DefenseGrade vs. Bengals: DComment:Lets start off by discussing what went right for the Redskins defense on Sunday. With linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker lost for the season, opportunity knocked for backups. One of them, Rob Jackson, seized his opportunity, recording three tackles for loss and intercepting a pass in the end zone for a touchdown in his first NFL start.That, however, is where the positive reviews end.As a unit, the Redskins struggled from the Bengals first play from scrimmage through the fourth quarter, yielding 450-plus yards of total offense for the second straight week, while sacking Andy Dalton only twice. In 16 games last season, the 13th-ranked unit surrendered 400 yards a total of three times.The biggest concern entering Sundays game in Tampa is the inadequate play of the secondary and, specifically, its vulnerability to big plays. A week after Sam Bradford and the Rams completed pass plays of 56, 34, 27 and 25 yards, the Bengals connected on long passes of 73, 59, 48, 38, 27, 25 and 22 yards. The three longest all resulted in touchdowns.Theres plenty of blame to spread around. DeJon Gomes and DeAngelo Hall failed to impede A.J. Green on the wildcat formation that resulted in the 73-yard score on Cincinnatis first play from scrimmage. Josh Wilson gambled and lost on the 38-yard touchdown and rookie Richard Crawford was burned by a double move on the 59-yarder in the fourth quarter that clinched the victory.Is the culprit preparation? Personnel? Injuries? The simple answer is its probably a combination of all three.The secondary seemed utterly confused and slow to react on the Bengals trick play in the first quarter.Injuries are hurting, too. The trio of linebackers asked to replace Orakpo -- Jackson, Chris Wilson and Markus White must improve in pass coverage. Gomes has been playing for Brandon Meriweather. Crawford played on Sunday for Cedric Griffin, who suffered a hamstring injury early and did not return. And dont forget that the team had been counting on a significant contribution from Tanard Jackson, who was suspended for the season after failing a drug test.Thats not an excuse, its reality.Whats frustrates Hall the most, though, is the fact that core defensive players had longed for an offense that up points. Now theyve got one, they cant stop anyone.Last year, 21 points was a great day, Hall said. To see this offense go out these last three weeks and put up the kind of points they have and the defense go out there and totally drop the ball, its frustrating.
Here are my observations made during the Redskins’ impressive 27-10 win over the Raiders:
—Derek Carr’s first pass of the night was deep and it hung up in the air long enough for rookie safety Montae Nicholson to pick it off. He made a return into Raiders territory but intended receiver Amari Cooper just grazed him on the way down and Washington got the ball at its own 33. A good, athletic play by Nicholson.
—The Redskins turned that takeaway into seven points. The big play was a 26-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Vernon Davis that converted a third down. In all it was five Samaje Perine runs and three Cousins passes. The last one went to Chris Thompson on third and five and it went 22 yards for the touchdown. The running back was uncovered coming out of the backfield.
—It should be noted that the five Perine runs in that drive only gained nine yards but they kept the Raiders defense guessing.
—The Redskins got two sacks and an interception in the Raiders’ first two possessions. In Oakland’s first two games Carr had been sacked just twice and he had not thrown an interception.
—A sloppy series for the Redskins in their second possession. A couple of penalties and a pass completed for a loss of three led to a three and out when they had a chance to really grab the momentum.
—Preston Smith brought Marshawn Lynch down on a third and two, fighting off the back’s signature move, the stiff arm, to do it.
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—While the Raiders were struggling without a first down, penalties and a sack ended Redskins’ drives to try to extend their lead. Carr is 1-5 passing and the Raiders don’t have a first down three minutes into the second quarter.
—The Raiders had Lynch in the backfield on third and one near midfield but Kendall Fuller was all over Seth Roberts and he got the interception. Odd play selection.
— The Redskins got going after the Fuller interception. It was two Perine runs for a first down and then Cousins to Ryan Grant for 14. Perine went up the middle for eight and the Terrelle Pryor got both feet in on a sideline pass for 12 yards to the Oakland 27. Jamison Crowder made a nice grab to convert a third and six. On third and nine at the 18, Cousins eased a nice pass to Vernon Davis in the end zone. The veteran celebrated with the now-legal jump shot over the goal post.
