Tha Sports Junkies 101

Washington Redskins Week 16 Review: Ground Game and Defense Stifle the Bears

Five Interceptions


Fueled by the ground game and five interceptions, Washington was able to pick up its eighth victory and keep its playoff hopes alive

After a disappointing performance against the Carolina Panthers, the Redskins were eager to hit the field again on a short week. It showed as Washington defeated the Chicago Bears 41-21 at Soldier Field. The defense was able to generate five interceptions of Bears quarterback Matt Barkley. Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman each had two interceptions, and veteran Will Blackmon added another

A week ago, the Redskins gained a measly 29 rushing yards on 13 attempts. On Saturday, Washington gained 208 rushing yards on 35 carries and four touchdowns. Running back Chris Thompson got the Skins out to a 14-0 lead with his seven-yard touchdown run and 17-yard touchdown reception. Kirk Cousins rushed for two touchdowns; one from nine and one yard(s) out . Mack Brown added an exclamation point on the Washington victory with a 61-yard touchdown run with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

With the victory Washington also increased its playoff chances by nearly 25 percent. Heading into the game against the Bears, the Redskins had a 23.3 chance to make the postseason according to ESPN. After a loss by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the New Orleans Saints, Washington is now the seventh seed. In order to make the playoffs, the Skins would need a win next week over the New York Giants, who clinched a playoff berth because of the Bucs loss. In addition to either the Cowboys defeating Detroit on Monday, or the Lions defeating the Packers in their week 17 game for the NFC North division.

Players of the Game

Chris Thompson: Thompson had a career day with two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) He didn’t post astronomical numbers as he only had four touches throughout the game (three rushes, one catch) but two of those touches resulted in touchdowns for Washington.

Redskins Secondary: After being snubbed for the Pro Bowl this past week, Josh Norman recorded his first multi-interception game with the Redskins. Fellow cornerback Bashaud Breeland also had one of his best games of the season as the starting tandem posted four of Washington’s five interceptions.

Kirk Cousins: Cousins had a nice bounce back game with 270 yards, a passing touchdown, and a 104.1 rating. Cousins also completed 62 percent of his passes and rushed for two touchdowns. More importantly, Cousins didn’t commit any turnovers.

Preston Smith: The second-year pro out of Mississippi State had one of his more disruptive games on the season. Smith recorded a sack and had another wiped away by penalty. Smith also applied several key hits on Matt Barkley that resulted in turnovers. Smith also blocked a field goal early in the first half.

DeSean Jackson: “D-Jax” finished with his third straight 100-yard game and he and Cousins are starting to connect on the deep ball. Jackson finished the game with five catches, for 114 yards. Jackson also added his eighth play of 40 yards or more yesterday with a long of 57.

The Washington Redskins wrap up their 2016 regular season with a home game against the New York Giants. With a win and a little help, Washington can clinch a playoff berth in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1991.