The Redskins and Raiders provided the final chapter in what was an eventful Sunday in the NFL, as Washington earned a 27-10 victory. Here’s a look at The Post’s top articles leading from Week 3, including examinations of President Trump’s incendiary comments relating to the NFL’s anthem protests.
After a dominant 27-10 win, Redskins have found their identity
Picking up where they left off last week in Los Angeles in a win over the Rams, the Washington Redskins relied on a recipe heavy on the running game and aggressive defensive play, and handily defeated the Oakland Raiders 27-10 to improve to 2-1 on the season. The Raiders drop to 2-1 with the loss.
As they struggled throughout the preseason, and during their Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Jay Gruden’s squad looked very much like a team still in search of its identity. The coach had talked about wanting a physical rushing attack. But the Redskins couldn’t run, and play-calling suggested that Gruden again planned to rely heavily on quarterback Kirk Cousins and the passing game to move the ball. Meanwhile, new defensive coordinator Greg Manusky’s defense remained disjointed.
Then Gruden went out of character in Week 2 as he faced former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay and the Rams, and truly committed to pounding the ball. Running backs Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine combined to top the 200-yard rushing mark and carry the offense. Afterward, Rams coaches admitted the Redskins caught them off guard with that approach.
It remained to be seen if Gruden would stick with such an approach for a second straight week, or if he would revert to the pass-first philosophy to keep pace with a Raiders offense that entered Week 3 leading the league with an average of 35 points per game.
Gruden maintained his commitment to the run, although his starter, Kelley, missed the game with a rib injury, and it paid dividends. Running the ball on 21 of 27 first-down plays, the Redskins repeatedly put themselves in more manageable second-down situations, and then kept themselves out of challenging third-down scenarios.
That enabled Gruden to dig more deeply into his playbook and throw a diverse attack at the Raiders. Perine, Thompson and Mack Brown combined for 116 rushing yards on 33 carries. Meanwhile, Cousins had his best game of the season, completing 25 of 30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions.
The defense recorded three takeaways and four sacks, holding Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to just 118 passing yards and 19 completions on 31 attempts.
Indeed, it appears that the Redskins have found their identity, with physicality on display on both sides of the ball.
With Chiefs on deck, this was a critical victory
It’s never a good idea to call any game a must-win this early in the season, and definitely not following a victory in Week 2. But because the Redskins have a trip to Kansas City coming up next Monday night, they needed to get the win over the Raiders.
Washington has never won at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs are hot having won three straight to start the season, including an impressive season-opening victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. There’s no question that earning a win next week will prove challenging.
So, if they wind up going 2-2 in the first quarter of the season, the Redskins will still find themselves in a decent position. But that wouldn’t have been possible without the win Sunday night over Oakland.
Perine fumble leads to a Raiders field goal; Redskins answer with their own
Redskins rookie running back Samaje Perine fumbled and injured his hand on a big hit in the fourth quarter, giving the Raiders the ball on the Washington 12-yard line.
The defense played well, breaking up two passes and forcing the Raiders to settle for a field goal that cut the score to 24-10. But that’s two fumbles and 10 points off turnovers for Oakland. That’s Perine’s second fumble, if you include the preseason. Perine is questionable to return, and Mack Brown has taken his place.
The Redskins put together another scoring drive, capped by Dustin Hopkins’s 28-yard field goal with 6:02 remaining in the game to give them a 27-10 lead.
Thompson’s long catch and run leads to Redskins field goal
Running back Chris Thompson has become the Redskins’ most dangerous weapon. With Jordan Reed out, he’s the team’s go-to guy in the clutch. With 2:36 left in the third quarter, and Washington facing third-and-19 from their own 16, Kirk Cousins hit the diminutive back on a bubble screen to the left, and Thompson darted in and out of traffic, going 74 yards before being run out of bounds at the Oakland 10-yard line.
The play gave Thompson 150 receiving yards to go with 23 rushing yards. He enters the fourth quarter with 173 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Washington’s drive stalled, so they settled for a 23-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal at the start of the fourth quarter, to go up 24-7.
