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Redskins Snaps & Stuff: Josh Norman, DL, Run Game

From a tough guy to a tough day on the ground to surprise usage on the defensive line, Ben Standig shares more postgame thought from the Redskins' third straight win.

Some more postgame reactions from the Washington Redskins' 16-10 win over at Baltimore Sunday plus snap counts and such.

Josh Norman's presence helps the Redskins in several ways. There's the obvious in pass coverage. There's also the pure passion for football. The Pro Bowl corner is often the last player on the practice field. Sunday's showing included returning to the game in the second quarter after suffering what coach Jay Gruden postgame called a wrist aggravation. The injury only cost Norman eight snaps -- he played the fourth most among all defenders -- despite him later revealing "I couldn’t really move my hand. It was sprained pretty bad."

“I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to go back out there,'" Norman said But at one time, there was some doubt in my mind. But I just sucked it up, and I was like, ‘Look man, you’re not hurting, you’re not going to die. You can walk. You’ll be fine. You can use one hand and be the one-hand bandit and do your job.’"

Football players are tough guys by nature and therefore often play through pain. That a corner who just signed a $75 million contract with $36 million guaranteed did just that is noticed by those around him. Washington will need Norman in Week 6 against Philadelphia's Jordan Matthews.

* As a reminder, the Redskins started last season 0-5 on the road. Since then...

* Only two defenders played all 71 snaps: Safeties Will Blackmon and Duke Ihenacho, who made his first start of the season. Former Pro Bowler Donte Whitner, one of two safeties signed last week, played five snaps. Josh Evans only took the field on special teams.

* Fifth round pick Matt Ioannidis received his most work of the season with 29 snaps. That matched Ricky Jean Francois for third most among defensive lineman behind Chris Baker (51) and Ziggy Hood (44). Cullen Jenkins (24) was the only active DL.

* Not that run defense is all about the line, but Baltimore averaged 6.2 yards on 19 attempts. That the Ravens didn't run more led to changes Monday.

We'll see if the Redskins make any changes along the line before facing Philadelphia Sunday.

* The return game is en fuego. With one game left in Week 5, Washington leads the NFL in punt return average and is second in kick returns.

* Washington only recorded one sack, but were around Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throughout and, according to Baker, could sense confidence wavering with every hit. "Oh yeah, without question. [Defensive coordinator] Joe (Barry) let us...rush these guys. Their tackle left after the first half. ...We're like, 'Hey, let us rush him.' We were able to create some good pressure and knock off their timing." 

* On the other side, Kirk Cousins was only under pressure on 10 of his 42 dropbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. Left guard Shawn Lauvao, who played all 66 snaps on offense after sitting out Week 4 with another ankle injury, allowed a sack and two hurries. Per PFF, "no other offensive linemen allowed more than a single pressure over the course of the game." 

Arie Kouandjio went from starting for Lauvao in Week 4 to joining backup QB Colt McCoy as the only active players not to play. 

* After two weeks of balanced play-calling, the Redskins had twice as many passes (41) as they did runs (20). They threw on all four 3rd-and-1 plays in the first half, completing only pass. The ground game never clicked. Washington finished 20 for 60 (3.0), which matched the yards per carry average in the Week 3 win at New York. The Redskins ran 30 times in that game.

* The running back workload: Matt Jones, 37 plays (56%), Chris Thompson 21 (32%), Robert Kelley 8 (12%). Jones lost his first fumble of the season and didn't play on the opening series of the second half. Kelley popped up on the injury report during the week with a finger injury. We shook hands after the game and he noticeably flinched when I gripped. 

“I think they all deserve some touches," Gruden said. "It was tough sledding in there. There are some big suckers in there for Baltimore and we didn’t really pop ny runs early. I think we popped a few late in the second half. But we want to keep them fresh and give them all carries.”

Ben Standig is the Publisher of Breaking Burgundy and the Huddle Report's 2012 NFL Mock Draft champion. You can find him on Twitter @benstandig and on Google+.

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