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Redskins rewind: A look back at Friday's preview

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Redskins rewind: A look back at Friday's preview

In Friday’s preview, we examined the keys to a Redskins’ victory over the scuffling Eagles. Today, we’re taking our weekly look back at how it all played out at FedEx Field:

1 – Apply relentless pressure and confuse quarterback Nick Foles, who was making his first career start in the place of concussed veteran Michael Vick. The Redskins’ maligned unit did that and more, taking advantage of a makeshift Eagles’ offensive line and young quarterback who is not yet ready for prime time. 

On the Eagles’ first possession, Barry Cofield and Ryan Kerrigan flushed Foles from the pocket. Foles foolishly attempted to squeeze a pass into Brent Celek, despite tight coverage from London Fletcher. Foles’ off-target pass ricocheted off Celek and into the hands of DeAngelo Hall for an interception.

On the Eagles’ second possession, Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley blitzed Foles on a third-and-21. The 23-year-old  panicked and threw an ill-advised pass into a crowd of burgundy jerseys, which included safety Brandon Meriweather, who made an easy interception.

Foles spent the rest of the game looking over his shoulder -- and for good reason. He was also sacked four times (Riley, Kerrigan, Josh Wilson and Rob Jackson.) The Redskins had not sacked a quarterback in the previous two games.   

2 – Would Pierre Garçon play? Indeed, the wide receiver returned from a four game absence, but his impact (statistically, at least) was muted. In fact, the wide receiver was limited to three receptions for five yards while taking part in only 21 of the offense’s 53 snaps. After gaining seven yards on his first catch, each of his next two were for minus-1 yard.

Garçon said he’s disappointed that his injured right foot won’t allow him to do more. But he confirmed that he did not suffer a setback and will suit up Thursday in an attempt to help in anyway he can.

Robert Griffin III, meantime, praised Garçon’s gutsy effort, saying, “It feels good to have guys like that in the huddle with you. It gives you an extra sense of confidence and he brings some attitude to the receiving corps.”  

3 – How about Meriweather? He suited up as well, but unlike Garçon, he made a major and immediate impact on the Redskins’ previously struggling defense, which limited the Eagles to 257 yards of total offense (a season-low for Jim Haslett's unit). But there was also some concern for the veteran safety following the game. After missing the season’s first nine games with a left knee sprain, he sprained his right knee in the third quarter and did not return to the field.

Before the injury, Meriweather made seven tackles (tied with Hall for second on the team), grabbed an interception, defended two passes and made one tackle for a loss.

As Meriweather limped out of the locker room, he said he expects to play in Dallas. A more concrete update, however, will be provided by Coach Mike Shanahan when he addresses the media at 3 p.m.

4 – As for the ridiculously high number of mental miscues and penalties, well, those continued to plague the Redskins. In all, they were flagged 13 times for total of 80 yards. Of the penalties, five were for false starts, including two by Alfred Morris. Riley and Tyler Polumbus also got flagged for illegal formations.

Through 10 games this season, the Redskins average a league-worst 8.8 penalties per game, including an average of 11 in the past three games.

“Working out of the pistol and the shotgun, puts a little pressure on our offense,” Shanahan said. “It’s something we’ll work on. But it’s something we have to get better at.”

The Redskins overcame the mistakes and earned their most lopsided victory in more than five years by steamrolling a sagging, injury-depleted Eagles’ team. They’ll take it, of course, but they also know they’ll need to be sharper Thursday at Cowboys Stadium.

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Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-49ers game

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Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-49ers game

Did you guys know C.J. Beathard is related to former Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard?

Of course you do, because that storyline, as well as others like the Vernon Davis fumble(?) and Pierre Garçon penalty have been talked about plenty following the Redskins' 26-24 W over the 49ers on Sunday.

But there are other angles that have been under analyzed from the Week 6 matchup. So as fun as it is to celebrate Chris Thompson's brilliance, put that on hold for a minute and think about these five discussion points.

1) A big recovery by a big man 

One of the most underappreciated plays in football is a fumble recovery by an offensive player. Most of the time, players and fans are just mad that the offense fumbled and ignore the fact that the outcome could've been a whole lot worse.

Do you remember Trent Williams falling on a Chris Thompson fumble early on the Redskins' first drive? Maybe some of you do, but plenty of others probably don't. But because Williams was aware and smothered the ball before a Niner defender could, the Redskins were able to continue their possession and eventually finish it with a touchdown.

