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The Redskins Must Show Consistency To Maintain A Good Run

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On Sunday night, the Redskins put on a dominant performance against one of 2017’s most revered teams in the NFL. The Washington Redskins made the Oakland Raiders look overrated if nothing else; and a game many people unexpected to be a one-sided affair in Oakland’s favour, actually turned into a very lopsided 27-10 Redskins victory. Washington’s schedule doesn’t get any easier either, as this week they draw the undefeated Chiefs. Did last week’s improvement and performance translate in the online odds for the next Redskins game?

The win has forced many pundits to start re-examining the Redskins potential. They have shown tremendous improvement over the first three games and have shown that they can play with even the stiffest of competition. Washington stunned a prime time audience by limiting the “mighty” Raiders offense to just 128 total yards. They managed exactly zero third down conversions – 0 for 11.

The Redskins offense also spanked the Raiders – tallying up 472 yards – that’s a 344 yard difference in net offenses. Not only that, Washington crushed Oakland in time of possession – holding the ball for 38 minutes, compared to just 22.

Chris Thompson had a lot to do with it. He put on an electric performance and hung 188 all purpose yards on the Raiders – that’s 60 more than the Raiders team managed! Thompson finished with 38 yards rushing and 150 yards passing on just 14 touches. That’s a gaudy 13.5 yards every time he got the ball.

Kirk Cousins also had a masterful game. He was named Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career, after racking up 365 passing yards and three touchdowns. His quarterback rating was a lofty 150.7. He was calm and collected in the pocket, and his offensive line gave him the time he needed to complete 25 of 30 passes.

Vernon Davis stepped in beautifully to fill in for the injured Jordan Reed, Davis had 5 catches for 58 yards and one of the Redskins touchdowns. He also threw a few key blocks – something Reed can’t do even when he’s healthy.

Defensively, the current Redskins youth movement was on full display. Their energy is palpable.

While stalwarts Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman impressively locked down the Raiders receivers, it was the young blood – Montae Nicholson and DJ Swearinger – that were the ones setting the pulse of the secondary.

Nicholson looked great in just his second game filling in for the departed Su’a Cravens. He set the tone early with an interception in the first minute of the game; and later on, he lit up Michael Crabtree like a Christmas tree when he ranged over to break up a third down pass. That hit set Swearinger off. Standing over Crabtree barking at him like the Grim Reaper.

Soon after, Swearinger absolutely trucked Marshawn Lynch. He ran almost 20 yards to do it. Words cannot do it justice.

Washington also got great defensive efforts from Preston Smith, second year man Matt Ioannidis, and 22-year-old rookie Jonathan Allen.

Zach Brown had a great game in the absence of Mason Foster, as did perennial game changer Ryan Kerrigan.

Overall, the Redskins dominated the Raiders in virtually every aspect of the game. It was quite simply one of the most complete efforts for a Redskins team in years. Those kind of accolades dictate that you also look at the job that the coaching staff did. You can’t talk about the offense and defense dominating, without at least mentioning the job that head coach Jay Gruden did, as well as defensive co-ordinator Greg Manusky.

The win puts the Redskins atop the NFC East with the Eagles and the Cowboys at 2-1.

The win shows that the Redskins can hang with the better teams in the NFL.

The win sets them up for this week’s big Monday Night matchup with the undefeated 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs.

The Redskins will need the same kind of effort from their youth movement and consistency from everyone else, to come away with their first ever win at Arrowhead Stadium. Stay tuned!

 

More By Mark Solway

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