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Redskins vs. Bears checklist

The victory against the Bears was an ugly one, but the Redskins came away with the win in a hostile environment and are once again above the .500 mark for the season. Here's what they had to do to win this game, so let's see how it turned out:

Offense

Run the ball. yes Ryan Torain was able to break 100 yards rushing for the 2nd straight week, and this 100-yard game came against a legitimate Bears defense.

Pass protect: yes/no I thought Jamal Brown and Trent Williams did a pretty good job of protecting, rendering Julius Peppers ineffective. But the guards looked weak and the whole offensive line did not do well against stunts and secondary blitzes. But all in all Donovan McNabb was able to pass well enough to break 200 yards passing.

Convert 3rd downs: No Look no further for the most telling stat of the day -- the Redskins were 2 out of 13 (15 percent) on 3rd downs. This is an unbelievable stat, It's amazing that the Redskins were able to win the game only converting two third downs. They must improve for the second half of the season.

Protect the ball: No They turned the ball over way too many times. They fumbled six times, and amazingly only lost one. McNabb was intercepted twice -- one for a touchdown. It would have been two times if not for a pre-snap penalty.

Defense

Stop the run: yes Matt Forte was quiet all day and was not able to reach 100 yards rushing.

Get the pass rush going: yes
This by far was the Redskins' most impressive day pressuring the QB. Albert Haynesworth finally showed the player that Redskins fans were so excited about when he signed here. Brian Orakpo is starting to figure out how to defeat blockers that hold; he had two sacks on the day.

Force Jay Cutler into mistakes: yes
As the game wore on, the amount of pressure generated by the Redskins made Cutler so uncomfortable that he did what he normally does when he's jittery, throw INT's.

Force turnovers: yes We finally saw what makes the 3-4 defense so special. It generates pressure on the quarterback and creates the opportunity to cause fumbles and interceptions.

Special teams must stop Devin Hester: yes Hunter Smith did exactly what he needed to do and that was to directional kick the ball so Hester would have no chance of a return.

Cover well: yes
Coverage teams did a fine job especially on kickoffs.

Make FG's: no
This is turning into a major concern. This was another game where Graham Gano missed a makeable FG.

These were my keys to the game and how I felt the Redskins fared, but what were your keys and how did they play in your opinion?

By LaVar Arrington  | October 25, 2010; 10:37 AM ET
 
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Comments

Excellent keys to victory LA....at times in a football season, jsut getting the win is important and with the Skins 4-3 right now, I think we can honestly say this team is going t o improve....there is NO way they are the worst Defense (statisically) in the NFL, BUT through 6 games we damn near are....BUT, with the amount of players on the Def side of the ball, it is just a matter of time. AS for Albert, just play is all ANY Skins fan wants...I don't think I ever heard 1 word out of Dave Butz - BUT man did he play....and the rest of the Def, great game, great job and thanks for keepign us in the games and in time it will all pay off.

Football is the most physical/psychological game there is and I belive the proof is in the different approach to the game by the entire coaching staff...Hey, NOT everyone will buy in on day #1, but over time, eventually everyoen WILL buy in and I believe it will be this Buying In that will propel the Skins to a pretty good year...in the NFC right now it is "ANY Given Sunday" on who is the best team, it is WIDE Open...we just need to stay the course

Posted by: talbottj | October 25, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Coming off a 4-12 season who cares about pretty wins - this team is winning ugly and right now that is all that counts! Each week that goes by Shanahan continues to exude his football prowess and raise the level of this teams play. Granted we should have beat the Bears by 2 TD's, but a record of 4-3 after playing the likes of Manning, Schaub, Rodgers and Cutler is darn good! Love the commentary LaVar - too bad you couldn't have played with this 3-4 defensive unit!

Posted by: skins10 | October 25, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I like the win. I gotta think a team that wins 4 out of 7 in such different ways, almost all variations on "Ugly," has something special.

Special enough to win the Super Bowl? Don't think so.

But special enough to make the playoffs in a very competitive division. People say the NFC East is dead. They're nuts.

Yeah, Dallas' record stinks, but we all know unfortunately, they can catch fire and are loaded with talent on Offense and Defense.

Philly, with Vick, may be the best team in the NFC.

And the Giants, with their O Line, their commitment to the run (not to mention a Super Bowl winning QB and 3 huge, fast, excellent wideouts), and their maniacal defensive line, can beat anybody.

And then, the Redskins, 4 - 12 last year, suddenly winning games by any means necessary, are very difficult to predict. McNabb has always been that X Factor in games and now we're running the ball even when it's difficult to do so. Our D is very hard to put your finger on, other than to say we are taking balls away, we are loaded with talent, and we hit.

And we're 2 - 0 in the division.
We've got as much chance as anybody, which was NOT the case in anybody's mind going into the season.

(We also thought Philly was gonna bite. Not so fast.)

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 25, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

This game and the preious wins are alot to do with Shanahan and his determination to play disciplined football. The Skins lack the offensive fire power to put games away so they use the clock and have a chance to win every week.
I think the D finally played Bump-n-Run coverage all game, except right before half when the Bears walked into the endzone, and it payed off significantly. They play Bump-n-Run against the Rams and we are division leaders.

Posted by: allens11 | October 25, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Lavar, why aren't u focusing on the D? Isn't the switch to 4/3 for the Bears game and Hall's play the real reason we won?

Posted by: robzombie | October 25, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

http://www.redskins.com/gen/articles/Redskins_Stymie_Bears_With_Turnover_Fest_166347.jsp

4-3 or 3-4 ??

Posted by: robzombie | October 25, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Lavar: I know it really hurt you to give Big Al the credit he deserves. Brian had a successful game because of Big AL. When Big daddy is on, all facets of the defense are hyp-erperforming. Give big daddy the credit he deserves.

Posted by: maz3 | October 26, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

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