Redskins Report Card: 10/15/17

The Washington Redskins beat the San Francisco 49ers at home in D.C., 26-24 The Redskins looked great to start the game, starting the game by going up 17-0, but then faltered on offense and defense letting the 49ers tie the game up at 17 apiece in the third quarter. After a fourth quarter field goal and touchdown, the Redskins let the 49ers come back with a touchdown, but stopped them on their final drive to secure the win.

Quarterback: Kirk Cousins was sharp and accurate for most of the game, and posted an impressive stat line (25 for 37 for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns). Cousins seemed to have trouble communicating with receivers in the second quarter leading to a costly interception and long return, but came back strong in the second half, leading the Washington offense in an important fourth quarter touchdown, which he ran in himself. Grade B+

Running Backs: With main back Rob Kelley still out with injury, the Redskins’ running back committee consisted of Chris Thompson and rookie Samaje Perine splitting snaps. Thompson led with 16 rushes and four catches for 138 total yards. Perine had nine rushes and three catches, 47 total yards, and his first NFL touchdown. While the running game was far from electrifying, both backs had significant big plays and both were involved in the passing game. Grade B

Receivers: Cousins spread the ball out to many different receivers today, including receivers Ryan Grant, Terrelle Pryor Sr, Jamison Crowder, and Josh Doctson, and tight ends Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed. As mentioned, both running backs also had a large part in the receiving game. While no receiver stood out with large yardage or reception totals, all contributed. The first quarter Josh Doctson touchdown was a high point in the receiving grade. Grade B

Offensive line: The O-line gave Cousins plenty of time to drop back and hit different receivers throughout the game, in addition to only allowing one sack for five yards lost. However, the Redskins’ abysmal 2.85 yards per carry should be partially blamed on the offensive line. Grade B-

Defensive line: The Redskins recorded 3 sacks for 29 yards lost, including one very significant sack from Matt Ioannidis leading to a fourth down and a missed field goal instead of a continuing drive. The D-line did allow for a solid 4.25 yards per carry from 49ers rushers. Grade B-

Linebackers: Ryan Kerrigan had a sack, but other than that, the linebackers sometimes had botched coverages and gave CJ Beathard plenty of time in the pocket. Grade C+

Secondary: Throughout the game, the Redskins’ secondary had trouble staying on 49ers receivers. The secondary let up 279 passing yards against a combination of the unsuccessful Brian Hoyer and Rookie CJ Beathard, and that is without mention of the 49ers countless drops, which would have added lots more passing yards. The secondary’s bright spot was Quinton Dunbar’s clutch coverage of Pierre Garcon in the final drive. Grade C+

Special Teams: Dustin Hopkins was 2/2 on field goals including a 48 yard) but missed an extra point that could have cost the Redskins the game if the 49ers had been able to score on the final drive. Tress Way averaged a respectable 45.3 yards per punt, but let the 49ers have better field position on their final drive by punting a touchback into the end zone instead of just short of the end zone. Neither of these errors ended up costing the Redskins, but either could have. Grade C

Coaching Staff: The Redskins errors today were not due to play calling, and one standout call was Cousins’ fake handoff keeper touchdown in the fourth quarter. Grade A-

Overall: While there is lots to critique about this game, The 49ers have now lost five straight games by three points or less (a new NFL record), so they are not as easy an opponent as their winless record might suggest. The Redskins struggled in the second and third quarters, but finished strong. Grade B

David Miller

David is a sophomore at Emory University, and a lifetime D.C. sports fan.

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