Redskins weekly MVPs on offense and defense
Week 1 offensive MVP: Chris Thompson
Just days after signing a contract extension with the Redskins, Chris Thompson caught a Kirk Cousins pass, bounced and juked through the entire city of Philadelphia, and found the end zone for a 29-yard score. It was everything that makes Thompson so useful: Soft hands, striking speed and impressive elusiveness. The man is worth the money.
Week 1 defensive MVP: Ryan Kerrigan
Ryan Kerrigan did his best DeAngelo Hall impression in the Redskins' season opener, picking off a Carson Wentz pass and returning it for a touchdown. It was Washington's first score of the season, and the third pick-six of Kerrigan's career. For a pass rusher, No. 91 sure is good at finding the end zone.
Week 2 offensive MVP: Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson's making this job real easy. For the second week in a row, he's the offensive MVP. This time, he ripped off a 61-yard TD on a draw play, and also scooted in for a seven-yard ground score, too. He told CSN afterward he expects to be added to a lot of fantasy teams this week, and rightly so.
Week 2 defensive MVP: Mason Foster
Mason Foster's game-clinching interception was arguably as important as Ryan Grant's game-winning touchdown grab, which came a few plays before Foster's highlight. The pick put an end to the Rams' rally before they could even start one, and gave Washington their first win in 2017. Oh, and it happened after No. 54 popped back in his own dislocated shoulder, by the way.
Week 3 offensive MVP: Kirk Cousins
This slot EASILY could've gone to Chris Thompson for a third straight week after the running back outgained the Raiders by himself, but Cousins turned in one of the best start-to-finish efforts of his career. The QB passed for three touchdowns and completed 25 of 30 throws for 365 yards, looking very much in control after two shaky games in Weeks 1 and 2. The only thing missing? Another Internet-shattering postgame outburst, a la "You like that?!"
Week 3 defensive MVP: Montae Nicholson
Any number of defenders could have taken this award home, but let's give it to Montae Nicholson, who's gone from questionable draft pick to heavy contributor much quicker than anyone could've imagined. The safety picked off Derek Carr, giving the Redskins early momentum in what turned out to be a terrific win, and showed up in the offensive and defensive backfield on other occasions, too. To top it all off, his head coach called him a "heck of a player" afterward.
Week 4 offensive MVP: Vernon Davis
Vernon Davis had just two catches vs. the Chiefs, but those two grabs accounted for 89 yards, including a 69-yarder that led directly to a Redskins touchdown. Washington has a terrific but injury-prone first tight end on their roster. But as Davis proved again in Kansas City, Washington also has an ageless and always-productive backup, too.
Week 4 defensive MVP: Entire defense
You can call this cheesy, but the entire unit deserves props for the way they battled in Week 4. Montae Nicholson, Kendall Fuller, Josh Norman, Zach Brown, Mason Foster and Martrell Spaight all left the game with injuries at one point or another, and still, Greg Manusky's guys stuck with one of the NFL's most talented offenses throughout a pressure-packed ballgame. They won't be happy with the final result, but fans should be proud of the defense's effort.
Week 6 offensive MVP: Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins accounted for three touchdowns vs. the 49ers, two through the air and one on a read option. The fact that the read option, which was the decisive score, came against Kyle Shanahan, was just beautiful. Perhaps most encouraging: Cousins turned it on late when it looked like Washington wanted to give the game away to the inferior Niners.
Week 6 defensive MVP: Matt Ioannidis
The game against the 49ers was the best of what's turning into a massive and surprising season from Matt Ioannidis. The second-year defensive lineman was credited for 1.5 sacks, and the full sack he had forced the Niners to attempt a longer field goal, which they ended up missing. No. 98 was very quiet as a rookie. He's been the opposite in his second year.
Week 7 offensive MVP: Jordan Reed
The Redskins offense was too uneven for Washington to beat Philly, but Jordan Reed did what he could for the unit. The stud tight end looked a lot more like himself in the Monday affair, as No. 86 caught eight passes and scored his first two touchdowns of the 2017 campaign. For a guy who still isn't fully healthy, it was quite the night.
Week 7 defensive MVP: Zach Brown
Every week, the calls to sign Zach Brown to a long-term deal grow louder. That will continue after what he did vs. the Eagles. The rangy linebacker collected 1.5 sacks and 10 tackles, affecting the game throughout. The Terrelle Pryor one-year deal hasn't worked out, but inking Zach Brown to the same length contract sure has.
