Prior to yesterday's game, I heard several people say that this would be an easy win. You figure the 49ers would be coming to FedEx Field 0-5, the Redskins will be well rested after the bye, and this would be a walk in the park.
Honestly, the 49ers are a field goal away from a win in each of their games this season. They don't look THAT bad. Kyle Shanahan is a good coach and his guys will play teams all four quarters. They do not quit. They fight until the end. Literally. So why fans thought this would be easier than other games, I am not certain. Every game has to be treated with the same level of aggression and enthusiasm. If the Skins had let up any further, yesterday could've easily ended up in a loss.
Now I have to be very clear. I am happy about the win. Every time the Redskins win, I'm happy. But that was ugly and it wasn't a fun win either. I know I was not the only Redskins fan out there that thought "OMG, Kyle Shanahan's winless 49ers are going to come into our house and steal one." Luckily, that did not happen. The Redskins snapped a four-game losing streak to the 49ers, earning their first win against San Francisco since a 52-17 victory at FedEx Field on Oct. 23, 2005.
Let's focus on the positives from yesterday.
- The defense is still getting kudos from me. They did let up a bit when the injuries started trickling in. That's almost inevitable when there's so many injuries. There were some penalties that could've been avoided but all in all we're seeing the young guys step in and step up. The injuries seem to keep coming but the guys keep steady and hold it down.
- Matt Ioannidis must be trying to go to the Pro Bowl this year. He has been tremendous! He's showing up with recorded full sacks in back to back games for the first time in his career and has registered at least half a sack in four of the Redskins’ first five contests this year. Great job Matt!
- Preston Smith is continuing to impress. I was somewhat disappointed in him with the costly penalties in the Skins' loss to the Chiefs but he's doing a fantastic job. Smith joined Marco Coleman (2000), Fred Stokes (1991) and Charles Mann (1989) as the only Redskins to record at least half a sack in each of the first five games of a season since the NFL adopted sacks as an official statistic in 1982. Keep it up Preston!
- The vet Ryan Kerrigan continues to show his leadership on the field in his 101st consecutive regular season game, the longest active streak amongst active NFL linebackers. Kerrigan's sack of 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard in the third quarter, pushed his career total to 62.0 and his season total to 3.5. Keep pushing Ryan!
- Quinton Dunbar earned his first start of the season and recorded a career-high eight tackles. He was so ready for the match up yesterday. Way to go Quinton!
- The offense had their fair share of excitement on that end. The connections between Kirk Cousins and his receivers seem to be more solid. Everyone is getting involved. Nine different Redskins players recorded at least one catch. There's still some work to do but it all looks very promising.
- I can't say enough about Vernon Davis and what he continues to contribute to the team week after week. Kudos to Vernon!
- Chris Thompson continues to thrive for the team. Thompson had 105 receiving yards on four receptions and now has a team-high seven receptions of 20 yards or more this season. Keep grinding!
- Congratulations to Samaje Perine on his first NFL career touchdown!
- Cousins to Doctson is starting to be a connection I love to see happen.
- Ryan Grant is still bringing a high level of intensity and consistency on the field which is awesome. The Skins need that and he delivers.
- Of course then there's Captain Kirk. Quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 25 of 37 passes for 330 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 102.3. He finished a third consecutive game with a passer rating of 100.0 or better. Not too shabby at all Captain!
I feel like there was still alot that went right about this game. Well obviously, the Redskins won so more had to go right than wrong. I think the thing that speaks mountains though is that each and every game should be treated individually. No game should be looked at as "an easy win". Every W matters and we know that each Sunday one team is going to win and the other is going to lose; unless there's a tie of course. Just because a team is winless or has a losing record, doesn't mean they can't beat you on any given Sunday.
I'm sure the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons can now speak to that after their Week 6 experiences.