REDSKINS HEAD COACH JAY GRUDEN
"No injuries of note. Brandon Scherff just tweaked his knee but he came back into the game."
On the character of the team after ups and downs:
"Well I think it's good. I think that’s the way this football season is going to be for a lot of teams in the NFL. I don’t think anybody can enjoy success all the time. You're going to face adversity and we have to meet it. It was great to see our guys bounce back after a tough performance on Monday night on a short week against a very talented and very well coached Carolina Panther football team, so I'm happy. You know, [we're] 3-2 right now and we faced adversity throughout the game but everybody kept fighting and stayed together, stayed positive and finished the game. "
On CB Josh Norman's performance today:
"It was great. You know, it was great to see. The thing got popped up in the media somehow. I don't know how or where it came from but Josh and I have swept it under the rug right after it happened. It was great to see him play well against his former team. I know it meant a lot to him. His forced fumble, interception, had some good tackles so I'm happy for Josh."
On the defense’s performance at the end of the game:
"Yeah, I think they had a couple good hits early on and made some great plays. Cam [Newton] scans the field very well, very accurate for a big quarterback. He's tough. He's tough to deal with. But it was great to see our guys breaking on some balls and making some plays. That's what it's all about. They got some yards, got down there but it's about red zone defense, situational football, third down, fourth down. We got the big stops and won the game."
On the play of QB Alex Smith and the offense:
“I think we had a chance to do a lot better. I think we were light in protection a few times and missed some great opportunities. We didn’t handle the stunts very well, again for whatever reason. Overall, we were efficient early on, jumped out to a big start, made some big conversions but couldn’t finish the deal in the third and fourth quarter again. That’s kind of been our M.O. here, against Arizona, same thing, against Green Bay, we struggled in the second half again and then tonight, again, we struggled. We did enough to win. We protected the football for the most part, which is good. A couple of big penalties hurt us, the intentional grounding, then the holding call off the trap play, or little forced play hurt us a lot.”
On the last drive and changing the coverage:
“I think Coach [Greg] Manusky stuck with his plan. I think he got after them once or twice but defensive backs and linebackers just had to hunker down and just play tighter coverage. [Christian] McCaffrey is a monster out of the backfield and Greg Olsen is one of the better pass route-running tight ends in football and [Devin] Funchess is a big wide receiver that creates separation with his size and of course you have Cam’s [Newton] running ability where you have to use an extra player sometimes to spy him so it puts you light in coverage. Overall I think our guys held up pretty well.”
On his level of confidence in K Dustin Hopkins:
“That was good. Coach [Ben] Kotwica said he’s a go and Dustin ran out there, sprinted, no hesitation whatsoever. I thought it was more of a 53-yarder but then I saw the 56-yarder, I got a little bit more nervous and almost took a time out, but I trust Dustin and Dustin knocked it through – big time kick.”
On how WR Josh Doctson played and if there was an effort to get him the ball:
“Yeah there was, we had some opportunities. We missed some at the end of the game. We had a double move for him on the left side and we got hit and that’s when the ball came out and we tried to go ball down the field and I thought he got held and grabbed on that one but we tried to get a couple shots to him. Vernon [Davis] made some plays, Jordan [Reed] made some plays, and when protection allows us to go after him, we have a better opportunity. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities with the protection the way it was today.”
On the run game:
“I think we had a pretty good plan. We had some good hits. We spread them out a little bit. It wasn’t the tight, condensed, power-type plays, it was more spread out, get [Luke] Kuechly and get them out in space a little bit more and run away from him and get our linemen up on safeties and try and do a good job and not let our running backs cut the defense. We had a couple good hits in that regard. We had some down down pull plays that were pretty good. We put in a lineman and pulled our linemen, [Brandon] Scherff was unbelievable at that so we had some good hits. Our backs were very good at that and Adrian [Peterson], I can’t say enough about what he did today, playing through the pain of the shoulder and the knee. What a pro, I mean what a pro he is.”
