By: Patrick Waring
(Above Photo Courtesy Of Getty Images / Matt Hazlett)
What a difference a week makes. A few days ago I talked about the Redskins trying to avoid a 0-2 start to the season. Losing 17-10 to the Dolphins in Week 1 put them in a situation that no team wants to be in. And it was Déjà Vu. The Skins had a lead, missed opportunities to expand the lead and gave up a big play at the wrong time.
Same old Skins.
But Sunday was different. The Redskins responded to the loss by defeating the visiting St. Louis Rams 24-10 to improve to 1-1, good for 2nd place in the NFC East. The same NFC East that has two winless teams and another team that’s undefeated, but has been playing without their star WR and now will be without their starting signal caller for at least eight weeks.
Dallas Cowboys 2-0
Washington Redskins 1-1
New York Giants 0-2
Philadelphia Eagles 0-2
The Redskins all of sudden find themselves in a very interesting spot. A win against the Giants (0-2) in New York on Thursday night could cause a lot of people to reevaluate thinking in the division. Not like that isn’t already happening, but becoming 2-1 while building some confidence and momentum could be dangerous for the other housemates in the NFC East.
The Redskins took care of business on Sunday by running the football, playing physical and not making too many mistakes. Matt Jones (19 carries, 123 yards, 2 TDs) lead the rushing attack against Gregg Williams’ defense. Alfred Morris (18 carries, 59 yards) chipped in on the ground and his 35 yard run in the 1st quarter came two plays before Jones’ first TD of the day.
The run game was successful for the second week in a row. That success allowed QB Kirk Cousins to operate as well. Cousins didn’t blow anyone away with his numbers (23-27, 203 yards, 1 TD), but he was efficient and made some nice throws, including a 2nd quarter TD to WR Pierre Garçon. And his best number was zero. After throwing two interceptions against the Dolphins, Cousins did not turn the ball over.
And while the Redskins ran for plenty of yards, their defense stopped the run. Washington had the advantage on the ground over St. Louis 182 to 67 and also won the battle of the clock 37:44 to 22:16. The Redskins took a 17-0 lead into halftime and were able to seal the win in the 4th quarter on a 3 yard Matt Jones TD, his second of the day.
This would be the perfect opportunity to take advantage of some unfortunate luck by division rivals. While Dallas tries to figure out life without Dez Bryant and Tony Romo for a few months, and Philly tries to get their offense together, the Redskins have a chance to make a little noise in NY.
Washington’s offense currently ranks first in the NFL in total rushing yards and their defense is number one in total yards allowed. The New York Giants have blown 4th quarter leads in both of their loses. It’s still really early in the season, but the Redskins have a chance to shake things up.
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