Defense, Darrel Young play big in Redskins 30-24 win over Bolts

Bottom Line: Redskins find their grit from somewhere deep inside

The Redskins wore their 2013 version of throwback uniforms in the game against the Chargers
The 3-5 Washington Redskins played a complete game against the visiting Chargers for only the second or third time this season and they did it with season left to save.

The 'Skins won the game when either the players, or the coaches, or both, figured out, finally, that Robert Griffin III was not the only playmaker on the team. They made full use of all the resources available to them.

They won when Washington's maligned defense denied San Diego 18 inches of turf for the go-ahead touchdown in the closing seconds of regulation.

Then Griffin, the savior of Redskins football, led a cold-blooded overtime touchdown drive that slammed the door on Philip Rivers' hopes to comeback for a win.

You can boil the story of the game into that valiant defensive stand and the OT drive that rewarded the defense for its effort.

The Redskins jammed Chargers RB David Woodhead for no gain inside the one. And then the defense covered passes to Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen. Allen had been doing a credible imitation of Danny Amendola vs. the Redskins v2012. He caught eight of 11 passes thrown to him. One went for a touchdown, but Rivers missed on his second scoring strike to Allen that would have shredded Washington's season.     

In overtime, the Shanahans stayed committed to the run as they had all through regulation. Alfred Morris had gains of 3, 19, 1, 9 and 0 yards on the drive. (A two-yard gain was wiped out by a holding call on Will Montgomery).

All of the Redskins touchdowns were on the ground, three by FB Darrel Young.

In the discussion whether to extend Mike Shanahan's contract next season, people should remember that Exec VP Mike signed Garcon to be Washington's No. 1 receiver and it keeps paying off. Shanahan hasn't hit on every signing, but he has done enough that I'd rather see him make those decisions when the Redskins get their cap room back than some new guy installing a new system.

Garcon has been highly critical of the Redskins "passing game" (ahem) all season long. He backs it up with circus catches so nobody says anything.

But this win was on the defense and the running game. Whoda thunk we could use "stalwart defense" and "Redskins" in the same sentence for two weeks in a row? (Liar liar pants on fire.).

A run game is a quarterbacks best friend, especially a young QB with a suspect knee evolving his skills. The Redskins rushed 40 times to 23 pass attempts. The result was 500 yards of offense and 40 minutes of possession.

If only the Shanahans did that in the last 22 minutes of the Broncos game, but that's looking back. In a weekend when every active NFC Least team won, this was a win the Redskins had to have. They found the grit deep inside to pull it out.

Point after:

Hog Heaven is fond of tracking Redskins performance by three stats worth watching:

1)      Passer rating differential

2)      Turnovers

3)      Third down stops

Washington won all three phases against San Diego.

Griffin had a higher passer rating that Philip Rivers, 86.9 vs. 81.9.

The Redskins picked Rivers twice. The Chargers fleeced Griffin on a freaky pick-6 in Washington's end zone.

The Chargers converted a mere three of nine third down attempts. The Redskins converted 12 of 17 third downs.

Accomplish any two of those three and a team stands a good chance to win. A hat trick on all three is a near certain win even under the most Trick or Treat circumstances.

That guy Cory Liuget must have accordion arms based on all the passes and field goals he was knocking down.

New NFL rules for 2013 prevented the Redskins from wearing the leather-look helmets with the throwback uniforms. I suppose there's a good reason for that. I wish somebody would explain what it is. 

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Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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