When the Washington Redskins traveled to take on the Baltimore Ravens in week 5, they were looking at a three-game winning streak. A streak that would get them right back into the thick of the NFC East race. They would need to do some things better to get the victory. Were they able to do those things? Here is my week 5 Upon Further Review.
The game opened with the Redskins going on defense. This is the norm when they win the toss. However, it did not start well for the defense. The Ravens went up the field like they were playing seven on 7 in practice. The way the game started, you thought that this was going to be a long afternoon. However, after this drive, the defense settled in and looked better throughout the quarter. The Ravens were aided by a field goal by a pass interference call that, in my opinion, should have been picked up. This happened on the Ravens 3rd drive of the quarter. The Redskins are still getting gashed between the tackles by the opposing run game. This is a huge issue through 5 games.
The Washington Redskins offense never really got on track in the first quarter. They only had the ball for a total of 4 plays in the quarter. That is no way to get a rhythm. We needed to be on the field longer to help out our defense.
The Redskins offense has taken some chances on third and short. Unfortunately, they were unable to convert. They were able to bounce back with a nice power run by Matt Jones and get the 1st down on a 4th and 1. I preach this every week. There needs to be more dedication to the running game, whether it be Matt Jones, Robert Kelly or the speed of Chris Thompson. This will only help the team all around, not just on offense.
The Redskins defense continued to stiffen up in the second quarter. The defense only allowed 35 total yards in the second quarter. They did not allow the big runs as they were in the first quarter. They were able to create some pressure with the front. They also got creative. They played some man to man and allowed some freedom from their linebackers. In all honesty, the Washington Redskins were lucky only to be down four after the half, especially after the effort in the first quarter.
The Washington Redskins defense continued to get better after halftime. In the 3rd quarter, the Ravens went 3 and out on 2 of their three possessions. The 3rd possession carried over to the 4th. This was by far one of the best, if not the best defensive quarter of the season. I wrote in my four thoughts on Sunday that I believe the Redskins are a strong Man coverage team. This is what got Baltimore in the 3rd quarter. There should be a strong exploration of this for week 6.
The offense was able to do some good things in this quarter. Of course, they got a short field on the shank by the Ravens punter. They were able to do what good teams do and capitalize on that short field. A quick three play drive with what turn out to be the game-winning score to WR Pierre Garcon. These are the kinds of things that the Redskins need to continue doing.
The Redskins defense continued its dominating effort on the day. They held the Ravens to 3 and outs on 3 out of 4 possessions in the 4th quarter as well. The last possession was a 14 play drive in which the Ravens were trying to win the game. The defense looked gassed on this drive. Especially the defensive line. They were helped out by two plays in the final 2 minutes being reviewed. This allowed them to regain composer and continue to dominate as they did all half.
The offense was not any help to the defense in the quarter. The Washington Redskins offense went 5 and out, 3 and out, and 5 and out on their three possessions of the quarter. They needed to establish the run game. If at any point of the game this would have been most critical. I know the Ravens have one of the better defenses in the league. But the Redskins were successful on the outside against them. There should have been a more concerted effort to pursue this further.
The Washington Redskins are 3-2 after week 5. They still find themselves 1.5 games behind the Dallas Cowboys in the division. I say 1.5 because Dallas currently holds the head to head on the Redskins. Next up is a critical divisional game against the Philadelphia Eagles. This could make them players with a win. ALWAYS HTTR!!!!