Redskins Report Card: 11/19/17

The Washington Redskins lost in New Orleans to the Saints 34-31. The Redskins had a 15 point lead with three minutes left in the game, but allowed the Saints two touchdowns and a two point conversion, sending the game to overtime, where the Saints kicked a field goal to win the game.

Quarterback: Kirk Cousins was 22/32 passing with 322 yards passing, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Up until a few minutes left in the fourth quarter, Cousins was playing an A+ game. Then, he fumbled, ruining the Redskins’ chances at winning before overtime, and then was unable to lead the Redskins to a score in overtime. For the Redskins to win Cousins needs to be clutch. Grade B

Running Backs: Chris Thompson scored a receiving touchdown in the first, but later went down with a broken fibula. Thompson is now out for the season, according to Bleacher Report. Samaje Perine took over the lead back role with Rob Kelley out, and surprisingly was excellent. Perine had 117 yards on 23 rushes and a touchdown. This is the first time this year a Redskins RB has reached 100 yards rushing, and the first time in quite a while that the Redskins have been able to consistently and confidently turn to a RB for yardage throughout a game. Grade A

Receivers: The Redskins still have no clear cut WR1, but WRs Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, and Ryan Grant all had over 50 yards and Grant had a TD. Vernon Davis continues to prove useful with no Jordan Reed, adding 67 yards receiving. TE George Sprinkle added a TD, his career first. Redskins receivers were open all day for Cousins, and it showed on offense. Grade A-

Offensive Line: Cousins was sacked twice for 22 yards lost. Most of the time, he did have plenty of time in the pocket, and Redskins’ RBs had 4.7 yards per carry, an astronomical leap from the usual run game, which hovers around 3 YPC from week to week. However, lots of this credit is due to the Saints subpar run defense. Additionally, Cameron Jordan was able to sack Cousins in the fourth quarter, essentially ruining the Redskins chances at winning in regulation. Grade B-

Defensive Line: The Saints run game combined for 7.0 yards per carry. The DL let the Saints’ duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram through the line consistently for 176 yards rushing between the two, and let Alvin Kamara run in the 2-point conversion that tied the game. Grade D+

Linebackers: The Saints passing game and running game killed the Redskins LBs today. They were not able to keep short gains at short gains, allowing the Saints RBs to gain lots of yardage receiving after the catch (Kamara had 75 yards and a touchdown receiving). Grade D

Secondary: Even on an off day for Drew Brees, he was able to pick apart the secondary for 385 yards and 2 TDs. Four different Saints players recorded 75+ receiving yards, showing that it was not one matchup that killed the Redskins’ secondary, but their unit as a whole. It’s not all on him, but Josh Norman again failed to shut down the opposing teams WR1, allowing 91 yards to Michael Thomas. Grade D-

Special Teams: Nick Rose was 1/1 on field goals and 4/4 on extra points. There were no major issues with the Special Teams unit. Grade B

Coaching Staff: There were no major flubs, but it is becoming clear that the coaching staff needs to make an adjustment on defense. The Redskins D has let up 20 or more points in all but two games. Grade B-

Overall: Going into the game, the Redskins were expected to lose. The Saints had won seven straight and were red hot. However, this game turned out to be perfectly winnable for the Redskins, and they were unable to convert when they needed to. The offense worked well for most of the game, but the defense choked. Even though the Saints are good, being up 15 points with three minutes left in a game and losing is inexcusable no matter the circumstance. Grade C-

David Miller

David is a senior at George Mason High School, and a lifetime D.C. sports fan.

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