With week 9 now in the books looking back at my focus of the Redskins- Seahawks week 9 tilt in Seattle. Coming into the game The Redskins have a very long talented injury report coming into the game. Seattle would be without All Pro FS Earl Thomas due to a hamstring he hurt in Houston a week ago. The Redskins inactive list included 4 of the 5 starting OL players, 2 of their playmaking pass catchers and injuries on every level of the defense. One storyline for the Redskins was seeing their longest tenured player DeAngelo Hall make his return to the field since tearing his ACL last season week 3. The Seahawks were riding a 3 game winning streak coming into this game while the Redskins have gone 1-2 in their last 3. Seattle is known as one of the toughest places to travel to and get a win. especially since Russell Wilson has been the starter along with the Legion Of Boom and the rest of that defense. Even traveling across the country and with all the injuries the Redskins showed up for the nasty conditions and managed to even their record to 4-4 after a low scoring eventful day of mistakes and nasty field conditions. Now to my Good and Bad Breakdowns of the Redskins in their week 9 win against the Seahawks.
1) Kirk Cousins
This game by no means is the type of game you watch from start to finish and say wow Kirk Cousins just did everything right. But this outing to me has to be just as important as far as judging what this guy is and can be as his Kansas City game week 4. The weather was rough with a temp of 36 degrees and a mix of rain and snow almost all game long. The Redskins run game was again non existent but they continued to hand off to make the defense respect play action. As is life in the NFL the QB reaps the praise for wins and takes the heat for losses fair or not. Kirk’s biggest knock to detractors of his abilities are he doesn’t win big games and doesn’t make play’s in big moments. Well on Sunday in the weather as he did week 4 Kirk took a big shot to Josh Doctson, this time being rewarded with a huge diving catch and a set up with a 1st and goal at the 1 yard line with less then a minute to play.
Kirk did what I think every fan has wanted to see him do since his first start. Everyone knows he can win and manage games against good and bad teams. The thing most want to see is him let it rip in big moments good or bad leave the play on the field. Week 4 even in a loss his throw to Josh who made a great attempt just didn’t catch through hitting the ground. With the game on the line fans want Kirk to make the throw and let his teammates make a play. In earlier starts he might have thrown a ball right to a defender or taken a sack not liking what he sees from the defense. But to make that throw in the weather after being sacked 6 times was a huge moment for this team.
2) Josh Doctson
Well I know the fans of this team are excited to see this name coming up on the good list. Josh after having to deal with injuries his whole rookie season is starting to flash the skills that made the Redskins use their top pick in his draft on him. He has slowly been building confidence from Kirk Cousins to trust him to make big catches. This was no clearer then his 38 yard completion down the right sideline on a fully extended diving catch that took the ball to the 1 yard line setting up the game winning score. On the next play Rob Kelly ran it in handed Josh the football and said this is because of you. No player has been more anticipated to see on the field in some time for this team because of his ability to make crazy jump ball receptions. Clearly Josh has been putting some good things on film despite what his numbers say because Seattle came out in the first quarter having All Pro CB Richard Sherman shadow him. They got away from that in the second quarter but to see the Seahawks have Sherman shadow Doctson, when typically he plays his side like the Redskins typically do with Josh Norman says something.
3) Zach Brown
This guy was playing like a man possessed just coming up in almost every tackle at any spot on the field. He was the Pressure that caused a bad pass that was intercepted by Will Compton. He wasn’t playing a spy to Russell Wilson but it seemed like wherever Russell was going this guy was causing him to not make his typical magic while on the move. Bobby Wagner for the Seahawks is a All Pro MLB and it seemed like Zach was trying to make a statement that he plays at that very same level for his team. Zach Brown currently leads the league in tackles with 86 through 8 contests. C.J. Mosley of the Ravens is second on the list with 76 tackles through 9 contests. Brown signed a one year deal this off season to come to the Redskins after not being able to field a deal he felt was fair. To put it simple if the Redskins are serious about winning they should be working on getting this guy locked up long term ASAP. While you might not think Zach when you talk about the top ILB’s because he has been allowed to leave teams this guy has played at a All Pro level for this defense through the first half of the year.
