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Week 10 - Studs, Duds, and Hat Tips

Loss Vegas

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A Sunday filled with smiles and pride was something that was long overdue for fans of the Washington Football Team. Coming off the bye week with a disappointing 2-6 record, the Burgundy and Gold surprisingly put together their most complete and best performance of the 2021 season to defeat the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29-19. Now sitting at 3-6, a bit of belief has been restored and the team legitimately has something to play for in their final 8 contests. Can they overcome a significant amount of key injuries and use the win today as a rallying point, or is what we witnessed today a case of fool's gold? Time will tell. In the meantime, let's get right to our studs and duds.

Studs:

For the first time in a long while, we have a lot of these!

1. Jon Allen - we keep putting this guy's name over and over again in the stud list whether we win or lose. Jon Allen is unquestionably having the best season of his pro career and he is establishing himself as arguably a top 5 interior d-lineman in the National Football League. In the absence of Montez Sweat and Chase Young, who unfortunately left today's game with an ACL injury, Allen led by example and was the glue that kept our defensive front together. While he didn't register a sack today, he remains our team's leader in this category through 10 weeks of the year. He did his share to ensure that Tom Brady had an uncharacteristic pedestrian day by his standards.

2. Taylor Heinicke - the stat line was pretty nice (26 of 32 for 256 yards and 1 TD pass), but more importantly, Heinicke delivered in the clutch moments in the game, much like he did in some of his better performances of the year vs. the likes of the Giants and Falcons. When Tampa Bay scored to cut it to 16-13 for Washington midway through the 3rd quarter, it felt like the game was starting to slip away on us. Heinicke wasn't having any part of it though. He responded in a critical juncture in the game by then leading the Burgundy and Gold on an 8 play, 58 yard TD drive to go back up by 10 points. He followed that up in the 4th quarter by then leading us on a magical 18 play, 79 yard touchdown drive which took over 10 minutes off the clock to seal it! A cool little tidbit is that Heinicke was 3 for 3 when we elected to throw on 3rd down in those final two scoring drives on Sunday. Additionally, he scrambled and used his feet to pick up a 1st down as well. He did his part to ensure that Tom Brady would just not get another opportunity to do Tom Brady-like things and hurt us on Sunday.

3. Terry McLaurin - 6 catches for 59 does not necessarily scream a stud-like performance, but McLaurin proved why he is a foundational piece of this franchise on Sunday. Very late in the contest with Washington up by 4, they faced a 3rd and 5 on the Tampa 15 yard line. Heinicke delivered a pass that McLaurin caught for a 1st down and #17 nearly got his head taken off in the process. How he hung onto the ball, I will never know. How Tampa never got flagged as well, I will never know. That clutch catch pretty much ensured that Brady would watch the rest of the game from the sideline and would not be given another opportunity to extend the game. I have to give McLaurin credit as well for battling on Sunday. He went down in an awkward fashion on a tackle earlier in the game and he fought his way back onto the field to finish the game. He just did the types of things team leaders do on Sunday - help will his team to victory no matter the cost.

4. Antonio Gibson - finally, #24 is on the stud list! Very long overdue, but better late than never. 24 carries for 64 yards were not huge numbers, but he found the end zone twice and we witnessed 3 or 4 beautiful carries from Antonio on Sunday that gave you a glimpse into the type of quality player he can be for this franchise moving forward. They were not necessarily the long gainer types, but the types of runs that quite simply put your offense in a better spot overall and help set the table for success. Facing that Tampa run defense is never an easy chore, and Gibson did enough to keep them on the field and gassed by the time we got to the later stages of the contest. His touchdown on 4th and 1 to put the icing on the cake and seal the victory was really nice to see and well deserved. We can only hope that he can build off of today, as this offense is so much more effective and stands such a better chance when Gibson is on his game.

5. Joey Slye - 3 for 3 on field goals (29, 28, and 46), perfect on extra points, and a special teams tackle. What more can you ask for? He did his job today and ensured that the offense gained confidence by putting points on the board on our first four possessions of the ball game. For the time being, his presence was a huge step forward compared to the disaster that was Chris Blewitt. Will he be better than Hopkins? We can save that for another day.

