On Wednesday, we broke down a few key storylines ahead of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Cowboys. Today, we’re glancing back at how they unfolded at Cowboys Stadium:
1—London Fletcher’s availability and impact. The 37-year-old linebacker extended his consecutive games streak to 235 games, despite a sprained left ankle he suffered only five days earlier.
Fletcher played in 57 of the Redskins’ 76 snaps on defense before leaving the game in the fourth quarter after aggravating the same ankle. He missed the final two Cowboys' series. But before leaving the game, Fletcher made four tackles and milestone interception in the third quarter. His pick off halted a Cowboys’ drive, preserved the Redskins’ 28-6 edge and made Fletcher only the third active player to post 20 interception and 30 sacks. (Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher are the others.)
“I wanted to be able to finish the game,” said Fletcher, who left sporting an immobilizing boot. “It will definitely be good for me to have 11 days before we have to play again.”
He added: “I gave it all I could until it finally gave out on me. I just couldn’t go anymore. I didn’t feel like I could be effective. It would have been selfish to go out there and keep playing.”
Coach Mike Shanahan is expected to provide an update on Fletcher’s condition Monday afternoon.
2—The Redskins entered the game as the NFL’s most penalized team at 8.8 infractions per game. But they were flagged only five times for a total of 41 yards – a week after being assessed 13 penalties for 80 yards against the Eagles.
Against the Cowboys, they were penalized twice in the opening 1:03 (intentional grounding by Robert Griffin III and pass interference on Josh Wilson). The final three infractions were false starts on Aldrick Robinson, Niles Paul and Trent Williams. (An offside call on Barry Cofield was declined in the fourth quarter.)
The Redskins’ penalties per game (8.5) still ranks last, but their total Thursday marked the second fewest number of infractions they incurred this season.
3—In the span of five days, the Redskins ended some streaks no team wants to be associated with. Against the Eagles, they beat a rookie quarterback for the first time in nine games and won after the bye week for the first time in three tries under Mike Shanahan and first time in five games overall.
On Thursday, they beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving for the first time in seven attempts and won a game on turkey day for only the second time in franchise history.
Some folks believe stats such as these are media-driven drivel. If you’re one of them, you’ve got something else to be thankful for today: You’ll no longer have to read about them.