On QB Alex Smith’s response after last week:
“I think he did good. You can’t really tell. He’s never really too high or too low. You know obviously he wanted to improve on a performance like everybody did, myself included. But he comes into work and prepares and works hard. Gets the look and he’s just an even-keeled guy. I liked the way he bounced back, he protected the football and did some good things.”
On second half offensive struggles:
“I don’t remember those games that much, I remember today. We had a couple of good hits, drives, we had two key penalties that I can remember that hurt us. And then a couple of protection misses on some key third down plays. You know it’s a combination of things and plus let’s give it up to Carolina’s defense a little bit. They have three bonafide Pro Bowl type linebackers. Thomas Davis is unbelievable. [Luke] Kuechly is great. Their defensive line is very good, added [Eric] Reid obviously [Mike] Adams is a veteran safety. So, it’s not like teams are scoring 60 on these guys every week. It’s a grind. And we grinded this one out and got the big win.”
On TE Jordan Reed:
“I think we did better and again I think there’s more to get for Jordan [Reed]. We had a couple of opportunities. We had him targeted and they doubled him, like you said. And by the time you got off of him we had pressure, so I think Jordan is obviously very important and critical part of this offense. Whether he’s in the slot, whether he’s outside, whether he’s in the core blocking. He got some good blocks today in the core. So, we will continue to try to get him the ball as much as we can but if they continue to double him and play spot drop zones on him, we’ll have to work somebody else.”
On offensive struggles after scoring early:
“Like I said, there’s a lot of things that took place. End of the second half, we had a big grounding call. We had a chance to get out a field goal at the end and then we had a running back sitting right out there. They called a grounding which killed the drive. The third quarter we had that big penalty. We had to run up to the 15-yard line, I think it was and they called a penalty. So it was first-and-10 at the 15, we got second-and-20 at midfield. I mean, these are huge plays. And then we had a couple of protection blowups on third down. We try to stick with the plan and mixing the run and the pass but a couple of third down stops hurt us with some protections, maybe a missed target here and there. But, I don’t know. And like I said before, you got to credit Carolina’s defense a little bit. They’re pretty good.”
On third-down performance:
“It’s hard when you get third and long. You try to stay at third and manageable today, which is key against these guys. You see what they can do with their pass rush and their linebackers can cover out in space. They can hook drop. They cover a lot of ground and they’re very sound with what they do defensively with all the blitzes they also have. They can present problems to you. And we had [Kapri] Bibbs playing third-down back as opposed to Chris Thompson. That kind of shied us away a little bit on some of the third and long plays. I thought once we got to third down and medium, Alex [Smith] did a great job sitting in there, finding underneath crossing routes, a couple to Jordan Reed, one to Vernon Davis, one to Brian Quick. Those are key plays that keeps us on track and keep us on the field.”
On reasons for offensive line’s struggles:
“Yeah, yeah for sure. And they’ll get better. And they’re pretty good. It’s some of the stunts that hurt us a little bit. But we’ll get those corrected. And those mainly came on third and longs or, you have two-minute known passing situations. They hurt us a little bit. Overall, I felt like our line played very well against a very good team. Both in the running game and the passing game with a few exceptions which will happen against a good defense.”
REDSKINS QB ALEX SMITH
On how the team responded to last week’s loss throughout the week in practice and during the game:
“I think the toughest thing about it - you play this game long enough, it can be humbling - the margin of error is so small. Even that Monday night, I think with the travel coming home, we didn’t get back until 4 or 5 a.m. Tuesday, short week, good football team coming in… physical football team, to use that as motivation, put it behind us, prepare, recover, all that stuff for this game, I thought the team did a heck of a job. Everybody included in that. Tall task. It was hard to move on from that. It lingered… it definitely lingered. But I do hope that the sense of urgency, the preparation that we had this week can kind of take it with us as we move forward.”
