The Washington Redskins traveled down to Tampa Bay a depleted team on offense. Missing six starters on the offense and facing a team that was putting up almost 34 points a game, their was a recipe for disaster. The Tampa Bay offense put up over 500 yards of offense however the Redskins defense gave up only three points and the Redskins won a tough game 16-3. The Redskins now stand at 6-3 and possess a two game lead in the NFC East. Let’s look back at yesterday’s game.
Forcing Turnovers- The Redskins defense had made a concerted effort to focus on creating turnovers. The Redskins forced another four turnovers yesterday with two interceptions (Norman, Stroman) and two forced fumbles ( Anderson, Kerrigan.) Those turnovers kept points off the board even though the Bucs were able to move the ball. Being +11 this season is a combination of the defense forcing turnovers and the offense not turning it over. If this stat stays +10 or higher then the Redskins have a good chance of making the playoffs.
The #Redskins' 7 turnovers are tied for fewest in the NFL. They are now +11 in turnover margin, three better than any other team.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) November 12, 2018
Dustin Hopkins- In a season where we have seen kickers missing extra points and field goals, Hopkins has been very solid this season. Hopkins has made 17 of 19 field goals for 89.5% and is perfect 17 for 17 on extra points. That cannot be understated this season the ability to get points and win close game. Hopkins has become extremely reliable and someone who Coach Gruden can count on.
Tress Way- Tress Way is having a pro bowl season. Hopefully he can receive some recognition for his talent. Way has routinely pinned opposing offenses inside the 20 yard line, helping the defense make teams go a long way to score.
Tress Way is having a ridiculous season. 25 of his 42 punts have pinned teams inside their own 20 and he does not have a single touchback. That's outrageous. #Redskins
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) November 12, 2018
Coach Bill Callahan- A very underrated member of the the coaching staff is offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Callahan, who is responsible for the running game, has coached the offensive line to one of the tops in the league. What is going unnoticed his how he has brought lineman essentially off the street and made them productive players. For the second year the offensive line has had plethora of injuries, and the front hasn’t missed a beat.
Not Finishing- The Redskins won the football game. The Redskins also could have put that game away earlier if the offense had put up some points to close it out. The Redskins created three turnovers in the fourth quarter, including one in the red zone, and the offense was only able generate three points. In the future that will hurt the team by not putting teams away. One touchdown there and that game was over.
Defensive Yardage- The Bucs gained over 500 yards of offense yesterday. From the 20 to the 20 the Bucs had their way with the Redskins defense. Even though the Bucs were held to three points for the game, you are living dangerously if you think that will last long term. Once again the defense gave up some bug third and long conversions that the defense has to get off of the field.
Drops and Misses- Part of the reason for the lack of points were drops by the receivers and misses by Alex Smith. The biggest one from the Bucs game was when the the offense was in the two-minute drill trying to get some late points. Michael Floyd came open across the middle and Smith threw the ball behind Floyd, and Floyd dropped the ball. Both players were at fault and that happens too often to this offense. Smith will make some plays and receivers drop passes, conversely the receivers get open and Smith misses them. This must be corrected moving forward.
The NFC East- The Redskins opened up a two game lead on the rest of the division courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night 27-20 and both teams now sit at 4-5. The Cowboys travel to face the Atlanta Falcons next week while the Eagles travel to play the New Orleans Saints. If the Redskins can win their own tough game against the Houston Texans, the Redskins could have a three game lead on their closest rivals.
— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) November 11, 2018
Ugly wins?- This phrase has been thrown around with this team and some of their wins, especially this win. Wins in the NFL are hard. This is not college where you can play a team from a lower division and beat up on them. Every team has professionals and coaches whose job is to win. The Redskins have six of those wins. Does that mean the team doesn’t have flaws, of they do. But all wins should be celebrated in this league because ugly wins are better than beautiful losses.
Injuries- The Redskins only had one injury yesterday which backup tackle Geron Christian who tore his MCL and is out for the season. However the Redskins are getting reinforcements coming back. Trey Quinn should be activated this week and take Christian’s spot. Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson should be close to coming back this week. That gives some speed to the offense and give Jay Gruden more options.