Crowder’s muffed punt leads to Raiders touchdown
Jamison Crowder muffed a punt and the Raiders recovered at the Washington 18-yard line with 4:49 remaining in the third quarter. After a negative play, Oakland capitalized with a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr to tight end Jared Cook.
Miscues have proven costly for the Redskins in the third quarter, who lead 21-7 with 3:52 left in the period, but should be up 24-0. Following another strong defensive stand, the offense had to settle for a 52-yard field goal attempt, which Dustin Hopkins missed to the left. The defense held again, but Crowder muffed the punt — his second muffed punt of the season. After losing three yards on a run, the Raiders got on the board with the pass from Carr to Cook.
Pressure paying off for Redskins defense
Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has his unit juiced up tonight. After harassing Carr off and on throughout the first half, Washington’s defense hasn’t let up. Ryan Kerrigan recorded the third sack of the night (bringing his total to 2.5 on the season), then D.J. Swearinger fired up his teammates with a bone-jarring hit on Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch on second down. Then, on third down, rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen recorded a sack to bring his total for the night to 1.5. Carr had Matt Ioannidis pressuring him as well.
Carr’s frustration is starting to mount, as seen in his body language.
Doctson touchdown gives Redskins 21-0 lead in third quarter
Relegated primarily to run blocking for the first two games, Josh Doctson finally got his chance to do what wide receivers do: catch the ball, and he did so in a big way. Doctson scored on a 52-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to put Washington up by three touchdowns.
Doctson raced down the right sideline, covered by 2013 Redskins second-round pick David Amerson, who is now with the Raiders. At one point, it looked like Amerson had better position on the ball. But Doctson leapt into the air, snatched the ball away before Amerson could grab it, and then fought his way into the end zone.
It looked as though all of the frustration of the last year unloaded from Doctson as he screamed and chucked the ball to the ground. Limited by injury to just two games last season, Doctson got off to a slow start because of hamstring strains during the preseason and the first week of this season. Coach Jay Gruden used him sparingly in the first two games, saying that the 2016 first-round pick needed to prove himself and earn more playing time. Doctson had one previous target (a drop) in Sunday night’s game, and then came through to put his team up 21-0 on the first possession of the second half, capping a seven-play, 75-yard drive.
Kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 52-yard field goal attempt with 7:03 remaining in the third quarter.
Halftime report: Redskins 14, Raiders 0
Picking up where they left off last week, the Redskins are moving the ball on offense, and getting key stops and takeaways on defense.
Led by Kirk Cousins (17 of 19 for 173 yards and two touchdowns) and a strong running game (59 rushing yards on 15 carries, including 38 for Samaje Perine and 21 for Chris Thompson), the Redskins offense is clicking better than it has in some time, and that’s without tight end Jordan Reed and running back Rob Kelley, who are both out injured. Depth is being tested this game, and so far, the backups have delivered. Vernon Davis, who is filling in for Reed, has five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown to lead all pass-catchers.
Thompson continues to shine as a dual-threat back, with three carries for 21 yards and two catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, an aggressive defense has forced two turnovers while denying the Raiders on all five third-down attempts. The Redskins have limited Oakland to just 2.2 yards per play.
Despite the absence of starting “mike” linebacker Mason Foster, Greg Manusky’s defense is thriving. Will Compton has played in place of Foster in base packages. But the Raiders have used three-receiver sets for much of the game, so Martrell Spaight has seen the most action at that position because Washington has been in the nickel package much of the game.
Washington takes a 14-0 lead
Another takeaway, another touchdown. Reignited by Kendall Fuller’s interception (see below), the Redskins marched 72 yards in 11 plays and found the end zone on an 18-yard strike from Kirk Cousins to tight end Vernon Davis.
Balance again proved to be the recipe for success as the Redskins ran the ball on five of the 11 plays. Rookie running back Samaje Perine seems to be finding his rhythm. He averaged just more than five yards a carry on the scoring drive, and then Cousins threw a perfect ball to Davis over the Oakland defense for the veteran tight end’s first touchdown since Week 10 of last season.
