The Washington Redskins played perhaps their best game of the Gruden era, knocking off the previously undefeated Oakland Raiders 27-10 at FedEx Field Sunday night.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was outstanding, going 25 for 30 for 365 yards and three touchdowns. Washington had 472 yards of total offense, 188 by running back Chris Thompson.
But it was the Redskins defense that set the tone almost immediately, as safety Montae Nicholson intercepted Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s first pass. The defense registered two sacks in the first quarter and got another interception from cornerback Kendall Fuller in the second quarter.
Defensively, the Redskins allowed just 128 total yards, sacked Carr four times, held running back Marshawn Lynch to just 18 yards rushing and held the Raiders without a third-down conversion in 11 attempts.
“We knew what we had to do,” said linebacker Preston Smith, who had one of Washington’s four sacks. “We had to stop Carr and contain ‘Beast Mode’ [Lynch] and we did that tonight.”
Though the Raiders (2-1) were able to convert two Washington fumbles into 10 points, their offense was largely shut down
“That’s our goal every week,” said Washington head coach Jay Gruden. “Play good defense, establish the run. That’s what we set out to do. The defense gave the offense so many opportunities to score.”
Cousins echoed his coach’s statement about the defense.
“I can’t say enough about the dominance of our defense,” Cousins said. “I was so impressed and if we can get that throughout the season, regardless of how the offense plays, it will give us a chance to win.”
Washington (2-1) goes on the road for a Monday night game next week against the Kansas City Chiefs (3-0).
Prior to the start of the game, players on both teams either sat down, knelt or linked arms during the national anthem. Washington owner Daniel Snyder came to the sideline and linked arms with his players.
After the anthem, the team issued a statement:
“Football has always served as the great unifier, bringing people together to celebrate the values of courage, commitment and achievement. 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.
“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. In that great tradition, the Washington Redskins will work to address divisions and bring unity, civility and respect to our greater community.”