6. John Matsko - in my opinion, this guy has outcoached anybody on our staff by a mile this year. Tampa generated some decent pressure on Heinicke in the first half, but as the game wore on, we really settled in along the offensive front and were able to generate a pretty good push in those critical short yardage situations that we traditionally fail in. We lost Scherff again today, were without Roullier, and were starting Lucas at RT. We are relying on depth guys repeatedly along the offensive line and Matsko's unit always looks fairly well prepared this year. They had a really tough challenge against the Bucs' defensive front today and performed admirably overall.

7. Ron Rivera - he knows he botched the kicker situation with Blewitt. He admitted failure by replacing him after two weeks. I give coach Rivera credit for that, as Slye made a solid contribution in today's success. More importantly, I was really impressed with the manner in which the team responded today with their most complete effort of the year, start to finish. At 2-6, against the defending champs, that's not an easy ask. Rivera clearly still has this group's attention and respect. I hope we can keep steering this ship in the right direction and build some momentum now, otherwise, the warm and fuzzy feeling of Sunday will wear off really fast.

8. Defensive Secondary - these guys took a lot of heat in the first half of the year and rightly so. They stunk! Today, we made the greatest QB in the history of the National Football League look fairly ordinary. Outside of the Evans' TD, there weren't the countless big pass completions we have seen week after week. When the opportunity was there to create a turnover, we did that too! McCain made right on a gift this time and Jackson picked up a tipped ball for an interception. Guys tackled, they covered fairly well, and we looked like a pretty professional outfit on the back end.

Duds:

1. Dax Milne - at 23-13 Washington, Dax Milne fumbled after appearing to get a 1st down on a 3rd and 9 play. Tampa responded with a touchdown to Mike Evans and they cut the lead to 4. It was the typical backbreaking, shoot yourself in the foot-type play this team so often makes. Thankfully, the offense recovered from it. Had we not, you just felt like Tom Brady was eventually going to make us pay and Milne would have been having some sleepless nights this week. Let's hope the rookie uses this as a lesson moving forward to get better.

Hat Tips:

1. Chase Young - being on the sideline following his injury and cheering on his teammates was a nice touch today. You could see this means a lot to him and he's passionate about the team's success. While his season hasn't been what anybody wanted or anticipated, I feel like being humbled a bit in 2021 will only make him stronger and better moving forward. There is a lot of good still ahead for #99 I believe.

2. DeAndre Carter - add another offensive TD to #1s bucket. He has now scored in consecutive games on offense and is filling in nicely for a receiving group that needs all the help it can get right now.

3. Adam Humphries - with just over 3 minutes to go and Washington up 23-19, Humphries made a great catch near the sideline on a 3rd and 4 for a first down. It was his only reception of the day, but he continues to do what he has done in several spots this year - come up with timely grabs.

Well, that is it for Week 10. Thoughts? Who did we miss?

Don't stop believing.
 

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Kel Varnsen

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High Point

I can only rate what I see or hear about the game. Yesterday, I was driving back from the beach and was listening to the NFL Network on XM. They bounce around from game to game and give you the play by play calls. That’s how I experienced yesterday.

Based on that, here are my studs:

McLaurin - He still is the go to guy and the catch late was huge. You want your best players to make plays in crunch time. He did it.

Henicke - He may still be learning, but he also made the plays he needed to make.

Defense - They didn’t play a lot of the Bucs with the ball, because the defense was picking off Brady and overall was stopping them. That’s an explosive offense and holding them in check gives you a chance to win. Shutting them down is a pretty amazing feat.

Duds:
The Redskins radio crew. Wow are they awful. On a weekend where Sam Huff dies, I get to hear the new radio crew and they are just bad. Weinstein would be better as an analyst and not a play by play guy. He doesn’t know how to describe a play to people who can’t see it. One play in particular, his call was “Heinicke takes the shotgun snap. And he’s out of time.” (Pause for a second). Then he starts talking about the end coming around the tackle. I couldn’t tell if it was a real play, delay of game, false start, encroachment, etc. After a while he finally says it was a sack, right before the next play. Without seeing what was happening, I had no clue. Hall is smart and you can tell he knows the game, but he talks too much. I actually think he’s the best of the 3, but still needs to learn that too much is too much. And Donaldson, I don’t know what her role is other than to randomly yell in the middle of the play making it harder to know what is going on. Then she throws out random stats which I guess is her role. But it was awkward a lot when she spoke. Those of us who heard Frank, Sonny, and Sam were spoiled. Frank was such a professional and great story teller of the game. You could see what was going on by his words. Sonny and Sam were fantastic until they got too old. But they had a good chemistry this group doesn’t have. By the way, hearing all the different radio broadcasts across the league, there are a lot of bad ones out there. Some are good, but most were not good and I had to rely on the radio hosts bouncing around the games to translate what happened.

