Here is my report card on various players, coaches, and other aspects of the Redskins’ 41-21 win over the Bears. If I missed an important grade or if you disagree with my assessment, feel free to hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
The Redskins’ offensive line allowed no sacks for the fourth time this season and the team rushed for 208 yards, the second-highest total of the season. There was nothing not to like.
DeSean Jackson was the only player to get an A after the Panthers debacle and he gets one again this week. Five receptions for 114 yards was impressive but he could have put up some historic numbers if he had not missed most of the second half with a jaw contusion.
On a short week after a bad loss Jay Gruden had his guys ready to play. The only strategic error he made was not challenging the spot after Jamison Crowder caught a third-down pass and appeared to have a first down before going out of bounds. It was marked short and it looked like a challenge would have been successful. Gruden kept the red flag in his pocket. But the score was 31-14 late in the third quarter so that can be overlooked.
Since returning from his suspension OT Trent Williams has not allowed a sack or a QB hit. And he was flatting Bears in the run game on Saturday. It’s hard to say that the four games off were a good thing but it Williams is much fresher than he normally is at this time of year after 15 games of pounding.
Normally, passing for 270 yards and one TD might only warrant a B for QB Kirk Cousins. But adding in the two touchdown runs, one on the nifty read option play, and Cousins gets pushed up to an A.
How about RB Mack Brown coming in for a dinged-up Rob Kelley and picking up 82 yards on his first eight NFL carries? Brown put the bow on the Christmas Eve win with a 61-yard TD run.
I dog OLB Preston Smith when he is invisible during games so he gets some credit here. He flipped momentum with a field goal block and he also got a sack, a QB hit, and two hurries. If his other sack had not been negated by an unrelated hands to the face penalty he would have received an A (sorry, if it doesn’t count it can’t go into the grade).
RB Rob Kelley bounced back from having little production against Carolina (it wasn’t really his fault that he couldn't run through the wall of Panthers on every attempt) and had a solid game. It could have been a very good game but he played sparingly in the second half due to a knee sprain.
On four touches RG Chris Thompson gained 37 yards and scored two touchdowns. His grade is held back by his limited action. But he did make the most of what he got.
Not only did CB Josh Norman get his hands on some passes, he picked off two of them.
CB Bashaud Breeland got a pair of picks as well.
Jordan Reed has been out or very limited the last four games and TE Vernon Davis hasn’t filled his shoes. He had one reception for 13 yards and had a shot at a touchdown catch but it slipped through his fingers. In those four games, Davis has not found the end zone.
S Duke Ihenacho missed a couple of tackles and took some bad angles on Jordan Howard runs. The Bears’ back’s big game is not all on the D-line.
The Redskins allowed an offense with a quarterback who couldn’t shoot straight to convert 70 percent of third downs. That’s some bad third-down defense.