The Takeaways – Week 12, Giants at Redskins
November 25, 2017
By Steve Thomas
This week’s Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Giants fits nicely under the “a win is a win is a win” category. It wasn’t pretty, folks, but the only thing that really matters is that the Redskins were the team that ultimately walked away with a win. This game was at times incredibly boring to watch, at times exciting, sloppy most of the time, and a contest that exhibited the atrocious state of the playing surface at Fed Ex Field. This contest proved to be chalk full of “watercooler-style” takeaway points; fortunately, we were able to narrow things down to 5 of the most important issues. This was a season-saving win and should be celebrated, no matter how ugly things might have been. Here are this week’s Takeaways.
Jamison Crowder’s Big Day
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder FINALLY had the type of game that we have been waiting for all season: 7 catches, 141 yards, and impact plays that were critical to the victory despite having to sit out for a time due to a knee injury. With apologies to Kirk Cousins and Sameje Perine, Crowder was without a doubt the most important Redskin in this contest. He was responsible for key plays throughout the game that kept drives alive and move the chains at a time in which points and yards were at a premium. This was the rebirth of the 2016 Jamison Crowder. We can only hope that his performance is a harbinger of things to come for the remainder of the season and beyond, because, frankly, Crowder has been something of a disappointment this season prior to this game.
Sloppy Play and Injuries Ruled the Day
Make no mistake: this game was rather unwatchable for the bulk of the 4 quarters. The Redskins looked sloppy, unmotivated, injured, and probably most importantly, like a team who just played another NFL football game four days earlier. The Giants – who are terrible on their best day this year – looked much the same. It was not an entertaining contest in any way, shape, or fashion until late in the game when the Redskins offense finally started to make some semblance of progress. Washington didn’t suffer any additional major injuries, but health played a significant role in this game: the offensive line woes continued. Journeyman Tony Bergstrom was forced to start at center, swingman Ty Nsekhe started at left tackle, and at one point rookie undrafted free agent guard Tony Catalina was playing at right tackle. This wasn’t a well played game, as the combination of playing on Thursday and an unhealthy roster left Washington at far from its best.
Samaje Perine Comes Through Again
Samaje Perine got rolling in the second half of this game in a manner that looked – dare I say it – as a running back who looked like he belonged. Before you get too excited, understand that the Giants have been terrible against the run all season (and terrible in most other ways, too, for that matter), but still: for one half of football, at least, the Washington Redskins had a legitimate starting running back. He reached 100 yards rushing for the second game in a row. I don’t care that it was against to two who are bad against the run. That’s still a big Takeaway. Now, I have my doubts that Perine will end up being anything more than average, but that’s for another day. That other day is coming next Thursday against Dallas.
The Field Looked Terrible
The entire world saw that the playing surface at Fed Ex Field resembled a Pop Warner field. It had a large brown dirt streak right down the middle of the field from end zone to end zone. The NFL has since claimed that it had no issues with the field quality, which is laughable, since the issue was apparent for everyone with a television and working eyes to see. This wouldn’t be a big issue, or a Takeaway, except that the field quality at Fed Ex is an issue every season. The problem is that playing on bad fields gets players hurt, and allows for weird things to happen (one could argue that the Cousins interception in this game was caused in part by Cousins’ toe getting stuck in the turf). The Redskins front office has a strong desire to stick with tradition and keep the grass field; however, the grounds crew appears to have skipped grass growing day at horticulture school. Stop being stubborn, Mr. Snyder. Bite the bullet and install a turf field. I promise that it will be okay.
A Win is a Win and the Redskins Stay Alive
Here’s the most important Takeaway: no matter how ugly this game looked, the only thing that truly matters is that the Redskins got the W. Don’t allow all of the issues that came up on Thursday to cloud the fact that this win kept the season alive. In football, perhaps more than any other sport, winning matters more than the process. A win is a win is a win, people. Washington can now move on to another game that matters. If they beat Dallas, they get to move on and play meaningful football for the next week. If they don’t, the dream is over for 2017.
That’s it for the Takeaways for this week. As you know, the Redskins travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys next Thursday in another must-win contest. Stay tuned to The Hog Sty for everything you need to know.