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Week Fifteen Grades, Evaluations, Questions

Week fifteen is in the books and now we take a look at how the entire team fared against the Bills. It’s late December and these Washington Redskins are in a position to win the division. Let that sink in for a moment. It’s a nice thing to reflect upon. So now it is time to make some sense of it all as BBQ hands out grades and evaluations. Feel free to offer your own grades, evaluations, and opinions. Also, we have some questions to close out week fifteen.

Let’s take a look at the grades.

It was a game of near perfection as Kirk Cousins had a 153.7 passer rating – just shy of the standard (158.3). He accounted for all five touchdowns in a blowout win (five throwing, one rushing) and looked supremely confident for the entire game.
Grade: A+

Running Backs:
It would be easy to give the backs a strong grade, but outside of a couple of long runs, they were mediocre. On the first play of the game, Alfred Morris missed a wide open hole that could’ve gained thirty or forty yards. However, the timely gains (longer) did help to establish a great passing game, but Morris, Matt Jones, and Pierre Thomas/Chris Thompson need to step it up – quickly.
Grade: B-

Wide Receivers:
DeSean Jackson was the headliner as he easily had his best game of the season. Pierre Garcon scored a touchdown on a spectacular catch. Jamison Crowder and Ryan Grant had a good afternoon as well. The receivers had the opposing secondary off guard all day, including one of their safeties who took several poor angles and looked lost at times. You can figure it out.
Grade: A

Tight Ends:
Jordan Reed, the elite tight end, was able to deliver another dominating performance. The statistics that you need to know? Sixteen targets the last two games, sixteen receptions. Three touchdowns. 204 yards receiving.
Grade: A+

Offensive Line:
They weren’t perfect, but darn close. The scoreboard does not lie and going against a stout defensive line simply proved that this unit had a great day of football. Trent Williams came back from a subpar game and returned to his usual domination. Ty Nsekhe filled in admirably when Morgan Moses exited with an injury.
Grade: A-

Defensive Line:
Terrance Knighton continued to wreaked havoc on the opposing line and was simply amazing on a four down goal line stand late in the first half. This group was gouged a bit in the running game, but five sacks can’t be argued. In other words, bend and not break.
Grade: B

The linebackers had another good day with Ryan Kerrigan adding to his sack totals and Preston Smith contributing one as well. Will Compton had another solid outing with timely plays and sound defense. His effort on the first play of the goal line stand was nothing short of astonishing – take a look.
Grade: A-

The corners had some struggles in the second half, but manufactured a great first thirty minutes. Bashaud Breeland continues his march toward an elite status, but consistency for the full game is still an issue. Quinton Dunbar can develop into a good nickel and dime corner, but is not a starter at this juncture as Sunday proved it to us. Kyshoen Jarrett continues to be a versatile corner and even cheated up some to play Mike linebacker. Will Blackmon provided a sack.
Grade: C+

The Redskins have now transitioned to a lineup of Dashon Goldson playing at strike safety and DeAngelo Hall at free safety. Their coverage was marginal and they were caught out of position on some running plays. It was a decent day, but nothing really stands out.
Grade: C

Special Teams:
We’ll just repeat what was said last week about the kickers. Tress Way and Dustin Hopkins continue to pay dividends for the Redskins. Both players are continuing to provide a much needed presence in the kicking game and the hope is that they will continue to do so for many years. Penalties were down from the previous week and while that is a plus, we can’t ignore that the return game is still a negative. Jamison Crowder fumbled away a great opportunity with great field position. Kickoff returns were abysmal at best.
Grade: C

The team performed very well in the first half and jumped out to a twenty-five point lead. There were some struggles in the second half, but Buffalo never seriously threatened to win the game. Special teams had some issues with returns, but was steady with Way and Hopkins. Kirk Cousins had the best game of his Redskins career (arguably) and was well prepared. His confidence flowed throughout the team and that is a reflection of the coaches. Play calls on offense were the best we have seen from this staff. The defense had their best series of the season late in the first half, but did have some struggles down the stretch.
Grade: A-

How would you grade each position and the coaching staff? After this showing against the Bills, are you thinking that the next game brings a division title? Kirk Cousins is obviously marching toward a new contract and long term security with the Redskins – how much will he command? Is Jordan Reed a first team all-pro? Are you expecting any Redskins gifts for the holiday? Are you giving any Redskins gifts? What are you expecting against the Eagles? On to week sixteen.

Have a very Merry Christmas and BBQ hopes it is the best holiday ever for you.

See you again next week with grades, evaluations, and questions.

Hail to the Redskins!
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