Observation Deck: Washington Redskins
August, 18, 2014
By John Keim | ESPN.com
LANDOVER, Md. -- The game received plenty of hype. The game won't receive plenty of praise. Washington and Cleveland combined for many mistakes, from penalties to drops to turnovers. It added up to a difficult game to watch. It ended up a 24-23 Redskins victory -- on a stopped two-point conversion with no time left -- and a second half with more action. The Redskins' first-team offense turned it over twice. The defense continued its impressive summer, though it must be pointed out: The Browns' offense is really bad.
Here are some other thoughts on the Redskins' second preseason game of the year:
- The Redskins' defense hasn't been fully tested in the first two games. They've done what they should do in this circumstance and that's dominate. In their limited time against New England they fared well against the starting offensive line, but Tom Brady didn't play. Monday, the Browns just didn't show much offensively. And by much I mean nothing. Still, the Redskins' defense continues to build a little momentum, but it will be good for them to face an offense that will provide a stiffer test.
- Turnovers were an issue last season for the Redskins and they were again Monday in the first half. And both were avoidable. Alfred Morris just took his eyes off a pitch in the first quarter and never caught the ball. On Robert Griffin's interception, he threw under duress to the outside where Joe Haden had DeSean Jackson covered. Griffin couldn't put anything on the throw. He needs to throw that one away.
- Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are off to good starts this summer. Kerrigan had two sacks Monday, though one was the result of a snap that caught Cleveland by surprise (quarterback Brian Hoyer was not ready to receive the ball). But Kerrigan's next sack resulted from his beating right tackle Mitchell Schwartz. Orakpo had a couple good rushes as well. On Kerrigan's sack, Orakpo did the Johnny Manziel money sign.
- Washington's quarterbacks, Griffin and Kirk Cousins in particular, both could walk away feeling good about parts of their play -- and knowing they must correct other parts. Cousins also had an interception that stemmed from an overthrow. He delivered some nice passes as well, leading two touchdown drives. Griffin had a couple good throws, including a 49-yard deep ball to Andre Roberts.
- The Redskins did not run the ball nearly as well as they did in the preseason opener -- Morris carried 11 times for 29 yards and the Redskins failed to score on three runs from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. Just not enough push and perhaps a missed hole. But overall it wasn't the best night for the Redskins' run game -- Cleveland's 3-4 front is a good antidote to the outside zone.