The 5th Quarter: Redskins 45 Bears 41


IT WAS OVER WHEN… NT Barry Cofield and OLB Ryan Kerrigan sacked Bears QB Josh McCown for a 7-yard loss at the Chicago 49-yard line on the final play of the game. The Redskins had just scored from three yards out on RB Roy Helu‘s third TD run of the game, putting Washington up 45-41.

Roy Helu leapingTHE GOOD… After struggling mightily on offense all season, the Redskins finally had a breakthrough game today, running up 499 yards of offense, including 209 on the ground… The Redskins have had 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in back-to-back games for the first time in franchise history… After failing in all three red zone opportunities against the Cowboys, the Redskins scored touchdowns on four of five today… Robert Griffin III looked good from the very start, running 23 yards on a read option on the second play from scrimmage… RG3 rushed for 84 yards on 11 carries, a 7.6 yards per carry average… RG3’s 382 yards of total offense today looked like vintage 2012… Rookie TE Jordan Reed had his breakthrough game, catching 9 passes on 9 targets for 134 yards and a TD… CB DeAngelo Hall continues to play well in coverage, holding All Pro Brandon Marshall to 75 on 10 pass attempts… Bears RB Matt Forte had a 50-yard TD run, but gained only 41 yards on his other 14 carries… RB Alfred Morris overcome some poor blocking to run for 95 yards on 19 carries, including some very hard-fought yards on that final, game-winning drive… RB Roy Helu had three touchdowns coming into today and he doubled that with scoring rushes of 14, three and three yards… The Redskins converted 7 of 13 third downs into first downs, while allowing the Bears to convert only two of eight… Aldrick Robinson finally made a contribution this season, catching a 45-yard TD pass and a 31-yard catch and run off a great pass from RG3

Aldrick RobinsonTHE BAD… Washington’s special teams continue to be an absolute fiasco, giving up an 81-yard punt return for a TD to Devin Hester… That’s the second straight week the special teams have given up a punt return for a TD of over 80 yards and the third straight week the special teams has given up a touchdown… The Redskins offense had nine plays that went for negative yardage today, making it all the more amazing that they also scored 38 points on offense… Those negative plays were almost always the fault of the offensive line that failed to dominate a weakened and injury-riddled Bears defensive front… RG3 didn’t have many bad passes today, but the worst was lazily thrown into traffic for Leonard Hankerson on first and ten and it was picked off by CB Charles Tillman… The Redskins got very little pass rush on the Bears today without blitzing and even then often failed to get to the passer… The defense, which looked great against the Raiders, the Cowboys and in the first half of this game, fell apart after halftime, giving up more than 300 yards of offense in the third and fourth quarters combined… WR Santana Moss had two passes thrown to him today and dropped both of them… WR Leonard Hankerson had only one catch today… WR Josh Morgan had no catches today and did little on special teams, fumbling a kickoff return that was luckily recovered by TE Niles Paul… The offense got away from Jordan Reed again in the second half, basically ignoring their best receiving option until the final drive.

THE UGLY… He got hit with two more personal foul penalties today. You know who I mean — SS Brandon Meriweather is a menace to everyone. He’s a menace to other players with his constant illegal tackling, launching himself and using the crown of his helmet against defenseless players. But he’s also a menace to the Redskins because his 15-yard penalties extend drives, give points to the other team and hurt Washington. Meriweather should be suspended  by the NFL for his consistently and wantonly outrageous play, but the Redskins should not wait for the league to act. Washington should cut Meriweather tomorrow. He’s a vicious player with no thought for the rules of the game or the safety of other players.

Bears WR Brandon Marshall has had it with Meriweather:

“Guys like that really don’t understand that there is life after football,” Marshall said. “I respect the league trying to better our game and guys like that, maybe he needs to get suspended or taken out of the game completely. I understand. I get it. I was one of those guys. I played defense growing up. I was a headhunter. Even sometimes on the offensive side, I played that way. But with rules in place, you’ve gotta respect it.

“Guys like that just don’t understand. Those are the guys that are in trouble. They really don’t have anything to do after football because they think it is all about football. Guys like that, it’s tough.”

What’s more, he’s not even a good safety anymore. Get rid of him now.

Jordan ReedAND WHAT IT ALL MEANS… The Redskins get the win they had to have and improve to 2-4 on the year. The Skins had to have this win because they travel to Denver to play the Broncos next Sunday and that’s almost certainly a loss, meaning the Redskins will fall to 2-5. A 2-5 record is bad, but with the NFC East struggling to provide a decent team this year, 2-5 isn’t hopeless, particularly since it appears RG3 is rounding into shape. But a 1-6 record means the season is over. So Washington absolutely had to win this game and they did — if only just barely. We saw a Redskins offense working the way it did last year, racking up the yards on the ground and the  air, with a powerful rushing attack from Alfred Morris and RG3 wearing down defenses and opening up the play-action for big passing plays. And with Roy Helu and Jordan Reed making big contributions, this offense could be better than last year. However, the special teams continues to be a weakly weekly disaster and the defense is up and down, though mostly down. But we saw an offense today score 38 points and roll up 499 yards, with a brutal attack balanced on the ground and through the air. That’s the Redskins their fans expected to see this season. So it’s a start.