LANDOVER, Md. – Chants of “DEFENSE, DEFENSE” swelled in the stadium. Cornerback Josh Norman, amped up after a momentum-sucking goal-line stand, hugged each of the defensive linemen of the Washington Redskins. It was the middle of the fourth quarter, and the game was all but over. That disruption up front was one of the biggest reasons why.
Washington (2-1) smothered the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night 27-10 in an eye-opening performance that shut down one of the NFL’s top offenses, and may have established the Redskins' defense as a unit not to be underestimated.
Oakland (2-1) entered Week 3 leading the NFL in scoring (35.5 points per game). But the Raiders mustered just 128 total yards and seven first downs on the night. The group failed to convert any of its 11 third-down attempts. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr finished the game with only 118 yards on 19-of-31 passing with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Despite rushing only four players for the majority of the game, Washington generated four sacks and six hits on Carr, who was under constant pressure the entire night. On the other side of the ball, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins was locked in and kept the Raiders off balance the entire night. He completed 25 of 30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns despite being without running back Rob Kelley and tight end Jordan Reed, who were inactive with injuries.
The game started with both teams joining in demonstrations during the playing of the national anthem, in response to comments made Friday night by President Donald Trump calling for the firing of NFL players who kneel during the anthem. Washington owner Daniel Snyder joined his players with locked arms, the majority of whom stood by him. Receiver Jamison Crowder, tight end Niles Paul and Reed, however, were among the handful of players who kneeled. On the Oakland sideline, the majority of the team’s players either sat or kneeled during the anthem, also with their arms locked.
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