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Redskins offense finally clicked, but their defense is why you should be thrilled

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins offense finally clicked, but their defense is why you should be thrilled

LANDOVER, Md. — It'll be tempting to focus on the Redskins' offense as you bask in the glow of their 27-10 Sunday night win vs. the Raiders. In fact, it'll be tempting not to just spend Monday at work watching that graceful Josh Doctson grab over and over again. 

But don't be too distracted by how well Kirk Cousins and his unit played, because it was the defense's effort that should have you most excited throughout the week as you talk about the now 2-1 Burgundy and Gold.

Allow Jay Gruden to explain how proud he is of the group that dominated throughout the Week 3, nationally televised matchup against an AFC favorite.

PHOTO GALLERY: Best photos from NFL Week 3, Redskins 27 Raiders 10

"I think it was as good a defensive performance that I've seen in a long time by anybody," the head coach said in his press conference. "To hold that offense with Marshawn [Lynch] and Derek [Carr] and [Michael] Crabtree and Amari Cooper... the list goes on and on. 0-11 on third downs. I mean, it's a great tribute to Coach Manusky and the staff, but the players were executing."

Trying to select a defensive player of the night? Write down about 10 names, toss them into your favorite 'Skins hat, mix them up and choose one. Odds are, you'll find a deserving player.

Montae Nicholson hauled in his first career interception on the Raiders' first passing play. Kendall Fuller notched his first pick, too. Preston Smith and Jonathan Allen, meanwhile, both posted a sack and were around Derek Carr on plenty of other occasions. And you could make a compilation of Zach Brown and DJ Swearinger's hardest hits, and it'd probably run a few minutes featuring just their tackles.

MORE: QUARTER-BY-QUARTER BREAKDOWN OF THE WIN

The Raiders came into D.C. as one of the league's most productive offenses through two contests. They left, however, with just 128 total yards, never able to find any momentum against an opponent that was flying around from beginning to end.

"D-line was going out there and just attacking, hunting, eating," Fuller said afterward. "I remember just being on the sideline — just all the DBs — just telling them how much we appreciate it. The linebackers helping them in the run game, helping us in the pass game. So just all three levels, all three phases of the game."

"We just got our butt kicked," Carr stated matter of factly.

Coming into the season, it was expected that the Redskins' offense would author complete performances like the one they did at home vs. the Silver and Black. Turning over a rising young QB a couple of times, manhandling a premier offensive line and coming up with clutch red zone stands, though?

Those are the types of things that could make the 2017 season a special one. And those are the types of things that make the defense's showing the best part of an excellent overall victory.

MORE REDSKINS: 5 TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS' DOMINANT WIN OVER RAIDERS

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Jonathan Allen injury news much worse than originally feared, per report

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USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Allen injury news much worse than originally feared, per report

Bad news became much worse on Wednesday when ESPN reported that rookie defensive tackle will miss the remainder of the Redskins season.

Allen suffered a Lisfranc injury late in the Washington 26-24 win over San Francisco last Sunday and was spotted wearing a walking boot leaving the stadium.

Initial injury reports suggested Allen could miss up to a month. That prognosis seemed lucky for a Lisfranc issue, an injury of the foot that usually carries longer recovery periods.

Through five games, Allen was a force of the Redskins defensive front. His interior push had been a big part in career starts for fellow lineman Matt Ioannidis and outside linebacker Preston Smith.

With Allen out, the Redskins will need to rely more on veterans Stacy McGee, Terrell McClain and Ziggy Hood in addition to second-year Ioannidis. The injury also likely means Anthony Lanier will join the active roster, beginning as early as Monday night in Philadelphia.

Washington coach Jay Gruden will address the media on Thursday, and Allen will likely be the first topic discussed.

Drafted 17th overall, Allen had been a steal for the Redskins. Many considered the former Alabama star a top five talent, though he slipped due to arthritic shoulder concerns. The foot injury is unrelated.

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State of the Redskins, Week 7: Key stats, trends and storylines

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State of the Redskins, Week 7: Key stats, trends and storylines

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 7 of the NFL season.

Top three storylines:

Walking wounded—Yeah, this is the same as a top storyline from last week. The good news was that it looks like Bashaud “Gumby” Breeland will be able to play against the Eagles after taking a hit that made his left knee bend at an unnatural angle. But rookie DL Jonathan Allen will be out 3-4 weeks with a Lisfranc sprain. Kicker Dustin Hopkins is on injured reserve and replacement Nick Rose will make his first NFL kick on Monday. All eyes are on Josh Norman, who has not been ruled out of Monday’s game with broken rib he suffered against the Chiefs.   

Thompson on a roll—Chris Thompson is on pace to get 1,000 receiving yards. He has 340, the most on the team by far. That’s great for Thompson but you’d like to see a receiver within 100 yards of him after five games. Terrelle Pryor is third on the team, behind Thompson and Vernon Davis, with 209 yards. If the Redskins offense is going to reach its full potential, Pryor, Jamison Crowder, or Josh Doctson has to start catching up with Thompson’s productivity.

Missing Rob Kelley—Rob Kelley has been out two full games and has missed more than a half of two others with ankle and rib injuries. He’s averaging 4.5 yards per carry and his substitute, rookie Samaje Perine, is averaging 3.0. The Redskins sure could use that extra yard and a half per carry.

MORE REDSKINS: IS COUSINS WORTH A "MONSTROUS" CONTRACT?

Record: 3-2, 2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 2-1
vs. AFC: 1-1
Home: 2-1
Away: 1-1

Rankings  and changes from Week 6

Offense (yards/game): 374.2 (2th, +2 from Week 6)
Defense (yards/game): 316.0 (12th, -3)
Points for: 117 (14th, -1)
Points against: 113 (19th, -1)

Passer rating offense:  106.4 (3rd, +1)
Opp passer rating: 81.8 (9th, +2)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.1 (17th, -8)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.0 (17th, -2)
Third down conversions: 40.6% (12th, +7)
Opp. Third-down conversions: 40.3% (20th, -2)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 24.1% (6nd, -4)
Playoff chances per FO: 51.7%, +2.5 percentage points from last week

Trending in the right direction: They were below average in third down conversions on offense but going seven for 14 on Sunday got them up to 12th.  

Trending in the wrong direction: They averaged 2.8 yards on 33 rushing attempts against the 49ers, dragging their average per attempt on the season from a solid 4.5 yards down to 4.0. It becomes difficult to stick with the run when it isn’t as effective as it needs to be.

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM THE WIN OVER THE 49ERS

Next three games

Monday @ Eagles (5-1)—It’s kind of an odd scheduling format here that the Redskins finished with the Eagles before they play either of their other NFC East rivals. Right now, the Eagles have the best record in the NFC and their quarterback is a legitimate MVP candidate. It will be a tall task to for the Redskins to keep from falling 2.5 games behind the Eagles with Philly holding a head-to-head sweep.  

October 29 vs. Cowboys (2-3)—The two losses to the Cowboys last year were on the long list of reasons why the Redskins failed to make the playoffs. Washington’s run defense has improved but mobile quarterbacks like Dak Prescott still give them problems. Will Zeke Elliott play? Consult with your local bar association for guidance.

November 5 @ Seahawks (3-2)—Seattle looked vulnerable at times early in the year but they have it back together despite an offensive line that is held together with duct tape and chicken wire. This could be the Redskins’ toughest test of the season.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.