On if the “lingering” had a positive effect to keep everyone sharp:
“No, I think that you want to go to a game to prepare in the right way, I feel like we’ve done that every week. There’s so many little things and variables that go into that. The games only mount and they only get bigger and bigger and this week’s a great example of that. They just get bigger. The goal is that it’s still so early in the season that you continue to move forward, you continue to improve from every game - good or bad, all the stuff in between. Hope that that was growth for us, this last week to go through that, and then we bounced back and got a win today.”
On if there’s any feeling of knowing the offense will play well early in the game:
“No, I mean it’s such a four-quarter thing. Yeah, you can get rolling and feel like you’re on them, you come in at halftime and go back out and adjustments are made and it’s kind of different. Margins are a little different, adjustments here or there. You never know. You never start out a game thinking you’re rolling and like, ‘Oh boy, this is going to be a great day.’ I think you just take it play-by-play, series-by-series.”
On if there’s concern that the team can only execute when they’re in the lead:
“I didn’t know that was a thing. Every single week is a completely different challenge. We played a defense last week that was a completely different structure, on the road, different strengths and weaknesses, different matchups. This week is a completely different one. This is a completely different challenge. These guys have a totally different system, they have their own strengths, then injuries and all that stuff, who’s up for a game, all that plays into it. And then, even within a game, like I said, first-half, second-half adjustments and all those things, winning, losing, situational football, all of that goes into… there’s so many variables and that’s what you practice for, that’s what you prepare for. Next week is going to be a whole different matchup. We’ve got to find a way to win that challenge, to win that matchup. The challenge, the chess match, all the things that go into it, the execution on gameday. Every week I think is a different deal and you’ve got to treat it like that.”
On what offensive adjustments were made to account for playing RB Adrian Peterson limited by injury in addition to missing RB Chris Thompson and WR Jamison Crowder:
“I thought the coaches did a great job making the adjustments through the week with the game plan, being prepared for guys to be down today. Then I thought the guys did a heck of a job preparing and knowing. We ran a bunch of three tight end stuff out there today, thought those guys handled that great. Finding the matchup - I think that’s kind of what we’re talking about - finding the matchup week to week, finding what gives you the best chance.”
On all three phases of this team coming together:
“I think today was a great example of everybody kind of having a hand in it, which was nice coming off of last week…everybody having a big hand in this win. Special teams had some huge plays from the turnover to [Dustin Hopkins] hit a couple of big kicks for us… defense though I mean to buckle down there like with them driving and holding sealing the game off for us so yeah, I feel like great team win on a short week bouncing back.”
On his connection with Jordan Reed:
“Great, I feel like it’s going great, same thing like every team they have a different way of trying to take him away and he’s that kind of play maker, so every week it’s something new, how are they going to take him away and so you kind of bank all of those things going on, I think all of us, and move forward, keep them in your back pocket all of those counter punches and adjustments that you have to make and certainly other people are involved in that because certainly he’s going to get a bunch of attention, sometimes it’s got to go elsewhere.”
On comfort level in the offense:
“I feel like we’re very untapped offensively. A lot of potential. And I say untapped as we continue to find out who we are, our identity as an offense, but I think one of our strengths is that we got a lot of guys who can make adjustments. I thought this week was a great testament to that. Some guys down, some key plays for us down, but other guys stepped up and you have to be that kind of team. Good teams have that about them, that ability.”
On noticing a difference among the defensive backs:
“Yeah, it’d be hard for me to say about practice, I mean when I’m going I’m going against the scout team and when they’re rolling I’m over on the side trying to get other stuff done so, I feel like those guys put in work every week, you know, our whole team does and I certainly don’t think it’s ever been an issue of lack of work or work ethic, but communication’s a big deal and out on the football field it’s loud especially at home this week and those guys got the crowd noise when their rolling and we’ve got a lot of non-verbal communication that has to take place on the fly so everybody’s got to be locked in step. So, happy for them the way that they played especially making the play for their team to win the game.”
