Early Sunday afternoon, the Washington Redskins traveled to Carson to make their debut in the infamous StubHub Center. However, Washington, unfortunately, found themselves in the path of one of the leagues hottest teams. The Chargers rolled to their fourth straight win in a 30-13 triumph of the Redskins. Although the Redskins had nothing going in their favor, there were indeed winners and losers of this week 14 matchup. So let’s take a look at who shined, and who had a game to forget.
Tyrell Williams has always been a big play player. And this past Sunday, that came in handy. Although it certainly hasn’t been a rough season for Williams, we were still waiting for that breakout game. This Sunday afternoon game was exactly what we were waiting for. Williams had 4 receptions, 132 yards, and a touchdown. That also included a 75-yard bomb from Philip Rivers struck a dagger into the Redskins season.
This breakout performance was also no coincidence. It’s clear that with Keenan Allen playing out of his mind these past few games, the Redskins defense was going to do anything possible to slow him down (which didn’t work out too well). This left receivers such as Williams wide open for big play opportunities. Although we can’t expect this every week from Tyrell, it is great to have a complementary player in the receiving core.
Rivers has been the catalyst for this tremendous Chargers run. Over the past four weeks, River has thrown for eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. This crazy stat shows just how dominant the Chargers are when Philip Rivers plays mistake-free football. This week specifically, Rivers threw for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns with a passer rating of 114.9. The biggest change from early in the season when the Chargers looked like a top-five draft pick contender, too now, is clearly the offenses priorities.
Early in the season, Anthony Lynn was eager to turn the Chargers into a run-first offense. However, as much as I like Melvin Gordon, when you have a quarterback such as Philip River dropping back, get him the ball as much as possible. Rivers went from a player who could possibly be replaced in the draft, to a serious MVP contender in a matter of weeks. If that doesn’t show the type of player he is, then I don’t know what does.
Desmond King had a very underrated career night on Sunday. Although King is a top 15 cornerback according to Pro Football Focus, he’s not very well known outside of Chargers fans. But this kid can flat out play. King was the 151st draft pick in last years draft and wasn’t expected to see much time on the field. However, with Jason Verrett continuing to struggle to get on the field, King seized his opportunity and transformed into one of the best defenders on the team. Sunday afternoon versus the Redskins, King ended with 10 tackles and a sack which helped clinch the game. Over the course of this season, King has 4.0 sacks, which is more than defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh.
Kirk Cousins is making $24 million dollars this year, and yet, he still isn’t a top 10 NFL quarterback. So it deeply concerns me when Cousins is 15-27, for 151 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception in a win or go home game for his team. He showed absolutely zero urgency and played as if his team was already eliminated from the playoffs. People wonder why Washington is hesitant to sign Cousins to a long-term deal and make him a franchise quarterback, well it’s games like these that make front offices hesitate.
This is a defense that has already allowed 30+ points in seven out of their last 13 games. Their strategy coming into this game was clearly to eliminate Keenan Allen out of the equation. However, Allen still ended with a stat line of 6 receptions and 111 yards with some spectacular plays on the ball. Washington also sports what is supposed to be one of the most elite cornerbacks in the game in Josh Norman. Norman was non-existent in this game getting dominated by Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams.
Williams for example, smoked Norman on his 75-yard touchdown catch. However, in Norman’s defense, there was zero safety help over the top. Then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, in a postgame interview, Josh Norman basically admitted that he will be leaving Washington at the end of the season.
It is understandable that you just got smoked and are frustrated. However, there are just a few weeks left in the season. You couldn’t have just kept your thoughts in your head until the end of the season. This shows just how terribly Jay Gruden has handled this team. Week after week, he continues to lie about how his team is ready to play. This Redskins defense is so sorry, its players can’t wait to get out of there.
–Travis Baker is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage and covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @SportsFollower0