The downside was that Grossman was off target on a few throws and forced others. On his first pass of the second half, he tried to hit Moss deep against double coverage. The Redskins used only two receivers on the route against a four-man rush. With only two options and seven defenders in coverage, almost any throw is in danger of getting picked off. On his first-half interception, he threw high and behind WR Jabar Gaffney. CB Brandon Browner contacted Gaffney at the top of the route, but it was a good no-call because Browner is entitled to his vertical space.
Grossman got away with a couple of other bad throws. He threw a softie off his back foot trying to hit WR Donté Stallworth over the middle, and Browner was a half step away from another pick. SS Kam Chancellor narrowly missed a diving interception when Grossman overthrew Moss deep over the middle in the second half.
Overall, though, Grossman had the poise and resolve to win it in the end. That’s what matters most.
WR ANTHONY ARMSTRONG: Armstrong showed the value of a playmaker. He didn’t separate from CB Brandon Browner on his 50-yard touchdown, but he got himself open at the end with a well-timed jump. It’s been a rough season for Armstrong; he suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3 and then fell out of favor with the coaching staff. Credit him for maintaining a strong work ethic during hard times. Oh, and I’ll give his touchdown dance, The Dougie, a solid B.
RG CHRIS CHESTER: This was, by a million miles, the offensive line’s best game in weeks. Each guy had some negative plays, but collectively it was why the Redskins had more than 100 yards rushing for the first time since Week 4 against St. Louis and why they gave up just one sack for only the second time since the Rams game.
Chester was effective in space on a couple of screen passes, got to the second level on several runs, pulled effectively and generally held his ground the point of attack much better than in recent weeks. His finest moment was picking up DE Chris Clemons when Clemons looped underneath from the right edge on the game-winning 50-yard touchdown. Chester began the play by engaging DT Clinton McDonald. When Clemons came around, he passed McDonald off to C Will Montgomery on his left and kicked back out to ride Clemons way from QB Rex Grossman. The seamless switch allowed the play to evolve.
C WILL MONTGOMERY: Seattle’s interior defensive linemen, Clinton McDonald and Brandon Mebane, aren’t as formidable as, say, last week’s matchup against Dallas’ Jay Ratliff, and Montgomery played accordingly. He did well steering McDonald and Mebane in the run game and occasionally created running room for RB Roy Helu by blocking MLB David Hawthorne on the second level. The Redskins‘ line appeared well-organized in pass protection in one of the NFL’s most hostile environments.
RGs CHRIS NEILD and ERIK COOK: There aren’t many gassers to give out after the Redskins scored at least 23 points for the second straight week. Several players’ inconsistency was offset by enough positive plays to win the game. However, the right guard position on the kick protection unit was a glaring weakness on two blocked kicks.
Seattle DE Red Bryant blocked a field goal and a PAT and got his hand on another field goal. The two blocks resulted from technique breakdowns at right guard. Neild, who plays nose tackle on defense, was there on the blocked 23-yard field goal in the second quarter. Cook was at left guard in place of Trent Williams, who sprained the MCL in his left knee last Sunday against Dallas while protecting a field goal.
DT Clinton McDonald lined up over Neild but slid toward LS Nick Sundberg immediately after the snap. Neild lunged forward to block McDonald but got nothing but air. He fell forward, creating a gap for Bryant to surge through. Will Mongomery, who plays right tackle on that unit, was overwhelmed by Bryant and DE Raheem Brock.
The Redskins changed up the unit after that. Williams returned to left guard and Cook moved to right guard. That worked on point after the second touchdown, but a breakdown similar to the first occurred on the point after the third.
Cook blocked down when the lineman over him slid toward Sundberg. Bryant against surged through Montgomery as part of an overload on that side.
The Redskins have now had five field-goal attempts or PATs blocked this season. It’s a major problem.