On what needs to be done for this upcoming week
“I think all of those things that you just talked about. We’ve got to have a great plan, get our mindset back, recover, have a great week of preparation with all the details all week with the greatest sense of urgency as we prepare then you have to go out there on gameday and execute, so there’s a thousand things that have to get done and battle as you’re trying to win, to help you get a W.”
On thoughts of Trent Williams as a running back:
“[Laughter] Last week what did he run like 19 mph? You know he’s not the most athletic offensive lineman in the NFL but certainly he’s up there but big play. Those things are you know…the ball fumbled and to have the awareness to scoop it up and get some yards… big play for us.”
REDSKINS CORNERBACK JOSH NORMAN
On the meeting he called on Tuesday and practice afterward:
“It was great – practice was awesome. I talked to my guys – my defensive guys, the secondary – and I wanted them to know that everything we do, we do it as a unit, as a group. Regardless of what the outside noise, outside of us, we got to come together. And we got to come together now. This is the time where men are made to be great. And we have the opportunity to be great because we have guys in that room that can do it, we showed it week in and week out. And now we got to man up and it starts with me. It starts with me and what we do and how we do it and how we lead those guys. They all buying in and I just want to see them succeed so bad now. And the things that we went through I can share with them and they can share with me. We can all communicate and be on the same level. And that’s what we had conversations about – nothing more than that and nothing less. That was pretty much the point.”
On going against his former team:
“You know, during the whole week there was a lot of chatter. So it’s like, gosh, this is coming down. But you know the thing is, God created us for times such as these – he really had – and we got to understand and know that. Before we went out on the field, it was a great Bible verse that was quoted when we all came up, it came from Joshua 1. I don’t want to botch it so I’m going to read it, it was: ‘Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ And that struck a match in me to be like, ‘Okay we courageous, we strong wherever that may come up against us, we know we will be able to stand the test of time’. And we came out there as a unit, all guys on the field, all 11 guys – it wasn’t one guy, it wasn’t that, it wasn’t this – it was all guys going out there and doing their job. And we did it to a phenomenal executional way. I just want to tip my hats off to those guys and really appreciate everything they’ve put into it this week.”
On two turnovers against his former team:
“Every time we play those guys, it’s always satisfaction if I can do that. But all in all, those guys, they know how I feel about them. I know how they feel about me and that’s the thing. It’s just going out there and playing them. When you get in between those white lines all that goes out the door, it really does. I know what they bring, they know what I bring. And it was so fitting today that I was able to bring one to them. But at the same time, outside of the field, outside the white lines, they still my brothers of old and of new. They know that. I talked to them before the game. Even started on Friday when I was getting my workout in, Cam [Newton] and Luke [Kuechly], and we talked a little bit and told him, ‘I got something for you, in here at 3:15 lifting.’ Back there lifting with the lifting coach and just getting ready for them. I really was, I was preparing myself for this one. I knew it was going to be a special weekend. It came out to be that and I was so grateful for it.”
On criticism throughout the week:
“This week was a little bit different, I’m not going to lie. People cam from everywhere, fan base, I was just like, ‘Gosh.’ Checked my phone every time there was an alert or something, it was just the weirdest thing ever. And it’s like I’m playing cornerback versus everybody. Not just the opposing team but the outside team and the noise of just everything. But when I went home, into my nice humble abode, La Grande Evasion I call it, everything shuts off, everything goes quiet. I’m at peace, I really am because I’m going to live my best life regardless of what these people say or what anybody else say. I’m going to do what we do best. My teammates know that. As long as they know we have their back and they have my back, I can stand the test of time. Regardless of what they say or what anyone else says, we going to do us. And we going to do us in a way in which we are going to come out and be better each and every time we step out on the football field. If they have my back and I got their back and they can trust in me and I can trust in them, then that’s all that matters.”