Week 8 offensive MVP: Jamison Crowder
While it took much longer than it should've, the Redskins finally saw a receiver eclipse the 100-yard mark thanks to Jamison Crowder's breakout game vs. the Cowboys in Week 8. No. 80 looked like he did for much of his first two seasons as a pro, catching passes consistently on a rainy day and breaking big gains throughout. The 123 receiving yards were a career high and his nine grabs tied a career best.
Week 8 defensive MVP: Josh Norman
After missing the previous two contests due to injury, Josh Norman returned on defense and immediately made his mark. The corner recovered a fumble on the opening drive and was a large reason why Dez Bryant caught just four passes for 39 yards and Dak Prescott only threw for 143 yards. It's a shame his comeback was marred by the ugly 33-17 loss.
Week 9 offensive MVP: Josh Doctson
Look at that photo. Gaze at it. Is that not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? Josh Doctson's late drop in Kansas City can now be forgotten, as the second-year wideout atoned for it by hauling in a 38-yard Kirk Cousins pass to set up the Redskins for their game-winning score in Seattle. Sometimes, one play is all you need to be named MVP.
Week 9 defensive MVP: Will Compton
Will Compton deserves an enormous amount of credit for staying upbeat throughout the first eight weeks, where he didn't play much, and contributing right away in the Week 9 Seattle thriller. The linebacker picked off one pass and deflected two others. Afterward, Jay Gruden joked Compton would've had those other picks if he had a better vertical. Explosive vertical or not, Compton is a worthy defensive MVP.
Week 10 offensive MVP: Maurice Harris
When you make what could be the NFL's best grab on your first route run of the season, you clinch a spot on this list. Maurice Harris, fresh off the practice squad, did just that vs. the Vikings, and basically ensured that he'd be with the team the rest of the season. Oh, and his birthday was the day before. Not a bad weekend for Mo, huh?
Week 10 defensive MVP: DJ Swearinger
The Redskins' secondary will want to watch Week 10's tape once and then erase it from memory. Well, everyone but DJ Swearinger. The safety had his first career two-interception game and nearly brought his second one back for six points against the Vikings. He also made a couple of impressive stops against the run. Afterwards, he was grumpy about how he and his fellow corners and safeties played, and deservedly so. But at some point, he'll be able to look back it with pride.
Week 11 offensive MVP: Samaje Perine
Samaje Perine's first 10 games as a Redskin were slightly disappointing. His 11th, however, may have been enough to make up for the rest. In his debut as starter, the rookie ripped off 117 yards and notched his first rushing touchdown in the NFL. He'll have to shoulder the load the rest of the way, too, with Chris Thompson going down for the year in New Orleans.
Week 11 defensive MVP: None
In Week 4, the entire defense picked up the weekly MVP award after a gritty effort in Kansas City. But this time around, no one is getting any shine for what went down vs. the Saints. Greg Manusky's unit gave up more than 500 yards of offense and allowed a 15-point lead to disintegrate in a loss that may have doomed the team's season. There's no point in trying to find a bright spot in that rubble.
Week 12 offensive MVP: Jamison Crowder
Remember how you read a few slides ago about Jamison Crowder setting a new career high in receiving yards? Well, he did it again vs. the Giants on Thanksgiving, and also scored his first touchdown of 2017. Crowder and his QB are now fully on the same page after a strange first couple of months, and No. 80 is causing opposing secondaries major problems week in, week out.
Week 12 defensive MVP: Kendall Fuller
Kendall Fuller is the Redskins' closer. The second-year DB had his second game-ending interception of the year vs. the Giants on Thanksgiving, and it could've been the third if not for a penalty on a pick in New Orleans. After the turnover, NBC's Chris Collinsworth called the sophomore one of the top slot corners in football. He's right.
Week 13 offensive, defensive MVPs: NOPE
Sorry. When you lose by 24 against a team who hadn't broken DOUBLE DIGITS in their three previous games, and when you turn the ball over four times, and when you give up a backbreaker of a punt return TD, YOU DON'T GET ANY MVP AWARDS. Take your half-full glass, pour it out and then smash it and then smash it some more. This was a disastrous performance and one that ruins so much of the positive vibes surrounding what had been a mostly competitive team this season. Let's try again next week vs. the Chargers.