In Week 3, the Cowboys felled the hot-shot Redskins, delivering Washington’s first loss on the season, and breaking up a perfect 2-0 start. In Week 11, it took all that the 5-4 Cowboys had to knock off the 3-6 Redskins, a game that spanned more than 69 minutes.
According to players in the locker room, players finally had their version of a players only meeting before the game, to address the attitude and direction of the team. From what players articulated, the message was: “Don’t give up.”
And yesterday, the Redskins didn’t. For the sixth consecutive week, the Redskins fell behind by 10 points or more. But this time, the Redskins battled back for their first lead since St. Louis. For the sixth consecutive week, the Redskins defense allowed 19-plus points, but this time the offense responded with 24, the highest total since Week 1.
Rex Grossman put together his best statistical game since Week 1, without the protection, running game, or receiving options that he had in September. Jabar Gaffney, who swore to his quarterback during the week of practice that he would get open, responded with his best individual performance in Washington. For the third consecutive week, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan recorded at least one sack, and nearly came down with a tipped pass interception in coverage. Returner Brandon Banks finally had his breakout game of the season, registering 190 return yards and setting up the Redskins offense all day.
Yes, all losses hurt–particularly to the Cowboys–but of the last six weeks, this game was a cause for hope, and a message that the Redskins are no doormats to the playoffs. There are some tough games down the stretch of the season, but if they can play up to a 6-4 team, then they still have plenty to show. No question that this team has been challenged physically, mentally, schematically and in roster composition, but this team showed that they are still able to answer the bell.
And at this point, there’s still a lot of fight left in the season.
Here are some notable stats from yesterday:
- Linebacker London Fletcher started in his 174th consecutive game, the most among active linebackers and tied with Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber for the most in the NFL among active non-specialists. Fletcher’s appearance extended his consecutive games played streak to 218. With appearances in their respective games today, Fletcher and Barber both moved into a tie with defensive end Clyde Simmons for the fourth-most consecutive games played by a defensive player since 1970.
- Fletcher had a game-high 16 tackles and his third quarter sack gave him 34.0 sacks for his career.
- The touchdown from Grossman to Gaffney marked the 27th time the two have connected on touchdown plays between the collegiate and professional levels (25 at the University of Florida and twice with the Redskins).
- With his 115 receiving yards, Gaffney became the fourth different Redskins’ player this season to post 100-plus receiving yards in a game, which is the first time the team has accomplished this since 1998. Gaffney joins Fred Davis, Leonard Hankerson, and Roy Helu on the list of players who have 100-yard receiving games this season.
- Wide receiver Donté Stallworth recorded season-highs in receptions (four) and receiving yards (51).
- Stallworth caught a four-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left in regulation. The touchdown was his first since Oct. 26, 2008, and his first as a member of the Redskins.
- Rocca had two punts downed inside the Cowboys’ 20-yard line, giving him 20 punts downed inside the 20 this season, first in the NFC and second in the NFL.
- Rookie safety DeJon Gomes received his first NFL start, making him the sixth Redskin rookie to start a game this season (Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu, Maurice Hurt, Ryan Kerrigan and Niles Paul). Only the Denver Broncos have started more rookies this season (seven). Gomes recorded 13 tackles (seven solo).
- In the second quarter, rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan posted his sixth sack of the season, becoming the first Redskin rookie to record at least half-a-sack in three consecutive games since linebacker Brian Orakpo accomplished the feat in four consecutive games in 2009 (Weeks 3-6).
- Defensive end Adam Carriker and defensive tackle Chris Neild split a sack of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in the second quarter. In doing so, Carriker improved upon his single-season career high for sacks, which now stands at 5.0.
- Defensive end Stephen Bowen added a sack in the third quarter, adding to his existing single-season career high as he now has 4.5 sacks for the season.
- The Redskins now have four players with at least 4.5 sacks (Bowen, Carriker, Kerrigan and Orakpo). Entering Sunday’s games, only the Houston Texans had four players with 4.5 sacks.
- Brandon Banks’ 55-yard punt return in the third quarter was a career long. Banks’ previous long was a 53-yard return at Philadelphia on Oct. 3, 2010. Banks finished a season-high 190 all-purpose yards.
- Tight end Fred Davis caught six passes, pushing his season total to 49, a single-season career-high.