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Washington Vs. San Francisco - Studs and Duds

NFL: Washington Football Team at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

First place in the NFC East! Man, that feels so great to write!

In a defensively dominated game, The Washington Football Team pulled out a huge victory on the road(technically in Arizona), against the San Francisco 49ers, to claim sole possession of the NFC East. It may not have been the prettiest performance, but I’ll take whatever gets us the W!

It’s very easy to see that this defense is the heart and soul of this football team, and that was never more evident than Sunday afternoon against a battered 49ers team who just got more beaten up as the game went on. Despite playing without some of their best players, Kyle Shannahan’s squad put up a good fight, and made the game interesting until the very end.

Below are my Studs and Duds of the game followed by some notes.


Studs:

Chase Young - I usually have a little hierarchy that I follow when listing my Studs and Duds - but there was NO WAY I wasn’t listing Young first. My goodness gracious - I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a rookie defensive player have the type of impact on a game that Chase Young had against the 49ers. Number 99 had six tackles, one for a loss, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown, two passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, two quarterback hits and multiple pressures...and a partridge in a pear tree!

Montez Sweat - Just like Chase Young, Montez Sweat is the complete package. On the afternoon he racked up five tackles, two of which were for a loss, a sack, two quarterback hits and multiple pressures. Oh yeah, and despite the speed we saw from Chase on that fumble return for a touchdown, Montez is faster! He’s becoming quite the unstoppable force.

Daron Payne - The big man had a BIG impact on this game from his interior defensive line position. He had five tackles, a strip sack, a fumble recovery and a pass defended to go along with his quarterback hit and two pressures.

Kamren Curl - The rookie safety has been outstanding since taking over starting duties for the injured Landon Collins. Curl racked up seven tackles, had two passes defended, an interception that he returned for a touchdown and a quarterback hit. He’s been an absolute draft steal.

Dustin Hopkins - Hopkins did miss a 53 yard field goal early in the first quarter, but the snap was bad and the hold was off - so we’ll chalk that up to timing. He hit from 51, 31 and 21 and made both of his extra points.

Tress Way - Way punted a whopping eight times for 398 total yards, averaging 49.8 yards per punt.


Duds:

Alex Smith/Dwayne Haskins - I wanted to put both Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins on the Duds list, however I was in a good mood and feeling a bit of the Holiday Spirit here - ...but then I changed my mind!. Combined, the two went 15 for 31 for 108 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception(Smith). Neither seemed to be able to hit the broad side of a barn! Alex did have an injury issues which could have been the culprit to his problems, but Haskins really has no excuse.

Steven Sims Jr. - The drops are getting too much to handle; especially on a team desperate for help opposite Terry McLaurin. Sims is playing his way right off this team for 2021.

Robert Foster - Man, talk about blowing your opportunity... Jeez - just keep running and that deep pass is likely a touchdown!


Notes:

- Jon Bostic led the team in tackles(10), and had a pass defended. He’s not great in coverage, has some issues shooting a gap, but he played decent overall - all this of course after I tweeted about him sucking in the first quarter.

- Deshazor Everett continues to show he’s a competent free safety. This begs the question - how did Troy Apke start the beginning of the season? Heck, even Reaves is much better, rendering Apke as third on the depth chart and basically a special teams only player.

- You all know I’ve sung Chase Roullier’s praises the past two seasons and hopefully you can all see why. This kid is good!

- Jon Allen has been playing some good football that often goes unnoticed this season. His combined quarterback hits and pressures were second to only Chase Young’s this game.

- Man, does this offense miss Antonio Gibson...