Observation Deck: Washington Redskins
August, 23, 2014
By John Keim | ESPN.com
BALTIMORE -- It’s safe to say the Washington Redskins won’t be bummed about having their eight-game preseason winning streak snapped. It’s also safe to say they won’t be happy about what they showed in Saturday’s 23-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The first offense did not generate much, unless you include angst and impatience. The defense was hurt through the air. And there was a general blah to the Redskins’ starters performance.
Here are some other thoughts on the Redskins' third preseason game of the year:
- The Redskins’ first-team offense continues to sputter, with zero touchdowns in nine full possessions (they also had a kneel down for a 10th possession). Their first two drives started at midfield and at the Ravens’ 42, and they managed just three points. There indeed are growing pains, but there were more pains than growing Saturday night. The line didn’t protect well enough and quarterback Robert Griffin III wasn’t good. There was too much indecision, which was exacerbated by protection that wasn’t good enough.
- Griffin needed to have a game in which he calmed fears about his growing pains. Instead, he completed five-of-eight passes for 20 yards and did not always play like a confident quarterback. A lot will be made of backup Kirk Cousins, who looks more comfortable in the pocket -- it’s more his style. Cousins did lead two touchdown drives but fights bouts of inconsistency as well. The Redskins needed Griffin to show more this summer, just to prove he was developing in the pocket at the right pace. This really isn’t about Cousins, who has had good series and bad; it’s about Griffin and his development.
- Rookie tackle Morgan Moses left the game with a third-quarter knee injury. He was down on the field for a few minutes, then walked off slowly with a limp. Moses had worked exclusively at right tackle Saturday and had started to show signs of development. There was no early word as to the extent of his injury. Linebacker Brian Orakpo sprained his ankle in the first quarter and did not return. The injury did not appear serious.
- Washington’s first defense showed a better pass rush when Jason Hatcher was in the game. He played the first quarter and did a solid job for a guy who had not played yet this summer. But the Redskins’ pass rush didn’t do as much without Hatcher (or Orakpo).
- The Redskins’ defense surrendered big plays in part because of missed tackles, one by Orakpo and another by corner DeAngelo Hall against receiver Steve Smith that turned into 30 yards. The Redskins had done a good job of cleaning up missed tackles with good pursuit to limit the yards after contact. That wasn’t the case Saturday. The Ravens did not run the ball well against Washington’s first defense (17 yards on 12 carries), but the passing game stung the Redskins (180 yards in the first half).