September 26, 2017
Sports Insider Weekly
The Washington Redskins embarrassed the Oakland Raiders at FedEx Field on Sunday night, beating the playoff favorite team easily in prime-time. It was a surprising victory against a team many feel are a serious championship contender. Oakland’s offensive had put up a collective 71 points in their first two games, almost double Washington’s 37. But in the dominant victory, it was Washington who gained 472 yards, compared to Oakland’s meager 128.
It was a surprisingly poor performance from Oakland, who was fresh off scoring 45 points against the New York Jets in week 2. But they were muted against Washington’s defense, who took the breaks off Carr and his high-octane offense. They took the Oakland QB down four times and forced two first quarter interceptions–including a pick six on the first play. Through the first two weeks Carr had only been sacked twice and thrown zero picks.
Kirk Cousins, who continues to improve each week, had an impressive night — going 25 of 30 for 365 yards and three touchdowns. If he continues to perform like he did on Sunday night, he may finally find a long-term home in Washington this off-season. Redskins coach Jay Gruden, who has always supported Cousins, liked what he saw from his quarterback.
“You can look at the yards and say, obviously, I like the yards and completion percentage, but there were some decisions that Kirk made that were equally as impressive,” the Washington coach said. “Not forcing the ball; running the ball when we had a couple of bad looks, protecting the football. He really managed the game perfectly. He made some big-time throws; the receivers made some plays for him, so all around I was very impressed with the entire offense.”
With Jordan Reed sidelined for the night, Cousins found a new weapon in running back Chris Thompson, who had 14 touches for 188 yards — 150 in the air — and one touchdown. He also connected with Vernon Davis and Josh Doctson for touchdowns. It was a dominant performance by a Washington team that historically falters in prime-time.
With the victory, Washington joins the Philadelphia Eagles at the top of the division at 2-1. The Cowboys (1-1) play on Monday night, and would join them with a victory. The New York Giants, the only NFC East team to make it to the Super Bowl in the past 10 years (they won both times) have yet to win a game.
But as the Redskins experienced in 2015, when they won 6 of their last 9 games for a playoff berth in the NFC East, no team should be counted out just yet.
For now, Washington is enjoying being at the top.