If there was one word to describe the Redskins’ win on Sunday against the Seahawks, it would be: satisfying. This is a fitting adjective because the win showed that going forward, no matter how affected they were by injuries, they can still compete with just about any team in the league.
The Seattle Seahawks can definitely be considered a conference rival; dating back to 2007 when they knocked Washington out of the playoffs. The Seahawks have always been known to be a dangerous team on both sides of the ball. Whether it be Russell Wilson beating you through the air or on the ground, or the defense bringing the boom, no contest against them has been easy for the Redskins. Sunday was definitely a battle, but it’s apparent how elated Skins’ fans are that they were able to come out on top.
Week after week Washington has played down on both sides of the ball. The worst injuries, however, have occurred on the offensive line. This Sunday Washington was missing four starters, and their absence was glaringly apparent. Winning a game 17-14 shows that the defense had to step up more than anything. This season, my commentary on Kirk has been back and forth, however, after Sunday, it’s evident that if you give Kirk the right tools, he can actually be elite. Kirk showed tremendous leadership in the pocket, stepping up and making big time throws when his team really needed it, while also staying calm under pressure.
Given the circumstances of injuries across the line, I’ve come to two conclusions:
- Kirk is doing all he can do week in and week out, and most of the games Washington has lost have come down to execution, aside from Kirk. With Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed out, and the run game being obsolete (considering Washington averages 3.8 yards per carry on the season), the question that needed to be answered this week was once again, who was going to step up? That last drive proved that when it comes down to it, Washington can now depend on Josh Doctson, who made a spectacular catch to virtually win the game; especially after dropping the touchdown against Kansas City. Doctson has continued to flash his abilities weekly, and going forward, him, Vernon Davis, Chris Thompson, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, Jordan Reed, and hopefully Terrelle Pryor, can all be viable options to make that offense more explosive. These players stepping up takes a lot of pressure off of Kirk.
- The running game is still nonexistent, despite Rob Kelly scoring two touchdowns. Going forward, Washington needs address the fact that a lack of a run game makes them one dimensional, and makes that potentially dynamic offense easier to defend when play action isn’t fooling anyone.
When it comes to the defensive performance from Sunday’s game—aside from Josh Norman getting beat bad for a touchdown—you couldn’t have asked for a better outing. The linebacker play from Zach Brown was once again phenomenal. After witnessing his talent on display thus far this year, Washington would be foolish not to offer him a solid contract going forward. Along with Brown, in the absence of Mason Foster, Redskins fans witnessed a lights out performance from Will Compton (who had been demoted to special teams at the beginning of the season). Compton’s play on Sunday, which included an interception, once again showed how versatile this defenses linebacker depth can be.
Now one word to describe the secondary: Exceptional. As mentioned earlier, Josh Norman did get burnt on a touchdown, but the secondary was finally able to show up on money downs. Containing Russell Wilson was key, considering the last time these two teams faced off he had 112 rushing yards. While plays were extended, drives were ended, and that made all the difference this game.
Against the Vikings, the offense needs to have a spectacular day. The Vikings currently have the fourth ranked defense in the NFL, and the third best rush defense. A couple weeks ago I talked about Kirk needing to have a big game. Against the Seahawks, that didn’t happen. (The weather conditions arguably had a role in that). This week has to be the week he proves his worth, especially since the conditions will be in his favor.