Here are my five observations from the Redskins’ 26-20 win over the Vikings:
—The Redskins are in the sequel business. They produced Scary Movie 3 in the final two minutes of this game. Three times this year the defense has taken the field with the Redskins up by less than a touchdown in the last minutes of the game. Against the Ravens, they survived. In Detroit, they lost. Today, they pulled it out again with back-to-back sacks on third- and fourth-down plays. There is little doubt that another installment in the series is upcoming at some point in the season.
—There is a lot of head scratching over why the offense jumped out to a 14-0 lead and then stalled out for the remainder of the first half. No need to wonder, the simple answer is that it’s the NFL. Teams adjust to what is working for you. It takes some time to adjust back. They did and scored on four straight second-half possessions.
—And there will be questions about the defense giving up 20 unanswered points in the second quarter. Same answer but on the other side. The Redskins have now held opponents to 20 points or fewer in five of their last six games. That will win you a lot of games and the Redskins are 4-1 in those games. I think Jay Gruden will be happy to take his chances if they can do that week after week.
—Rob Kelley just missed his first career 100-yard game, getting a career high 97 yards on 22 carries. All day long as I watched him on the field he kept on turning what looked like a loss of two into a gain of one. It would look like he was going to gain two yards and then all of a sudden he had six. It’s not like he’s bowling people over but he has that instinct that tells him where he should slide to and he keeps his legs churning. I still think that Matt Jones will play a role this year but Kelley deserves to be the lead dog at the running back spot.
—Preston Smith had the game we’ve been looking for from him all year. He made two huge plays, the fourth-quarter interception that gave stopped a promising Vikings drive and gave the Redskins a chance to put it away. They didn’t quite nail the door shut. Smith did that on the last offensive play of the game, getting a fourth-down sack of Sam Bradford. The Redskins hope that this starts a big second half of the season for Smith.