Redskins Week 7 Review – Player ratings Vs Bucs

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Oct 25, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (86) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at FedEx Field. The Washington Redskins won 31 – 30. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

2. Besides the obvious, the big story from the game was the play of Jordan Reed. Err, at least in the 2nd half. Tampa, for whatever reason, decided to not to roll coverage towards him to focus on the WRs(especially Garcon).

Reed made them pay with two TDs, including the final go-ahead score. Even when the entire stadium seemed to know that Cousins would look for Reed, especially after Conte almost picked him off when he was throwing at 2 WRs near each other in the end zone, the Bucs refused to adjust and put David on Reed.

Call it stubbornness on Lovie Smith’s part or confusion or just plain luck but Reed made plays when it counted and the Redskins won due to his contributions.

Cousins is night and day better with Reed in the lineup, which was also true for Cousins’ predecessors.

3. One area that needs dramatic improvement is the defense. After 4 games, they were in the top 10 of most defensive statistical categories.

Now they’re in the middle of the pack for the big stat categories(16th in yards, 16th in points), but still are good with creating turnovers.

They’re on a downward trend and with three very good to great offenses upcoming, they need to rebound quickly.

While it’s easy to claim that getting Culliver and Hall back should make a difference, neither one will help the rush defense. Goldson and Robinson both have been playing far up towards the line of scrimmage to help out with or without the starting CBs.

As long as Baker is a rag doll on runs at him, the rush defense is going to struggle since Robinson isn’t good enough to clean up the runs if the defensive line is getting pushed out of the way.

So getting them back might cut down on the cupcake catches that Breeland and Blackmon have been giving up. It won’t do much to change the bad trajectory that the run defense is on. While the Redskins didn’t give up 200 yards rushing on sunday, they only improved that by 5% and gave up 190.

ALSO ON RIGGO’S RAG: Redskins Vs Bucs – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The big story of this decline has been the decline of Jason Hatcher and Terrance Knighton. Earlier in the season, teams had to run to the outside because of their presence in the middle of the defense.

That has changed. The Falcons, Bucs and Jets both used a similar play call to victimize the Skins. They didn’t run anything fancy, but repeatedly targeted the B and C gaps on the left hand side(if you’re not familiar, those are the gaps between the TE-LT-LG).

While Falcons used Kyle Shanahan’s favorite zone stretch to those gaps, the Jets and Bucs used a simple narrow toss to give the RB a clear vision of where to hit the hole. Martin and Ivory had gaping holes to choose from and had no problem gaining yards at big clips. 

This falls on Keenan Robinson: gap discipline is his responsibility and while he might be able to blame the Jets’ game debacle on an intense blocking plan vs him, the Bucs didn’t do anything special on him. They just went right at him.

Next: Thoughts 4 and 5