Redskins Defeat Bears: Final Grades and Analysis for Washington

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Redskins Defeat Bears: Final Grades and Analysis for Washington
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

In a thriller rife with numerous lead changes, the Washington Redskins were able to defend their turf and defeat the Chicago Bears, improving to 2-4 on the season. 

Final

Redskins - 45
Bears - 41 

Washington Redskins Grades
Position Unit 1st Half Grade Final Grade
Pass Offense B+ A
Run Offense B- A
Run Defense A+ B
Pass Defense A+ B
Special Teams D+ C
Coaching A B+

vs. Bears / Week 7

Final Analysis for the Washington Redskins

Pass Offense: Jordan Reed. Jordan Reed. Jordan Reed. The excitement is warranted, the potential is obvious and now the stud production is there, as Reed finished the game with nine catches for 134 yards and a score. The rookie tight end is as natural a pass catcher as you’ll find, and he’s dangerous after the catch.

Robert Griffin III played his best game of the season in terms of mobility, pass command and confidence. He tossed for nearly 300 yards and two scores, and ran for 84 yards on 11 carries.

As these last two games have proved, this Redskins offense's effectiveness is tantamount to Griffin’s threat to run.

The offensive line was better today than we’ve seen in recent weeks. The Bears aren’t anything special up front, but the Redskins front line did what they needed to, and Griffin did a good job of getting the ball out quickly and extending plays when required.

Run Offense: Alfred Morris ran for 95 yards on a season-high 19 carries. But it was Roy Helu Jr. who finished the game with three touchdowns.

Although the offensive line wasn’t paving any roads, Morris ran hard and earned every yard he was able to get, while Helu provided the Redskins backfield with a change of pace.

In addition to Griffin’s designed carries, the Redskins were committed to the run in this game and it worked well. They saw rushing production and an opening in play-action passes.

Run Defense: Matt Forte finished the game with nearly 100 yards and three touchdowns, but those stats were inflated by way of a 50-yard run and score. For the day, the Redskins were solid against the run and did a great job in the first half to set that tone.

Chris Baker deserves praise for solid play in his second consecutive game.

Pass Defense: The Redskins became much more susceptible to the pass in the second half, despite starter Jay Cutler being out of the game and Luke McCown running the offense for Chicago.

Washington’s coverage didn’t seem nearly as tight in the second half as it did in the first, mainly because the pressure on the quarterback wasn’t as great. The defense relaxed, as Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall each broke big plays of 25 yards or more and the Bears were able to hang a surprising 41 points.

Special Teams: The Redskins special teams rebounded a bit in the second half after allowing a punt return for a touchdown earlier in the game. Their coverage was solid and you could see them hustling to create some momentum.

Keith Burns and his unit received some luck, too, when midway through the fourth quarter the Bears tried a surprise onside kick and recovered it, only to be called offsides.

Coaching: Jim Haslett drew back on the creative defensive fronts and blitzes in the second half, but it was overshadowed by how well Mike and Kyle Shanahan handled the final two minutes of the game trailing by a field goal.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

 

First-Half Analysis for the Washington Redkins

Pass Offense: Aside from a high pass that resulted in an interception, Robert Griffin III appears to have better command of his passes than what we saw last week against Dallas. Maybe not all the way there in terms of a pure passer, but his consistency should develop.

Jordan Reed is quickly becoming Griffin’s preferred target alongside Pierre Garcon. The rookie tight end has six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Reed’s score came with less than 30 seconds left in the half on a beautiful fade throw from Griffin, during which Reed high-pointed the ball in the corner of the end zone in single coverage.  

The Redskins offensive line has been OK in pass protection so far. Given the Bears' struggles up front on defense, you’d like to see a bit stronger hold for Griffin’s blockers, but at least he has had time to fire quick passes.

Run Offense: Many were pleading for Roy Helu Jr. to play a bigger role in the Redskins rushing attack and he showed why in the second quarter when he took a handoff 14 yards for a score.

Again noting the Bears' struggles up front on defense, you’d hope to see a more dominant effort by the Redskins offensive line when it comes to run blocking. Alfred Morris—who fumbled early in the game—has fought for every yard as he tries to regain his form from last season.

Robert Griffin III makes up for a majority of the Redskins’ run threat in the first half, as his legs and effectiveness when scrambling plays a vital role in Washington’s ability to move down the field. Griffin has 58 yards on six carries.

Run Defense: The Redskins have stopped the Bears on the ground. However, Chicago has barely run the ball, with Matt Forte getting just four carries in the first half.

Pass Defense: DeAngelo Hall is again having a terrific game, this time against Brandon Marshall. Hall has held one of the league's best to fewer than 30 yards on just three catches through two quarters. 

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has shown some creative looks in getting after the quarterback and it’s forced some errant throws, including a high pass from Jay Cutler to Alshon Jeffery that bobbled around before being picked off by Brian Orakpo and returned for a touchdown.

Even the linebackers deserve credit for keeping up with Bears tight end Martellus Bennett. Despite the physical mismatch presented by Bennett, he has zero catches through one half.

Special Teams: Just when we were about to talk about solid coverage by the Redskins through the first half, Devin Hester returns a punt for a touchdown and makes Keith Burns’ unit look just as vulnerable and pitiful as it did last week in Dallas.

This special teams unit is a serious issue.

Coaching: With the way this offense is moving today, no one should have any gripes about Kyle Shanahan or his play-calling.

And on defense, Haslett has mixed up some packages and brought pressure from different spots. Going against a quarterback like Luke McCown rather than Jay Cutler (who headed into the locker room late in the second quarter with a groin injury) could make for a fun second half for the Redskins.

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