The Washington Redskins came away with bittersweet feelings after their 27-26 loss at Atlanta last week.
On one hand, they had one of their best offensive games of the season — and their best first half in yards since their 1991 Super Bowl year — and roared back from a 14-0 deficit to lead at halftime.
But on the other hand, they committed seven turnovers. Quarterback Kirk Cousins had two interceptions and a fumble, and running back Alfred Morris and receiver Santana Moss each had two fumbles.
“I don’t think I’ve been involved with a team with seven turnovers and still have a chance to win it,” coach Mike Shanahan told Washington reporters. “Those guys normally are great with ball security and don’t turn it over.”
Still, the Redskins had a chance to win. Cousins led an 80-yard drive for a touchdown with 18 seconds left, and the Redskins went for two points and the win. But Cousins’ pass was deflected and fell incomplete.
“I was very pleased with the effort that they showed, disappointed with some of the mistakes that we made and thought we had a chance to get it done there at the end,” Shanahan said. “And we just fell short.”
Cousins walked away happy with the confidence the coaches showed.
“I love the call to go for two,” he said. “I felt like we had them on the ropes and we just didn’t do enough to execute. That’s a play I clearly didn’t have a good enough feel for, and I need to go back and get better at it.”
Brian Orakpo recorded a sack against Atlanta, giving him seven in the past six games and 10 for the season. He began the year with only three in his first eight games.
“I knew the sacks were going to come,” he said. “That’s the hardest stat to do. That’s why sack guys get paid a lot of money.”
Orakpo, a first-round pick out of Texas in 2009, has 39.5 sacks in his career with the Redskins. He is in the last year of his rookie contract.
The Redskins remain good on the ground. They are third in the NFL in yards (1,973), second in yards per attempt (4.9), fourth in 10-yard runs (57), tied for fourth in rushing first downs (101) and tied for ninth in rushing touchdowns (13).
The Redskins’ run defense last week was their best in a year, holding Atlanta to 3.9 yards per play. They hadn’t been that low since Week 11 against Philadelphia last year.
“Let’s not get carried away with numbers. Let’s not get carried away with one game.” — Shanahan on Cousins’ potential to be the starter