Sunday Night wrap-up: Washington clicking on both sides of the ball

AP

Washington coach Jay Gruden is doing business differently this year.

But what he’s doing now is clearly working.

After beating the Raiders 27-10, there’s reason to think this new way of calling plays could work.

With Gruden back on the microphone after former coordinator Sean McVay left to become the Rams head coach, things have changed in a number of regards.

They lost big-play receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency this offseason, which took some of the vertical element out of the passing game, and created some long-term uncertainty in Kirk Cousins. The franchise-tagged quarterback admitted he wanted to see how this year developed before signing a long-term deal, but if it went this way more often, he’d probably be happy to stay.

Between the emergence of 2016 first-rounder Josh Doctson (who made his first touchdown a memorable one) and the way they utilized running back Chris Thompson in the passing game (six catches for 150 yards), it’s a different look. They’ll need to get more from Terrelle Pryor at some point, but it was an interesting mix of play-calls for Cousins.

And he made the most of the new looks, completing 25-of-30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns. That 150.7 passer rating is pretty suggestive of his night, considering 158.3 is perfect. All told, Washington outgained Oakland 472-128, a thorough domination.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. Washington has put together a stout-looking defense out of an odd lot of big-ticket players, short-timers, journeymen and kids.

While they have a few legitimate veteran stars in cornerback Josh Norman and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, they’re short on household names (though first-round defensive end Jonathan Allen looks like he’ll become one).

Linebacker Zach Brown came on a one-year deal after making the Pro Bowl last year, and could be closer to a payday with the way he’s playing now.

Safety D.J. Swearinger just walked in the door but was voted a captain, and made the kind of hard-hitting plays he’s shown himself capable of. (Of course, he’s also shown himself to be unreliable at times, which is why this is his fourth team in five years).

They’re also relying on a number of young players, specifically in the secondary (second-year corner Kendall Fuller and rookie safety Montae Nicholson had interceptions). Coupled with the comeback (from two years of Achilles injuries) from outside linebacker Junior Galette, and they have an intriguing mix of talent, which manhandled one of the league’s better offensive lines.

Oakland ran for just 32 yards, which threw the whole process out of whack.

2. The Raiders wanted to stay in the locker room for the national anthem. Perhaps they did and we didn’t realize it.

It’s hard to understate how flat the Raiders were in the first half.

They were outgained 223-47, and managed just two first downs before the break. They only crossed midfield once, by a whole 2 yards, and promptly threw an interception. They didn’t convert a single third down.

Then again, it didn’t get that much better after halftime.

3. Washington was hoping they could trust Samaje Perine while starting running back Rob Kelley‘s out with a rib injury, but he didn’t do himself any favors.

The rookie from Oklahoma fumbled deep in his own territory in the fourth quarter, which could have been more damaging if the defense didn’t stand up and force an Oakland field goal.

It’s hard to blame Perine too much for having a helmet put directly on the ball, but he got on their radar for fumbling in the preseason opener, and they’ve put backs in the doghouse for ball security before. It’s not a problem yet, but it’s worth watching.

He went to the locker room after the play and came back with a wrap around his hand, leaving Mack Brown to finish up the game.

4. Speaking of running backs, Raiders veteran Marshawn Lynch got just one touch in the second half.

Part of that was the margin of the game, which wasn’t conducive to power running.

But it was still curious to see him parked on the bench for most of the second half. He finished with six carries for 18 yards, and was a complete non-factor.

5. It was extremely odd seeing Carr throw two interceptions in the first half.

The Raiders quarterback hadn’t had multiple interceptions in a game since Dec. 20, 2015. Since that game, he had thrown 35 touchdowns against just eight picks entering Sunday’s game. But there were no big plays to be found, and with the run game not working, there was not much time for him to get comfortable.

37 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Washington clicking on both sides of the ball

  1. Marshawn is not dancing tonight. I said in the Game Picks article that the Redskins are man for man better than Oakland. Got downvoted. Ha. We are the best team in the conference and we will prove it next week in Kansas City. The AFC West can’t handle physical football that’s why Denver runs that divison. The Chiefs are overrated and are nothing without Eric Barry and yes they beat the Green Doormat Eagles, but that’s why they are the only team in the NFC East to never win a Superbowl. They cheated to beat us, they are nothing. The Redskins are the NFC East’s best team. Make no mistake, tonight was a group effort and spearheaded by a Brilliant performance by Chris Thompson. Kirk Cousins is still a lousy QB who does not deserve his money. PFT you will have us ranked at the #1 Spot after our next win in Kansas City next week. Remember my words.

  2. oetoronto says:
    September 24, 2017 at 4:09 pm
    You know you stink when you lose to the lowly Bills.

    Trevor “all star” Siemian. LOL!
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    You know you stink when you lose to the lowly Redskins.

    Derek “all star” Carr. LOL!

    It’s time to make a bigger tarp… Hope Crabtree is okay to play next week. Bring some extra necklaces…

  3. The Raiders were totally embarrassed by the Redskins. The Redskins are a good team and deserve a lot of credit but the Raiders also went in totally unprepared in all aspects of the game. Maybe it was unjustified overconfidence. At any rate, Carr’s performance was worse than anything I’ve seen from him even going back to his rookie year with the 0-10 start. I agree with the announcers that with the way the teams performed the score could’ve easily been 50-3 for the Redskins.

    Oh well, the good news is that it’s hopefully just one game and I’m hoping that it’s out of the Raiders’ system and that they can put in a competitive performance against a so-so broncos team next week.

  4. I’ve been watching the Redskins a long time, and I’m unable to remember a defensive (single-game) performance out of his eam since at least 1991, maybe the 80’s. And the offense didn’t screw it up too bad. Hail

  5. Kirk Cousins was smiling in the post-game interview with Michelle Tafoya. He should be happy. He’s going to make a TON of money when his one-year contract is up.

