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3-and-out: Redskins-Packers post game quick hits

September 23, 2018 - 6:52 pm

106.7 The Fan Redskins beat reporter Craig Hoffman was in the press box at FedExField as the Washington Redskins took on the Green Bay Packers for Week 3 of the NFL season. He combined his observations with post-game interviews to write his top-three takeaways from this week in football:

It was a dreary day. There were so many Packers fans. None of it mattered. The Redskins came out and scored in just over two minutes and never looked back. Here are the three things that stood out in the Redskins 31-17 win, all through the lens of the head coach.

  1. Where Jay Gruden is good – There aren’t many coaches better in the league in the first 15 plays than Gruden. Coaches often script their first few plays in order to get the defense to show how they’re going to defend certain personnel groups and formations. They also have some idea based on previous games on how they’re going to do those things, which means they can dial up certain plays with specific outcomes in mind.

    Gruden and his staff clearly saw something on tape that gave them the idea that they could get Paul Richardson deep and they took advantage. Good throw. Good catch. Six points. The onslaught continued right through the first half and the Redskins led 28-10. That’s a bigger differential than the final against Oakland last year, which is widely considered one of the Redskins best performances of the Gruden era.
  2. Where Gruden gives everyone a heart attack – The self-scouting on the Redskins second halves is going to be intense over the bye week. The Skins haven’t scored a second-half touchdown this season, despite being thoroughly dominant in their two wins, and needing touchdowns desperately in their one loss. Gruden has failed to find a balance of trying to keep the clock moving and not being predictable, and thus ineffective. He said afterwards that he could’ve called a few more shots. Clearly, he was playing the clock. In the end, though, it worked. The game was never in doubt.
  3. Gruden is calling the second half like he has a good defense, and that’s because he does. Though at times it felt stressful as Aaron Rodgers had forever and three days to throw, the defense held more often than not. They blew one coverage, which looked to be one of the safeties not taking the deep third of the field and leaving Josh Norman out to dry, but other than that kept things in front of them. The Packers scored, on two other drives, but they had to earn it.

    The defensive line got home enough to matter. Matt Ioannidis had his third sack in as many games. Jon Allen and Daron Payne also tallied sacks. In the end, the Redskins held Rodgers and company to 240 yards in the air on a whopping 45 attempts. They did net 100 yards rushing, but Washington’s total defense sat 4th overall in the league after the early window of games closed. That’s going to effect how the offense is called. It should. Gruden would be the first to admit it can be better, but 2-1 after three weeks with two thoroughly dominant performances isn’t exactly terrible.
  4. WE ARE GOING FOR IT ON 4TH DOWN!!! A three-and-out first!

    Simple point that I discussed with Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch post-game. He brought it up first, so he gets the credit: this makes last week even more mystifying. Yes, the win is good and if the games had flipped no one would bat an eye at being 2-1, but if this team is capable of this, how in the world are they capable of that?!

Stat of the day: The Redskins have put Ryan Anderson at fullback three times this season at the goal line. They have scored on all three tries.  “I don’t know if he knows where he’s going,” Gruden said afterwards. “But he runs in there hard and closes his eyes.” Whatever he’s doing, it’s working.

Quote of the day: "[Fabian Moreau] got that forced fumble. I don’t know? It was a strip and then I caught it. So is that like an interception?" Josh Norman asked at his locker after the game. He was told no, it’s a fumble recovery. "Oh, OK. Damnit!" Then everybody laughed. It’s all fun after a win.


Follow Redskins reporter Craig Hoffman and 106.7 The Fan