The Washington Redskins gave away an early 14-0 led but dominated the second half and defeated the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 to improve to 5-3-1. Here are our Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down.
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REDSKINS THUMBS UP
PRESTON SMITH. What a game for a guy that started the season slow but has been pretty damn good the last few weeks. Smith had two sacks and an interception today. His interception came midway through the fourth quarter as the vikings were on a drive. It was an impressive one-handed grab by the big guy. Then, on the final drive, on a 4th and 17 with 11 seconds left int he game, Smith seals the Redskins win with a huge sack on Sam Bradford. His final line is 2 tackles, 2 sacks, and a pick. Kudos to the big man.
KIRK COUSINS. Cousins did exactly what the Redskins ask of him. He managed the game, came up with big first down passes, and did not turn the football over. He had one very poor throw in the first quarter and got lucky the ball wasn’t picked off, but overall, Cousins played a great game. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 262 yards and 2 touchdown passes. He even showed his grit and leadership by running down the field and yelling at the referee on what appeared to be Vikings pass interference. Overall, Cousins was sharp and consistent coming off the bye week. He spread the ball around to seven different receivers, including connecting with rookie Maurice Harris for three receptions.
Honorable Mention: There are four we will mention here. First, kudos to Dustin Hopkins for recovering from a miss in London that cost the Redskins the win. Hopkins was sharp today, going 4 for 4 in field goals. What a bounce back game for Hopkins. Second, Pierre Garcon had a nice game, coming up with some big first own catches, Overall, Garcon caught 6 passes for 81 yards. Third, Robert Kelley pounded the ball int he second half with some really solid runs and gaining yards after initial contact. He gained 97 yards on 22 carries for an average of 4.4 yards per carry. Finally, hats off to LT Ty Nsekhe had a big task taking over for Trent Williams, who has been suspended for four games. Nsekhe held his own and played very well. That has to make the Redskins feel a bit better about the situation.
REDSKINS THUMBS DOWN
Chris Thompson. Fumbling isn’t acceptable and the turnover allowed the Vikings to take a lead into the first half, after the Redskins built an early 14-0 lead. Thompson had a good game running for 25 yards on 4 carries with some solid first down runs. However, fumbling landed Matt Jones as a healthy scratch. Anytime the ball is coughed up, it will land you here as a Thumbs Down.
Pass Rush. The Redskins did not get much pressure on Sam Bradford until late in the game. The Vikings had some injuries on the offensive line and the Redskins should have taken advantage of that with some creative blitz packages. They didn’t do that. Joe Barry’s lack of pressure is what got Minnesota back in the game in the first half.
Dishonorable Mention. The Atlanta Falcons did not help Washington by allowing the Philadelphia Eagles to score 10 points in the final six minutes. Boooo Falcons.
The Final Line: Former Redskins GM Bobby Beathard was inducted into the Redskins Ring of Fame. For those young readers, Beathard was the architect of the three Redskins Super Bowl wins. Injury wise, right tackle Morgan Moses was banged up again and was seen in a walking cast int he locker room.