September 20, 2019

Washington Redskins: Quick start and strong finish help Skins top rival Rams

The Washington Redskins looked to show everyone that they were not just going to go quietly throughout the season like they have the past two years. Today was a step in the right direction as they faced off against the St. Louis Rams who upset the NFC East Champion Seahawks last week. Behind strong play from all three phases, yes I know it has been a long time since that has happened, the Redskins were victorious 24-10.

Things were a defensive struggle early on has on the first three possessions the teams combined for a single first down before a punt. Then the Redskins running game woke up in a big way. After a 35-yard run by Alfred Morris in a three tight end set, Matt Jones took it 39-yards to the house two plays later for his first of hopefully many touchdowns as a Redskin.

After the first of the Redskins defense three straight forced three and outs from the Rams, Kirk Cousins converted with Ryan Grant on a deep route for a 35 yard gain. If Cousins had a bigger arm it might have gone for a touchdown as Grant burnt Janoris Jenkins. The Redskins would settle for a field goal from newly signed Dustin Hopkins for a 10-0 lead.

With the defense doing their thing, Cousins and the Redskins rewarded them with a long 8 minute break because of a 12 play touchdown drive that put Washington up 17-0. Jones was featured on the drive with a 25-yard run and on 3rd and goal from the four, Garcon converted on a comeback route to make sure the Redskins did not settle. The defense held the Rams to drives of no longer than four plays in the first half as the Redskins held an impressive 17-0 lead at halftime.

Things got bumpy in second half as the Redskins went three and out with a penalty that gave the Rams life. After back to back first down plays for St. Louis, a false start penalty stalled the drive but a 52-yard field goal ended Washington’s shutout bid. Things only got worse from there as Jones carelessly fumbled the football. Two plays later on a fake end around, Kenny Britt burned DeAngelo Hall for a 40 yard touchdown pass.

After a three and out by both teams, the Redskins looked to have  strong drive going after two first down runs by Matt Jones. Then the penalties reared their ugly head again as a Shaun Lauvao negated a 20+ yard Cousins run and stalled the Redskins drive. The defense stopped up big once again with momentum waning. After giving up a first down to Tavon Austin on a jet sweep, the defense forced a punt giving the ball to the Redskins up 7 with 9:27 to go.

Kirk Cousins played huge in the final minutes by converting two third downs. First to Chris Thompson on a 3rd and 9 followed by a 29 yard catch and run to Jordan Reed on a 3rd and 5. This set the Redskins up in field goal range, but they were not satisfied. Morris drew two personal foul penalties on the same play while Matt Jones converted a 3rd and 8 on the ground. Two plays later Jones would punch it in around the left side to put the Redskins up 24-10. That seven minute 12 play, 77 yard drive was the dagger in the Rams as they turned the ball over on downs hoping for a miracle comeback.

The Redskins might not win the division, but they are back to looking like a respectable franchise. Cousins and the running game, 184 yards, provided enough offense complemented by a defense that only gave up TWO drives of 22 or more yards.

Washington will have an extremely short work week as they will have to travel to New York to play the Giants on Thursday night football.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.


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