On his interception:
“It’s crazy. It’s fitting that, you know, that we break that little streak against them, the team that I was with. I guess we’ve got a flare for dramatics somehow. It’s so special to where, I saw the play, it hit me with a double move. Like I said, they know how I get down. They know those first routes I like to come up on them aggressive. I played with them as defense, I played with them myself. I let the game come to me and not to it. As soon as I saw it, I think someone got back their arm or something, I think the ball was up in the air- that’s the only thing I saw. I think Montae [Nicholson], I think he came back on, dropped back in it, but I just saw the ball. And I wouldn’t let God’s angels lift me up and take it from me if they were out there. I just saw that one time and wanted to go in and get it and capture that moment. And once I did, the whole team came out and celebrated. That’s what it’s truly all about. It’s not about one person and what they do it’s about this unit and how far we can go as a group. We can carry each other. That’s all that matters.”
On forced fumble:
“It’s like an RPO. They love those combinations where they dive down to the running back and throw that quick slant with number 12 [DJ Moore]. I know Dunny [Quinton Dunbar] was on that side. But he kept running the ball, you know. I guess he was drinking off the Yak. So, I saw him and I came off and he never saw me. He never saw me. And that’s the that plays I go back to and I want to make, I want to be a force on the running game regardless what happens. And I just saw it and I captured my moment. Ball came out, I tried to find it, one of the guys recovered, and that’s just one of the plays that we got to have in order to have a good defense. And we did that, no matter who it was, was able to do that as a unit and that’s special when you can get turn overs. I think we got 3 today so that was pretty solid.”
On Mondays disagreement with Coach Gruden:
“Well, everything was smoothed over after the fact anyway. That was something that happened on Monday and today is Sunday. And we already got better from that, everyone that was involved. There’s nothing that I’d like to say further following up.”
On this win and team confidence:
“Well, it gives us confidence. It drives and exudes confidence in us to go forth. And go and create our own destiny. We have the drivers, were in the driver’s wheel of the car, we really are, we’re driving the car, we are it. We look at it and it’s like we’re in first place right now. So we have to continue to steer in the right direction. As long as we can do that and put on these consecutive games of where we don’t fall one, and drop one, win one, drop one, win one, no, we got to keep this consistency path, we’re in the driver’s seat so we have to be able to maintain ourselves and maintain our confidence to go forth and keep that consistent streak. I don’t think we’ve had one in a very long time so, we’re looking forward to that, we’re going to prepare this week and such. Then we’ll see this Sunday.”
On the overall defensive play:
“It felt really good. The way we started the game, we finished the game. We started the game with defense on the field and we finished with the defense on the field, and that’s what you want. To be able to come in here and hold these guys, a prolific offense, I think it’s the number one rushing team to come in, and hold then 17 points, I mean gosh, you can’t ask for something better from a defense standpoint. I’m so proud of those guys, each and every one of them. All 10 guys on the field and the guys that worked to get on the field and you know, it’s something special that you can build from this and we are not done yet. We still have more to go, still have more to improve on, believe it or not. Everything is not peaches and cream, when we watch the film we’re going to get coached up on a lot of the things that we missed. But the thing is, taking that coaching and understanding what we got to do to go forth, we’ll be better from it and we’ll understand that. We will be able to come out week in and week out and a performance of such, but it takes all of it. It takes everything, the unit of the defense and the offense. And special teams played big today, they played huge. I mean [Dustin] Hop[kins], oh my gosh, such a team player, of the week if you ask me. His big kicks allowed us to go out there and hold them down and we end up getting a big play too on that fumble. Going down on the field, guys are so excited to be on that, it’s a nice feel that we have. Just got to keep that feeling going.”
REDSKINS WIDE RECEIVER PAUL RICHARDSON JR.
On if the team is on an upward trajectory:
“I wouldn’t even say it’s so much of an up and down nature, because we are only five, six weeks in, five games in. I just think we’ve been tested, and you have to respond. I think even in losing a game like we did last week, we were tested as men to bounce back, to lock in, to focus and make this game important, and we did that. I think as long as we stay focused and we keep having attention to detail like we did last week, like this week, I ain’t run like how I wanted to run in the game and I got a lot that I can learn from, a lot that I can grow from, and as long as we keep doing that, we’ll be alright.”
