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It Wasn’t Pretty

Welcome back to the B&G Report. It was definitely a Nail Biter vs the 49ers! The “Cardiac Skins” always keeping things interesting, when they have a lead. Many football experts predicted this game as a blow out in the Skins favor, as did I. Well San Fran did what all teams do with losing records, they played like they had nothing to lose. After the Redskins defense abused 49ers starting QB Brian Hoyer for the entire first quarter, in came the Iowa 4th round rookie back up! This has notoriously been a dooms day scenario for the Redskins in years past. On Sunday it was Iowa rookie QB CJ Beatherd, (grandson of Redskins Hall of Famer GM Bobby Beathered) who hasn’t taken a regular season snap in the NFL. For some unknown reason, Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky decided to play mostly soft zone defense, after having success using press man against Hoyer. This resulted in the Iowa rookie checking down to his RB & TE’s. I’m confused why Manusky didn’t bring max pressure on the inexperienced rookie, but I digress. As Skins fans, we have to take the good with bad, but at 3-2 the Washington Redskins have reason for optimism. Sitting behind only the 5-1 Eagles in the NFC East with a Monday Night Showdown looming, this season is just getting started!

Per my previous B&G prediction, the Skins defense held former Redskins WR Pierre Garçon to under 65 yards receiving with no touchdowns. As for Kirk Cousins, he had an up and down day. The short screen passes to Thompson & Perine helped his passing numbers eclipse the 300 yard mark for the day. Cousins finished with 2 touchdowns through the air, 1 rushing TD and 1 interception. In the end Cousins wasn’t perfect, but Kirk is showing huge growth this year. Skins fans love to point the finger at Cousins when they lose, but don’t give him credit when he wins. Bottom line is Cousins has a career ratio of 1 out of every 4 games, in which he leads a game winning scoring drive. That is an impressive stat for a so called “Top 15 QB”. The fact that Kirk has already run for over 100 yards with a rushing TD vs San Fran, has shown he’s taking the next step to becoming a potential top 5-10 quarterback. As of now he’s in the top 5 in most statistical categories, most importantly he’s completion percentage. Since week 1, Cousins has the highest completion percentage in the NFL and currently leads the league in yards per attempt.

Redskins fans aren’t naive and realize who’s bailing Kirk out when the pocket collapses. Cousins looks to his safety valve Chris Thompson, which is a huge reason for Kirk’s success this year. Currently Thompson has 340 yards on 18 receptions for 2 TD’s with an 18.9 average per reception. Thompsons’s YAC(yards after catch) make him the NFL’s most dynamic dual threat in my opinion. The Florida State product currently leads the team in receptions and is on pace to break Marshall Faulk’s single season receiving record for a RB. I’m not getting ahead of myself, but Thompson is dynamic and by far the most valuable Redskin at the moment.

As far as the Skins defense goes, they battled in game injuries for the second game in a row. With All Pro Josh Norman already ruled out, Bashaud Breeland took over as the #1 corner. Before exiting the game with an injury, he was having an up and down second half. I was impressed by corners Dunbar & Fuller. They both seem to play with more energy and aggressiveness compared to Breeland. Fuller of course had the game ending interception and Dunbar locked down former Redskin WR Pierre Garçon.

The emergence of DE Matt Ioannidis should have Redskins fans excited. Week in and week out the Temple University product is pushing lineman into the backfield with his bull rush. It will be scary to see what he can do once he accumulates some pass rushing moves! Unfortunately his partner in crime, rookie DE John Allen will miss the next 2-4 weeks with the dreaded “Lisfranc” foot injury. Although it’s reported as only a sprain, this is something that could linger all year. The one positive to take from this injury news is now DE Anthony Lanier II will finally get activated! Anybody who knows me (Dad I’m looking at you), knows I’ve been pounding the table for over a year to give the former Alabama A&M product a shot on passing downs. The 6’6 286 pound Lanier is a former basketball player, who is just starting to scratch the surface as an NFL defensive end. He’llget his first action of the year against the division leading Eagles on Prime Time, with no regular season game film in Manusky’s system. The Skins could catch the Eagles of guard in this situation and use Lanier’s deceptive speed to their advantage. Although he’s still raw, Lanier is probably the most athletic D-Lineman on this defense. Now for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the San Fran game.

The Good

*Kirk Cousins had another game, in which he tucked the ball and scrambled for 26 yards on only 4 carries. His late game scramble for a TD proved to be the games most pivotal play. The QB finished the game with an eye popping 102.3 passer rating. Now if he can just get on the same page with his wide receivers, with the exception of #14 Ryan Grant.

*Chris Thompson was dynamic once again. After a quiet game vs KC in which he only had 27 total yards, he once again exploded vs the 49ers. The “Mighty Mouse” finished with 138 total yards. Although Thompson didn’t score a TD, his multiple catches and runs put the Redskins in position to put points on the board.

*The emergence of DE Matt Ioannidis has been this years biggest surprise. The Temple U product has already registered 3.5 sacks in only 5 games, but even more impressive is his 40 quarterback pressures.

The Bad

*Coach Jay Gruden’s time management before the half/4th quarter was horrible! His play calling in the second half was too conservative and predictable. He espicially showed a lack of trust in Kirk on the last Redskins offensive drive. This isn’t the first time Gruden has had these issues. Gruden called three strait runs with Perine, for only 6 total yards. The 49ers got the ball back and nearly got into field goal range, before Fuller sealed the game with the pick.

The Ugly

*The play in which Pierre Garçon lowered his helmet on rookie safety Montae Nicholson was disturbing. Experts have argued that both players lowered their helmets before contact. I thought that the “Richardson Rule” was put in place, so offensive players don’t use their helmets as weapons. They way it looked to me was Garçon lowered his helmet, well before contact arrived. As Nicholson lay on the ground, he was moving his legs as if he were still running. Very disturbing moment to say the least for my favorite rookie. I’m amazed he isn’t in the concussion protocol. This kid is impressive, but I have “Jarrett” like concerns for his long term career.

*The refs calling fumble, when Davis’s elbow was clearly down. Many experts stated that since the play was ruled a fumble on the field, it would have to be “indisputable evidence” for an overturn. That’s a load of crap! Even I had the view of Davis’s arm bracing the ground as he fell, which was when the ball was stripped. In my opinion that was the play that changed the games momentum.

What’s Next?

Stay tuned for rookie safety Montae Nicholson’s “Player Profile”, Redskins Q&A and much much more before previewing the Monday Nights Showdown vs the Philadelphia Eagles. So send me your questions and feedback.

Hail to The Redskins! 🏹🏈



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