Defense Gets the Passing Grade

Passing Game: B-

The Redskins pass protection looked much better than it did against Carolina.  It learned how to control the stunts that the Cowboys run from their loss against the Colts in Week 2.

However, something is still not right in the passing game.

Kapri Bibbs led the way with 4 receptions on 4 targets for 43 yards receiving and the lone passing touchdown.

Josh Doctson saw a team high in targets with 6 and clearly had his best game as a Redskins despite the statistics not showing it.  Doctson was able to get continuous separation from the Dallas secondary and was open twice on deep passes, but Alex Smith over threw him both times.  It will be interesting to see what happens with Doctson’s target share once Richardson and Crowder get back.

Speaking of target shares, what has happened to Jordan Reed?  Once the focal point of the Redskins offense, he had another disappointing statistical day.  Reed had 2 receptions for 43 yards on 4 targets.  This was Reed’s lowest targeted game since the Monday Night Massacre against the Saints.  This might be a product of who the quarterback is.

Speaking of the quarterback.  Alex Smith played like he was afraid yesterday.  It is becoming clearer that this Redskins team is 4-2 in spite of Smith, not because of him.  He does not have the same touch on deep throws that he did last year.  Smith currently possesses a QBR of 54.0 for the 2018 season.  He put up a QBR of 41.8 yesterday.  He also had a bone headed decision to run out of bounds on a third and ten at the end of the game instead of sliding in bounds to force Dallas to use their final timeout.  Alex Smith clearly has some things to work out in his game to get back to where he was the last few years in Kansas City.

Running Game: A

Adrian Peterson is otherworldly.  Peterson ran for over 95 yards against Dallas making it the fourth time he has done that this year.  The Redskins have won all four games.  There is clearly a game plan and it is to maul the opposing team’s defensive line and run the ball.  Peterson carried the ball 24 times for 99 yards, just shy of breaking the 100-yard mark for the second time this season.

Kapri Bibbs, who was in the Chris Thompson role, added 2 carries for 13-yards and has continued to improve his ball carrying vision since last year.

As a team, the Redskins totaled 130, or more, yards for the fourth time this year.  As the running game goes, the Redskins offense will go.

READ NOW: Redskins Avoid Collapse, Hang On To Win Against Dallas

Defense: B+

The Redskins secondary was clearly missing Quinton Dunbar and it showed.  Michael Gallup committed rookie on rookie crime by getting Greg Stroman to bite on a double move on his second quarter touchdown.  There were a few other blown coverage assignments by the secondary, but other than that, this was one of the more dominant defensive games by the Redskins in a while

This was highlighted by Ryan Kerrigan getting home on the strip sack of Dak Prescott in the fourth quarter.  The Redskins front seven were able to get continuous pressure on the third-year quarterback.  The Redskins run defense was stout in keeping Ezekiel Elliott to 33 yards on 15 carries.  Kerrigan also led the team in sacks and tackles for a loss, 2 each, to go along with 2 quarterback knockdowns and 1 pass deflection.

The defense cannot rest on its laurels.  It will have to bring the same intensity to stop Giants rookie phenom Saquon Barkley as they did to stopping Elliott.  Not to mention any extra curricular activities we could see between Norman and Beckham, Jr.

Special Teams: A

It was another solid day by the special teams unit.  Greg Stroman had one punt return for 3-yards and was kept quiet the rest of the game.  Punt coverage was excellent by not giving Cole Beasley any room to work.  Beasley was held to 11 total yards on 3 returns.

Dustin Hopkins was perfect again on extra points and was 2-for-2 on both field goals inside the 30-yard line.

Tress Way continues his dominance in pinning teams inside of their own 20-yard line.  Of the six punts he had yesterday, five of them landed inside the opposing red zone.  Flipping field position like that can be a deciding factor in a close game down the line.  This will continue to play in the Redskins favor.

NEXT GAME: Washington (-1) at NY Giants 1:00PM FOX; The Team 980

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