The Redskins are above the .500 mark for the first time this season following a 16-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Head coach Jay Gruden discussed the win afterward. Here are the highlights:
The Ravens easily marched down the field for an opening drive touchdown against a Redskins defense that entered Sunday ranked 29th in defense. That would be Baltimore's lone visit to the end zone. Washington held an opponent without a second half TD for a third straight game.
"The defense stepped up. The first drive was a little scary. Here we go again. But they came back, took it personal and played well."
* The game came down to Baltimore's final drive and for a moment appeared lost for Washington as Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman caught a pass over Redskins cornerback Josh Norman in the end zone. However, Perriman didn't get his second foot down inbounds and the call was overturned. Despite the initial uncertainty, Gruden wasn't sweating things one bit.
"Josh [Norman] said he was out. I believe Josh, he would never lie to me."
Yes, the happy coach was smiling as he made that claim.
* On the biggest sequence of the game, Kirk Cousins interception that C.J. Mosley Jr. eventually fumbled for a touchback, Gruden credited the Ravens linebacker. Gruden said that the fumbling out of the end zone rule is "weird" and admits that Washington "got a big break there."
"Yeah, that guy made a great play. He jumped out of the gym, he was up there. We had Jordan [Reed] behind him on a seam ball and probably got too aggressive backed up. I think Mosley made an unbelievable play and those happen. They have a very good defense and they are going to make some plays but for the most part Kirk was efficient."
Starting at the 20, Cousins led a scoring drive that turned in a Dustin Hopkins field goal for the 16-10 lead.
* On the Redskins first punt return touchdown since 2008, Gruden credited the special teams unit for great blocking and an excellent run by Jamison Crowder including broken tackles. Gruden praised the sometimes suspect Washington unit, "great job by special teams all the way around."
* Washington entered today's game allowing offenses to convert 27 out of 37 third downs against them, which was extended to 74 percent when the Ravens converted their first two opportunities. Baltimore was then stopped on 12 of their final 13 third down plays in a sudden change of events.
"I think the key is a lot of things. Getting them in third and long number one, getting good pass rush, your linebacker play, your corners. When we're struggling on third down it is a little bit of everybody. When we're playing well on third down, it's definitely everybody. ... We were tackling a lot better today, we didn't miss many tackles that I saw for the most part."
* Some thought running back Matt Jones was in the doghouse after his not so costly fumble because he was absent for a full series after but that does not seem to be the case.
"They all deserve some touches. It was tough sledding in there. Couldn't really pop any runs early, popped a few late there in the second half. Rob had a nice one, Matt had a good one. We want to keep them fresh, get them all carries."
* On the decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 and not attempt a 37-yard field goal late in the second quarter. Jones's run came up short of the markers.
"It's a gut feeling. The wind was swirling pretty good. I thought we should be able to get a yard. Go for it, try and get a touchdown."
* Baltimore could have tied the game at 16 with a field goal at the end of the game if they decided not to attempt a fake field goal earlier in the game. Gruden praised the reaction from his players. The coach said the team was not necessarily expecting the fake on that specific play, but were on their toes facing the former special teams coach John Harbaugh.
* Disaster nearly struck with errant snap from center Spencer Long, but Cousins deftly pounced on the rolling ball. Rather than fall on it for a big loss of yardage, the QB scooped up the ball, turned up field and threw in the direction of DeSean Jackson for an incomplete pass. In describing the chaos, Gruden said right guard Brandon Scherff "thought he saw something" in the Ravens defense, leading the right guard to tap Long, indicating he should snap the ball. Long did, but Cousins wasn't expecting the ball based on the original call from the huddle. As for the pass versus just covering up, Gruden said it's an instinct call for the QB in that spot.
* Gruden concluded with, "anytime we win it's a sigh of relief, these are stressful games."
* On the injury front, Norman returned to the game with a wrist aggravation, right tackle Morgan Moses experienced dizziness, but did not suffer a concussion. Gruden did not know if DeSean Jackson was hurt or tired when a reporter tried to figure out why he missed part of the second quarter.
Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.
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