Redskins Report Card: Game 6

QB KIRK COUSINS

He completed barely over 50 percent of his passes, threw a terrible interception that was returned for a touchdown and his 7.7  yards per attempt was acceptable, but not exceptional. On the other hand, he had several drops go against him, including one by DeSean Jackson that would have resulted in a touchdown and his favorite target, Jordan Reed did not play. Cousins threw a beautiful scoring pass to Jamison Crowder on a brilliantly designed wheel route and I loved his 9-yard scramble on third down and seven from Washington’s 13 yard line in the second quarter. The Skins finished that drive with a TD pass to Vernon Davis. Take out that awful interception and this was easily the best game of the season for Cousins. GRADE: B+

OFFENSIVE LINE

They didn’t allow a sack of Kirk Cousins in 35 dropbacks (34 passes) and most of the time his pocket was clean. Then there is the small fact of 230 rushing yards at 7 yards a pop. Every single starter had a good game, with Spencer Long having his best performance at center. Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff were dominant. Check that — Trent Williams was super-dominant. His cutoff blocks on those backside runs were awe-inspiring. GRADE: A+

RECEIVERS

They usually did a good job of getting open, but there were a few drops which, naturally, drops the grade a bit. A very strong game from Pierre Garcon, however, and the Vernon Davis did enough in place of Reed to allow the Skins to run their usual offense. GRADE: B-

RUNNING BACKS

Who can argue with 7 yards a carry? Starter Matt Jones led the way with 1 TD and 135 yards on 16 carries (8.4), while sub Robert Kelly ran for 59 yards on five carries and Chris Thompson added another 37 yards on 9 carries. Thompson also chipped in with three catches for 29 yard and several very nice blitz pick-ups that kept Kirk Cousins on his feet. No fumbles, no blemishes. GRADE: A+

RUSH DEFENSE

The Skins yielded 94 yards on 21 carries (4.5), which is hardly great, but it is a huge improvement over recent performances. What’s more, we didn’t see the missed tackles we saw in weeks 1-5. The defensive line still struggles to get off blocks, but the team yielded only one rush of more than 20 yards on Sunday and the Eagles were never able to get their offense going on the ground. Baby steps. GRADE: C+

PASS RUSH

Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz was pressured on 13 of his 27 dropbacks and sacked five times. Impressively, the Skins only blitzed three times, resulting in two incompletions and a sack. Ryan Kerrigan took advantage of rookie RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai for two sacks and Trent Murphy added half a sack and three QB knockdowns in another strong game in his strong season. DLs Ricky Jean-Francois and Chris Baker combined for a batted pass and three QB hurries. GRADE: A

COVERAGE

The fearsome pass rush made the secondary’s job a lot easier on Sunday, but we saw another stellar performance from Josh Norman, who was only  thrown on once. I don’t know if Philly planned to avoid him or if it just worked out that way, but the free agent signee earned his paycheck again last week. Bashaud Breeland returned from injury and had the best game of his 2016 season. Will Blackmon had a sack in the first quarter, Duke Ihenacho tackled well, but did not play much, while Donte Whitner also tackled well and seemed to take over from Ihenacho in the second half. GRADE: A

SPECIAL TEAMS

Another fine day kicking and punting by Dustin Hopkins and Tress Way, both of whom are elite talents at their positions. The kickoff return for a touchdown never would have happened without the absurd penalty on Vernon Davis, but there was still some major gap control issues on that return. GRADE: C-

COACHING

Gruden and Co. had the guys ready to play on Sunday. The offensive game plan was balanced and smart, with some very nice pass patterns drawn up. Washington racked up an impressive 493 yards of offense, with a roughly even split between rushing and passing.

Defensively, Joe Barry did a good job pressuring Wentz without blitzing. On a number of occasions I liked the way Barry had his defenders fake blitzes, leading the Eagles to keep in extra blockers. That allowed the Skins to use seven defenders to cover four receivers and force incompletions. The defense didn’t allow a touchdown and has now not allowed a second half touchdown since the game 2 loss to Dallas. The Eagles were permitted to run up a mere 239 yards of total offense. This was easily the best performance by Washington’s defense since last season. GRADE: A