The game ends and the true grading begins. The football thinkers with ProFootballFocus.com already put out some initial analysis following the Washington Redskins 24-10 win. Includes specific thoughts on Kirk Cousins, Jason Hatcher and Kory Lichtensteiger. Not all of it awesome, which is weird, but maybe not.
— QB Kirk Cousins (+0.9) did what he needed to do to win this game, but not much more than that. He finished with a +0.4 passing grade, throwing plenty of short throws and letting receivers do the rest. Of his 27 attempts, only five of them were thrown beyond 10 yards downfield, of which he completed two for 56 yards. Of his 203 yards, only 91 of them were in the air, the rest being gained after the catch. That percentage (44.8% YIA) was the sixth-lowest among QBs across the league this week.
— A great day for DE Jason Hatcher (+3.7) rushing the passer that doesn’t show up in the sack column due to the Rams’ strategy of quick passes. Hatcher had five QB hurries and finished with a +4.9 pass rush grade, which was the highest among either team. He struggled elsewhere however, finishing the game with no tackles and a -1.3 run defense grade.
— The Redskins did well to win the game considering the very poor play of C Kory Lichtensteiger (-10.0). He was constantly beaten when pass blocking, surrendering a sack, a QB hit and an additional hurry en route to a -4.3 pass block grade. His run blocking was arguably worse (-5.8). If you take away RB Alfred Morris’ (-2.4) 35-yard run (a zone play where Lichtensteiger received double team help), the Redskins ran the ball on either side of Lichtensteiger 10 times and gained 11 yards. The Redskins averaged 6.33 yards per carry (27 rushes for 171 yards) everywhere else in the game.
DT Jason Hatcher (+3.7)
TE Jordan Reed (+2.3)
ILB Keenan Robinson (+1.9)
TE Derek Carrier (+1.9)
OLB Ryan Kerrigan (+1.5)
* End, scene...Interesting that two tight ends crack th top performers list considering all the uncertainty with the position during training camp and preseason.
* On the Rams end of the grades, the film still love Aaron Donald despite Washington's big day on the ground and the lone sack on Cousins. PFF gave Donald a 7.9. As Donald Trump would say, that's huge. The Rams' Donald was credited for the sack, two additional hurries and four solo stops. His pass rushing productivity, pass rush grade and run defense grade are the highest at his position in the league. Seeing these perhaps help explain away some of Lichtensteiger's poor, poor grade.
* PFF credits CB Trumaine Johnson for helping keep Redskins wide receivers Pierre Garcon (0.0) and Ryan Grant (0.2) quiet. Garcon's touchdown came against Janoris Jenkins. His lone grab against Johnson went for three yards. Of course, the Redskins running the ball at will played a factor in muted passing game numbers across the board.
* PFF didn't care much for the performance of Rams QB Nick Foles (-6.3), noting "He held the ball too long multiple times, and missed wide open receivers even more. ...He really struggled when he was under pressure (38% of his dropbacks), going a mere 2-for-11 for 12 yards."
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