Posted on November 6, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Sunday was not supposed to be a day for the Washington Redskins to get a much-needed win. No, their suspect offense was not supposed to have any success against the mighty Seattle defense. It didn’t end up having much success—but it had some.
With how well the defense played and how bad Seattle played it didn’t need much.
Neither team looked particularly well on offense for the majority of the day. But the Redskins were able to find more than the Seahawks for the first three-quarters of the game. They took a 10-2 lead into the final quarter. But then they saw that lead shrink as Seattle’s offense finally woke up.
A ten-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Luke Wilson (followed by a failed two-point conversion) cut the deficit down to two points, 10-8. Later in the quarter, Wilson connected with Doug Baldwin for a 30-yard touchdown to put Seattle ahead 14-10 (two-point conversion failed again).
After opening the second half with a field goal drive, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins had not been able to get the offense moving. Down by four with 1:34 to play against Seattle’s defense in Seattle? The odds of a comeback did not look good.
But then Cousins connected with Brian Quick on a 31-yard pass. On the next play, he hooked up with Josh Doctson on a 38-yard bomb. Just like that, the Redskins were on the one-yard with a chance to take the lead and about a minute to play.
Rob Kelley took the ball in on the next play to give the Redskins the lead, 17-14.
Russell Wilson made a valiant effort to give the Seahawks a chance in the final minute of the game, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was pretty excited about the win after the game (USAToday):
“This is pretty high, to be honest with you. Especially with where we are as a team,” Gruden said. “We were 3-4, it’s hard if we jump down to 3-5. We have to somehow keep pace, we can’t get too far behind or the season will leak out on us.”
With three of their starting offensive linemen missing the game, there wasn’t much hope for the Redskins entering the game. But the guys filling in did an admirable job despite the six sacks and 11 QB hits Seattle recorded.
Seattle’s offensive woes took center stage as Russell Wilson was often running for his life throughout the game. The offensive line still struggled to protect him. If not for Wilson’s mobility, the Redskins defense would have recorded more than two sacks, and 11 QB hits on the day.
Wilson ended up accounting for 374 total yards of offense on the day (297 passing, 77 rushing), but he also threw a pair of interceptions. Placekicker Blair Walsh also struggled missing three field goals in the first half
Each Seattle offensive lineman was penalized at least once. Four of the team’s ten penalties were of the pre-snap variety, and receivers were flagged for pass interference twice.
In short, as far as the Seahawks go—this one was ugly.
Washington needed the win, not necessarily to stay on pace inside the NFC East, but to make a run at one of the wildcard spots. Catching Philadelphia will require a meltdown by the Eagles, and an unbelievable second half of the season for Kirk Cousins.
He does tend to take some time to get on the same page with his receivers, so maybe Cousins could blow up and bulldoze the rest of the competition. But it is hard to see the Eagles collapsing without a few key players getting injured.
Cousins and the Redskins will have another challenge on hand next week with the Vikings coming to town.
As for Seattle, they still need to figure out their offensive line and discover a running game. Eddie Lacy ended up leaving the game with an injury. But he wasn’t running well before he left (six carries for 20 yards). Thomas Rawls didn’t fare much better (nine carries for 39 yards). Wilson had a nice night with 77 yards on ten plays, but none of them were designed runs.
Seattle can only make it so far on the back of Russell Wilson. If they don’t figure out how to help him, they’ll be staring at an early exit as well. That is—if they even make the playoffs.
They face the Arizona Cardinals in a few days on Thursday Night Football.