On starting fast:
“When teams are able to start fast, especially putting touchdowns up on the board, that’s discouraging to the other team. They don’t have a lot of momentum going from the defensive end and getting scored on, to going out there on offense and having to respond. I like that we were able to get up early, and we’ve been able to hold onto our leads so far this season, so we’ve got to maintain that.”
On how nervous he was at the end of the game:
“I’m already going bald so. [Laughter]”
On what he’s learned from QB Alex Smith:
“Nonstop. Nonstop leader man. The game is over, and I’m over there cuddling Alex like, ‘Hey don’t be mad at me,’ for some of the stuff and he’s like, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it,’ and he’s over there talking about what he needs to do at practice this week. I think his maturity, his leadership, we needed that. I had a good leader before, but having him, I feel comfortable in this offense and I know the offense is comfortable following his lead, and it’s carrying over to the whole team.”
REDSKINS K DUSTIN HOPKINS
On his career-long field goal and what it meant to him:
“Well first of all, I’m just glad Coach [Jay Gruden] sent me out. That shows confidence in me, and I’m glad to go out there for the team. But, I’m glad he showed the confidence in me. Then, I can be even more confident when I have Nick [Sundberg] snapping for me and Tress [Way] holding for me. I don’t have to worry about anything else except the cues that make the kick successful typically. So, I’m not worried about the hold, or the snap or anything, so shout out to these guys, and the line blocking for me. I never worry about any of that stuff and it’s a testament to those guys.”
On the continuity of the unit and what it’s been like to grow with them:
“Personally, I’ve been on the short end of not coming up for these guys, whether that’s if I kind of miss hit a ball, it comes up short, whatever it may be. I’m just glad I could hold up my end and make some kicks for these guys. Being with them for four years, it makes a huge difference, with being comfortable on the field, but just developing a rapport with them off the field and they are some of the best friends I have on the team.”
On what went through his mind on the 56-yard kick:
“I didn’t want to try to over-kick it. I was just thinking a low back swing and contact just like any other kick. I said it before, but I toed it, so I was very fortunate that it carried. It was a great snap and a great hold and great blocking obviously.”
On Coach Jay Gruden joking about calling timeout:
“Really? Man, I just talked up the confidence he had in me, sending me out. [Laughter] Well, I guess I’ve got to take that back now. [Laughter] I’ve got to have a talk with him.”
On if he lobbied for the kick:
“Anytime, I’d say, it’s 60 and in, I’m on the sideline ready, if they call my number. We didn’t talk about it, I wasn’t like, ‘Hey, send me out!’ I was there ready if they called, and they did, so I just did what I could.”
REDSKINS RB ADRIAN PETERSON
On overcoming injuries:
“I prayed a lot and that helped me get through and help my team in a way. I’m just excited we got the W.”
On his mentality going into the game:
“It’s definitely mind over matter, in a game when you usually have to bite down and put your best foot forward. That’s what I did, I already had made up in my mind by Friday, ‘Hey I’m going to give it a go,’ and I know its going to be painful but it’s mind over matter and keep pressing. So that’s what I ended up doing.”
On the running game:
“I feel like we became, we were able to be balanced. We were able to take advantage of this past game and were able to keep those guys on their heels and we got the running game going. The offensive lined stepped up and did a great job, we had some leakage from time to time but ultimately they played a heck of a game. The receivers stepped up and made some big plays when we needed them.”
On the win:
“Yeah, it was kind of nerve racking standing over there, but our defense played outstanding, they gave us three turnovers today. So I remember talking to the D and we wanted to see ourselves get to where we needed and our defense is coming out there getting stops in this type of situation, and they did it.”
