The Washington Redskins pulled off a stunning come-from-behind victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars today. The team showed poise and great resiliency despite being led by its fourth starting quarterback this season, Josh Johnson. Here are a few things I learned about the team in this win.
Washington can make the playoffs
The Redskins were still mathematically in the playoff hunt heading into today. But, today’s victory showed that Washington has the ability to make it there. The team’s chances were also drastically improved with the loss of the division leading Dallas Cowboys.
A lot of people wrote the Redskins off after starting a fourth different starting quarterback, but the team proved today that it can still make a realistic playoff push. Despite what its record might tell you, Washington beat a very solid Jacksonville team. There’s reason to still have hope for this season if this offense can hang with one of the best defenses in the league.
The defense can still ball out
Jacksonville was only able to convert five times on third down during this contest. When you can count the number of third down conversions for a team on one hand, the defense deserves some props. The unit also came up big during crucial moments in the game. While the Jaguars were driving effortlessly in a tied game late in the fourth, Washington buckled down and forced an interception from quarterback Cody Kessler.
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A particularly significant defensive accomplishment during the match-up was when linebacker Ryan Kerrigan passed Charles Mann to move into second on the all-time sack list in the franchise’s history. This was a very rewarding moment for Kerrigan, as he has been largely underrated throughout his NFL career. Kerrigan finished with two sacks on the day while the team totaled six altogether.
Special Teams needs a makeover… except Tress Way
This is a somewhat ironic point considering it was kicker Dustin Hopkins’ field goal that ended up securing the victory for the team. But, the special teams disappointed consistently throughout the contest. The only touchdown that the Jaguars were able to put on the board came off a 74-yard punt return from receiver Dede Westbrook. The tackling was horrific on the play, which was the overall theme for the unit.
Tress Way continues to show why punters can be a valuable asset to a team. In a largely defensive game, Way proved to be a sneaky weapon. Tress finished the game with three punts inside the Jags’ twenty-yard line and averaged 46-yards per punt. His play warrants a pro bowl nod and I would be extremely disheartened if he didn’t receive one.
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