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Seattle In The Rear View Mirror

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 28, 2011 – 11:32 am

AP Image

The Redskins have finally awoken from their bye week slumber, grabbing their first win since Oct. 2, a span of 56 days.  To put it in perspective, here’s a few other ways of measuring how long it’s been for the team:

  • They’ve made 26 changes to the active roster (and not all of them have involved Brandyn Thompson).
  • They’ve traveled approximately 7,733 miles on road trips.
  • They’ve had six other games, 22 team practices, and more than a dozen additional walk-throughs.
  • They’ve celebrated two major corporate holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving), and spent almost all of Mo-vember.

It’s been a long time coming, it was a hard-fought battle, and it’s a win that everyone can share in and enjoy until Wednesday.

The Redskins proved a lot of people wrong with yesterday’s win, including every NFL prognosticator except for Mark Schlereth, and we’re here to give Stink his due credit.  On a more global perspective, they also surpassed the deflated expectations of ESPN The Magazine and Phil Steele’s NFL Magazine, both of whom predicted a 3-13 inept finish for the Redskins.  They’ve spent a long time searching for that fourth win, but it’s always nice to prove the doubters wrong.

Yesterday also wrapped up a dominant season series against the NFC West, against which the Redskins finished 3-1, beating Arizona, St. Louis, and Seattle.  Sure, these three teams have 10 combined wins, but those are the games that the Redskins were expected to win, and they did so.  It would have been nice to pull out a win against San Francisco, but there’s no shame in losing to one of the best teams in the NFC, if not the whole NFL.

No shame in beating them either, but you take what you can get.

One unexpected byproduct of this rough patch has been witnessing the emergence of several young playmakers on offense and defense.  With the loss of Chris Cooley for the season, the Redskins were able to confirm what they thought they knew about tight end Fred Davis.  With the loss of Santana Moss, the Redskins were able to get a look at both Niles Paul and Leonard Hankerson, who showed tremendous development during their rookie campaigns.  With the loss of offensive guard Kory Lichtensteiger, the Redskins were able to look at seventh-rounder Maurice Hurt, who has been more than serviceable at guard.  With the loss of Tim Hightower, the Redskins were able to get a look at both Roy Helu and Evan Royster in the backfield.

Helu showed yesterday that he has the dual-threat ability to be an offensive catalyst, getting 30 touches for 162 yards and a long touchdown run.  The instant success that he and his fellow rookies have had is just a testament to the scouting and player development behind April’s draft.  Early, premature indicators suggest that the 2011 Redskins draft class could go down as one of the best.

In between buying holiday gifts this Cyber Monday, enjoy a few game stats from Victory Monday:

·         Rookie running back Roy Helu established career highs in carries, rushing yards and touchdowns, rushing 23 times for 108 yards with a touchdown. Helu – who entered the game leading the NFL in receptions by a rookie running back – also had 54 receiving yards on a team-high seven receptions.

·         Helu’s 108-yard day was the Redskins’ second 100-yard rushing performance of the season (Ryan Torain – 135 yards at St. Louis in Week 4). The Redskins are 2-0 this season when producing a 100-yard rusher.

·         Helu scored the first touchdown of his career on a 28-yard run in the fourth quarter. On the play, he established the longest run of his career and pushed him past his previous single-game career high in rushing yardage (74 vs. Arizona in Week 2).

·         Helu’s touchdown was the first rushing touchdown scored on the Seahawks since the second quarter of their Week 4 game against Atlanta, more than 29 quarters ago.

·         Quarterback Rex Grossman finished the game with a season-high 314 passing yards, the fifth 300-yard passing effort of his career and his first since posting 305 yards in the season opener vs. the New York Giants on Sept. 11.

·         Grossman connected with tight end Fred Davis for a two-yard touchdown pass on the Redskins’ opening drive. The touchdown was the team’s first on an opening drive this season. The Redskins’ most recent opening drive touchdown had been on Nov. 28, 2010, when Davis caught a 10-yard touchdown on the team’s opening drive against Minnesota in Week 12 last season.

·         Anthony Armstrong caught his second touchdown of the season on the 50th reception of his career, hauling in a 50-yard go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

·         Linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Stephen Bowen combined for a key fourth-quarter sack that resulted in a turnover on downs with less than three minutes remaining. Orakpo is now tied with linebacker Ryan Kerrigan for the team lead with 6.0 sacks. Bowen added to his career-high single-season total in sacks and now has 5.0 for the season.

·         Cornerback DeAngelo Hall recorded the 34th interception of his career, tying him with Nate Clements for seventh-most among active players.

·         Linebacker London Fletcher played in his 219th consecutive game, which is tied with Tampa Bay CB Ronde Barber for the most among active non-specialists. Fletcher and Barber have now passed Clyde Simmons (1987-2000) for the fourth-longest consecutive games played streak by a defensive player since 1970.

·         Rookie running back Evan Royster played in his first career NFL game and rushed once for three yards.  With Royster’s appearance, 10 of the Redskins’ 12 draft picks from the 2011 NFL Draft have played this season. The Redskins are the only NFL team to have 10 picks from the 2011 NFL Draft play this season.

·         Head Coach Mike Shanahan earned his 156th regular season win as an NFL head coach.

·         The Redskins held the edge in time of possession, 33:20-26:40. The Redskins are 4-0 this season when winning the time of possession battle.

·         The Redskins netted 416 yards on offense, their second-highest total of the season (455 – Week 2 vs. Arizona). The Redskins are 2-0 this season when posting at least 400 net yards of offense.

·         The Redskins scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. It was the fourth time since 2000 the Redskins have scored at least 16 fourth-quarter points and the first time the Redskins have done so in a come-from-behind victory.

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