Yesterday, we previewed the ‘Unsung Heroes’ or six players who we thought escaped the spotlight but deserved recognition for their clutch plays and big time performances in the two games versus Dallas.
Today, we’re looking at the ‘Top Performers’ or players who had, to say the least, incredible games against the rival Cowboys and players who were a big reason why the Redskins swept the season series and earned a playoff berth.
The rookie running back totaled 57 rushing attempts for 313 yards (5.5 avg) and four touchdowns, including a 200-yard, three touchdown performance in arguably the biggest game of his career. He was named Week 17 Rookie of the Week following the victory over Dallas and was later named a Rookie of the Year/Ground Player of the Year candidate.
Griffin III accounted for five total touchdowns in the two games. The rookie quarterback was 28/45 attempts for 411 yards and four touchdowns (one interception) through the air, adding 92 yards rushing and one touchdown on the ground. Following the Week 12 victory, he was named the Galloping Gobbler MVP and Week 12 Rookie of the Week.
In the two games against Dallas, veteran linebacker London Fletcher showed why he’s been able to play this game for so long. The 15-year veteran registered 15 total tackles (7 solo), three passes defensed, two sacks and one interception.
The Week 12 Thanksgiving Day victory over Dallas marked the 235th consecutive game played for No. 59. His third quarter interception of quarterback Tony Romo was the 20th of his career, joining Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher as the third active player (at the time) to have at least 20 interceptions and 30 sacks in his career.
Fletcher followed up that record-setting performance by registering a two-sack game in Week 17 versus the Cowboys, giving him 37 sacks for his career. It was also Fletcher’s fifth multi-sack game of his career and his first since Dec. 4, 2005 at Miami as a member of the Buffalo Bills.
The Thanksgiving Day game versus Dallas was somewhat of a breaking out party in the return from injury for wide receiver Pierre Garçon and he quickly made his presence felt with a 59-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. In the two games, he totaled seven receptions for 132 yards and one touchdown.
Garçon’s impact was unquestionable and goes far beyond any stat line.
One of the big questions entering the two games was whether or not the Redskins secondary would be able to contain the dual-threat of wide receiver Dez Bryant and wide receiver Miles Austin. Austin was held without a catch in both games and although Bryant was able to create some separation, it makes life a lot harder for the opposition when you’re number one wideout is held in check. A big reason why Romo was unable to zero in on his targets was because of the play of cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson.
Hall totaled 6 tackles (4 solo), two passes defensed and one interception in the two games, including a Thanksgiving Day game-clinching onside kick recovery which he returned for 43 yards to the Dallas 2-yard line. The interception was Hall’s fourth of the season, marking his best single-season total since registering six interceptions in 2010. It was his 39th career interception.
Following the onside kick, the offense trotted onto the field, approached the line of scrimmage in victory formation, took a quarterback kneel and watched the clock tick down to zero.
Wilson was part of the tandem that held Miles Austin in check. In two games versus the Cowboys, he compiled 12 total tackles (3 solo) one interception and two passes defensed. His interception came in the first quarter and helped set the tone for the rest of the game.
The defense came to play.
Check back later as we preview ‘Five Things To Watch’ in the teams’ 2013 matchups.
Tags: Galloping Gobbler, nfc east championship, redskins-dallas rivalry, rivalry, rookie of the week, thanksgiving, thanksgiving day game, top performers
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