Notes & Observations From Redskins vs Ravens 8-29-2015

Notes & Observations From Redskins vs Ravens 8-29-2015

The Washington Redskins had a good overall showing on Saturday night in their third preseason contest of the season. The Redskins did make some mistakes but showed overall improvement across the team as a whole. Let’s take a look at some of the observations we can take from this outing.

Key Observations From Redskins vs. Ravens Game

Kirk Cousins had his moments (he went 20-27, 190 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but the game changed after Steve Smith was ejected. The Ravens were up 13-0 at the time, and the Redskins would go on to score 31 unanswered points after Smith left the game.

This was a game that should be remembered for the Redskins defensive play, but ultimately most will point out Robert Griffin III’s injury and the controversy surrounding it. Griffin didn’t play against the Ravens after not being medically cleared following a concussion against the Lions.

“Right now, I’m going to evaluate the game, go from there and find out how Robert is doing,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “I’m not going to announce anything. There’s no controversy.”

We’ll have to wait and see just what the second-year coach does in the coming days for any clue as to who the Redskins opening-day starter will be.

Below are some observations from Saturday night’s game:

  • Preston Smith was all over the field and put good pressure on QBs Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub. Smith was the one who hit Schaub, causing the ball to fall into Jackson Jeffcoat’s awaiting hands.
  • David Amerson continues to have issues with his feet and taking angles. Steve Smith simply abused him on that 64-yard catch-and-run.
  • Keenan Robinson continues to improve. The tackle that led to the fight/scrum was, by all standards of the NFL rules, a legal hit. What ensued was ridiculous. I fully expect the NFL to levy fines against several participants once they review the film.
  • Cousin’s interception should have been read and then never thrown. Credit is deserving for Terrell Suggs, who is a tremendous player, but once Cousins saw Garcon was behind a possible defender, he should have looked elsewhere. The fumble by Cousins was just a simple case of the QB moving before having his hands on the ball fully.
  • I was surprised to see John Harbaugh run across the field (which is against NFL rules) but was not surprised to see him shoot back at Jay Gruden. Nor was I surprised to see Jay not back down…the Grudens are fiery guys, so I expect nothing less.
  • Ryan Grant continues to show all the right stuff. Solid route-runner, good hands, decent speed (although not elite), and a wiliness to do whatever is needed. Once the season starts, snaps will be limited at receiver, but Grant continues to make his case for playing time. He did, however, drop a couple of catchable balls.

More Observations

  • DeAngelo Hall looked solid – I haven’t seen any sign of problems or issues with him during his comeback from an Achilles injury suffered last season.
  • The Ravens rush defense should be one of the elite groups of the NFL this season, and it showed Saturday. Alfred Morris couldn’t get things going, as the offensive line had issues creating holes. That has been a strong point in the first two preseason games, so this was a break from the norm.
  • The Redskins defensive line, and front 7, in general, look vastly improved over last year. Even without Ryan Kerrigan, the Redskins were tough. Chris Baker was in on plays all over the field, including a stripped ball at the goal line to save a touchdown late in the first half.
  • While Colt McCoy may not be the most talented QB on the Redskins roster, he certainly can make the most of things inside of the pocket. McCoy flashed some of the magic he showed against the Dallas Cowboys in Texas last season. He seems to work best when on the move. Of course, he was also playing against the Ravens second and third string, so everybody ease on the brakes now and don’t look too far into that. McCoy does have a special ability to slip away from defenders and make plays.
  • Jackson Jeffcoat showed some good pass-rushing moves and even pulled in an interception.
  • The special teams unit had a game outside of the kick return at the end of the first half, and even then, Justin Rogers made a great play to catch the defender and prevent a sure touchdown.
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