Grade ‘F’: Falcons Air Raid Dooms Redskins
Passing Game: C
Surprisingly, the passing game appeared to have some life to it. It was ugly in the early going, but once the ageless one, Vernon Davis, showed up. Davis mustered 5 catches on 7 targets for 62-yards and was a key target after Reed landed hard on his back in the 4th quarter.
Doctson had a couple of horrific drops early on when it looked like the Redskins had things moving. Doctson had regressed in the first half to where he was at the beginning of the season. Josh redeemed himself in the second quarter with two spectacular catches. The first being along the sideline in an acrobatic manner keeping both feet in bounds for a 5-yards gain. Doctson then capped the drive with a beautifully catch on a fade route (that’s right, it worked) in the back-left corner of the end zone.
The stand out of the passing game was Maurice Harris. Harris had 10 catches on 12 targets for 123-yards. This was his first 100-yard receiving game of his career. With Crowder out, Harris has been filling in in the slot and has shown flashes the past few weeks. Jay Gruden was high on him the entire training camp and we saw why. His route running ability and knack for quality hands helped keep drives moving. Do not be surprised to see him more involved next week against Tampa Bay who is one of the worst teams defending the slot.
Alex Smith did pass for over 300 yards for the first time this year, but this team is not one that can play from a deep hole. The offensive line continues to look extremely bad in pass protection and has lost both starting Guards, Lauvao and Scherff, to IR for the year. Trent Williams will also not be back to protect Smith for another three weeks. It is a good start, but the drops and the drive killing penalties need to disappear for the passing game to have a chance against the Buccaneers.
Running Game: F
Speechless. That is pretty much how bad it was.
Adrian Peterson finished the day with 17-yards on 9 carries. He totaled the lowest amount among those that had a recorded rushing attempt. It was not just Peterson’s inefficiency that hurt the Redskins. Morgan Moses alone was called for three drive killing holding penalties that negated long gains (also another holding on a pass play). Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff were also hit with a holding penalty each.
Kapri Bibbs has continued to look good when given the opportunity in place of the injured Chris Thompson. Bibbs had 3 carries for 20-yards and a touchdown. He was the lone bright spot of the rushing game, but no enough to dig the team out of an ‘F’ grade.
The was by far the worst showing of the year. Yes, even worse than the Monday Night Massacre in New Orleans. The biggest takeaway from yesterday’s game is that this defense does not have enough athletes on it.
The run defense still has not given up 100-yards rushing to a running back or a run of 20-yards or more. However, for a line that was supposed to push around an injury plagued offensive line, they allowed the Falcons running game to average 6.8 yards per carry. Ito Smith was considered the least effective rusher when it came to yards per carry, but he absolutely bullied his way into the endzone into the second quarter. There was a clear manhood issue with the front seven that will need to be addressed before going to Tampa Bay to take on another terrible run offense.
The secondary was exposed. They are not ready for prime time. They can be exposed when the defensive line cannot get home and put pressure on the quarterback. This was a worry coming into this year. Would the secondary be able to hold their own if Kerrigan and Company could not? Clearly, no. Quinton Dunbar had a good first game back after dealing with a nerve issue in his hamstring and came up with an interception. Josh Norman on the other hand was shredded left and right by Julio Jones when they went one-on-one. Julio burned Norman so bad that Josh had to commit a pass interference penalty in order to keep Jones from scoring.
Special Teams: I
Tress Way was again spectacular, but that was about it. The rest of the special team squad did not contribute much to the game. Dustin Hopkins was perfect again and the punt/kick returners did their jobs in not pulling a Ty Montgomery. More contribution from them would bring them up from an Incomplete.
NEXT UP: Redskins @ Buccaneers (-2.5) 1:00PM; FOX or The Team 980