The Redskins win on Christmas Eve. It was the most complete win of the season, getting dominant performances from the offense, defense, and special teams. Where was that football team last week against Carolina?
Here are our Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down.
Redskins Win Thumbs Up
Where to start?
The Secondary. What? Yes, the Redskins secondary gets a HUGE Thumbs Up. It certainly helped that the secondary was playing against a poor quarterback in Matt Barkley, but five interceptions is HUGE. It was huge because the secondary has had interception opportunities throughout the season, but have been mostly unable to hold on to the football. Not yesterday. The Redskins secondary racked up five interceptions on poor Matt Barkley. Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland each picked off two passes. Will Blackmon added a fifth that went for a pick six. Although they permitted over 300 yards passing, the Redskins secondary was a critical part of the 41-21 Christmas Eve blowout on the road in Chicago.
Redskins Ground Game. The Redskins round game racked up 208 yards rushing, including a Welcome to the NFL 61 yard touchdown dash by rookie Mack Brown. Robert Kelly ran the ball 19 times for 76 hard-fought yards, averaging four yards per carry. Chris Thompson ran for a 7 yard touchdown and added a 17 yard touchdown reception for a two touchdown game. QB Kirk Cousins added 30 yards on the ground including a 9 yard touchdown run. That is production from the ground game.
Honorable Mention: Kudos to WR DeSean Jackson on his third consecutive 100 yard game, catching 5 passes for 114 yards. WR Pierre Garcon had a nice game, grabbing 4 catches for 94 yards for a nice 23.5 yards per catch. Kudos to LB Preston Smith for a blocked field goal. Smith had a nice game, adding 1 tackle and a sack. He has been inconsistent this year, but played nicely yesterday. QB Kirk Cousins came off his worst season performance last week for a nice, efficient game the Redskins needed from their signal caller. Cousins completed 18 of 29 yards for 270 yards and 1 TD pass and a rushing TD. Nice game Kirk!
Redskins Win Thumbs Down
None. It was too complete of a win, so we will leave some thing slide.
Redskins Playoff Scenarios
First and foremost, the Redskins don’t get in without a big win over the NY Giants next week in Washington. Besides scoreboard watching, they need to take care of their own business. It is another hard Monday night for Redskins fans. Why? Redskins Nation has to pray and hope for a Dallas Cowboys win over the Detroit Lions. That just sounds dirty. If Dallas beats Detroit Monday night, the Redskins simply need to win and they are headed to the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Redskins playoff hopes got a huge boost from the New Orleans Saints win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the Lions defeat the Cowboys, the Redskins will need the Lions then to beat the Green Bay Packers next week and take care of business at Fed Ex.
A Winning Season
Regardless of what happens, the Redskins are guaranteed to finish the 2016 season with a winning record, the first time they have had back to back winning season in 19 years. It is called progress. GM Scot McCloughan indicated it is a four year rebuild and they are int he middle of that rebuild. No doubt, focus should be on the defense in the offseason, but back to back winning season is indicative they are on the right course.
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