On difference in running game:
“I feel like it always starts up front and the guys came out there with a chip on their shoulder and you could see that and you’ll be able to see it when you watch this game back. The guys came back and established the front, frontline.”
On playing against the Panthers:
“I feel like any team you play and the talent we have offensively, defensively, and special teams. We can beat any team and it’s all about going out there and playing four quarters and executing, protecting the ball and doing the little things. We did that today and that’s the only thing. We have all the talent in the world to beat anyone.”
On the difference between the first and second half:
“I don’t know, maybe the defensive scheme. I don’t know, I don’t have an answer to that. We do need to do better coming out in the second half and put points on the board.”
On preparing for the game:
“I said a lot of prayers and the mindset, mind over matter. Like I said, I prayed a lot. God gave me the strength and do all things and I kept saying that throughout the game as well. That obviously gave me the strength to push through.”
REDSKINS TE JORDAN REED
On his confidence in the team:
“I’m confident in the players we have on this team, the players, and the coaches and every week we are making strides. You know, we got to keep moving forward. I’m excited for the future of this offense.”
On starting fast:
“It’s huge man. Any time you can jump up on a team 17-0 in the first half, that makes the game smooth for you and makes you more confident in the second half. It’s definitely huge to start fast. We locked it down, we’re doing it and today we started fast and ended strong, that’s good.”
REDSKINS TIGHT END VERNON DAVIS
On getting into the end zone today:
“Oh it felt great to get in the end zone. It seems like it’s been forever, but whatever I can do to help this team win, I am all about it.”
On the first touchdown connection with QB Alex Smith since 2012:
“Yeah, it’s been quite some time now. We’ve been together, but it’s great to have him at the end of my career, it’s just great. It’s all surreal to me. I remember when I first heard he was coming over and I was like, ‘Wow this is amazing, this is going to be great.’”
On the difference between his normal routes versus the soft crossing route he got today:
“Yeah, it is, it’s actually one of my favorite routes. I used to run that a lot when I was in San Francisco with Alex [Smith], so to have him install that play and actually get an opportunity to run it, is pretty cool.”
On what the win means to the team:
“It means a lot, it means a lot to us, especially coming off a tough loss last week. We can take this momentum and roll it over to next week and that’s what you want. When you have a lot of young guys on your team, you want to have that momentum, because they feed off of it. If we can go into next week very optimistic about what we want to achieve, we are able to reach our goals.”
REDSKINS-PANTHERS GAME NOTES
The Washington Redskins defeated the Carolina Panthers, 23-17, at FedExField on Sunday.
The Redskins moved their season record to 3-2 and have now posted a 3-2 record for a third consecutive season.
With the win, the Redskins snapped a six-game losing streak to Carolina and improved Washington’s all-time regular season record against Carolina to 8-6. The last time the Redskins defeated the Panthers was on Nov. 28, 2006 (17-13) at FedExField.
The Redskins now hold a 5-2 regular season record against the Panthers at FedExField.
The Redskins improved their record at home to 2-1 and are now 3-1 against the NFC. The last time the Redskins held a 3-1 record in the NFC was 2011.
The Redskins forced three turnovers (two fumbles, one interception) in the first half including a forced fumble and recovery. The last time the Redskins forced three turnovers in the first half was on Oct. 18, 2015 at the New York Jets. The Redskins registered two forced and an interception on defense at MetLife Stadium. It is the first time in 51 games that the Redskins forced three turnovers in the first half of a game.
With the three takeaways, it marks the first time the Redskins (two fumbles, one interception) have forced three-plus turnovers in a game since forcing three turnovers against the Denver Broncos (two fumbles, one interception) in Week 16 of the 2017 season.
The Redskins have now forced at least one turnover for the ninth consecutive week dating back to last season. After Pittsburgh did not force a turnover in Week 6, the Redskins currently have the second longest active streak in the NFL.
The Redskins led 17-6 at the half and have now recorded all three victories when leading at the break. The Redskins have outscored their opponents 82-53 in the first half and has held opponents to an average 10.6 points in the first two quarters.