Hat Tips:

Coaches - They have had a lot of criticism and well deserved. None for yesterday. Good game plan and good play calls. No game will be perfect, but from what I could tell, they had a plan in place to win this game. The running game is something we have been calling for and the Bucs are a tough team to run against. But they stuck with it and it paid off with a victory.

The last drive - I kept waiting for them to say the Bucs are getting the ball back and Brady has a chance to win the game. It never happened. And they switched over on a lot of the 3rd downs on that drive. And even though it was hard to tell from the call, it was always a 1st down then the TD on 4th. A 10 minute drive when they needed it most was great to see.
 

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I would give a tip of the hat to Scott Turner. He has taken a lot of heat, and rightly so, but he called a solid game yesterday.
I half agree. He didn't abandon the run and that last drive was amazing for time consumption, but on that same drive he did the pitch back to Carter and throw to someone that was silly and dangerous. I'd give him a "meh" for this week.

That's still 10x better than normal from me regarding his play calling ability
 

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I don't think Milne deserves to be on the 'Dud' list. Technically he fumbled, yes, but in reality that ball was punched out on an amazing defensive play. He had the ball secured with both hands on the ball or I might be more upset about it. That kind of play happens to the best of them.
 

MikefromOH

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I don't think Milne deserves to be on the 'Dud' list. Technically he fumbled, yes, but in reality that ball was punched out on an amazing defensive play. He had the ball secured with both hands on the ball or I might be more upset about it. That kind of play happens to the best of them.
Devin White ain't some slouch either. He's a stud.
 

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Yes he is. I felt bad for Milne on that one. Kid is trying to find a place in the NFL career, makes a nice play and boom, taken away from him.
 

MikefromOH

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I'm actually a huge fan of White's. Guy is all you want in a linebacker.
 

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I really loved that McLaurin catch. Actually, you could sum up the whole game in that sequence of events. Tampa did their darndest to take our heads off but we not only got back up. We showed that we're just fine, kicking, and even ready to rile up the crowd.
 

Win4us

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Didn’t Payne get called for a taunting…if so was it legit or ticky tack?
 

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I never saw a replay on it. It felt like a Brady rule to me.
 

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I never saw a replay on it. It felt like a Brady rule to me.
That's how I felt at the moment, too - but the context was, the WFT got a pick on 1st down, and the prior play was a 4th down (and 2 I think) at the TB 35, and TB went for it. I read that the defense got pretty insulted by that, a couple of players were talking about it in postgames I believe. After I saw that, I thought maybe there was some taunting, probably felt good to get that one after the 4th down play. What a great game! I think the O could have really lost that one by not being able to convert those early opportunities, but they took the lead and never relinquished it. Those are always fun ones.
 

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cant find anything anywhere regarding a replay of the taunting

 

Kel Varnsen

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The taunting calls in the NFL are ridiculous. It started opening night. Some cowboys player smacked a Bucs played in the head. Everyone watching knew it would be 15 on Dallas, but nope. They called offsetting penalties. Unnecessary roughness on Dallas and taunting on Tampa. That was the play where the ref made a hilarious face at whatever the Tampa guy said. Since then, it’s been one disaster after another with these calls and fans asking what happened. The Pittsburgh call last Monday was the worst and the NFL said it was the right call and fined the guy. So this is not going away and will continue to ruin the game.

My thoughts have always been guys should be allowed to say whatever they want on the field. There are 11 guys on the field for the other team who can dish out payback. So say what you want. When the refs come in to break up the talk, you get penalized if you don’t walk away. Talking can still happen, but you have to move away. Penalties should be for when you stand over a guy, put your hands on the other guy post whistle, get into the other bench and talk, throw the ball at someone, hand gestures like flipping the bird or throat slashes. Otherwise, who cares. You know what, we can’t hear what they say most of the time when watching on TV, so why does it matter what they say.
 

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