Cam Newton came into Sunday afternoon’s game against the Washington Redskins with a 4-0 record, but now you can make that 4-1 as Josh Norman and the Skins secondary forced three turnovers in the 23-17 win.

After being benched by Jay Gruden last week to start the second half of the game against New Orleans and after being called out by former Redskin’ defensive back DeAngelo Hall and among the possible trade rumors swirling around his name, Norman had to step up to shut the critics up.

Norman did that.

Norman forced two turnovers for the Redskins on Sunday. The first turnover forced by Norman was on the Panthers third drive of the game. With 14:06 left in the first half and the Skins up 14-0, Norman picked off Newton to keep the momentum in the Redskins favor.

It was Norman’s first pick since Dec. 24, 2016, against the Chicago Bears.

On Carolina’s next possession, it didn’t take Norman long to force another turnover. This time Norman punched the ball out of D.J. Moore’s hands and the fumble was recovered by Mason Foster.

After the game, DeAngelo Hall said in reference to Norman, “If I need to be the bad guy for you to ball out, damn it. I’ll be the bad guy.”

Although the defense showed glimpses of what they can do when they are gelling together, Alex Smith and the Redskins offense are still stuttering out of the gate. Smith threw for 163 yards for two touchdowns on 36 attempts and ended with a QBR of 47.7

This is the first game in his Redskins era where Smith has thrown for less than 200 yards and got a win. The two touchdown connections from Smith went to former San Fran teammate Vernon Davis and newly signed Paul Richardson.

Adrian Peterson proved on Sunday that he’s not washed up like so many said he was. Peterson tallied for 97 yards on 17 carries. Although he did not find the end zone on Sunday, Peterson did help set up some of the Skins scorings.

Whatever It Takes

Redskins’ left tackle Trent Williams rushed for a net gain of eight yards … yes, eight yards. It wasn’t how the coaches drew it up on the whiteboard but it is how it happened. When Smith was hit and fumbled, Williams was in the right place at the right time to catch the loose ball. That heads-up play by Williams set up the 56-yarder by Dustin Hopkins which was quite simply the play of the game.

Hopkins made it by inches. Literally inches.

Next Game

Washington (3-2) will remain at home next week against bitter rival Dallas. It will be Washington’s first divisional game of the season as they look to expand their lead in the NFC East. As for Dallas, they defeated the Jags on Sunday afternoon 40-7 as they improved to 3-3.

Dallas played their first divisional game in Week 2 against the New York Giants. The Cowboys were in a dogfight all game long but earned the 20-13 victory.

Dallas is sporadic as they can’t find consistency in their games. Other than blowing out the Jags on Sunday, the other two wins by the Cowboys were by seven points or less — against the Giants and Lions.

Entering next week, Washington is one-point favorites over Dallas. Gametime is slated for 4:25 PM and it can be seen locally on CBS.

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