Redskins Cheat Sheet: Week 5 vs. Green Bay

Photo courtesy of
‘All Eyes Alone’
courtesy of ‘Mylar Bono’

Even with the Caps finally starting again, you probably can’t escape the fact that a Redskins team that’s winning – even if it’s creatively – is going to be the team people talk about come Monday morning. If you’re stuck in the office on the holiday and need a way to get through those water cooler conversations, turn to the Redskins Cheat Sheet.

If you’re a Redskins fan, you may be spending your Monday morning recovering from yet another heart attack win. And if you aren’t, but work in an office full of fans who have a better sense of their cholesterol as to not be moved to pain by stressful sporting events, the emotional win over Green Bay certainly could get the sense of Washington pride stirring this morning.

For the second time this season, the Skins went to overtime. However, as compared to the Houston game, the home team was victorious this time around, moving the Redskins 3-2 and clubhouse leader in the NFC East thanks to victories over division foes Philly and Dallas. A few conversation points for you after the jump.

Kicking Gets it Done – Redskins fans have gotten used to low-scoring, close games all season long. In fact, the only game that was out of reach was the two score loss to St. Louis in Week 3. When playing close games, it isn’t uncommon to call on the kicker for a miracle or two. The Houston game in Week 2 could have been a victory, but Houston was able to put it out of reach after Graham Gano missed a 52-yarder for the win in the sudden death period. This week, Gano was able to redeem himself, connecting on 3 out of 4 field goals, including the game winner in overtime.

Back to the Air – Clinton Portis, the number one back, was ruled out of this week’s game with injury, so it was no surprise to see the Redskins modify the balanced approach they used last week against Philly and air the ball out more. What a difference a week makes: last week, McNabb threw the ball or was sacked on 20 plays. This week? 49 pass attempts, as well as five sacks from the Green Bay defense. That’s a monumental shift in game planning, and part of it had to do with an injury depleted Green Bay secondary, and McNabb was only slightly more productive because of it, racking up more than 350 yards and one touchdown along with one pick.

The Defense Question – With the offense struggling to get rolling, it’s becoming clear that the way the Redskins are going to win games is keeping the score low. In the two losses, both opponents scored 30 points. In the three wins, the defense has held opposing teams to just a shade over 10 points per game. Oddly, this is in the face of some other glaring statistics, including ranking 30th out of 32 in pass defense and in the bottom half of rushing defense. How is this team doing it? To be honest, it may just be a little bit of luck. Recovering fumbles, timely interceptions and many missed field goals by other teams (Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby missed two yesterday, including one at the end of regulation that would have won it for the Packers).

Next week, we’ll help you break down the Sunday Night contest with the Indianapolis Colts. If you are at work today, now hopefully you can get through. If you get the holiday off, well, that’s not fair.

Dave Levy is a PR guy by day, a media researcher on the side and a self-proclaimed geek. He blogs often about how traditional media adapts – or tries to adapt – to the growing digital media world at State of the Fourth Estate. You can follow Dave on Twitter for various updates about everything from sports from his previous home in Boston to eccentric and obscure pop culture references. Read why Dave loves D.C.