—A Ryan Kerrigan tackle for a seven-yard loss on a run and a hard open-field tackle by Zach Brown on third down gives the Redskins a shot at a score with 1:42 left in the half.
— Chris Thompson had a 13-yard run and a gain of 23 on a screen pass to start off the Redskins’ last drive of the half. He was great with the ball in his hands on both plays, picking up blocks and gaining everything he could before going out of bounds. But a replay review negated a first down and the Redskins punted it away and took their 14-0 lead into the locker room.
— In the first half, Cousins was 17-19 for 173 yards and two touchdowns. The machine says that’s a 139.7 passer rating. That’s two touchdowns and two incompletions. Redskins lead in first down 11-2, net yards 223-47, and time of possession 20:20-9:40.
— A holding call set up a first and 20 on the Redskins on their first possession of the second half. Chris Thompson got 16 of it on pass and the got the last four for the first down on another reception. On the next play, Cousins launched a deep one to Josh Doctson. He grabbed the ball away from the cornerback and nonchalantly stepped into the end zone to complete the 52-yard touchdown play. The PAT put the Redskins up 21-0. It was Doctson’s first catch of the season.
—The defense knew how to respond to the big lead. Kerrigan got a sack for a loss of five, D.J. Swearinger flew in and knocked down Lynch on a run and then Jonathan Allen got another sack. A poor punt and an 18-yard return by Crowder set the Redskins up in Oakland territory at the 41.
—That drive ended with Dustin Hopkins having plenty of leg on a 52-yard field goal but it was wide left.
—At the midway point of the third quarter the Raiders’ deepest drive was to the Washington 48 just before the Fuller interception.
—The Raiders went three and out but Crowder muffed the put and Oakland was in business at the Washington 18. It was costly as two plays later Carr went to Jared Cook for 21 yards and a touchdown. The visitors had life at 21-7.
—It looked like the Redskins were going to have to punt the ball back to the Raiders but on third and 19 a screen to Thompson picked up 74 yards to the Oakland 10. It’s that kind of night for the Redskins’ offense.
—They tried a gadget play on third goal at the four but a shovel pass to Crowder lost a yard. I’m not sure about that. Hate to say it but wouldn’t a fade have been better? The ensuing field goal did make it a three-score game at 24-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter.
—The Redskins continue to stop the Raiders on third downs with big hits. It looked like Michael Crabtree was going to haul in a pass for a nice gain on third and 11 but the ball tipped off his hands and Nicholson made sure he didn’t get a second chance with a good smack.
—The Raiders got another red zone turnover when Perine coughed it up and the Raiders recovered at the 12. A pass interference call gave the Raiders a first down at the Redskins’ four.
— After the penalty, Deshazor Everett nearly intercepted the first-down pass, Bashaud Breeland got two hands on the second and pressure forced a third-down incompletion. A field goal pulled the Raider to within two touchdowns. A top-notch defensive stand.
— Following the Raiders field goal, it was Cousins to Crowder for 30 yards to get into Oakland territory at the 44. Then it was Thompson for eight and then for seven, Mack Brown for 11 into the red zone, Brown for six, and Thompson for no gain. After Cousins ran for two yards on third and four, a Hopkins field goal restored the Redskins’ three-score lead.
—It was nothing doing for the Raiders as a holding call left them with a fourth and 23. The pass was complete but Seth Roberts was well short of the first down and Kendall Fuller forced a fumble that Martrell Spaight recovered.
—The Raiders finished the game zero of 11 on third downs. They got over 100 yards of offense on the night only during a garbage time possession in the last minute.
It took a full season and three weeks for Redskins fans to get a real glimpse of Josh Doctson.
But when the second-year TCU wide reciever got his number called on Sunday night against the Raiders, he made the most of it.
On the Redskins' first possesion of the second-half, Kirk Cousins looked deep downfield on a play-action pass.
Doctson was being covered by former Redskin David Amerson. But Doctson did what the scouting report says he does best: He goes up and get the ball.
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It's Doctson's first touchdown of 2017 was a beauty. Is there more of this to come?
Let's hope so.