Let’s start off here by getting the fact that the Saints are a bad defensive team out on the table. They have problems at every level of the defense and spending a lot of free agent money and bringing in a high-profile defensive coordinator in Rob Ryan has done them little good.
But let’s also get out there on the table that a lot of games this year have been played against a lot of bad teams round the NFL and no quarterback has put up a perfect passer rating until Kirk Cousins did it today. Only nine other teams have rushed for more than 200 yards like the Redskins did today.
In the NFL, even when the opponent is bad a team must call the right plays and execute and hustle and make blocks and find holes and catch passes (something the Redskins didn’t do last week) to have a big statistical day. The Redskins did that. They created holes for their running backs. They gave Cousins time to throw.
The big play of the game, both in terms of yardage and momentum, came early in the second quarter and most of the 11 Redskins on the field had a hand in it. With the game tied at 14, the call was for a screen pass to running back Matt Jones. He made the catch just behind the line of scrimmage and eluded a tackle, and build up some momentum. Center Josh LeRibues and right guard Brandon Scherff made the initial blocks. As Jones made his way downfield, DeSean Jackson and other receivers were providing an escort. Trent Williams, the tackle on the opposite side of the play, hustled downfield to provide one of the last blocks that Jones, who has excellent speed for a guy who is 6-2, 231, needed to complete the 78-yard touchdown play. The Redskins had a lead they would not relinquish.
There wasn’t much good defense on that play. But the Redskins did what they had to do to turn a good play into a big, game changing play.
The Redskins will be in for a much tougher task next week when they face the undefeated Panthers in Charlotte. They are unlikely to score 47 points and rush for 200 yards. But that won’t make this one count any less.
In their last two home games the Redskins have taken on two mediocre opponents in the Bucs and Saints and have put up 78 points. Cousins has completed 58 of 65 passes for 641 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 143.6
They have played a lot of bad teams since the beginning of the 2013 season and they haven’t put up 78 points in consecutive home games. None of the three players who has gone behind center has played as well as Cousins has these last two home games. This team is getting better.
They still have a long way to go. In between those two games there was a trip to Foxborough to play the Patriots and that game showed that they are not anywhere near where they need to be in contend for a championship.
But they are moving in the right direction and that is something that Redskins fans can be happy about.