The Washington Redskins outlasted the Atlanta Falcons 19-7 in a preseason match-up Thursday night.
Although the team still shows a need for growth, the ‘Skins can take solace in that they dominated an NFC foe which will likely contend for a Wild Card birth.
Once again, the defense set the pace as they held the Falcons to eight scoreless drives on nine attempts, with the only score coming from a short field caused by a turnover.
Let’s take a look at the ups and downs from last night’s game.
What Went Right?
Derrius Guice proved to the Redskins faithful that he was well worth the wait and still the dynamic back that he was at LSU. He showed no ill-effects from last year’s ACL injury, and actually was the “hammer not the nail” in most of his runs. Main man looked like baby Marshawn out there. Especially on this run:
I’m sure the running back room will have a good laugh next week when they resume film study, because Guice just emasculated two guys on national television. He ended the game with 12 touches for 48 yards. He had a stellar “return game” for someone supposedly on the mend.
For the second straight week, Landon Collins flashed as a player to watch on the Redskins defense. He had four tackles, a tackle for loss, and a pass defensed. The pass break-up should have been an interception as he flashed across the receiver’s face and had two hands on the ball.
Free agent acquisitions rarely produce in the burgundy and gold, but Collins is showing potential. He was seen aligning his teammates, communicating coverage calls, and flying across the field in run support. He appears to be a tone setter for this defense.
The third hero from this game was Casanova McKinzy, who cemented himself on the Redskins 53-man roster. Mckinzy collected two sacks, and displayed that the saying “Speed Kills” truly has significance. Prior to this game, Mckinzy may have been considered as a player on the bubble, but Thursday proved that he has value.
Mckinzy provides the team with a pure speed rusher who can bend at the hips and limit his surface area. This skillset is something the team is lacking, so it’s a welcome sight that he’s producing.
At 26, and a cap hit of only $570,000, it would be prudent for the team to add him to the active roster and develop him. The only concern is that he is an unrestricted free agent after this season.
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What Went Wrong?
Tight End Jordan Reed left the game with concussion-like symptoms and will be evaluated by team doctors over the next few days. He incurred this injury after a vicious hit by Atlanta safety Keanu Neal. Take a look here:
If Reed did incur a concussion, the only way to categorize this injury is “code red”.
According to a report written by John Keim, Reed has suffered at least five concussions over his football career. Including three with the Redskins. Could this be the last we see of no. 86 this season? Will he be forced to miss significant time? It’s too early to tell. But our thoughts are with him.
Ereck Flowers and the offensive line continued to struggle as Keenum and Dwayne Haskins were harassed all night. Several hits were taken by the signal callers, and the excessive pressure caused Keenum to lose a ball that ended in the hands of Tak Mckinley. The fumble gave the Falcons a shortened field, and a drive that ended with a touchdown.
Individually, Flowers had a holding penalty, that prevented Guice from getting his first professional touchdown.
This penalty ultimately stopped the Redskins drive and the team had to settle for a field goal. Which leads to my final point…
The Redskins offense needs to convert on Red Zone conversions if the team aspires to contend for anything significant this season. Four drives ended with Dustin Hopkins field goals. Although three points are nice, that won’t cut it as the team plays high-powered offenses this season, including New England, Dallas, Philadelphia and Minnesota.
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