Sunday Night Football started slow in Week 11, but the Washington Redskins prevailed in a late shootout at home over the ailing Green Bay Packers.
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Early in the first quarter of Sunday Night Football in NFL Week 11, it looked like the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins were about to punt the night away. The first five combined drives all resulted in punts and fans were dreading the rest of the 60 minutes of action. Even after Kirk Cousins found DeSean Jackson at the end of the first, it still felt like this matchup might wind up being a slog.
Fortunately, it was nothing of the sort. Once both Cousins and Aaron Rodgers adjusted to the heavy winds in FedEx Field, these offenses started rolling. Rodgers and the Packers answered the Jackson touchdown on the next drive with a 17-play effort that resulted in a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson—sort of. Josh Norman knocked the ball out of the hands of Nelson quite quickly, making it appear it could’ve been an incompletion. After review, though, the call of a score was upheld as Green Bay tied it up. Mason Crosby added a field goal later in the second to take the lead.
However, a quick eight-play drive from Cousins and Washington came up aces for the home team. They drove 75 yards in under three minutes, capped off by Robert Kelley running it in from 10 yards out. Washington failed on the two-point conversion, which they elected to go for instead of kicking in the winds. It was 13-10 at halftime for the Redskins.
The home team then opened up the first half with the ball and drove nine plays to get a Dustin Hopkins field goal. After holding Rodgers and company, Cousins then started to let loose—foreshadowing for the fourth quarter. Captain Kirk found Jamison Crowder from 44 yards out with a dime on a deep ball for six points.
Unfortunately, the Redskins defense gave the 12-point lead right back. They blew a coverage on James Starks out of the backfield on the next drive to start the fourth quarter. Starks went untouched for a 31-yard touchdown catch. Cousins wasn’t done, though, as he answered just two plays later, again torching the Packers secondary. He found Pierre Garcon deep downfield with another gorgeous throw that resulted in a 70-yard score.
Rodgers started another quick drive and made good on it with a touchdown pass to Jared Cook. That’s when Cousins and company went back to work and put together a solid six-minute drive. Kelley punched it in from one yard out, but Hopkins missed the PAT to make the lead 35-24.
Obviously the Packers still had time to answer and strike with how the fourth quarter was going. But that’s when Josh Norman came up huge with a big play. Cook caught a pass by the right sideline, but the high-priced cornerback swooped in and jarred the ball loose. Washington recovered. Looking to run out the clock, Kelley struck again with an exclamation point. He broke loose for 68 yards to get the ball down to the 4-yard line. He finished the job there, punching it in to take the insurmountable 42-24 lead with 2:30 remaining.
With the loss, Green Bay now drops to 4-6 on the season, having lost four-straight. Meanwhile, Washington sits at 6-3-1 behind the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants in the NFC East. However, they are right on the heels of the G-Men and are clearly playing their best football right now.
Kirk Cousins, Redskins – Washington’s quarterback was masterful on Sunday night. Cousins played with the windy elements with poise and relative ease as he led his team. He finished the night going 21-of-30 for 375 yards and three touchdowns.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers – Rodgers wasn’t on the level of Cousins (those words feel strange), but still led his team and did all he could. The Green Bay signal-caller finished the night going 26-of-41 for 351 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks.
Robert Kelley, Redskins – The rookie running back continues to shine and was a beast in maintaining balance and icing the game when Washington needed plays in the clutch. He carried the ball 24 times for 137 yards and three touchdowns.
Coming off of the win, the Redskins now have a short week as they face the Dallas Cowboys on the road on Thanksgiving Day. Meanwhile, the ailing Packers won’t play again until next Monday night, going on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles.