Rapid Reaction: Washington Redskins
November, 3, 2013
By John Keim | ESPN.com
LANDOVER, Md. -- A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' 30-24 overtime win over the San Diego Chargers:
What it means: The Redskins needed a win -- badly -- or they could forget any thoughts of a turnaround, especially with first-place Dallas beating Minnesota. And next would have come serious evaluations of where the Redskins were headed, especially after blowing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead. It never gets pretty in that case. Instead, they gutted out an overtime win in a game in which they hurt themselves a number of times. But now, at 3-5, Washington can rightly still talk about winning a mediocre-to-bad NFC East, especially with a winnable game versus Minnesota up next.
The Redskins still have not played well enough this season to think they could go on a hot stretch; there’s too much inconsistency. However, they bought themselves time for a turnaround. It helps that the passing game had a better day, even with the batted-down throws. But there were enough plays made, thanks in part to play-action passes because of the run game's success, to hurt San Diego on intermediate passes over the middle.
Stock watch: Up: Pierre Garcon. For one of the few times this season Garcon was able to make plays downfield, in part because he was getting separation and also because linebackers weren’t always getting to their drops. Garcon caught seven passes for 172 yards, including a key catch on first-and-20 in overtime. Up: run game. It hasn’t exactly been down, but it was highly productive Sunday. Alfred Morris ran a season-high 25 times for 121 yards, while fullback Darrel Young rushed for three touchdowns, including the game winner.
Season-saving stand: The goal-line stand at the end of regulation might have changed Washington’s season. The Chargers had a first-and-goal from inside the 1-yard line and failed to score on a run and two passes. Had they scored, Washington would have had less than 20 seconds and no timeouts to drive for a touchdown. Instead, the Redskins stopped them, forced a field goal and won in overtime.
Up Next: The Redskins play at Minnesota on Thursday, so there’s not a lot of time to enjoy this win. It will be a good chance for the Redskins to win consecutive games for the first time this season.