Following the Washington Redskins’ 17-14 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, 106.7 The Fan’s beat reporter Craig Hoffman caught three need-to-know notes:
Last week this column was divided into offense, defense and special teams. It won’t always be that way, but this game deserves that again.
1. The numbers for the Redskins aren’t pretty. They gave up 437 yards. They gave up over five yards per play. They were on the field for 75 plays. Those numbers are misleading. They were magnificent.
Led by D.J. Swearinger (see the quote of the day below), they made plays when they had to and did enough to keep the Redskins in the game and eventually win it. The interception Swearinger had on the two-point conversion came on the same play that the Seahawks famously were intercepted on in the Super Bowl. Swearinger recognized the formation, faked a step back and drove on the ball with all the conviction in the world. The return wound up being nothing more than adventure, but man that was fun, too.
Will Compton and Zach Brown were absolutely sensational. Compton was all over the place as the Seahawks continued to try and attack him in the passing game. He was emotional after when I asked him how he stayed ready.
“It’s just who you are as a person…I’ve stayed invested just because…there’s times when s—t is difficult. Where adversity hits you. Whether it’s injuries. Whether it’s this, that or the other thing and those things, more so than the good times, are the ones that really build your character.” Compton said, pausing due to emotion and exhaustion. “I don’t know man. I’m a grinder, bro. Period. I’ll freaking say it. It’s a team game. It’s not an individual thing. It’s never about you, even as much as sometimes you want it to be and you’ve just gotta grind during those hard times. Yeah, you might complain sometimes, but you’ve gotta understand what you’re in it for and why you’re doing it.”
2. Kirk Cousins took as hard of a test as a quarterback could take. He was without 80 percent of his starting offensive line, his two favorite receivers and he was playing through a cold, with a headache in one of the two loudest stadiums in football. At the start of the game, it was also snowing and was cold enough that the combination made it difficult to grip the football.
Passing does not mean he got an A+, but that is fine. He passed. In the moment of truth, he did what he had to do. The throws to Quick and Doctson gave those guys a chance and that is the thing that so many fans and, frankly, his coaches have been begging for him to do. The receivers made the plays, including Doctson showing exactly why he is special. That’s a first-round catch in the biggest of spots. “I hope it’s a sign of things to come,” Cousins said afterward.
He’s certainly not the only one.
3. The Redskins didn’t do anything spectacular on special teams, but they didn’t let anything spectacular happen either and that is why this note has to be made. Injuries ravage special teams as much as they do offense and defense and the Redskins never let Tyler Lockett loose. They contained him the entire game and helped keep field position where it needed to be despite a lackluster day from Tress Way in the rough conditions.
Deangelo Hall found out that he was returning punts Tuesday. “We can keep some secrets around here!” he joked afterward. Hall caught the ball, which was really the important thing. His decision making wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t turn it over, but after the Redskins disasters on special teams earlier this year, we all know how much that matters.
Quote of the day: As referenced above, Hall on Swearinger. “He’s a hell of a football player man. Probably one of the best safeties I’ve ever been around and played with, including the Pro Bowls where I’ve played with guys. He is a f—ing baller — excuse my language — but without him, there ain’t no way I’m able to go out there and play so hats off to him for real.”
Stat of the day: The Seahawks were also an example of how bad special teams can kill you. Seattle kicker Blair Walsh was 0-of-3 on field goal attempts. He’s the first kicker to miss three field goals against Washington in a single game since Baltimore Colts kicker Toni Linhart missed three field goals in an 0-for-3 performance against Washington on Nov. 6, 1978.
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