The game ends and the true grading begins. ProFootballFocus.com released their analysis following the Washington Redskins' 31-30 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
* Though the running game never materalized, Redskins coach Jay Gruden called the pass protection "outstanding" when needed against the Bucs. How did PFF grade the offensive line? Rather favorably, actually. Right tackle Morgan Moses received the highest marks (+3.6) for any player on the team followed by Trent Williams (3.0), who resumed left tackle duties after missing Week 6 with a concussion. Among the OL starters, only Josh LeRibeus received a negative overall grade. From PFF:
While Washington never really got the ground game going yesterday, this was due to multiple reasons. First of all, Washington was playing from behind for most of the game, and was more inclined to pass in these situations. Also, there were some weaker performances in the middle of the offensive line, as left guard Spencer Long (0.7) and center Josh LeRibeus (-3.1) both graded negatively in the run game. However, the other players responsible for creating space for the running backs did their jobs really well. Brandon Scherff, Derek Carrier, Trent Williams and Morgan Moses all earned grades above +1.0 in the run block facet of the game.
PFF notes quarterback Kirk Cousins was under pressure on 10 drop-backs and completed eight of nine passes for 81 yards. He was not pressured on any of his three TD passes.
* Speaking about the quarterback...
Kirk Cousins (-0.8) embodied the often-heard term of “game manager” quarterback as he led Washington’s comeback yesterday. Although Cousins was very accurate and had a completion percentage of 82.5, he was not asked to do a lot by his team. This is well-represented by the fact that 31 of his 40 pass attempts (77.5 percent) were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. However, Cousins did have some success downfield, too, but his completion percentage immediately dropped to 66.6 percent when throwing 10 or more yards downfield. Also, it is necessary to note that Cousins would not have had the opportunity to throw a game-winning touchdown if Chris Conte had not dropped the quarterback’s ill-advised pass on the previous play.
As for those down field throws, Cousins’ completed one of three passes thrown at least 20 yards in the air for 32 yards.
* With Chris Thompson inactive, Matt Jones projected to finish as the RB with the most snaps,especially if the Redskins fell behind. Jones played in 48 snaps while Alfred Morris received a season-low 10. We can bicker on the exact percentages of snaps for all thre going forward, but Jones offers the best overall package of power and speed behind an offensive line struggling to create holes. The rookie forced two missed tackles on his nine carries.
Similarly to Kwon Williams on Tampa Bay, the other LSU alum linebacker, Perry Riley (-5.8) also struggled yesterday. However, Riley’s weaker performance was not due to his play in coverage, as he wasn’t targeted once yesterday. It was not because of his work as a pass rusher, either, since he picked up a quarterback hit on one of his two pass rushing snaps, which earned him a positive grade in that facet of the game. However, it was because of his performance against the run, where he has struggled in previous games, too. He was constantly pushed around by Washington’s offensive linemen and failed to come off of blocks. Although he was on the field for 41 plays, Riley managed to record only one solo and one assist tackle, and neither one represented a failure for the offense.
* Robinson missed four tackles while his safety tag-team partner Dashon Goldson missed two. No other Redskin missed more than a single tackle.
* Defensive end Jason Hatcher (+2.6) received the highest-overall grade on defense while DE Chris Baker received just his second negative pass rushing grade on the year.
* Bashaud Breeland received plenty of praise postgame with particular focus on what Gruden called the play of the day. The corner did allow six receptions on seven targets for 97 yards. CB Will Blackmon also received seven targets allowed three completions for 75 yards and a TD.