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Cousins, Thompson lead Redskins' romp over Raiders

*Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins (2-1) put on a show on Sunday night, shutting down Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders (2-1), 27-10, at FedEx Field in Week 3. Here's what we learned: *

  1. Kirk Cousins made his first, and maybe his finest, case for a big-time contract extension on Sunday evening. In his first prime-time game since signing a second franchise tag, the Redskins quarterback made mincemeat of Oakland's defense, spreading the ball around to receivers at every position, en route to a 365-yard, three-touchdown evening. Thanks to a clean pocket, Cousins had time to lead three seven-plus-play touchdown drives and make decisive, accurate throws. The quarterback's touchdown toss to fill-in tight end Vernon Davis (5 rec, 58 yards) was a thing of beauty. His first-half efficiency (17 of 19 for 173) was otherworldly. After two so-so outings, Cousins' Week 3 performance will likely be Exhibit A when contract negotiations pick up after the season.
  1. With Rob Kelley out, running back responsibilities fell to rookie Samaje Perine and newly minted Chris Thompson. While Perine was rather ineffective as a yard-gainer and lost a bad fumble in 'Skins territory, Thompson proved his indispensable worth for the second game in a row. Washington's leading receiver, Thompson caught six balls out of the backfield for 150 yards, including one back-breaking 74-yard gainer after Oakland had pulled within two scores. Thompson's elusiveness and pinpoint cuts in the open field had Raiders linebackers and defensive backs on skates. Having compiled over 100 yards from scrimmage in back-to-back weeks, Thompson is earning every cent of his two-year extension.
  1. Derek Carr will want to forget this game ever took place. The Raiders quarterback, who had been considered an MVP front-runner before Sunday night, looked completely unlike the 2016 Carr who was an accurate, deliberate gunslinger. Carr finished with an anemic stat line: 14-for-26 for a near-career-low 110 yards. After two first-half downfield attempts ended up as underthrown interceptions, Carr looked shaken. The quarterback was flat-footed in the pocket, taking four sacks for the first time since December of 2015. It doesn't get any easier for Carr and Oakland's passing game. Up next: the No Fly Zone in the Mile High City.
  1. It's hard not to be impressed by Washington's defense as a whole for how they completely discombobulated the Raiders. Players at every level played outside themselves in holding one of the league's top offense to 128 (!) total yards. Ryan Kerrigan (3 TFL) and Preston Smith (1 TFL) were everpresent in the backfield; rookie Jonathan Allen (2 QB hits) hurried Carr early and often; and Zach Brown (10 tackles) was all over the line of scrimmage. But the unit that impressed me the most was D.C.'s secondary. Up against arguably the league's top receiving duo, Washington's defensive backs, led by enforcer safety D.J. Swearinger and rookie Montae Nicholson, set the tone with picks and hard hits. Oakland's wideouts were held to a combined seven catches for 40 yards. Credit to first-year defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
  1. On a play that was all too emblematic of Oakland's evening, maligned wideout Josh Doctson absolutely embarrassed David Amerson on a 52-yard touchdown catch, leaping over the Raiders cornerback to haul in a go-get-it ball from Cousins. This is the second week in a row that Amerson has been on the receiving end of a 'Moss'-ing; Jets wideout Jermaine Kearsedid it first.
  1. Don't overlook the lack of a Raiders rushing game. Marshawn Lynch might have received headlines last week for dancing like no one was watching, but on Sunday night he was running like no one was blocking, earning just three yards per carry on six attempts. Without Lynch battering Washington's interior defensive line, Oakland failed to get Jalen Richard or Cordarrelle Patterson going on the ground and sustain drives as they against New York the week prior. On the season, Lynch has tallied 139 yards on 36 carries (3.86 YPC).
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