October 16, 2017
Sports Insider Weekly
The Washington Redskins handed the San Francisco 49ers their sixth straight loss of the season on Sunday, narrowly beating them 26-24. It was the Redskins’ first game since their Oct. 2nd loss to the Chiefs during Monday night football. At first, the bye week appeared to have not done much good, as they allowed the visiting team to score a consecutive 17 points before pulling off a last minute comeback.
It was reminiscent of their last game, where Washington jumped out to an early 10-0 lead against the Chiefs, only to allow them to come back and win the game. This time, the Redskins escaped the final seconds rally, in large part thanks to a 10-yard penalty on former teammate Pieree Garcon, which moved the ball back to the Washington 40-yard line.
After two incomplete passes, rookie C.J. Beathard’s pass was intercepted by Kendall Fuller to seal Washington’s victory. Quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose future in Washington beyond this season remains unclear, played well, going 25 of 37 for 330 yards and two touchdowns, including a 7-yard run that turned out to be the game-winner.
“We did a good job as an offense,” Cousins said. “A lot of third-down conversions, a lot of crucial drives where we had to church the clock and come away with points. It wasn’t perfect, but we did a lot of good things.”
Redskins coach Jay Gruden was happy with what he saw from his quarterback, whose performance is always under scrutiny.
“He played efficient,” Gruden said. “He had that one pick, but it was a bad play design by us. It was like a punt, so it didn’t hurt us. Other than that, he threw for over 300 yards, had a touchdown run and made a huge scramble. He’s doing well.”
Cousins has led the Redskins (3-2) to two game-winning late game drives this season, and continues to improve each week. A major test for the quarterback will come next week, when the Skins play the NFC East leading Philadelphia Eagles (5-1).
The Eagles, led by second-year quarterback Carson Wentz, are fifth in the league in passing yards (1,504) and tied for third in passing touchdowns (13). The Redskins, who are currently without starting cornerback Josh Norman, could also be without their other starting corner Bashaud Breeland, who appeared to suffer a serious knee injury in Sunday’s game. Gruden is aware that it will be a tough match-up, especially without those two playmakers.
“They’re 5-1 for a reason, and Wentz is a major part of that,” the Washington coach said. “He has got a great rapport with the receivers right now…so cornerbacks Fabian Moreau, Quinton Dunbar, they’ll have to step up and play well.”