- Kevin Barnes' first career interception denied the Jaguars in overtime and set Washington up for the win. (Photo: Associated Press)
The Redskins as a reward for earning their first win since Nov. 21 will receive today off and then will report on Wednesday to gear up for their final game of the season: a home game against the New York Giants. That game was originally set for 1 p.m., but last night was flexed to 4:15 p.m.
But before attention shifts to the Giants, here's a look back at some of the highs and lows from win No. 6 of the Shanahan Era:
1.) Young guys shine
They weren’t perfect by any means, but whether it was Kevin Barnes, or Rob Jackson, or Jeremy Jarmon, the younger members of the Washington Redskins team came up with some big plays despite their inexperience. Obviously Barnes’ INT stood out the most. He had a few mistakes out there, he said because he misread some things and thought some plays were going another direction than they ended up, but given that he’s been playing safety two weeks, that can be expected. Jackson showed that he has a bright future, recording three tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and another hit on the quarterback. (The problem is he plays the same position as Orakpo. How would he do on the opposite side?) Jarmon combined with Andre Carter for the sack/forced fumble on Garrard to end the first half, and he had another QB hit and tackle on the day. Macho Harris even had a few big hits. He admitted he was slow in recognition a few times in the first half, but he did make some halftime adjustments and took some plays away in the second. Even Terrence Austin got in on the act with a six-yard catch -- the first of his career.
2.) Third-and-longs hurt
The Redskins -- as they have much of this season -- struggled on third downs and managed to convert only four of the 15 for first downs. The biggest reason was they weren’t able to set themselves up with manageable third downs. On eight of those 15 third downs, Washington needed nine yards or more for a first down. That’s why execution early in possessions is so important. As you saw on the 14-play, third-quarter scoring drive, healthy gains on first down either led to additional first downs being picked up either on second down, or on manageable third downs.
3.) Grossman shows good and bad
Rex Grossman’s stat line wasn’t great (19-for-39 for a touchdown and an interception), but he did a better job of taking care of the ball. He was more deliberate when throwing it away, and did a good job working through progressions several times. He made a bad play on the intentional grounding call, and he had a few ‘what-was-he-thinking?’ passes. The interception was tough. Kyle Shanahan said it was the exact look the Redskins wanted, but Cox got great position. The call appeared to be terrible as Cox’s left foot was on the line. Grossman was sacked only once, so give credit to the offensive line, but also give the QB some for getting rid of the ball before getting taken down. The offensive coordinator said he needed to look at film to give Grossman a fair grade, but although he wasn't as good as last week, he thought he "did a decent job."
4.) Good things happen when you run
The Redskins late in the third quarter put the ball in Ryan Torain’s hands and let him go to work. He delivered by carrying the ball nine times and gaining 28 of Washington’s 68 yards, including the one-yard touchdown leap. Kyle Shanahan said after the game that the 17-yard run of Torain’s to start the possession set the tone for the drive and also set Shanahan up to be able to call more runs after that. Nine rushes out of 14 plays also loosened up Jacksonville’s pass defense.
Odds and ends . . .
The Redskins on Sunday set a franchise record for number of overtime games in one season (four). With the victory, they also set a franchise best mark with three overtime wins in one season. Graham Gano has come through with the winning field goal on each of those three wins. . . . With his second interception of the season -- yes, he actually held onto one, believe it or not -- Carlos Rogers increased his total for this season to two. Rogers didn't have an interception at all last season, and this is only the third time in his six-year career that Rogers has had more than one INT on the year. Two ties a career-high. Rogers is hoping the calf injury that forced him out of the game is well enough for him to play next week so he has a shot to post a new career mark. . . . Chris Cooley was targeted a team-high 11 times but he finished with only five catches. Cooley, who had been over looked in the first half of the two previous games, started the Jacksonville game with a catch on the opening play, but from there he had four straight drops, including one in the end zone. He was able to bounce back with four catches on six second-half targets. Fred Davis had a touchdown catch on the play that followed Cooley’s drop in the end zone and said his fellow tight end told him the drop -- and ensuing opportunity for Davis to make the play -- was an extra Christmas gift. . . . Anthony Armstrong has been one of the Redskins’ most consistent wide receivers, but the Jaguars did a good job of taking him away. Armstrong finished with just two catches for 15 yards on three targets. The first-year wideout has 42 catches for 787 yards and two touchdowns. . . . Rocky McIntosh for a second straight game recorded seven tackles and in the process went over the 100-tackle mark for the first time in his career. McIntosh last season had 94 tackles in 16 games. His new career high has come despite him missing one game with injury.