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Week 14 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 13, Los Angeles Chargers 30
What you need to know
If the offense can't find a way to convert better on third downs they will look like this the rest of the year. Kirk's inconstancies have a major impact on the entire offense. They have to get better at deep shots down field as well. It will be difficult to always have ten play drives so Kirk has to utilize Josh's deep speed to get chunk plays. The defense is crumbling with only one real pass rusher. As a result, the secondary is constantly giving up huge gains.
continues to dominate in just about every way possible, putting up another 300 yards and two more scores. He spread the ball around to several different targets, focusing mostly on Keenan Allen
and Hunter Henry
on the underneath routes, and Tyrell Williams
on his biggest play of the game. He was rarely pressured in any meaningful way, and is well on his way to one of the best seasons of his career.
continues to get open almost at will. It took a flea-flicker to get him h is 100 yards in this one, but they all count in the box score. Unfortunately for Allen owners, he was unable to roll into the end zone after the catch and reward his owners with a touchdown. But another six grabs for another 100+ yards is nothing to sneeze at in what has become a career year for Allen.
has become quite the beneficary of all the attention being paid to Keenan Allen
. Henry continues to win the one on one mismatches he finds himself in, and has only gotten better and better each week. With Antonio Gates
being nearly entire phased out of the offensive gameplan, Henry has quickly become a reliable TE1.
|QB Kirk Cousins, 50 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 27 - 151 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0|
had an abysmal afternoon against the Chargers. He was completely flustered by the pressure being applied by the Chargers defense. Kirk threw twenty-seven passes but didn't even clear two hundred yards. He threw one touchdown in this game as he connected with Vernon Davis
in the end zone after escaping pressure. The offense seemed to be at a total mismatch as they often could not find a rhythm. Washington had countless three and outs as there third down conversion rate was extremely low. Kirk has had struggles but today might have been his worst outing of the year.
|RB Samaje Perine, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 45 - 0, Rec: 4 - 7 - 0 (4 targets)|
had a sluggish afternoon running the ball for Washington. He had seventeen carries but the yardage had little to no impact. As a volume runner it is imperative to get Samaje in a flow offensively. However, with the offense having such a low time of possession day it was difficult for him to get going. Kirk's struggles passing the ball hindered Samaje's ability to get on track as well.
left the game early first quarter due to injury and did not have any impact.
stepped in as relief for Byron Marshall
but had no impact on this game.
|WR Josh Doctson, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (6 targets)|
had another quiet day in the passing game. He recorded three receptions for thirty-four yards but never made much of an impact. Josh had an opportunity for a long touchdown but once again Kirk failed to connect with him. He also had zero targets in the red zone as Washington didn't have many opportunities inside the twenty-yard line.
tallied three catches for thirty-four yards but wasn't a heavy contributor. He has been highly productive the last few weeks but in this game he was held in check. His longest reception went for eighteen yards but the splash plays were nonexistent for Jamison today.
|WR Ryan Grant, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 28 - 0 (1 targets)|
had one catch for twenty-eight yards. It was a great slant route that would have been a touchdown if he wasn't tackled by a shoestring. Ryan didn't make much impact beyond this catch as the entire offense struggled to move the ball.
|TE Vernon Davis, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 26 - 1 (7 targets)|
was the most productive pass catcher in this game as he scored the lone touchdown. Kirk barely overthrew him for a second touchdown as he split two defenders down the seam. Vernon only had two catches but he could have had a bigger day if the offense could establish some continuity.
|TE Niles Paul, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (1 targets)|
had one catch for fifteen yards and never became a factor in this game.
Los Angeles Chargers
|QB Philip Rivers, 57 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 31 - 319 - 2 TD / 0 INT|
After leading the league in interceptions in two of the last three seasons and being constantly under pressure for several years now due to poor offensive line play, Rivers entered this game action leading an offense that hadn't turned the ball over in three games and had given up the fewest sacks in the NFL (13). Those trends mostly continued in this game, as Rivers was rarely under pressure save for a lone sack. And the only time he came close to a turnover was when he fired a pass over the middle off a defender's helmet and had the ball pop straight in the air. Fortunately for him, the pass fell harmlessly incomplete. He opened the game with a 34-yard gain to Tyrell Williams
on a wide open shallow cross featuring good yardage after the catch. He converted a key third down to Hunter Henry
and converted another floater over the middle to Henry for 15 yards soon thereafter (focusing on both Henry and Keenan Allen
early on). Just eleven minutes into the game, he had already completed passes to five different receivers. Finally, he found Henry streaking across the back of the end zone with another perfectly-placed floater. Rivers was simply surgical in picking apart the Redskins, going 92 yards on just ten plays. Late in the first half, Rivers essentially capped his performance with a deep bomb downfield to Tyrell Williams
, who caught the ball perfectly in stride before running away from the defense for the 75-yard score. In the second half, he saved his offense from a potential turnover when he made a nice catch of an errant shotgun snap. And really the last big play of the game for the Charger offense was a flea-flicker from Rivers deep downfield to Keenan Allen
. Allen stumbled a bit as he lunged to make the play, which prevented him from getting into the end zone by just a yard. Melvin Gordon
took it in for the score on the next play. With the Chargers up big at the start of the fourth quarter, Rivers exited for Kellen Clemens
at the 11:11 mark and Los Angeles up 30-6.
