Victory Monday Edition: Skins Defense is Cam’s Kryptonite
Happy Victory Monday and welcome back to The Burgundy and Gold Report. Another classic “cardiac Skins” type of win versus Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Since Newton’s arrival in 2011, the Redskins had been 0-4 versus Carolina . The Redskins got over that hump on Sunday and bottled up the league’s highest rated rushing attack coming out victories with a 23-17 win.
The Redskins were hamstrung with receiver Jamison Crowder and RB Chris Thompson inactive due to injury. Once again, future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson put the offense on his back rushing for 97 yards for 5.7 ypc average. The opinion of The Burgundy and Report as well as the general consensus on social media was that AP would be less effective this week while dealing with shoulder, ankle and knee injuries. On a day when the offensive line was decent at best, Peterson made the most out of every carry. If not for a few holding penalties Peterson would have approached 200 rushing yards.
Although quarterback Alex Smith had a pedestrian afternoon, statistically (Going 21/36 163 passing yards with 2 TD’s) he did his job. As previously mentioned by The B&G Report, when utilizing the tight ends was the best option, Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis combined for 84 yards with VD scoring a touchdown.
The tight ends were targeted 12 times catching 8 passes, so the numbers played in the Redskins favor. As for the receivers, Paul Richardson made his presence known with a first half touchdown. On a day when passing yards were hard to come by, Richardson and company did just enough to help this offense put points on the board.
The day would belong to the Redskins defense though and stopping Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was at the forefront. The Redskins brought a four man rush for most of the day and always had a defender spying Newton.
The strategy was successful in holding Newton in check. Although the Carolina quarterback finished the day 27/40 275 passing yards 2 TD and 1 int, the majority of those yards were accumulated on Carolina’s final two drives as Washington was attempting to conserve their lead.
The Panthers held their hats on the run game and were ranked as the league’s top rushing attack coming into Sunday. Holding Carolina to only 81 yards rushing (Newton rushed for 43 yards) was the key to victory for Washington and winning the turnover battle preserved the win.
Redskins’ safety DJ Swearinger and the Skins defensive line led the charge and made life uncomfortable for Newton all day. The outspoken safety even registered a sack with a forced fumble. DJ has stepped up as the teams undisputed leader with the Alabama duo in Allen & Payne wreaking havoc in the trenches against the run.
This would also be the day that struggling Redskins cornerback Josh Norman started his redemption process with an interception as well has a forced fumble. Newton didn’t target Norman often, but had little success when he did. Norman has been on the hot seat, so it was a game that the DB desperately needed.
Getting hyped to play the team that discarded him after rescinding their franchise tag, gave the veteran defensive back extra motivation. The key will be for Norman and Washington to now string together two consecutive performances like the Carolina game and keep their eyes on the prize.
Thanks for checking out another Burgundy and Gold Report. The Redskins currently sit atop the NFC East at 3-2 with a pivotal match-up versus Dallas looming on the horizon. But, before we dive into Dallas week news & updates let’s enjoy this Victory Monday Redskins Nation!
By Adam Aniba