It wasn’t pretty. At all. However, the Washington Redskins defeated the Cleveland Browns 31-20 to even their record at 2-2. The Redskins were bolstered by a 14-0 fourth quarter. Honestly though, in professional football, I don’t believe I’ve witnessed such poor tackling by an NFL team. The Redskins defense was simply horrid at tackling today.
Here are our Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down for week four.
RB MATT JONES. He arrived today with his first game in triple digit yardage. Jones carried the ball 22 times for 117 yards making a solid 5.3 yards per carry. He also added a TD in the fourth quarter. Jones saved the game for Washington, getting timely first downs and putting together effective power running in the second half. On his TD scoring drive, Jones had gains of 8, 11, and 15 yards to power the Redskins scoring drive. It’s quite simple, if the Redskins want to have success, they must have an effective ground game, and they got that today. His counterpart did quite nicely as well. Chris Thompson carried the ball 3 times for 24 yards and caught two passes for 16 yards, including a touchdown. That’s two TDs from the Redskins backfield.
JORDAN REED. Reed was the favorite target for QB Kirk Cousins today. He caught 9 passes for 73 yards and added two TD receptions. Both TD receptions came in the first half. Reed is clearly one of the best receiving tight ends in the game. However, like Reed does, he also gets called for too many penalties, racking up two more today.
Honorable Mention: The defense did something good today, it wasn’t all bad. The defense forced three Browns’ turnovers in consecutive series. Will Compton and Quinton Dunbar forced fumbles, while Josh Norman secured his first interception. Speaking of Norman, after a mediocre first half, Norman turned it on in the second half with a pick and some really good pass defense. Tress Way continues to punt very well, averaging 48.7 yards per punt, including a beautiful 59 yard punt that set the Browns deep in their own territory. His special teams counterpart did his job as well. Dustin Hopkins only attempted one field goal today, but nailed the 49 harder to remain a perfect 12 for 12 on the season.
TACKLING. Do I really need to go into depth here? I just have not seen such poor tackling by an NFL team in a long time, if ever. The defense had Cleveland running backs stopped for short to no gains several times, but poor wrapping up led to significant gains. The run defense gave up 165 yards rushing and much of that can be attributed to a break down of fundamental tackling. It was truly a pathetic response by the Redskins defense.
DISCIPLINE. The Redskins were called for 9 penalties for 75 yards. It’s hard to win football games playing in such an undisciplined manner. I guess they can be thankful it was the Browns. With combined poor tackling and undisciplined penalties, that all goes to poor coaching and preparation. That’s on Jay Gruden. That’s on Joe Barry. The schedule doesn’t get any easier and Gruden and Barry better have a heart to heart with themselves and the team.