LANDOVER, MD -- Sorry, LL Cool J, but we will call it a comeback. After opening the season with back-to-back home losses, the kind of start that lets doubters roar, the Washington Redskins (4-2) have won four consecutive games. It hasn't been pretty and Sunday at FedEx Field was no exception, but they got the job done against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) for the 27-20 victory. It was the most convincing win of the season so far for the reigning NFC East champions. We'll discuss more about the victory and turnaround as the week rolls on, but here are some pre-film notes.
- Outside of the pick-six, I thought this was the most consistent game to date by QB Kirk Cousins. He wasn't great, but he wasn't horrible either. His touchdowns to Jamison Crowder and Vernon Davis were both darts. He also had a really nice throw on a wheel route to Davis. The interception, however, was dumb and costly. It was a great defensive play by Safety Malcolm Jenkins. But Cousins made it easy by throwing lazily off his back foot. He almost threw another interception in the red-zone early third quarter. Otherwise, he did a solid job.
- The Redskins run game was on fire Sunday. In particular, I thought it was an impressive day for Matt Jones (16 carries, 135 yards). I'm not sure if the friendly competition of sharing reps with rookie Robert Kelley lit a spark in Jones' soul. But his vision and decisiveness both shined against the Eagles.
- Speaking of Kelley, he had a big run for 45 yards that helped spark the Redskins after a costly Cousins' pick-six. I really like how decisive he is with the football in his hands. He runs hard and makes sharp, decisive cuts. Little to no hesitation. There seems to be a nice duo emerging in the backfield. Here's the rookie talking about the run game and his long gainer after the win.
- TE Vernon Davis did a nice job taking over for the injured Jordan Reed. His ran a great route on the touchdown and showed strong hands. His wheel route also displayed great footwork and speed. With Davis, the Redskins shouldn't feel pressured to rush Jordan Reed's (concussion) recovery.
- The entire Redskins' offensive line deserves a standing ovation for their outing against the Eagles. They allowed zero sacks and were key in creating big rush lanes for the running backs. I think it's time to admit that the Redskins are fielding a top five offensive line, because they are.
- The Redskins were able to net five sacks in this game. One of which came on the final play of the game for Philadelphia's offense courtesy Preston Smith and Trent Murphy. "It felt electrifying," Smith told Breaking Burgundy postgame. "I've been close a lot of times, but I finally had a QB hold the ball long enough for me to get it. We had some nice pressure by the front and good coverage by the back end."
- Rookie CB Kendall Fuller was tested numerous times in this game. For the most part, he held his own. The one long 54-yarder to Jordan Matthews was a bit questionable. I think Matthews got away with a push-off. However, one of the knocks I had on Fuller pre-draft was that he struggles to consistently turn his head and find the ball downfield. From what I've been told, he learned to watch the receiver, not find the ball in those downfield situations at Virginia Tech. Considering it was taught, that's a habit that will take a little while to drop. Otherwise, the guy deserves to be starting and is playing well.
- LB Ryan Kerrigan was on fire at the start of the game. Even Josh Norman sung high praise. "[Ryan] Kerrigan beasted today," Norman said. Kerrigan finished the day with two sacks and made life difficult for Eagles' rookie RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The Eagles had to adjust by using their running backs to chip OLBs on that side, assisting their rookie offensive tackle.
- Veteran safety Donte Whitner received a fair share of snaps in this game. He showed a few times why they [he] calls himself "Hitner." The guy makes you feel it everytime he makes contact. He did a nice job playing almost in that Su'a Cravens role.
- Cornerback Bashaud Breeland returned after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. His locker room thoughts on the defense and other aspects of the fourth straight win.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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