The Washington Redskins had a good team performance in their 31-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night, as always there were positives and negatives. The Redskins are now 3-0 in the preseason, which means nothing in regards to the regular season outside of health. However, there were several young players that flashed in the third preseason contest, dubbed the “dress rehearsal” and made a case to earn a spot on the 53 man rosters. Teams have to cut down to 75 by tomorrow at 4 pm Eastern, then another cut day comes September fourth. So those who made an impact in Saturday’s game will surely help their case.
- Offense. For the first time all preseason outside of the one deep throw from Griffin to Garcon, everyone got a chance to see Gruden’s offense. Cousins did a good job of getting the ball out when his back foot hit the ground during his drops. The run game struggled a bit with Alfred Morris, but the offensive line didn’t surrender a sack a week after RG3 almost got impaled by the Lions pass rush. Trent Williams celebrated his new contract by shutting down Terrell Suggs.
- Cousins. Kirk didn’t set the world on fire in his start, but he was solid. I don’t believe that Washington’s franchise signal caller is on this roster, but Cousins did show that he can run the offense rather efficiently. The big test for him will be avoiding his turnover issues and finishing drives. He looked very comfortable in the pocket, showing good fundamentals, good feet and a quick release. Cousins definitely seized the opportunity and made the most out of it by going 20 for 27 for 190 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception
- Physicality. You can start to see McCloughan’s vision on the defensive side of the ball, this defense has an edge to it. While no on field fight is positive, the tackle by Keenan Robinson that started it was a perfect example of that new type of physicality. Opposing playmakers will pay a price for making plays, the feistiness of the new comers are certainly wearing off on the players that were already here. Also, Redskins did a good job up front stopping the Baltimore rushing attack with Paea-Knighton-Hatcher.
- Matt Jones. While several other youngsters flashed during this game, Jones gets singled out as he averaged 8.1 yards per carry on seven attempts. There was a noticeable difference in Washington’s rushing attack once he entered the game. Some of it of course had to do with Baltimore not having their first unit out there, but more of it was his running style. For a bigger back, he has very good feet and balance. He’s a violent runner with wiggle, a great selection by McCloughan.
- Young pass catchers. With the absence of DeSean Jackson, it was an opportunity for some of the younger receivers to step up and show what they could do. Two really stood out in Jamison Crowder and Ryan Grant. The latter showed a really good feel for getting open against zones, Grant’s also a smooth route runner. Crowder is shifty and explosive, he showed both of those traits by catching the ball short and getting YAC yards. Outside of D-Jax and possibly Garcon, those other receiver spots are open and these kids could make a run at them.