What a ballgame. The Washington Redskins (a 2 & 1/2 point underdog) went to the LA Coliseum and beat the Rams in a contest The Skins absolutely had to have. The panic in every nook & cranny of DC was definitely palpable. But by sundown it was party time in The District! This 1st Win of the year was necessary, because a poor Preseason, coupled with a Week 1 loss definitely had the natives a little restless.
[Now please allow the 2017 Season resume at its normal pace.]
I won’t understate the importance of this matchup for The Redskins: that oft-quoted statistic in the 1st two weeks states that “no team that starts 0-2 goes on to qualify for The Playoffs”. Well, that’s exactly it, but it’s similarly daunting. In other words, lose the first two games on your Schedule & you’re fucked. Basically.
That’s what made this ballgame (as Chris Spielman, the color commentary dude calling the game on tv said) a Must Win. Of course I don’t think the moment was that urgent, but I tend to agree that it was vital for The B&G to get into the Win column.
But before we get to that, let me get this off my chest:
Sometimes Redskins fans can drive me crazy! All week I heard and read waves of apprehension about how tough these Rams were, how much of a genius Sean McVay is, how them getting Aaron Donald back was going to doom us, and how tough a draw Los Angeles was gonna be for The Skins. The Rams. I’m serious.
What nonsense! Let’s get this straight right now – every team has Playmakers. And yes, Sean McVay is a good rising Coach in The NFL. And sure, maybe LA had some momentum after beating the crap outta the worthless Colts. But c’mon. These guys ain’t nothing special.
On paper, Washington is the superior team. We should beat these guys whether we played them in DC or LA. I personally find too many fans’ lack of belief in The Team disturbing. A Diehard just has to ask out loud, if you don’t believe in The Team, then why do you cheer for them? It’s maddening!
Okay. Now that I’ve vented, let’s review the contest.
What I Liked
The Washington Redskins made it clear that they wanted this game from the Opening Kickoff. To see them dominate The Line of Scrimmage on both sides of The Ball was pure bliss! I couldn’t have been more pleased with the beginning of the game. The Defense gave up a couple of First Downs, but got off The Field. And The Offense, on their 1st Possession Drives right down The Field and scored. Even though it wasn’t a Touchdown, it set the tone for the rest of the day.
And though I was proud of how Washington controlled this affair (particularly in the 1st Half) it was The Rushing Attack that Won The Game. Not only did Fat Rob GO OFF in that 1st Half, but Chris Thompson is The Team’s Early Season MVP! Just look at this 61 Yard Touchdown Run:
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) September 17, 2017
Besides the Big Plays, The Defense played well for the second consecutive week. While I wouldn’t say that QB Jared Goff played poorly, I do believe that our Defenders bottled him up nicely. If anything, Los Angeles’s Running Back Todd Gurley became more effective as the game went on – but when it counted, he was contained.
Also, Special Teams played extremely well in this game too. Even though Dustin Hopkins missed a 50 Yard Field Goal in the 2nd Half, The Coverage Units (and The Kicking Game) were impressive to me in their effectiveness.
As you can tell, there was a lot to like from The B&G on this day.
What I Didn’t Like
I have to start with Kirk Cousins.
What the hell happened with him today? Yes, he Won. And that is the real bottom line. But if I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought that Cousins was the 2nd Year Starter. Too many times he was throwing check downs to The Backs & Tight Ends. And I did see him locking in on his Primary Read more often than I was comfortable with. It gave me the feeling that a Veteran Secondary (like Denver) would’ve made him pay for that. But still, when the game was tied & we had to have that Game Winning Drive, he delivered. That counts for something.
I was also displeased with Rob Kelley. I mean, this guy was having a career day toting the rock! He was kicking Rams asses up and down that gridiron, till he got hurt late in the 2nd Quarter. And at the time, I didn’t think anything of it – that is, until he didn’t return to The Game. And that could have been a disaster, because (aside from that brilliant Chris Thompson Touchdown) The Rushing Offense really struggled without him in The Lineup. Yes, I understand now that he had probably cracked a rib, which was the reason he left the game. But this is The National Football League. If you can run with The Football, you gotta fuckin play! You have got to fucking play. The difference in The Offense without him on The Field was noticeable. Let’s hope we’re not questioning his toughness next week.
And I damn sure didn’t like seeing our Receivers not touching The Football. It wan’t until the late 4th Quarter (I believe) that our Wideouts got their hands on The Ball. Some of that (understandably) had to do with Jay Gruden being seriously committed to pounding the rock on the ground (which was good). But again, I put some of that on Cousins. It’s his job to distribute The Ball to our Playmakers. And even though last week guys were dropping The Football, show ’em you’ve got confidence in them Kirk! Throw them guys the damn ball! Among all of our Wide Receivers not named Jordan Reed, I think they caught less than 10 footballs combined. Let’s get The Route Runners into a rhythm, because we will definitely need them moving forward.
I know, the bottom line is the good guys Won the game. And I’m definitely excited about that. No doubt, because the back half of September is pretty tough: next on deck is the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football. That’ll be a big one. And it’s a chance to show the entire country that Redskins Football is ready to rock ’em! That’s what made this Week 2 matchup so damn important.
Because the bottom line is that you gotta Win the games you’re supposed to in this League. And this time we can say with confidence, mission accomplished. So for a night (maybe two) we dance.
— Diehard Otis (@DiehardOtis) September 17, 2017