Six reasons a Redskins kick a Bears

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(By John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Redskins and Bears had substantially a same yardage totals on Sunday (374 to 377), substantially a same chastisement problems (eight for Washington and 7 for Chicago), a same array of turnovers (one each), and a same success inside a red section (both teams were perfect).

How did Washington emerge with a 24-21 win? Here are 6 reasons.

1) Jordan Reed

The parsimonious end was Washington’s many dangerous actor on offense, and it wasn’t close. After one locate it took usually about a whole Bears’ defense, and a few members of a 1985 Bears, to move Reed down. He scored a touchdown immediately after a botched delay-of-game that would have loomed vast in a Washington loss, provident us days of delay-of-game introspection. And in a initial quarter, Reed bulled by several Bears to apparently measure a touchdown, nonetheless he was noted down a few inches shy. In some reduction replay-obsessed universe, that was a two-touchdown diversion for Reed, and that’s not usually my DraftKings lineup speaking.

It felt like each time Kirk Cousins looked Reed’s way, a play was a success, that done we start to consternation possibly they shouldn’t usually chuck it to Reed on each play. If we had attempted 3 slants to Reed on 3 uninterrupted plays, were we unequivocally not going to benefit during slightest 10 yards?

“Pro Bowl player, man” Trent Williams pronounced on CSN after a game. “I consider he’s a best receiving parsimonious finish in a NFL. we haven’t seen different.”

Reed finished with 9 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Only 3 times given 1960 has a Redskins parsimonious finish each reached all 3 of those numbers in a singular game: Jerry Smith did it in 1967 opposite a Eagles (9-145-2) and Reed himself did in in 2013 against, yes, a Bears (9-134-1).

Which brings us to a final point: Reed has usually surfaced 100 receiving yards 3 times in his career. He’s usually had during slightest 9 catches 5 times in his career. His sum 18 catches for 254 yards opposite Chicago means he should substantially send to a NFC North during some destiny date. Or usually put a pin-up design of Ditka in his locker.

(By Mike DiNovo / USA TODAY Sports)

2) The initial quarter

Bearing in mind that all these NFL situational stats are horribly shabby by tiny representation sizes and in-game quirks, have we beheld how good Washington has been in a initial entertain this season? There was a 3-0 lead opposite Miami, a 10-0 lead opposite St. Louis, a 6-0 lead opposite Philadelphia, a 14-7 lead opposite New Orleans, and Sunday’s finish first-quarter domination, that finished with Washington adult 7-0.

The Redskins, in fact, have been heading or tied after a initial entertain 10 times in 13 games, including in 5 of their 6 wins all 6 of their wins.

In Chicago, a Redskins got 11 first-quarter initial downs, their many in an opening entertain given during slightest 1991. They hold a round for some-more than 11 minutes, converted all 3 of their third-down attempts, and allowed Chicago to run a sum of 5 plays, and a punt. Washington also scored a second touchdown dual plays into a second quarter.

The time of possession was substantially equal for both teams after a initial entertain ended, though Washington’s early mastery gave them a round for roughly 9 some-more mins for a game.

3) Kirk Cousins’s bounce-back drive

(By John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Whether it was satisfactory or not, Kirk Cousins entered this deteriorate with a repute of someone who competence pulp after he done a few mistakes. There were questions about his physique denunciation final season, about possibly he attempted to do too many to atone for interceptions, about possibly he had a mental and romantic restraint to be a authorization quarterback.

That done a expostulate after Cousins’s usually interception on Sunday presumably a many critical expostulate of a game. The Bears had tied a measure during 21 nearby a finish of a third quarter, a continue was removing worse, and a throng was engaged. Then Washington changed 51 yards, with Cousins attack 3-of-4 passes for 44 yards, including a beauty to DeSean Jackson. The expostulate competence have been more, too, had Rashad Ross not depressed down after a third-down catch. Still, a expostulate finished with a Redskins margin goal, a game’s final score.

Cousins has usually dual interceptions in his final 5 games. And in both cases, a Redskins scored on their subsequent possession. Whether or not we trust Cousins is a future, it’s tough to disagree that interceptions or mental restraint should be disqualifiers.

4) Two Gray Zone stands

Ok, it’s not unequivocally called a Gray Zone. I’m not certain what we call that area between, say, a 35 and a 41, where we are arrange of in (or tighten to) field-goal range, though you’d substantially like a few some-more yards to feel comfortable.

Anyhow, a Bears reached that tiny cut of territory in both of their final dual drives. The initial time, a Bears went deficient pass, deficient pass, two-yard shade to Alshon Jeffery, in a play brilliantly sniffed out by about a third of Washington’s defenders. Then they punted. The second time, a Bears went three-yard run, deficient pass, deficient pass. Then they missed a margin goal.

In possibly situation, a initial down competence have been deadly. Instead, a Bears gained 5 yards on 6 plays and incited things over to their kickers. Those dual defensive array — that enclosed a Bashaud Breeland pass break-up in a finish section — saved a game.

5) The defensive replacements

I don’t know that Quinton Dunbar or Mason Foster are going to make a Pro Bowl off Sunday’s showing. But Washington’s patchwork invulnerability substantially isn’t removing utterly adequate credit for being a equitable unit, something we frequency even notice. Foster, who led Washington with 6 tackles on Sunday, wasn’t in training camp. Dunbar, who was listed as a starter, was in Richmond, though as a far-reaching receiver. Will Blackmon, also listed as a starter on Sunday, arrived in September. DeAngelo Hall — who had another 6 tackles — is personification reserve instead of cornerback. The other listed starters also enclosed dual rookies (Preston Smith and Kyshoen Jarrett) and Will Compton, who has left from special teams brave to defensive signal-caller. That’s kind of a lot of turnover.

Yes approbation yes, each NFL organisation is putting together a little bandage-covered jigsaw nonplus by mid-December. Including, certainly, a Bears, who were but a horde of pivotal contributors. But a Redskins got a veteran defensive bid from a starting organisation that would have portended the canon 5 months ago. And that invulnerability has now forced 7 turnovers in a final 3 games.

6) The Breaks

Many losing teams substantially feel like they’ve gotten some-more than their share of bad luck. Count Redskins fans in that group.

So if we were to tell Washington fans that this diversion would embody a jump-ball thrown into coverage that would be held and afterwards frankly fumbled by a using back, those fans would assume a outcome was a tragedy for their side. Instead, a uncanny preference by Cousins was somehow not intercepted, and Matt Jones somehow held it, and Jones somehow reacquired a football that he had frankly offering adult to a universe but realizing he wasn’t nonetheless down.

I mean, demeanour during this pass! This finished adult as an 18-yard gain!

“I unequivocally didn’t pull it adult like that,” Coach Jay Gruden said. “Neither did [Offensive Coordinator] Sean [McVay]. It’s unequivocally a play that Kirk done and Jordan done and Matt Jones made. It’s one of those things where you’re like, ‘Please don’t’ do that. Please don’t do that.’ And afterwards it’s complete, and, ‘Hey, good play.’ That happened a integrate times today. So, we know, it’s a crazy game, man.”

Or how about a last-second margin idea try by Robbie Gould, until recently one of a NFL’s many arguable kickers? Entering this month, Gould was 15-for-16 on margin idea attempts in a final dual mins of a fourth quarter, with a one skip entrance from 66 yards. But he missed opposite a 49ers final week, and he missed again opposite Washington. For years, that felt like a arrange of mangle successful teams got. Sunday, a Redskins benefited.

They substantially didn’t mind.

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