Redskins ride the wave of Adrian Peterson to pick up Third Straight Victory

By: Drew Willingham

Headline Photo Credit: Darrell Owens-LMS Network

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Redskins (4-2), entered in to Sunday’s week 8 contest against a Giants (1-6) team that has been a non-factor for most of the season. Quarterback Alex Smith continues to impress the fans along with Adrian Peterson who are currently leading their team and the NFC East.

When it comes to an NFC East battle, no matter what the records are, we all know it will be a close one. This game was no different as The Redskins plans were simple, ride it out with Adrian Peterson, and hope for another big time performance by their defense. The Redskins desperately needed the win to maintain a 1 ½ game lead over the Eagles for first place in the division, and extend their overall streak to three victories. 

The first quarter started off as always with a slow but steady start. Washington is 4-0 this season when scoring first, which makes the Touchdown catch by Adrian Peterson even more compelling. Peterson, broke a tackle on the 3-yard line which gave him the score and his first receiving Touchdown since 2013 with Minnesota. The quarter was not totally one-sided though, New York certainly made an impact as they drove down the field. Eli Manning connected with Odell Beckham, Jr for a 44-yard gain near the end of the quarter. This drive carried over to the next quarter, but stalled shortly their after.

The second quarter was not as exciting as the first for fans of either team. Both teams struggled to move the ball as the Giants only had 23 yards compared to the Redskins 68 yards of total offense.  Out of the Redskins 68 yards of total offense, 40 of those yards were a result of a 40-yard pass interference penalty on B.D. Webb of the Giants who was covering receiver Paul Richardson. The drive derailed when Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 41-yard field goal. The score was still 7-0 until the Giants connected on a 37-yard field goal by kicker Aldrick Rosas with 1:11 remaining in the first half. 

Heading in to Halftime the Redskins led 7-3 against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

Upon returning from Halftime, the Redskins were hoping to add on to their lead and keep the streak alive. Unfortunately, the third quarter was just as fulfilling as the second with very little activity. The highlight was Redskins Punter Tress Way, who entered the game booting 14 of his last 27 punts inside the oppositions 20-yard line. His efficiency combined with the addition of Adrian Peterson as well as Alex Smith avoiding turnovers have played a vital role in the teams success this season. Redskins still have not score a touchdown in the 3rd Quarter this year. The defense has been playing relatively well this season and that continued during Sunday’s matchup. Redskins Cornerback D.J. Swearinger has played extremely well and appears to improve on a weekly basis. Prior to Halftime, Swearinger recorded an interception from the Giants when Eli Manning attempted a pass to the 9-yard line. His production continued in the third quarter when he intercepted Manning for a second time and the rest of the defense followed suit as they had recorded their fifth sack of the game by the time the quarter had ended. Dustin Hopkins would record his first field goal of the game when he connected on a 53-yard attempt that was a result of stellar play from the Redskins defense giving them a 10-3 lead going in to the fourth quarter.

Redskins Safety D.J. Swearinger leads the league in interceptions with 4.
(Photo Credit:Darrell Owens-LMS Network)

Although things were looking pretty atrocious the past two quarters, we finally saw signs of life from both teams as they both showed us how much they wanted to win. The quarter started off with little production from both teams as they each settled for field goals that made the score 13-6 Washington halfway through. Adrian Peterson kept grinding all game and even passed Tony Dorsett for ninth on the all-time rushing list. The momentum carried on for him throughout the fourth quarter as he burst through the Giants defense with a 64-yard Touchdown run. With nearly three minutes left in the game, the Giants had the ball and were down 20-6 with little time to turn the game around. Eli Manning would connect with Evan Engram for a 2-yard Touchdown with 17 seconds left in the game. This would be too little too late for the Giants and the Redskins would pick up the win by a score of 20-13. The Giants fall to (1-7) at home and the visiting Redskins improve to (5-2) and have their best start to a season since their 2008 campaign. 

After week 8, the Redskins have maintained a first place lead in the division and with the midway point of the 2018 season looming, there is only one question that comes to mind. Can the Washington Redskins pull off what would appear to be one of the biggest upsets of the season by winning the NFC East? If this team can stay healthy and with the cap space available to make trades and sign free agents, they not only have a chance to take the division, but the argument could be made that they might even be able win a playoff game for the first time since the 2005 NFC Wild Card game.

When you have veterans like Quarterback Alex Smith, who doesn’t turn the ball over much or an ageless wonder like Adrian Peterson leading your squad, you should bet your last dollar on at least a playoff birth.

Washington will take on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9 of the NFL Season at 1pm at FedEX Field.