Washington led 14-0 with 3:53 left in the second quarter, and the score remained the same heading into halftime.
Redskins offense struggles on third down
The Redskins have cooled off, going 0-for-3 on their last three third downs. Penalties have started to pop up. A Morgan Moses false start on third-and-9 turned it into third-and-14 from the Washington 21-yard line, and the Raiders stopped Jamison Crowder four yards short on a 10-yard screen pass.
Cousins threw an incomplete pass to Chris Thompson on third-and-6 from the Redskins 35, and then on third-and-3 from the Washington 24, Moses offered little resistance to Raiders edge rusher Khalil Mack, who raced by for a clean sack on Cousins.
Fortunately for the Redskins, their defense continues to play well on third downs, and they just got their second interception of the game. Kendall Fuller picked off a pass intended for Seth Roberts to give his team the ball at the Washington 28 with 9:58 left in the first half. Carr entered the game not having thrown a pick all year. He last threw two interceptions in one game in December 2015, his second NFL season. Carr threw only six picks all of last year.
Chris Thompson scores on touchdown reception, first quarter ends in a 7-0 Redskins lead
The Redskins couldn’t have asked for a better start to their Week 3 game against the Oakland Raiders. On the third play from scrimmage, rookie safety Montae Nicholson intercepted Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Nicholson, who made his second straight start, did a great job of playing his spot of the field, read the quarterback perfectly and then came over the top and plucked the ball from the air before it could get to Oakland wide receiver Amari Cooper.
The fourth-round pick initially was expected to contribute primarily on special teams this year, but the Su’a Cravens retirement has created an opening for him, and Nicholson is capitalizing.
The Redskins then put together an impressive offensive drive, going 67 yards in eight plays. Picking up where they left off last week, Washington remained balanced, running the ball five times and throwing it three.
Kirk Cousins completed both of his third-down passes — a 26-yarder to Vernon Davis, who is the go-to tight end with Jordan Reed out, and short pass to Chris Thompson, who ran untouched for a 22-yard touchdown.
On those three passes, Cousins did a good job of getting the ball out quickly to help keep Oakland’s pass-rushers from getting to him. And of course, the run plays helped keep the Raiders off-balance as well.
The first quarter ends in a 7-0 Redskins lead, and a 98 to 17 advantage in yardage.
Redskins players, owner Daniel Snyder link arms during national anthem
During the singing of the national anthem, Redskins players linked arms while standing, joined by owner Daniel Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen. Some players took a knee while linking arms with teammates. The majority of Raiders players sat during the anthem. Read more here.
The team also released a statement on Twitter that did not reference President Trump’s comments but said, in part, “We are proud of the players, coaches and fans of the Washington Redskins for all that they have done to improve the lives of others in neighborhoods all across our region.” It added: “We are also grateful for the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of our armed forces that have provided us the freedom to play football.”
Reed, Kelley and Foster inactive
The news came out pregame that tight end Jordan Reed, running back Rob Kelley and linebacker Mason Foster would all miss the game with injuries.
Oakland Raiders (2-0) at Washington Redskins (1-1)
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET, FedEx Field
Radio: 980 AM; 92.7 and 94.3 FM
SiriusXM: SIRI 81 or 83, Internet 831
Streaming: Fox Sports Go | NFL Mobile | Reddit NFL streaming thread
Line: Raiders by 3, o/u 53.5
Box score: Updates every 60 seconds here
Redskins roster | Depth chart | Injury report
Raiders roster | Depth chart | Injury report
The Redskins paid a steep price for their Week 2 win, with a number of key players injured heading into Sunday night.
Starters Jordan Reed, Rob Kelley and Mason Foster are all inactive due to injuries. Other inactives are Joshua Holsey, Tyler Catalina, TJ Clemmings and Anthony Lanier II. Josh Norman and Montae Nicholson had been listed as questionable entering the game but were not on the team’s inactives list.