We heard all week about how the “Redskins need to start fast.” In the third preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Washington Redskins started “as fast as Congress.” At the end of the 1st quarter, after several 3-and-outs, I think the offense had +1 yard. However, in the 2nd quarter, the Redskins seemed to take it personally and began to move the ball and play much better with several long drives. By halftime, the Redskins had caught up with the Bengals, trailing by only 1 point, 13 to 14.
The 1st string played the entire 1st half and a little bit of the 3rd quarter. Usually, I do not put much value on preseason games, but game three was important because it did show improvement although it is obvious the Redskins offense needs to start faster. There are still some route running and timed passes issues to be worked out before September 10th when the Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles in a division game. Head Coach Jay Gruden needs to win his first home opener.
I was disappointed that Josh Doctson did not play. I was impressed by Junior Galette showing some speed. Hope the wide receivers do not drop passes in the regular season. The play before Kirk Cousins threw the pick-6 interception, there was a dropped pass that would have moved the chains and been 1st and 10. Brian Quick missed a touchdown catch. Pryor and Crowder both had butterfingers on perfectly thrown balls.
I saw some “twos” playing better than some “ones.” Tyler Catalina, 6’6″ and 325 lbs., proved he can pass protect as well as opening up holes in the running game. He gave Colt McCoy time to read, plant and throw a touchdown pass to Derek Carrier. Joshua Holsey and Fish Smithson both played well. Razorback Martrell Spaight, Fabian Moreau, Pete Robertson, Nico Marley, Zach Pascal, Chase Roullier, Matt Hazel and others made good plays. The final score was Redskins 23, Bengals 17. More importantly, the Redskins offense 3rd down conversions was 46.67% and our defense kept the Bengals at 30.77%. We won the time-of-possession battle 32:52 to 28:08. Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw 19 passes, completed 10, had several dropped passes by receivers, and an interception due to missed pick blocks. Colt McCoy went 8 of 11 for 76 yards and a touchdown pass. Both quarterbacks threw some “darts” perfectly into tight windows.
A noteworthy statistic was “Fat Rob” Robert Kelley gained 57 yards on 10 carries and a rushing touchdown. Coaches had a more balanced game plan. I think that will carry over into the regular season since offensive line guru Bill Callahan has more input in game planning. Rookies Chase Roullier (center) and Tyler Catalina (guard) will receive superior coaching under Callahan.
Preseason game four will be important in deciding who makes the roster. Most of the first team is set. The final dozen is still up for grabs. September 2nd before 4:00pm eastern time, NFL clubs have to cut their rosters down to the maximum of 53 players on the Active-Inactive list. Although our starters will not play in the fourth and final preseason game Thursday night against Tampa Bay, behind the scenes the offense needs to practice timing and perfect route running. The O-line needs to take some nasty pills to get ready for the regular season. The Redskins defense will be ready. Injury update: Nose tackle Phil Taylor suffered a left quad injury and will be out for the season.
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