4) Jim Tomsula/ Bill Calahan
These two coaches both missing there top two players plus others fielded two units in the trenches with names not many people know. While the Redskins didn’t set the world on fire rushing or passing this unit with only Morgan Moses of the original starter playing put in a heck of a effort against a top flight defense in the league. Also while Seattle’s offensive line isn’t their strength to not allow Russell Wilson to sit in clean pockets and keep him moving all day takes heart. Hats off to the coaches who are fielding players who are just coming in and playing for getting these guys ready and playing good enough to get a win. Also hats off to Jay Gruden for bringing in a team with so many injuries its easy to just say we don’t have the talent to compete. To travel across the country and get a much needed win speaks to the coaches and the players believing in these coaches.
5) Defense, Defense, Defense
To Come away with 2 INT’s and a fumble recovery the defense played huge against a team who put up 40 plus last week in Houston. Seattle scored no offensive points through the first 3 quarters. They went for 2 and D.J. Swearinger stepped in front of a Russell Wilson throw and almost returned it for 2 points. D.J. has been the leader on the defense and he and D. Hall looked good together with rookie Montae Nicholson out. Kendall Fuller read a play and stepped in front of Doug Baldwin for the first pick of the day. Anthony Lanier DT who was pushing the pocket all day deserves a special shoutout. He played hard even had a play where he fell on the ground got up and still made the tackle to get off the field on a 3rd down. For all the injuries with guys like Jon Allen and Matt Ioannidis missing up front and Mason Foster in the middle this defense stepped up huge especially for the amount of time Seattle had the ball in this game
1) 6 Sacks
When your offensive line is without the likes of Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long you are due to struggle. Cohesion is a huge thing for a offensive line. Knowing the calls and where your guy is going to be and who picks up who is huge. So giving up some pressure was to be expected against a top 5 defense. Some sacks were due to pass blocking some where due to coverage down the field and Kirk not getting rid of the ball. Not too many teams overcome giving up 6 sacks and find a way to end up with a win. Some good news is Pro Bowl Guard Brandon Scherff was a game time scratch. With Minnesota coming to DC next weekend the defensive talent isn’t going to fall off. The Vikings are known for getting after QB’s and putting up points on defense. The offense is going to have to be better and keep from these negative plays to expect to compete for a win against the Vikings.
2) 51 yards rushing
This goes to the point above but simply 51 yards against any level of defense isn’t going to cut it in this league. While Chris Thompson has been a real spark the running game since the Rams game simply isn’t going to cut it. Samaje Perine has been a huge bust and appears to be the second coming of Matt Jones. Perine fumbled a handoff not giving Kirk a pocket to put the ball. Perine much like Matt Jones has solid running talent. They flash ability with the ball in their hands but always seem to find a way to put the ball on the ground right as they get going. Looking forward too this next draft class I think it’s going to be hard for the Redskins not to spend a 1st or 2nd round pick on a running back. This team has been a revolving door at RB since Clinton Portis left. With guys like Bryce Love from Stanford or Nick Chubb from Georgia the Redskins have to find a true number one carry the load guy for this offense to take the next level.
3) Terrell Pryor
As huge as Zach Brown has been on his one year prove it deal, Terrell Pryor has been a huge disappointment. While he has made his catch the last two games on the one attempt he’s seen he simply is a better player then his impact has shown. With Crowder out Brian Quick stepped into the active roster and out produced Pryor. Pryor might be new to the position but his talent isn’t translating onto the field. He has cost himself some money this offseason but I would like to see this guy back after a year in the system to see just how much better he can be knowing the ins and outs of this offense. But for this season for him to start as the Z and essentially become the 5 in this offense is hard. 20/ 240/ 1 just simply aren’t numbers your number 1 guy can post through 8 games in todays NFL.
4) Ryan Anderson
While Anderson saw his highest snap count total of the season in this game. Ryan is simply not giving this team the type of impact you expect from a player picked in the second round. Not only is it disappointing for a second round pick, but coming from Alabama a program known for putting out good pro players Anderson has to produce soon. Some players don’t have huge impacts year one but Anderson has barely even been noticeable while on the field. 3 tackles and 0 sacks half way through the season wont cut it for the 2nd round Alabama product.
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Redskins Week 9 Takeaways