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Post-game: The Redskins lead the NFC East!

How is this for good news; Tuesday is the first day of December, and on that day the Washington Redskins will be outright first in the NFC East.

That’s right; the Redskins lead the NFC East!

After the first two Giants possessions ended with Redskins interceptions, yet resulted in 0 points on the board, Redskins fans could be forgiven for thinking it was going to be another long day. However the team rallied and took a 17-0 lead into half-time and never looked back, ending the day 20-14 victors.

Heavy is the crown, and the rest of the NFC East will be chasing the Redskins hard now that Washington sits atop the division. But for now, it’s time to enjoy this victory with another edition of What worked, what didn’t, what sucked.

What worked

  • The Redskins defense came to play today, holding Eli Manning to a 0 TD, 2 INT first half and kept the pressure up in the second half, as well. Manning finished the day with 2 TD, 3 INT and 26/51 for 321 yards.
  • A crucial component of the Redskins defense’s ability to contain the Giants today was the excellent play of Bashaud Breeland and Will Blackmon. Breeland has played Odell Beckham Jr strongly in previous outings, especially earlier this season, and today was no different. The big surprise though was Blackmon, who has been surprisingly proficient as a journeyman free agent signing who has played more than anticipated due to the injuries to Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall.
  • If you had suggested that an undrafted Wide Receiver who converted to Corner Back in Training Camp to cover injuries would come up with one of the biggest plays of the game in Week 12, you’d be summarily dismissed. That is exactly what happened today, though, when Quinton Dunbar came up with an endzone interception of Manning to keep the scoreboard showing ‘0’ for the Giants at the time.
  • DeSean Jackson once again burned the Giants deep for a 63 yard touchdown, and now is only three 60+ yard touchdowns away from eclipsing Jerry Rice for most in NFL history.
  • Although the Redskins still seem to be built around the ‘running back by committee’ identity, Alfred Morris had the hot hand again today and looked like the Morris of old that fans know and love. He finished the day on 90 total yards (78 rush, 12 receiving), and was a big part of multiple Redskins scoring drives. It was especially good to see Morris rumbling late in the game when the Redskins needed to kill the clock in the final minutes.
  • The Special Teams unit had a solid day today, limiting the Giants to just 22 combined return yards and pinning them deep consistently on both kickoffs and punts. The Giants started their drives with poor field position all day, which was a huge benefit for the Redskins defense.

What didn’t

  • Kirk Cousins wasn’t bad today by any stretch of the imagination, but he also didn’t have a great day; this win was all about the Redskins defense. Cousins got lucky with a few dropped picks on poor throws, and still needs to improve his decision making.
  • Although the Redskins held the Giants scoreless for the first 3 and a half quarters, the 40yd touchdown to Rueben Randle that the Redskins defense gave up on 4th and 16 midway through the fourth quarter was ugly. Randle split in-between three separate Redskins defenders on a play that should have never happened if Breeland locked up the easy interception on the previous play.
  • There isn’t much that you can say about Odell Beckham Jr’s late touchdown. It was a hell of a catch by a hell of a player. But the fact that the Redskins came out in prevent defense for the entire drive really didn’t work at all; the Giants moved the ball far too quickly and far too easily.
  • Although he had that excellent deep touchdown early in the game, the Redskins need to find a way to get DeSean Jackson more involved in the offense throughout the game. Jackson was pretty much a non-factor for large periods of the game today.

What sucked

  • Jordan Reed is a dynamic receiver as all Redskins fans know, but he continues to be an absolute liability when asked to block. He had 2 holding calls and an offensive pass inteference call go against him today, and it mirrors that kind of thing we’ve seen from him all year. Badly needs to be coached up in this aspect of his game.
  • After playing excellent football through the first 3 quarters, Quinton Dunbar left the game injured with a finger issue in the late 3rd quarter and didn’t return. Injuries always hurt, but a depleted Corner Back unit hurts the Redskins a lot.

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