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Turning Point

The field and momentum had been clearly tilted in the Broncos favor in the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter.  The defense had been able to hold the Broncos to just three points but was not able to tilt field possession in their team’s favor.  That is until the 4:33 mark of the second quarter when Brock Osweiler was stripped of the football and recovered by linebacker Zach Vigil.  The recovered fumble led to a Crowder fifteen-yard touchdown reception and gave the Redskins enough momentum to get the offense going.

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Grades

Passing Game: B+

The offensive line did their job in keeping Cousins as clean as possible throughout this game.  The scars of the passing game were mostly on the receivers again as they continue to have trouble holding on to balls.  Josh Doctson had double-digit targets for the first time in his career but was only able to turn it into two receptions for sixty-one yards and a touchdown.  Cousins had a botched red zone throw late in the first half into triple coverage that went for an interception.  We cannot overlook this pick, but what you can take away from this game is that he was the ultimate competitor in what could have been his final home game as a Washington Redskin.

Ryan Grant continued to be the most consistent Redskin receiver hauling in four receptions on six targets for eighty-five yards.  His deep play threat is something the Redskins took advantage of today successfully. In hindsight, they should have taken advantage of more earlier in the year.  Jamison Crowder was an additional bright spot as he had consecutive solid games and looks to be back to 2017 form.  It is a little late to enjoy it, but it should give a glimmer of hope for Redskins fans heading into the 2018 season.

Running Game: B

It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.  The running game did what it could to help take the pressure off of the Broncos pass rush and Redskins passing game.  Samaje Perine carried the ball seventeen times for fifty-three yards.  The Redskins as a team ran the ball twenty-nine times for eighty-seven yards.  It was not a prolific performance but was one that was much needed.

Kapri Bibbs was a nice change of pace back that could put a string of performances together on film to find him a more stable role in 2018.  It will be a shame to lose him as a depth player, but with Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine already looking to be locked in for 2018, I cannot see the Redskins holding onto him outside of a practice squad role.

Defense: B+

No Zach Brown and no Ryan Anderson in addition to the players that were already put on IR for this defense.  The Broncos were extremely successful in running the ball last week.  Even with all of these factors working against the Redskins defense, they came out with the intensity needed to keep their team in it in the first half. Then they put the Broncos away in the second half.  The Redskins forced three turnovers and sacked Osweiler four times.  Two each for Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith.  D.J. Swearinger also came down with his career-high fourth interception.

Special Teams: B

The Special Teams finally started to come around.  Tress Way had another great day doing his best to pin the Broncos back as far as possible.  Dustin Hopkins was again perfect on the day.  But, for as good as the special teams were, there were still penalty issues. Most notebly, Quinton Dunbar’s 15-yard personal foul penalty. Dunbar was flagged for hitting the gunner late.  It was a cleaner game overall for the unit. However, there is still plenty to clean up for next Sunday’s game against the Giants.

Looking Ahead

The 2018 season will come to a merciful end on New Year’s Eve day when the Redskins travel to New York to play the Giants in the season finale.  In their previous meeting, it was an outright ugly game by both teams on Thanksgiving night.  A lot of questions will need to be answered once the season is over, including what will happen with Kirk Cousins.  However, for this one last game, we should enjoy what could be his last game in burgundy and gold.

Next Game: Redskins (7-8) at NY Giants (2-13) 1:00 PM (FOX)

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