Washington Redskins: Good, Bad, WTF against the New Orleans Saints
The Washington Redskins took a hit to their playoff hopes on Sunday. They suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints down in the Bayou. In a game in which the Redskins controlled throughout, they had those two letdowns that we are so used to seeing. Now the Redskins will need to win their remaining six games to make the playoffs. So, what happened to the Redskins on Sunday? The Good, the Bad, and the WTF will lend some insight.
- Kirk Cousins
Cousins came with “A Game” again on Sunday. He threw for over 300 yards and 3 TDs against the number 8 passing defense in the league. He was not at all to blame for this loss. Many are so quick to rush to judgment on this man. However, if not for him this team would not even be close to competitive.
So many fans call for his head after a loss. Many are those are fans of a certain player and not true fans of the team as a whole. I mean, who else you want that is out there right now, besides the obvious. Here are three examples and how they fared yesterday
Alex Smith – 27-40, 230 Yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs
Tyrod Taylor – 15-25, 158 Yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs (2nd half, after the team benched him for a rookie)
Case Keenum – 27-38, 280 Yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs
These are just a few of the names that could replace Kirk Cousins.
In addition to leading his team, he is one of the toughest SOBs that I have seen in the pocket. He will stand and deliver the perfect ball in the face of adversity more times than not. You so-called “fans” need to wake up, sniff the Folgers and realize the number 8 is not the reason our team is losing ball games.
- Samaje Perine
Jay Gruden brought the run game. Samaje Perine was a workhorse for the Redskins. He ran for 117 yards on 23 carries. In fact, the Redskins ran the ball 33 times for 156 yards as a team. This is by far one of the best rushing performances they have had all season long. If they can have this performance going forward, they just may do what they need to for a playoff spot.
- Rush Defense
I thought that the return of DT Matt Ioannidis would help create a plug, in the middle. However, that was not the case. As a matter of fact, the Saints went for 160 yards on the ground. The kicker, they only ran the ball 23 times. That is an average of 7 YPC. Mark Ingram had 134 of those yards on only 11 carries. He averaged just over 12 YPC. This helped keep the game close and eventually allowed for a Saints overtime victory.
- Josh Norman
The star CB of the Washington Redskins has had a bad couple of weeks. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen beat him last week. This week he was constantly behind his coverage. I am not sure if his injury is still lingering or what is going on. No matter what the issue is, Norman needs to step up his game.
- 2 Minute Defense
How can a defense be so good for 28 minutes and so bad for 2? That is the mantra of these Washington Redskins. In fact, they are the worst in the NFL when it comes to allowing the opposition to score in the final 2 minutes of the first half. DC, Greg Manusky needs to figure it out and fix it.
- The Final Minute of Regulation
The Washington Redskins had every chance to win this game in the final minute of regulation. They were well within FG range with under 30 second left. Instead of running the football and spiking the ball. Jay Gruden decided to call a pass play to get the ball even closer. Truly a mistake. The WRs and Cousins were not on the same page. Cousins raided up from under center and launched the ball OOB. The refs flagged Cousins for intentional grounding which was a yardage penalty and a 10-second runoff. On the next play, the Saints blindsided Cousins who fumbled and the game went to overtime. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Washington Redskins, while not mathematically eliminated, have a long road ahead. On the other hand, their schedule does get easier from here on out. Similarly, they were here in 2012, needing to win 6 straight after a loss. They did it then. So, can they do it again?
Follow Sean for all your Washington Redskins and NFL news and notes on Twitter and Instagram @NFLWBLZ.