Defense shines as Redskins win their second straight

Ryan Kerrigan, Dak Prescott
Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP/Alex Brandon)
Josh Doctson, Anthony Brown
Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Doctson (18) reaches for an incomplete pass as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (30) looks on during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) hands off the ball to running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP/Alex Brandon)
Adrian Peterson
Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson (26) carries the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP/Alex Brandon)
Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) closes in on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) forcing a fumble and a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) closes in on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) forcing a fumble and a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally) (AP/Mark Tenally)
Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) dives over Washington Redskins defensive end Jonathan Allen (93) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Alex Smith
Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) looks at the ball after the snap hit him in the head during the first half of an NFL football game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP/Alex Brandon)
Michael Gallup, Greg Stroman
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) pulls in a touchdown pass as Washington Redskins defensive back Greg Stroman (37) pursues during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) scrambles with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP/Andrew Harnik)
(1/9)
Ryan Kerrigan, Dak Prescott
Josh Doctson, Anthony Brown
Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott
Adrian Peterson
Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) closes in on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) forcing a fumble and a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Dak Prescott
Alex Smith
Michael Gallup, Greg Stroman
Dak Prescott

LANDOVER, Md. — The talk all week was about consistency. Could the Redskins make it two straight weeks of quality football?

They might tell you it wasn’t high quality, but at this level all that matters is getting out of the game with a win, and that’s what they did.

It’s never easy with the Redskins and Sunday was no different. Brett Maher’s 52-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright as time expired and the Redskins hold on for the 20-17 win and maintain a 1 1/2 game lead in the NFC East.

They came out and punched Dallas in the mouth, scoring a touchdown on a 23-yard screen pass to Kapri Bibbs on their opening possession but failed to generate a ton of offense after that.

Enter the defense.

The defense harassed Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott all day long, sacking him four times, including on the play of the game.

Facing a third and long with 4:55 left in the game, Ryan Kerrigan sacked Dak Prescott at the goal line forcing a fumble that was recovered by Preston Smith and taken into the end zone to seal the win.

The front seven did an outstanding job on Ezekiel Elliot as well. The Redskins held him to just 33 yards on 15 carries with his longest run being just six yards.

More positive on the defensive side of the ball came in the third quarter when the Cowboys ran just six plays for four yards. That’s it.

Josh Norman summed it up the best:

“We got out of that little brother taste, now we’re starting to whoop some tail.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Adrian Peterson put the offense on his back and proved time and time again that he is the MVP of this offense. He carried the ball 24 times for 98 yards.

Keep in mind, this guy was not on a team in mid-August.

Where would the Redskins be after seven weeks without him?

Alex Smith had another sub par day, passing for just 178 yards, unable to finish drives inside the redzone and having to settle for field goals. He was without three of his top weapons on offense as Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson and Chris Thompson all missed the game due to injury.

In the end they know it wasn’t pretty and there’s plenty of work to do. But they’ll take the win and first place in the NFC East with a trip to New Jersey looming next week.


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up