Once again, the Washington Redskins found themselves in an early 14-0 hole. Once again, the Redskins’ defense outscored it’s offense in the first half of the game. But this time, finally, they found a way to pull out a gritty and downright ugly 24-14 victory at O.co Coliseum.
Robert Griffin III was not terribly sharp, finishing with 18/31 for 227 yards and a touchdown to Pierre Garcon, but in the end it was good enough. Alfred Morris left the game in the second half with a rib injury, but had 16 carries for 71 yards before the injury. Roy Helu Jr. stepped in as his replacement, and recorded 41 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. The offense never got going in the first half, with John Potter’s 25-yard field goal being the only offensive points of the half, but thankfully got revved up in the second. The Redskins ended the game on a 24-0 run.
The Raiders were beat up at all key offensive positions, but the ‘Skins defense took control of the game, a vast improvement on the previous three weeks. David Amerson’s pick-six off of Raiders QB Matt Flynn in the second quarter was the turning point of the game. The rookie CB made a nice play on a terrible throw (and decision) and easily ran the 45 yards for the score. The ‘Skins front seven were monstrous, sacking Flynn seven times on 40 dropbacks (18% of the time) and lost a fumble caused by the vastly underrated Ryan Kerrigan. Brian Orakpo has two of the seven sacks, continuing his career dominance of Oakland (6 sacks in two games).
This one was not always fun to watch, but for Washington all that matters is the end result. The not-so-insane scenario detailed in some writer’s column has come to fruition, or at least the first part of it, as Dallas, Philadelphia, and the New York Giants all lost. If Dallas loses to Denver next week, and the Giants beat Philly, the week 6 matchup between the Redskins and Cowboys would be for first place in the NFC East, in what has to be considered a miracle by Washington fans.
For now, the ‘Skins head into their bye week with a victory they needed while playing less-than-stellar football. If they can get their act together over the next two weeks, they could find themselves in prime position for the divisional race and their best football ahead of them. A stark contrast from the team’s outlook a week ago, and one that Washington fans will gladly embrace.