The Washington Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 to win their fourth consecutive game and improve to 4-2 on the season. They did it through a healthy ground game from all three running backs and some really good defense, that included a whopping five sacks of rookie QB Carson Wentz.
Here are your Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down. You can discuss it in our DC Sports Group.
Running Game: This is inclusive of the running backs and the offensive line, because they both deserve it. The offensive line blew holes open to allow terrific gains all day. Combined, the Redskins ran for 230 yards. Matt Jones tallied up his second 100 yard game, gaining 136 yards on 16 carries, an average of 8.5 yards per carry. Jones sealed the game with a 56 yard run with no Eagle time outs left. Robert Kelly contributed 58 yards on 5 carries including an early 45 yard run. Chris Thompson ran for 37 yards on 9 carries. The way the offensive line played not he run, quite frankly, a number of guys could have been back there and gained yards. I love the way Jay Gruden mixed in all three running backs into the game plan. They each have different strengths and it showed today.
Pass Rush: The Redskins racked up five sacks on rookie QB Carson Wentz, keeping him off his game. Ryan Kerrigan was a beast all day, recording two sacks and making numerous run stops. They had constant pressure on Wentz and many times with no blitzes. The front line played very well today. Ricky Jean Francois and Preston Smith both came up with big two fourth quarter sacks that stalled the Eagles on their final drive. It was really incredible performance up front, and that is how you win football games.
Honorable Mention: Dustin Hopkins nailed a 50 yard field goal that would have been good from 60. Did I mention it was right down the gut! Jamison Crowder caught another TD pass and racked in 55 yards receiving. He is good. Pierre Garcon caught 77 yards and attributed a few key first downs.
Kick Return Unit: It started with a bogus celebration penalty on Vernon Davis after a Davis TD reception. Dustin Hopkins managed the kick to around the fourteen yard line and off Wendall Smallwood went for an 86 yard kick return for a TD. Those are the kind of plays that strangled the Redskins in the past, but this time, the Redskins were fortunate. The excessive celebration calls are getting down right ridiculous and are not consistent NFL wide. Redskins had a 14-0 built up before that kick return.
That is the only Thumbs Down we are giving this game. A healthy NFC East win doesn’t deserve anymore.