down screens (one to Olsen 10 yards down the field), and it was his pressure in the face of Cam Newton early in the second quarter that forced the under-throw that Norman intercepted.
Preston Smith - This will go un-noticed in the box score as well, but I thought Preston Smith did a nice job getting multiple pressures on Cam Newton; especially later on in the game. He may have not gotten any sacks, but his hurries forced some early and off-target throws.
Brian Quick - This guy was great on special teams, helping down two Tress Way punts inside the six yard line. He also caught two passes for 12 yards (both of which went for key first downs) and blocked well on the perimeter.
Dustin Hopkins - Hopkins went three for three on his field goal attempts, his longest from 56 yards, and made both of his extra points. To call him clutch yesterday would be an understatement.
Morgan Moses - Moses committed a bad hold in the beginning of the fourth quarter that negated a big Peterson run up the gut that would have given the Redskins the ball at the Panthers 25. Two plays later his defender got free and blasted Smith causing a fumble which Trent Williams recovered. Luckily, Hopkins still converted the long field goal. Moses was not particularly sharp on run blocking or pass pro on the afternoon.
Mason Foster - This may be nit-picking a bit, but I thought Foster struggled in coverage against Olsen and McCaffrey. It’s probably not fair to ask him to cover either one-on-one, but that’s often the responsibilities of an inside linebacker on passing downs. I didn’t particularly like the play down by the goal line where Newton scrambled, and Foster stood like a statue waiting for him; then got run over. On the bright side, he did hustle downfield and recovered the fumble Norman knocked loose.
Quinton Dunbar - Dunbar was picked on by Cam Newton all day in coverage, and he showed Cam absolutely no reason NOT to target him. He was matched up a lot against Funchess who had a nice leaping touchdown over Quinton after he bit on a double move and lost his man deep. He also missed a few tackles on the afternoon. Not his best outing.
Bill Callahan - It may be time to devote an entire weeks worth of practice to teaching the linemen how to handle stunts and twists! This is getting ridiculous!
Josh Doctson - I did say last week that if Josh Doctson ran a route this week, I’d list him as a stud. Well, not only did he run a route, he caught three passes for 20 yards! What I liked from Josh is that he attacked the ball in the air and caught it with his hands. You could see the guy was hurting after every tackle. For him, this game merits Mini-Stud status!
Michael Floyd and Mo Harris are GD animals on this play! Love to see our WR doing this! AP may want to buy these two scooters as well! pic.twitter.com/miz8knKNqa— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 15, 2018