Sunday Night Football at its finest, at least for the home team. NBC’s fourthstop of primetime games made its way to FedEx Field as the Oakland Raiders came to town. The Raiders were led by their 4th year stud QB, Derek Carr, who hasn’t thrown an interception yet coming into this game. The Redskins had a true test ahead of them in the 2-0 Raiders, which brought one the best offensive lines in the league along with them, coming off a sack-less game the week before. Cousins would look to improve on last week’s victory, while trying to keep Thompson as hot as he was.
The Redskins got out of the gate quick. They picked off Carr’s first pass attempt of the game. A deep ball intended for Amari Cooper was picked off by Montae Nicholson at the skins 33. They took the subsequent drive back down the field & ended it with a 22 yd TD pass to Chris Thompson, which happened to be Cousins 75th career TD pass. The connection between Cousins & Thompson was very evident as of late & they looked to continue that connection this game. In addition to 38yds in the run game, Thompson would also rack up 150 yds & a TD through the air on 6 receptions while only being targeted 7 times. The rookie Samaje Perine amassed 49yds on 19 carries before leaving with a hand injury. Coach Gruden said during postgame that x-rays were negative & it was just a bruised hand. Even with Perine’s injury, the Washington offense looked to keep going with the next man up. Mack Brown was in as the substitute for Perine & finished with 27yds on 6 carries. It was truly the next man up for Cousins & the skins. Cousins would end up having his best game yet, finishing 25 of 30, 365 yds 3TDs & a total OBR of 88.5. Starting in place of the injured Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis showed he still had some good steps left in him, beating the Oakland secondary for his first TD of the season & first since week 10 last year against Minnesota.
In what was a totally unusual game for Oakland, Derek Carr saw pressure in his face more than he usually did. The Oakland line gave up 4 sacks, which is double what they gave up in the first 2 games combined. To say their offense struggled would be an understatement. Carr didn’t pass 100 yds until the final drive of the game, finishing 19 of 31, 118 yds 1TD 2INT. Even as bad as the passing game was for them, the run game was much worse. As a team, they only totaled 32yds on 13 attempts, their first time under 100yds this season. Their drives seemed to end as quickly as they started. The Redskins were only a few minutes short of doubling them in time of possession.
One good thing I can say though, about both teams, is their defenses crashed the line very well. Even with Washington finishing 116 yds as a team, you still have to give credit to Oakland as they finished with 7 tackles for loss. That is where the pressure they had stopped though, as the only amassed 1 sack coming from their superstar LB, Khalil Mack. Washington on the other hand, aside from finishing with the 4 sacks I mentioned, they also had 8.5TFL & 2INT. As you could see, both teams showed signs of applying pressure on the defensive side of the ball, it’s just that Washington was able to maintain their pressure & turn it into their 1st home victory.
Bottom line, these are the type of games that Capt. Kirk is going to need to have to get that contract he looking for next year. It helps to have a first mate like Chris Thompson come alive these last 2 games, but he needs to show consistency in his high play ability to get a contract bigger than the ones he declined during the offseason. As he said to me during the postgame press conference, “Guys like himself & Chris Thompson didn’t come into this league as 1st round picks. We developed ourselves & it took time. We took our lumps & worked our way up in this league.” High completion percentage, 350+ yds, & 3TDs sounds like a recipe for big money next year, wherever it might be (cough, cough. . . 49ers . . .cough, cough).
P.S. Where does Oakland keep getting these power leg punters from? King’s leg strength was like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, to infinity & beyond!!