  6. The 4 most disrepectful teams all lost today. So not only did you aggrevate the majority of your fan base, you played horrible which will only fan their disdain.

    Karma paid a visit today, and she was glorious!

  7. This is what happens when these players spend more time planing for the national anthem protest than the game. Mark Davis and the coaches need to stop this now. They did it because they knew they would be on National TV.Well they sure showed the Nation about the Oakland Raiders didn’t they. I saw some players sitting, but I saw Carr and others standing. It has divided the team. They looked like retro to J. Russell era Raiders tonight. What a joke. This is the Kapernick factor at its best. PFT had us at #1 power rank this week. I think alot of players didn’t play hard for Carr because he stood instead of sitting. Come on ..get the politics out of sports.

  8. The Raiders would have played a much better game tonight without all this BS regarding Trump. They were not mentally ready. Kudos to the Redskins. Also, it sickened me to see owner Mark Davis belly laughing with George Atkinson and his little posse at the end of the 4th quarter. (I hope your dad visits you in your sleep and kicks your butt. You need it Mark.) This crap is not over by a long shot. The football fans of the United States lost tonight and especially the NFL, who lost thousands of fans starting tomorrow morning. After 35 years supporting the NFL and the Raiders and even knowing some of their past glorious players… GOODBYE. The game will NEVER be the same. I’m not sticking around to watch it burn down to the ground.

  9. Also- I failed to mention that I am sorely disappointed with our President, who inflamed and bombastically called the everyday NFL player a S.O.B.! President Trump- worry about avoiding a thermonuclear war with North Korea and let the NFL clean it’s own house. ‘Nuff said….

  10. Im not one to make excuses, ya the Redskins spanked the Raiders, but these things can happen when a team goes to the east coast for a Sunday or Monday night game xD

  11. Off night for the Raiders nothing more, If they played 10 more times the Raiders would win everyone of them!

  12. I guess the Raiders practiced sitting down more than practicing to catch the ball.
    Redskins get full marks for the win but the real Raider team did not show up … R – E – L – A- X

  13. araidersfan says:
    September 24, 2017 at 11:39 pm
    The Raiders were totally embarrassed by the Redskins. The Redskins are a good team and deserve a lot of credit but the Raiders also went in totally unprepared in all aspects of the game. Maybe it was unjustified overconfidence. At any rate, Carr’s performance was worse than anything I’ve seen from him even going back to his rookie year with the 0-10 start. I agree with the announcers that with the way the teams performed the score could’ve easily been 50-3 for the Redskins.

    Oh well, the good news is that it’s hopefully just one game and I’m hoping that it’s out of the Raiders’ system and that they can put in a competitive performance against a so-so broncos team next week.
    *****************************************************************************************
    You nailed it, araidersfan.

    The Redskins were more than ready and just itching to play, after hearing how the Raiders were going to dominate them. The Raiders were obviously reading their press clippings, making their heads fat.

    It’s time to get serious now, it’s Donkey week.

  14. famundacheese says:
    September 24, 2017 at 11:55 pm
    I thought Oakland was good. You just got destroyed by an okay at best, 3rd place in the NFC east Redskins team. Not a good look.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Two of the 4 teams in the NFC East have a worse record and Philly does NOT look better than the Skins. How are they the third place team in that division?

    The Raiders laid an egg. Hopefully they bounce back. Washington played the same D KC does to stop Carr. Two deep safeties and pressure from the DL. Somehow the Raiders OL was getting beat over and over. Hudson is probably a top 2 or 3 center in the league and AT LEAST 3 times snapped the ball when Carr was not ready. It was an off night all around. People had this same reaction after the Chefs beat the Pats week 1 and they seem to be doing ok now.

  15. If my REDSKINS played this well every week, and the opponent didn’t, a fourth Lombardy will be in the trophy case in February. What Trump said was horrible. Our Constitution, not the anthem or the flag, gives EVERY citizen the right to a peaceful protest. The problem is that a lot of people don’t understand the difference between the Constitution and a national symbol and song.

  16. It was absolutely nauseating to watch and then to hear Del Rio talking about how they wanted to stay in the locker room during the anthem, etc, I wanted to blow a gasket. That’s where their minds were coming in to play a good team?!

    I support people peacefully exercising their free speech. I honestly don’t care if people kneel during the anthem. They have their reasons – some reasons are stupid, some are not.

    HOWEVER, when it so obviously impacts and distracts from the entire purpose your organization exists, then I have a problem continuing to financially support said organization.

    Get your s*** together Jack and focus on football. Obviously you and your team can’t do both.

  17. logicalvoicesays says:
    September 24, 2017 at 11:34 pm
    Marshawn is not dancing tonight. I said in the Game Picks article that the Redskins are man for man better than Oakland. Got downvoted. Ha. We are the best team in the conference and we will prove it next week in Kansas City. The AFC West can’t handle physical football that’s why Denver runs that divison. The Chiefs are overrated and are nothing without Eric Barry and yes they beat the Green Doormat Eagles, but that’s why they are the only team in the NFC East to never win a Superbowl. They cheated to beat us, they are nothing. The Redskins are the NFC East’s best team. Make no mistake, tonight was a group effort and spearheaded by a Brilliant performance by Chris Thompson. Kirk Cousins is still a lousy QB who does not deserve his money. PFT you will have us ranked at the #1 Spot after our next win in Kansas City next week. Remember my words.

    —————————————————–

    The Skins played a great game; they were obviously well prepared. But if we are to remember your words, weren’t you saying that RGIII was the best QB in the NFL just a few years ago? And that the Redskins would be dominating the league for years to come. Remember those words?

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