The Redskins held the Carolina Panthers to 81 rushing yards and have now held three opponents to under 100 rushing yards on the season.
The Redskins allowed zero punt return yards for the third time this season. Barring the outcomes and the conclusion of Week 6, they join the Rams and Saints as the only teams in the NFL to allow zero or less punt return yards in three games this season.
Quarterback Alex Smith completed 21-of-36 pass attempts for 163 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 88.1.
With his fourth completion of the game, a touchdown pass to Paul Richardson Jr., Smith passed Boomer Esiason for 26th on the NFL's all-time list in pass completions. Smith now has completed 2,987 passes and currently chases No. 25 Jay Cutler (3,048).
In the first quarter, Smith connected with tight end Vernon Davis for a 22-yard touchdown. The score is the 31st touchdown completion between Smith and Davis dating back to their time as teammates with the San Francisco 49ers. They are now tied with Cam Newton and Greg Olson for third among active QB-TE duos in touchdown receptions.
Running back Adrian Peterson recorded 17 rush attempts for 97 yards (5.7 avg.). He has now rushed for 12,615 rushing yards in his career and is now yards 124 yards from passing Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett for ninth on the NFL's all-time list.
Tight end Vernon Davis finished with three receptions for 48 yards and registered his first touchdown catch of the season. He has now recorded 61 touchdown receptions and passed former Redskins great Jerry Smith for seventh on the list of career touchdown receptions by a tight end in NFL history.
Davis (61) is now two touchdowns shy of passing Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe (62) for the sixth-most career touchdown receptions by a tight end in NFL history.
Wide receiver Maurice Harris finished with three receptions for 13 yards and has now tied a career high with three receptions in a game for a consecutive week.
Wide receiver Brian Quick registered receptions in consecutive weeks for the first time in his career as a Redskin.
Tight end Jordan Reed hauled in a team high five receptions for 36 yards (3,038) and is now needs 82 receiving yards to pass No. 13 Roy Jefferson (3,119) on the Redskins all-time list.
Wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr. recorded three receptions for 31 yards and one touchdown.
Linebacker Zach Brown finished with six tackles (five solo) including one tackle for loss.
Cornerback Quinton Dunbar finished with six tackles (six solo).
Linebacker Mason Foster recorded six tackles (four solo), one tackle for loss and one fumble recovery.
Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan started his 117th consecutive regular season game, the longest active streak among active NFL linebackers. Kerrigan has not missed a start in his NFL career.
Kerrigan remains as one of six NFL players (and only three non-quarterbacks) to have started every game since the start of the 2011 season (Brandon Carr, Patrick Peterson, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford).
Cornerback Josh Norman finished with five tackles (four solo), one interception, one pass defensed and one forced fumble. It was
Norman's first interception since Dec. 24, 2016 when he registered two interceptions in the Redskins', 41-21, win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
The last time Norman recorded at least one interception and a forced fumble in the same game was during his stint with the Carolina Panthers. Norman returned an interception for a 30-yard touchdown and a forced fumble in a 20-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 13, 2015.
With the interception and forced fumble, Norman becomes the first Redskin to force a fumble and record an interception in a single game since Kendall Fuller did so against the Oakland Raiders in Week 3 of the 2017 season.
Safety DJ Swearinger Sr. finished with a team high seven tackles (four solo), one sack, and a forced fumble.
Kicker Dustin Hopkins connected on three field goal attempts including a career long 56-yard field goal. The field goal is tied for the third longest in franchise history. The last time Hopkins connected on two field goals of 50 or more yards was the 2016 season.
Hopkins is now 2-for-2 on the season in field goals from 50-plus yards. He has now recorded seven career field goals from that distance.
Hopkins (352) finished with 11 points (three field goals, two PATs) and passed Hugh Taylor (348) and Gary Clark (348) for 8th on the Redskins all-time scoring list.