The Redskins took care of business over the weekend against Chicago and will at least be alive for the postseason when they kick off Sunday afternoon for Week 17.
After an awful effort all the way around against Carolina last Monday night, Washington’s confidence got a boost on the road against the overmatched Bears. Check the grades for the Chicago win and it doesn’t even look like the same team. Here they are for Week 16:
REPORT CARD VS. BEARS
PASSING OFFENSE: A – A ruthlessly efficient game for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who took one shot after another down field and completed most of them. DeSean Jackson caught a 57-yard pass and had others for 29 and 21 yards. He also drew a pass interference penalty for 28 more. Pierre Garcon had a 46-yarder and another for 25. Chris Thompson took a screen 17 yards for a touchdown, too. Cousins finished 18 for 29 for 270 yards and a touchdown with no sacks and no interceptions.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B – Washington rebounded from an atrocious performance against Carolina earlier in the week. Everyone had a good day. Chris Thompson had two early touchdowns – one on a screen pass. Rookie Rob Kelley was solid with 76 yards on 19 carries for 4 yards per attempt. Mack Brown also had a late 61-yard touchdown run after Kelley was held out with a knee sprain. Even Kirk Cousins contributed with some first-down runs, a long of 13, and two touchdowns. It was a nice rebound effort.
PASS DEFENSE: A – Don’t look at the yardage. It doesn’t matter that Chicago got 323 yards from Matt Barkley and a pair of touchdowns. It doesn’t matter that the Bears converted a 3rd-and-18 and a 3rd-and-7 and a 3rd-and-8. Frustrating? Yes. But the Redskins also intercepted five passes. That’s something that hasn’t happened since 1992. Credit where it’s due. They’ll take that every week. Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland had two each and Will Blackmon had another with a 79-yard return into scoring position.
RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus – A problem seemingly every week, but the Redskins actually held up reasonably well against Jordan Howard and the Bears. He averaged 6.6 yards per carry. That’s not good. But he had 18 carries for 119 yards. That’s not terrible. And no other Chicago back did anything of note. Washington was good in this area early in the game and gave the offense a chance to stake it to a big lead early. Jeremy Langford had a rushing touchdown for the Bears.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus – Dustin Hopkins had a solid game. He made field goals of 20 and 29 yards and hit all of his extra points. Preston Smith helped set the tone early with a blocked field goal that kept the Bears off the board in the first quarter. Tress Way dropped two punts inside the 20. Hopkins had five touchbacks and the only hiccup was a 33-yard kick return allowed.
COACHING: A – The Redskins said all week they needed to be more balanced. They were. Cousins had 29 pass attempts. They ran the ball 35 times. That was especially evident early when they stuck with Rob Kelley on an eight-play, 65-yard drive that featured four passes and four runs and ended with Chris Thompson’s seven-yard touchdown. That set the tone and helped erase sour memories of the Carolina game where the backs only touched the ball 11 times.
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