Vegas had Washington as the clear favourites for the Week 6 match up at FedEx vs San Francisco: but remember: your mother(s) told you not to bet. Christian Burt goes Skin Deep and 3 & Out as the Redskins just about secure the W…
Be still my beating heart
That was more emo than a My Chemical Romance concert. When Kirk Cousins ran in for a 26-17 lead and under 3 minutes 30 seconds left on the clock, I had, foolishly, gone into “that’s a wrap” mode. No-one was going to splash on my (black) parade. But boy did Washington do their utmost to hurt my feelings.
And it was two with Redskins connections – rookie C J Beathard, the grandson of former Redskins GM Bobby Beathard and clutch receiver Pierre Garcon – who came so near to providing the heartbreak in D.C. Beathard came in for the pulled and pathetic Brian Hoyer and instantly provided the spark.
In fast motion after the Cousins TD, Beathard marched 75 yards in six quick plays and fired a TD to another ex Redskins WR Aldrick Robinson. Although the 49ers failed with the onside kick, the Redskins failed miserably with the repeated use of RB Samaje Perine to finish out…meaning Beathard had the opportunity to get San Francisco into field goal territory.
A Tale of two Pierres
Garcon had been a talking point pre-game, and once again he evidenced those clutch characteristics on 3rd and 4. Pierre hauled in a soul-destroying tipped pass; originally ruled incomplete but overturned and leaving the 49ers at the Washington 40. With FG kicker Robbie Gould deadly this season, this was all pointing towards misery at the FedEx.
Luckily, perhaps Pierre remembered all those nice things I always had to say about our past #88, and duly was called for pass interference a couple of plays later. Even the majestic Gould was out of FG range after that loss of ten yards and the resistance from SF was finally muted when Kendall Fuller intercepted a desperate 4th and 20 from Beathard. Game over at last.
It had all started so swimmingly for Washington
Of course, all this drama had looked as likely as a reboot of Sunset Beach when the Redskins had dominated on both sides of the ball to race into a 17-0 lead. At one point literally the entire Skins DEF got through to Hoyer and Cousins was looking ice-cold in the pocket.
Kirk was, however, struggling with the longer threat and despite the healthy lead, it was apparent this wasn’t A-Game Washington. Even on the first (impressive) drive, the ball had actually popped out of Chris Thompson’s hands and was duly recovered by the warrior LT Trent Williams.
Perine isn’t flashing too much at RB in the absence of Fat Rob Kelley, but he did land himself a first NFL TD by catching a three yard KC pass and diving into the end zone. This after the first drive led to a second successive Josh Doctson TD – a big target for Cousins in the red zone and Josh is that big receiver that Washington will gradually get the ball too more often if play-offs are to be reached.
Game Ball and Extra Point
Pre-game I’d predicted a day for Terrelle Pryor Sr. But again he looked more like a QB learning the WR skills than the 1000 yard receiving wide out we saw in Cleveland. It’s a one-year “prove it” contract for Terrelle and right now Washington may be looking elsewhere come free agency 2018. Or even before if there’s some crazy trade to be had.
Right now, the steadier hands for Cousins are Thompson out the backfield, Ryan Grant and the ever-youthful Vernon Davis. If Washington really are to hit the heights in 2017 (and beyond), we need to see more of Pryor Sr., Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder.
I sort of like the gradual introduction of Doctson, especially after so many niggling injury problems, so have no real concerns with HC Jay Gruden taking his time with #18.
On the other side of the ball, the backfield is starting to resemble an emergency ward – an MRI is also scheduled for CB Bashaud Breeland. With Breeland and Josh Norman out vs the impressive Carson Wentz and Eagles WR group – that could equal pain for the burgundy & gold on Monday Night Football.
Game Ball isn’t easy this week, but I’m going to give it to Quinton Dunbar who coped admirably in the absence of the vital backfield energy of Norman.