I got home from St. Louis last night, and everything in northern Virginia was just a little bit nicer. I didn’t hit a single red light on the way home from the team facilities. I woke up before my alarm this morning. And I didn’t have to wait for hot water in the shower.
Winning really does fix everything.
Getting the road win in yesterday’s matchup against the Rams helped to calm fan’s fears that this was the same Redskins team as in recent years. After last week’s loss to the Cowboys, some of the more vocal members of Redskins Nation threw up their hands in disgust, and the air came out of their sails faster than a whoopee cushion.
Not nearly as comically, though.
Remember that 10 weeks ago, this was a team that legitimate publications were predicting would go 2-14. The Cowboys game was misconstrued as a must-win, when it was really a speed bump and a “gut check.” Gut checks allow you to see the character and perseverance of a team. Veteran teams don’t need gut checks very often, but this is a young team that the fans don’t really know yet.
Yesterday wasn’t perfect, but no win in the NFL is. The Rams were a quality opponent, and they gave the Redskins some looks and experience that will only serve them down the road. The Week 6 matchup against Philly looms large, but the Redskins have a week to rest up and relax before that happens.
The Redskins passed their gut check in St. Louis.
Here are some team factoids about yesterday’s win:
- This is the 11th time the Redskins have been better than .500 entering the bye since 1990. The Redskins have never finished with a losing record in seasons in which the team entered the bye with a record above .500.
- The Redskins finished with 196 rushing yards, the team’s highest total since Oct. 5, 2008, when the team rushed for 203 yards at Philadelphia.
- The Redskins won the yardage battle, 339-172. The Rams’ 172 offensive yards were the least allowed by the Redskins since Dec. 30, 2007 vs. Dallas. The Redskins are 9-0 in games since 2000 when allowing 172 yards or less.
- The Redskins’ seven sacks were the team’s most since Dec. 13, 2009, when the team registered eight sacks at Oakland. The Redskins are now 129-35-1 (.785) since the merger when registering at least four sacks in a game.
- The Redskins now have 15 sacks for the season, tied for first place in the NFL with the Eagles. The Redskins were 25th in the NFL a season ago, with 29 sacks in 16 games.
On yesterday’s third-string running back, Ryan Torain:
- Ryan Torain finished the game with 135 yards on 19 carries, the fourth 100-yard rushing performance of his career.
- It was Torain’s second-highest career total for a game and his first 100-yard rushing day since Dec. 12, 2010, when he rushed for 172 yards vs. Tampa Bay.
- On the ensuing possession, Torain scored on a 20-yard touchdown run, the longest touchdown run of his career. It was Torain’s first touchdown of the season and sixth of his career. His last touchdown came on Dec. 26, 2010 at Jacksonville.
On our defensive sack-masters:
- Brian Orakpo registered 2.5 sacks, his first multi-sack game since registering two sacks at Chicago on Oct. 24, 2010. His 2.5 sacks were the second-most in a single game in his career, behind his four-sack game at Oakland on Dec.13, 2009.
- Stephen Bowen registered a career-high 1.5 sacks.
- Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s second-quarter sack of Sam Bradford gave him 2.5 for his rookie season. In the process, he forced his second fumble of the season and his second in as many weeks.
- Kerrigan has registered at least .5 sacks in three consecutive games, the first time a member of the Redskins has done so since Brian Orakpo did it in 2010 by recording two sacks against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 10, one sack against Indianapolis on Oct. 17 and two sacks against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 24.
Other tremendous accolades:
- Punter Sav Rocca’s placed three punts inside the 20-yard line, improving his league-leading total to 12. Rocca set a season long with a 64-yard punt in the second quarter.
- With a six-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, Santana Moss tied Steve Smith for ninth-most career touchdown receptions among active players (54).
- Defensive tackle Barry Cofield recovered the second fumble of his career. His only previous recovery was Nov. 21, 2010 at Philadelphia. Cofield also had two passes defensed, giving him four passes defensed for the season, tying a career-high set last season as a member of the New York Giants.
Individual efforts led to a great team win. Bring on the bye week.