The Washington Redskins (4-3-1) and Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) flew across the pond to play a four hour game in London only to end with a 27-27 tie. Other than the record looking like a first quarter NBA stat line, it's hard to know what a tie means for either team. It could either be a good thing or bad thing late in the season. But what we do know is that the Redskins will head into the bye week pretty banged up with an extremely tough November schedule on deck. We're going to find out real quick what this team is really made of after their bye week. But for now, lets take a pre-film review look at the game using my initial game notes.
- QB Kirk Cousins again wasn't horrible in this game. He made a few very fantastic passes. He threw the ball 56 times Sunday, which is incredible. We'll have more on Cousins post-film review. There were several times he had poor situational awareness.
- Rookie running back Robert Kelley had 21 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown. I thought he continued to show decisiveness as a runner and made a few great cuts, including on his touchdown. Head Coach Jay Gruden mentioned that Kelley could've been a little more patient with some of his cuts. But I thought he did well as a runner. Where he continues to struggle is pass protection. The Redskins trusted Chris Thompson more in that regard, which was smart. Thompson did an excellent job in pass protection against the Bengals rush.
- Jordan Reed continues to prove that he's one of the top three tight ends in the league. Since entering the NFL, Reed has bulked up and become much better after the catch. His touchdown was very impressive. There are not many tight ends in the league who could make a similar play from outwide as a receiver.
- Second year WR Jamison Crowder had his second straight 100 yard game (9 catches, 107 yards) and a touchdown. We've talked about it all year -- the guy is a baller. I don't think it's a stretch to consider him the team's most lethal receiver right now.
- Right Guard Shawn Lauvao had a really poor game against the Bengals. He whiffed on numerous occasions and got put on his back several times. Since returning from his injury, he's had a few whiffs each game. He started the season playing above average football. I don't think he's fully healthy. His movement skills aren't the same.
- Rookie LB Su'a Cravens showed once again that he has the potential to be a big time playmaker for this defense in the future. He had a few late game heroics against the Bengals. Cravens racked up a sack and lead the way for another sack that was credited to Ryan Kerrigan. He also had a pass break up that was impactful. They guy is going to be good.
- Josh Norman wasn't horrible. But let's be honest, he did more to hurt the team than help. Norman had three occasions where he should've intercepted the football. Two of those would have probably been returned for touchdowns. Not to mention, after two of those drops, the Bengals finished the drive with touchdowns. So yes, dropped interceptions are not ideal. Not when you have three shots. Also, Norman had five "illegal use of hands" called against him. It's questionable whether all were legit. Norman knew he had to be physical at the point of attack with A.J. Green, but he has to play smarter. If you're going to jam, your target area is the chest. A.J. Green had Norman a little frazzled in this game.
- I thought Chris Baker had one of his better games of the season Sunday. He had consistent pressure on several drives and picked up a sack.
- Rookie CB Kendall Fuller was sent on a few blitzes against the Bengals. He was able to affect one pass and it turned into a gift-wrapped interception for Will Compton. That was a huge play that kept the Bengals from scoring and set the Redskins offense up with a touchdown scoring drive. I thought Fuller played well. He also had a few nice plays in coverage.
- We don't always talk about special teams, but the group had major impact on this game. Dustin Hopkins has been a very good kicker but missed a 34 yard field goal that would've won the game in overtime. It's unfortunate because rarely do you see the "icing a kicker" technique work. But the Bengals called a timeout prior to his first attempt -- that was accurate. The second attempt, it appeared as if the snap wasn't right and the ball went wide left.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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