For Redskins fans, there was a lot to like about Washington’s win over the Panthers. Adrian Peterson rushed for 97 yards six days after dislocating his shoulder and hyperextending his knee in a blowout loss at New Orleans. The Redskins' defense limited Carolina’s top-ranked rushing attack to 81 yards. Washington finished with a plus-three turnover margin for the first time since 2016. All good things. There were also aspects of the victory to nitpick, including Alex Smith’s tepid passing numbers and the Panthers scoring 17 of the game’s final 23 points, which made for a harrowing finish.

Former Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot, for one, wasn’t concerned with the lack of style points in the win.

“I loved what I saw,” Smoot said Tuesday on The Team 980. “A lot of people said, ‘Aw, that was an ugly win.’ A win is a win. I don’t care how my chocolate chip cookie comes out the oven, as long as it tastes good. It is a cookie. As long as it’s a win. We beat a playoff team. I don’t care what you say, Carolina will be in the playoffs when we get to the end because they believe in trench warfare. They are the Ravens of the NFC. At the end of the day, they play a smash-mouth brand of football. They run the ball with not only a great running back in [Christian] McCaffrey, but a 250-pound quarterback also. We stopped their running game. That tells me everything about the front. Trent Williams and those guys, they handled the front of Carolina. That bodes well for the playoffs. I know everybody’s throwing the ball around now, but when it gets cold outside, it’s all about running that ball downhill.”

AD
AD

Playoffs, huh? Don’t look now, but 538 gives the Redskins a 39 percent chance to qualify for the postseason and a 23 percent chance to win the NFC East. Sunday’s home game against Dallas will be a battle for first-place in the division.

“I think we match up pretty well against [the Cowboys],” DeAngelo Hall told The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. " . . . We know Dallas is going to come in here and establish the run game because they can’t beat you passing. They haven’t shown that ability to beat you passing. We know, as long as we don’t blow anything on the back end, they’ll be able to cover Dallas’s receivers. It’s about stopping that run, it’s about stopping Ezekiel Elliott.”

“In order for us to win the next one, we gotta go in and sharpen our pencil,” Smoot’s friend Doc Walker said on The Team 980 a few hours later. “That’ll start tomorrow. Today it’s all about pouring the sweet wine, the grapes, the cashews, the walnuts. It’s about victory. Jacuzzi nice and warm, 101 degrees.”

AD
AD

Don’t forget the cookies.

“That’s a damn fine win yesterday,” Chad Dukes said on 106.7 The Fan. “That’s a damn fine win. Was it perfect? No, but they were the better team against a good team, in front of what isn’t that much home-field advantage.”

On his podcast, Kevin Sheehan praised the Redskins for a bounce-back performance that may have saved their season and Coach Jay Gruden’s job.

“This was a terrific response to Monday night in New Orleans,” Sheehan said. “After a horrible game, a humiliating game, they were ready for yesterday. Give everyone credit for that. This was perhaps not a must-win, but it was a definitely-must-play well. They were active, they were aggressive, they seemed genuinely interested in keeping their season alive with a win, versus dealing with a messy two-game losing streak, and everything that would’ve come with a two-game losing streak. Even Jay Gruden seemed to have an edge about him yesterday. I think he had enough of the team, the media, the situation as a whole . . . There were some close-ups of him where he just looked hungry. He wanted and needed this one badly. He coached like it and looked like a guy whose season and career as a head coach was on the line, and his team responded to his edge.”

AD
AD

Sheehan said he didn’t have a problem with Washington’s second-half performance, which included three time-consuming drives. The Redskins rank fourth in the league in average time of possession after controlling the ball for more than 35 minutes against Carolina.

“They ate up 17-plus minutes of the clock [in the second half]," Sheehan said. “They scored on two of those three drives, albeit field goals, but they scored, and they needed those drives that ended in field goals. No punts in the second half.”

That said, The Team 980 host Steve Czaban feared the worst on Carolina’s final drive before Panthers Coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Norv Turner got away from the plays that put their team in position to pull off the comeback win.

AD

“It was looking grim right there,” Czaban said. “We were dead. I mean dead to rights. Second-and-five at the 15 with about 53 seconds to go and the Panthers had two timeouts, and they still somehow botched it. Thank God for Riverboat Ron, who really isn’t a riverboat gambler, and thank you to Norval Turner, who called three of the most inappropriate plays at the most inappropriate time.”

AD

Czaban also raved about Peterson.

“I am out of the doubting business of Adrian Peterson,” Czaban said. “I’m out. What he did on Sunday is nothing short of ‘Beast Mode’ times 100. That is a man’s man. I saw where Mike Tirico on ‘Football Night in America’ said that basically Peterson was waking up every night at 3 a.m., 5 a.m., 7 a.m. having his lovely wife massage the injured shoulder, digging her knuckles into the injured area to keep the blood flow going, to keep that shoulder from stiffening up and getting even worse. … This guy loves to play, wants to play, wants to be great, will pay the price to be great.”

AD

Meanwhile, on NFL Network, Deion Sanders defended Smith, despite his unimpressive 163 yards passing on 36 attempts, and said he’s a better fit for the Redskins than Kirk Cousins.

“Not only has he made them better, he’s made them more effective, more efficient,” Sanders said. “And he has them in the lead in the NFC East . . . Alex Smith is a better quarterback, in this situation right now, in Washington. I love what he’s doing. Those guys believe in him."

AD

Read more on the Redskins:

AD
AD