LONDON — Here is my report card on various aspects of the Redskins and their 27-27 tie with the Bengals.
QB Kirk Cousins did everything he could to bring home a win — passing for more than 400 yards, rallying the team from a fourth-quarter deficit for the third time this season. If you don’t think the Redskins should sign him to a long-term deal, I have to think you’re watching a different team than I am every Sunday.
TE Jordan Reed gets an A based on his 23-yard touchdown reception alone. He showed everything you want in a tight end on that play — speed, athletic ability, desire, a nose for the end zone.
LB Will Compton played his best game of the year, getting eight tackles and picking up an interception that may have saved the game. Early in the fourth quarter, the Bengals were up by three and had driven down to the Redskins 20. Compton picked off Dalton’s pass giving the ball back to the Redskins. A 10-point deficit at that point would have been difficult to overcome.
WR Jamison Crowder caught nine passes for 113 yards and his 33-yard touchdown catch was a lot like Reed’s TD catch — desire to get to the end zone and the athleticism needed to do it.
RB Rob Kelley probably gets an A from some but I’m not grading on the curve because it was his first start. He found the going tough in the first half, averaging just 2.9 yards on his 10 carries and falling down in pass protection one occasion. But the rookie finished strong.
LB Su’a Cravens played only 30 snaps but he made two huge plays, a sack that ended the Bengals’ chances of winning in regulation and he batted down a pass at the line in overtime. Could be higher but I don’t like to do that for a player in on just a third of the snaps
CB Josh Norman had his hands on two interceptions during a time when Andy Dalton was really scuffling. And A.J. Greed didn’t have a huge day but the had eight catches for 111 yards and it seemed whenever the Bengals needed a play they could get the ball to him. He did give a great post-game presser, which does not factor in to this grade.
HC Jay Gruden had his team ready to play but there were two key strategic errors. Going for it on fourth and one in the red zone early in the second quarter of a 7-7 game didn’t make a whole lot of sense. It was an easy three points. And near halftime he had a good notion to use a timeout on defense but he let about 12 seconds run off the clock before calling it. They could have used the time to get a bit closer on Hopkins’ 55-yard field goal try that fell short.
The Wembley stadium turf looked great but when I went into the locker room I saw something I’ve never seen before—grass, a lot of small clumps of it. Apparently it got stuck in the players’ cleats on the field and was tracked in. That has to make the going a little tough.
I don’t think I need to explain why I’m giving this grade to Carl Cheffers and his crew. Just roll the tape on Norman yesterday and on Jay Gruden today.
MORE REDSKINS: The tie leaves the Redskins in the thick of the NFC race