August 22, 2019

Washington Redskins 5 Takeaways: Chicago Bears

The Washington Redskins traveled to Chicago to take on a Bears team that is just as bad at home as they are on the road.

And they won.

By a score of 24-21, the Redskins staved off a second-half charge from Chicago that saw them tie the game at the end of the third quarter. Unlike the Redskins Monday night loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Dustin Hopkins made more field goals than Robbie Gould, and that was the difference on the scoreboard.

Behind a fast start, the Redskins got to just enough of a lead to where a stronger second half by their opponent didn’t cost them the game. Jay Gruden‘s squad did just enough to hold for the victory, their sixth of the season.

Here are five more takeaways from the Redskins’ first road win of the season:

(AP Photo/Gary Hershorn)

(AP Photo/Gary Hershorn)

1. Kirk Cousins Played Well

One of these days, I won’t have to comment on whether or not quarterback Kirk Cousins played well. Going 24-31 with 300 yards, one touchdown, one interception and one rushing touchdown, I actually believe that this was one of his better performances. Save for his lone interception, which was a great play by the defensive back, he was careful with the football, but not afraid to take chances, hitting DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed for big gains. He was efficient, smart and didn’t cost his team the game — what more can you ask for from your starting quarterback? With one more 300-yard game, he’ll set the franchise record for a single season.

2. Matt Jones is Making Alfred Morris Obsolete

I’ll touch on this more this week, but rookie running back Matt Jones is making Alfred Morris more and more expendable with every carry. On Washington’s first drive, Morris scored his first touchdown of the season (that’s right, his first). For a guy that was expected to become a cornerstone of the franchise, he sure hasn’t been shouldering the workload this year. Jones carried the rock 18 times (seven more than Morris) and rushed for 62 yards, including a strong run at the end of the game to pick up a first down and ice the game for Washington.

3. The Defensive Backs Got Beat Deep…Often

The boxscore says that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 315 yards, but a 400+ yard performance was well within his grasp if he laid the football out for his receivers to run under on deep routes. On far too many plays, the Redskins’ defensive backs got beat deep. On what could have been the game-tying, or even winning, drive, Alshon Jeffery ran straight past the cornerback for the easy reception. If not for safety help over the top, he’d still be running. Washington’s secondary severely underperformed and it nearly cost them the game.

4. Jordan Reed Is A Matchup Nightmare

That’s not a secret, but it certainly became apparent early in the game there isn’t a single player on the Bears’ defense that matched up well with the tight end. Reed finished with nine receptions for 120 and one touchdown. When the Redskins lined Reed up in a three-point stance on the outside of the tackle, a linebacker was used to cover him, which typically ended in a reception. The former Florida Gator has all the tools to become one of the most dominant receivers, not just tight ends, in the NFL and Sunday’s display certainly proved that. Against Chicago, in particular, he’s been a killer. In just two games, he has 18 receptions for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

5. Defensive Front Strong

The Redskins’ defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage right from the get-go. While their offensive line saw a shift in favor of the Bears’ defensive line, Joe Barry‘s unit got strong up front as the game went along. Terrance Knighton, Trent Murphy and Ryan Kerrigan all registered sacks, and Kerrigan and Knighton combined for three tackles-for-loss. They stifled Chicago’s rushing attack, holding the Bears to just 87 yards rushing. For his strip-sack, Murphy used a strong move to get past the right tackle, and he now has 3.5 sacks on the season.

 

About Brian Skinnell

Brian Skinnell is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Nationals and college football. He is a born-and-raised follower of Washington, D.C. sports, “The” Ohio State Buckeyes and auto racing. A graduate of Shepherd University in December of 2014, he has a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a Concentration in Sports Communications. Prior to joining District Sports Page (for his second stint), he spent time with Rant Sports, Yahoo Sports and the Washington Redskins. For his day job, he is an Editor for Team Velocity Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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