Redskins Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down: Week Eleven

The Washington Redskins broke their prime time curse and thumped the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night 42-24.  It was a huge win at home, as the Redskins maintain possession of that last Wild Card playoff spot, and keep pace with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, who both won yesterday as well.

Here we go.

Thumbs Up

QB Kirk Cousins.  This was his best game of an already excellent season.  Facing stiff wind at Fedex Field, Cousins still manage to complete 70% of his passes, throw for 375 yards, and add 3 touchdown passes to the mix.  Even more impressive, given the wind issue, Cousins struck for a 70 yard TD pass to Pierre Garcon and a 44 yard TD pass to Jamison Crowder.   The good thing about Cousins is the fact that his ‘bad throws’ are becoming far in between.  He also is not turning the football over.  He is no longer managing the game, he is now crafting the game.  It was a banner night for Cousins and he let GM Scot McCloughan know it.

Relax young man.  You will be getting paid!

Robert Kelley.  Matt Jones was a healthy deactivation for the second consecutive week.  Robert Kelley, the un-drafted rookie out of Tulane,  would get the ball and make his third consecutive start.  And, it was an impressive one.  Enough talking about whether Kelley can hold off Jones.  Kelley is the main back in DC, period.  Last night, Kelley eclipsed the 100 yard mark for the first time in his career, rushing for 137 yards on 24 carries, that’s an average of 5.7 yards per carry.  A big chunk of them came at the end of the game in which Kelley scampered for 66 yards into the red zone and effectively hammered the nail into Green Bay’s coffin.  That’s not it.  Kelley also ran for three TDs.  Three!

Honorable Mention:  How about another splendid game by CB Josh Norman.  Norman provided excellent pass defense and caused a late Green Bay fumble.  Now, he just needs to cut off the penalties . . .  Two Redskins receivers had big nights.  Pierre Garcon got a well deserved 100 yard night, catching 6 passes for 116 yards and a TD.  Jamison Crowder had his third 100 yard game in his last four games, grabbing 3 catches for 102 yards.  Jordan Reed came close with 79 yards  on 5 catches . . . Another tough assignment for LT Ty Nsekhe, lined up against Clay Matthews.  Another strongly impressive performance from Nsekhe as well . . . But hey, it isn’t just about Nsekhe.  How about the play of Morgan Moses?  This dude is really battling through a tough injury and keeps putting up a consistent effort.  Kudos to the whole offensive line on a really impressive performance Sunday night . . . More strong games from DL Chris Baker, LB Will Compton, and LB S’ua Cravens

Thumbs Down

Two Point Conversion Play Calling.  Listen, with the wind what it i was, I really did not have an issue with the actual call to go for two points.  The fact Dustin Hopkins, a sure kicker, missed an extra point, well, that was why HC Jay Gruden chose to go for two early in the game.  The wind was ripping.  However, why would you run a small, scamper style back in Chris Thompson, straight up the gut.  That call made little sense and was doomed from the time it was called in the huddle.  The second one was just as bad.  The Redskins offense is loaded with receivers with DeSean Jackson, Crowder, Garcon, Maurice Harris, Jordan Reed, and Vernon Davis.  Roll out and throw the football.

After the Play Penalties:  Stop playing with the football after the play is over.  They got nailed last week for throwing the football and twice last night.  It’s stupid mental mistakes that need to be eliminated.  Good teams have discipline.  Time to take a step toward disciplined play.

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