Tha Sports Junkies 101

Washington Redskins Week 5 Review: Defense and Special Teams Shine

Jamison Crowder


The Redskins defense was the more dominant unit against the Baltimore Ravens. Fueled by a 85-yard punt return touchdown by Jamison Crowder and the swarming play of the Redskins defense, Washington earned its first win in Baltimore for the first time since 1955.

Jamison Crowder sparked the Washington Redskins with an electrifying 85-yard touchdown. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh felt that Crowder’s return was the turning point in the first half.

“That’s what gave them the spark to get back in the game, in my mind,” Harbaugh said.

However, the Redskins defense was the true difference maker on Sunday. So much in fact that the Ravens fired offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. Baltimore scored on their opening possession. Joe Flacco connected with tight end Crocket Gillmore for a seven-yard touchdown pass. The score capped a nine-play, 75 yard drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock. (4:47)

Justin Tucker added a 31-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give the Ravens a 10-6 lead. That Redskins defense shut the Ravens out for the remainder of the game.

Bang-Bang Plays

These are the type of plays that can go either way, often making an impact on the outcome of football games. After Ravens linebacker Zachary Orr forced and recovered a fumble by Matt Jones at the Washington 15, the Ravens were in excellent field position. The Redskins defense limited the Ravens to -2 yards on three plays. Baltimore settled for a fake field goal attempt late in the second quarter.

Josh Norman snuffed out a pass from Justin Tucker, as Duke Ihenacho deflected Tucker’s pass intended for tight end Crocket Gillmore. In the third quarter, Kirk Cousins was intercepted by Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosely. Mosely almost had a “pick-6” but instead fumbled the ball out of the end zone. By rule, the ball was awarded to the Redskins. Washington added the final points of the game on the ensuing possession with a 27-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins.

Breshaud Perriman caught what appeared to be the game winning touchdown from Joe Flacco 30 seconds remaining in regulation but after an official review, officials ruled the pass to Perriman was incomplete.

Defense Continues Second Half Dominance

Over the past three games, the Redskins defense has allowed nine points in the second half. The defense also has eight turnovers during that span. Against Baltimore, the defense allowed the Ravens to a 20 percent third-down conversion rate.

Following Tucker’s 31-yard field goal in the second quarter, the Redskins forced the Ravens to punt on seven of their next 10 possessions. Two Ravens possessions ended on downs, and the other ended with a sack. This performance was huge for the morale of the defense. Washington ranks in the bottom half of pretty much every major defensive category.

Three X-Factors

In his first start of the season, Duke Ihenacho, was one of the more productive players on defense. Ihenacho notched a team high nine tackles. He also saved a touchdown on a fake field goal. Ihenacho has already provided more of an impact that David Bruton Jr.

Jamison Crowder is becoming the threat in the return game that the Redskins had hoped for when they drafted him. His biggest punt returns of the season have sparked road wins for the Redskins. Crowder also added three catches for 35 yards.

Fellow wide receiver Pierre Garcon scored the only offensive touchdown for the Redskins. Garcon beat Jimmy Smith in man coverage for a 21-yard pass from Kirk Cousins. Garcon finished the game with five receptions and 56 yards.

The Redskins play host to division rival Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. With a win, Washington can tie for first place within the division.