Clemens came on in relief of Philip Rivers
with the Chargers leading 30-6 and eleven plus minutes remaining. Clemens only threw three passes, all in the direction of rookie Mike Williams
. One was completed for a short gain, and the other two weren't even close to the target. One of the passes was so high that Williams tried in vain to reach out with one hand, and inadvertently ended up deflecting it into the waiting arms of a defender. It was returned 96 yards the other way for a Washington touchdown.
|RB Melvin Gordon, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 78 - 1, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (3 targets)|
Gordon had a fairly typical game for him. He got a large workload (23 touches), didn't average a lot of yards per carry, didn't break many big plays (he had a long gain of just ten yards), but scored a touchdown to salvage his day from a fantasy perspective. At this stage of his career, it's safe to say he's not the explosive type of runner most people thought he was coming out of college. But what he lacks in game-breaking ability, he makes up for in patience and vision. He also shows good strength, as there is often not much available for him to gain and yet he still consistently falls forward. Curiously, Austin Ekeler
is running behind the same offensive line and yet he consistently averages more yards per carry (12.3 in this one, as opposed to just 3.5 for Gordon). There was a flea-flicker in the second half from Rivers to Keenan Allen
that put the ball at the doorstep of the goal line. Gordon took the ensuing carry up the middle for the easy touchdown. Gordon was still on the field late in the game even with the outcome having been decided, which was somewhat surprising as the team wasn't resting him to protect him from injury.
Williams saw the majority of the "garbage time" work, getting all of his work in the fourth quarter with the Chargers already up big. He didn't pick up very many yards, but it's difficult to know whether that was his fault or whether it was just the fact that Washington knew the Chargers were running the ball to waste the clock.
|RB Austin Ekeler, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 49 - 0 (3 targets)|
Ekeler has proven to be a fine complement to starter Melvin Gordon
as the change of pace back. On a day that Gordon saw 22 carries, Ekeler saw just 4 (despite averaging nearly four times as many yards per carry). Late in the first half, he committed what was deemed a "rookie mistake", but it was difficult to fault him for it. The Chargers had one timeout left and were driving to try and get into field goal range, with less than ten seconds on the clock. Ekeler broke a run up the left side as the seconds continued to run, and the team probably wanted him to take a knee so they could stop the clock and kick the field goal. But he saw daylight ahead of him and tried getting into the end zone for a potential touchdown. He was tackled down at the 4-yard line, but the clock ran out as he was being tackled. Outside of that, he again looked good with the ball in his hands and was not in on rushing plays late in the game even with the big lead - Gordon was.
|WR Keenan Allen, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 111 - 0 (8 targets)|
Allen was once again the team's leading receiver, putting up a game-high six receptions and another 100-yard performance (111). And his stat line could have been even better, as he missed out on a touchdown by a yard. Allen and Rivers were on the same page very early on, as Allen turned to bring in a sideline floater down the sideline on the team's first drive. Soon after that catch, he looked on his way to the corner of the end zone on a catch out of the backfield. But before he could get to the pylon and fight the defenders in the area, he lost his footing a few yards shy. He looked open on the next play too, but the bullet pass from Rivers was too far in front of him in the front corner of the end zone and never had a chance to be completed. In the second half, Allen broke loose down the seam on a flea-flicker. The Rivers pass finally came down 51 yards later just inside the 5-yard line, but Allen stumbled as he hauled in the very difficult catch. As he slid on the ground, he ended up just about a yard shy of the end zone, but was touched down by the trailing defenders just before he could roll in for the score. Melvin Gordon
scored on the very next play.
Williams broke open for a 34-yard crossing route on the first offensive play of the game. He's been somewhat invisible lately, so it was important to see the Chargers finding a way to get him involved early. It was a harbinger of things to come, as he had the biggest play of the game early in the second quarter. After being seen talking with Philip Rivers
on the sideline prior to the drive, Williams took off on the next play for a 75-yard scoring strike. He broke a bit to the outside, then leaked back to the middle of the field. With no defensive help in the secondary, Williams easily outran his man, Rivers placed the ball perfectly in Williams' lap, and he did the rest of the work in beating everyone else downfield for the score. Around those two big plays, he had two other receptions totaling 23 yards. While Keenan Allen
is probably the only Los Angeles wide receiver who can be counted upon for consistent scoring, the stat line for Williams in this game shows the explosive potential of any one of them at any given time.
|WR Travis Benjamin, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 22 - 0, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (4 targets)|
Benjamin got wide open along the sideline for a 15-yard gain early on, and tacked on another 15 yards for drawing a facemask penalty. He added big yardage on an end-around later in the half with Philip Rivers
leading the way as a blocker (there were no defenders to block, however). In the second half, Benjamin had a golden opportunity for a huge gain over the middle which would have gone for an easy first down and likely a lot more. But he didn't watch the ball all the way into his hands, and it went for an incompletion.
The Chargers first round pick this past season saw limited action late in the game, with the outcome essentially already having been decided. One pass went for just three yards, and the other two passes weren't close to the mark -- one was even returned 96 yards for a touchdown the other way.
|TE Hunter Henry, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 50 - 1 (6 targets)|
As has been the case the last few weeks, the Chargers got up big early on and dominated the first half, only to slow things down after halftime. Henry dominated the first half, putting up all of his stats before then. At times, he seemed simply uncoverable. Henry converted a huge third and 9 for a 20-yard gain on the first drive, draw a pass interference over the middle (showing no fear in going full extension). And he capped his afternoon with a touchdown along the back of the end zone after easily beating his man off the line. After halftime, the Chargers largely sat on the lead and ran the ball to chew up the clock. Henry, along with the rest of the offense, were much quieter after that point; otherwise, his stats could have been huge.
Cumberland caught just his second pass of the season early on, for zero gain. It would hardly be worth a mention, except he inexplicably got another target in the second half. However, he dropped it while trying to turn upfield before securing it.
In a game that saw Jeff Cumberland
targeted twice, Gates was again conspicuously absent from the gameplan. As Hunter Henry
's role has continued to increase, Gates had faded almost into oblivion. Even with the Chargers knocking on the doorstep of the end zone several times, Gates wasn't looked to at all.