MORE: WHERE JONATHAN ALLEN WILL BE MISSED MOST

2) Kirk's questionable decision

Kirk Cousins provided what proved to be the game's deciding points with his fourth quarter read option touchdown. But it was an earlier run that could've been much more important, and not for the right reason.

On Washington's previous possession — which concluded with a 21-yard field goal — Cousins scrambled for an 18-yard gain, but instead of sliding at the end, he decided to take on San Fran safety Jimmie Ward. The two collided and thumped each other pretty hard, and while the QB may have earned some respect, he also said postgame that Williams immediately reminded him that he should've slid instead.

Was it entertaining to watch a signal caller try and run over a safety? Sure. But was it smart? Not at all. The Packers saw their star quarterback come out on the wrong end of a punishing hit Sunday, and the Redskins just as easily could be feeling their pain.

3) Samaje's second effort

Samaje Perine has a long way to go before he becomes the player many hoped he'd be when the Redskins snagged him in April's draft. But it was him traveling a short distance in the fourth quarter against the 49ers that was a crucial yet overlooked play.

Six snaps before Cousins' rushing TD, the rookie barely converted on a third-and-2 by pushing the pile and refusing to be brought down short of the sticks. Again, his first year as a pro hasn't been excellent, but that was one he deserves credit for.

4) A way too powerful punt

The Redskins' execution after recovering that late onsides kick wasn't just bad on offense. Tress Way's touchback was unsightly, too.

Even after Washington took a delay of game penatly to give their punter more room, Way booted his kick well into the end zone instead of forcing the Niners' returner to fair catch or giving his gunners a chance to down it. Next time, Way needs to use a little less club and force the opposing offense to start farther back than their own 25.

RELATED: WHY CAN'T THE REDSKINS HOLD ON TO LEADS?

5) Dunbar delivers

Perhaps because of all the injuries in the secondary, as well as an abundance of other things to chat about, a really strong performance from Quinton Dunbar isn't getting the necessary recognition. 

The visitors threw at Josh Norman's replacement often — 14 instances, to be specific — but he more than held his own, ending the contest as PFF's highest-graded 'Skin. Jay Gruden said earlier in the week Dunbar thinks he can cover "anybody, anywhere, anytime," and for the most part on Sunday, No. 47 did just that.

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The injury news for the Redskins wasn't all bad

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The injury news for the Redskins wasn't all bad

The Redskins got some bad news on the injury front on Monday. But there certainly was some good news.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland took what appeared to be a nasty hit to his left knee in the third quarter against the 49ers. He was down on the turf in pain for a couple of minutes before leaving the game. After the game, Jay Gruden said that the initial examination was that it was an MCL injury and that an MRI would be performed.

The MRI results are back and the injury is not as serious as it first appeared. Gruden said it was a sprain and that it was possible that he would be ready to play against the Eagles on Monday night thanks to his properties that resemble those of a certain animated character.

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS 26, 49ERS 24

“I think Breeland's always been a fast healer,” said Gruden. “He's like Gumby. He took a pretty big shot on that play and I thought he was going to be out for a little bit of time. He recovers quickly.”

However, not all of the non-Jonathan Allen news was good. Kicker Dustin Hopkins has a right hip rotator muscle sprain. Gruden said that he is “week-to-week.” Going by Gruden’s past use of that phrase Hopkins will miss at least one game. Gruden said that the team would bring in kickers to try out. One will have to be signed if Hopkins can’t play.

Other injury-related news and notes:

—Gruden said that RB Rob Kelley and S Deshazor Everett will resume practice this week. Both players missed the 49ers game. Kelley has been rehabbing an ankle injury and Everett had a hamstring strain.

—Backup S Stefan McClure has a hyperextended knee and is week-to-week. This makes Everett's return very important. 

RELATED: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE REDSKINS' TOO-CLOSE WIN

—Veteran DB DeAngelo Hall is eligible to return to practice this week after spending the first six weeks on the season on the PUP list. Gruden said he might start practicing this week or next. “We want to make sure when he starts practice he's ready to start practice. We don't want to have him start out practice at 80 percent,” he said. “When he starts practice, we want him to be at 100 percent.”

—The door is not closed on CB Josh Norman being able to play on Monday night in Philadelphia. “I think there's a chance, but we'll see,” said Gruden. “That's up to the doctors and Josh and see how he's feeling. We don't want this thing to get reinjured obviously, but if he can go, I'm sure Josh will go.”

—Reserve OT Ty Nseke is still recovering from a core muscle injury and it seems unlikely that he will be able to suit up this week.

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