Thoughts from the Redskins 3rd preseason game vs the Bills

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Tale of two quarters for the first team offense:

-The Redskins 1st quarter offensively was really ugly as Kirk Cousins was just 3-9 with an interception. The whole offense looked out of sync as Cousins was off with some throws and receivers dropped some easy receptions. The offensive line gave up more pressure than you’d like and there was no consistency in their game. The 2nd quarter though the offense got it together and Cousins ended up with 188 yards passing and 3 TDs for the half. While overall the 2nd quarter resurgence made up for the 1st quarter, it was troubling to see this team come out so sluggish. If they do that week 1 vs the Steelers the game could be out of hand before they get things on track. One positive take away from the first quarter though and the first team offense in general, was that even when the Redskins weren’t executing the play calling was setting up open looks and positive plays.

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Injuries show the lack of depth at key positions:

-While the Redskins are a much deeper team this year as a whole, they still have some positions where they are thinner than they’d like. Rookie Keith Marshall went down after his first carry, making him the 3rd RB on the Redskins depth chart to deal with an injury this preseason. While none of the injuries are considered to be major, it was a reminder of just how little depth and experience the Redskins have at the position. The more concerning injury was a groin injury to Ryan Kerrigan during the first defensive series. The MRI results suggest that it’s not serious and he should be ready by week 1, but with Junior Galette already out of the year, this is one position where the Redskins can’t afford to miss any time from their starters.

First team defense looked very strong:

-The Redskins first/second team units have looked pretty good throughout the preseason, but this was the longest they have played and they continued to play at a high level. The Bills managed only 3 first half FGs and one was set up due to an interception by the Redskins offense, while another was at the end of the half when the Redskins didn’t have many key guys left on the field. Now it’s worth noting that the Bills pulled much of their first string offense either before the game or after the first two drives, but still it was another good showing by the Redskins defense. The Redskins defense also wasn’t at 100% as Chris Baker didn’t play and Kerrigan left after the first series.

Tress Way continues to put on a punting showcase:

-Way continued his impressive pre-season averaging 53.3 yards per punt over six punts. Way has gotten a lot of work this preseason and throughout he’s hit some really impressive punts that have flipped field position and pinned the opponent deep in their territory. If Way continues to punt like this in the regular season he could be the best punter in the league and a major weapon for the Redskins in close games.

Penalties are becoming problematic:

-The Redskins penalty woes in the preseason is definitely becoming an issue as they were charged with 10 penalties against the Bills. Each game they have had a high number of penalties so far this preseason, but with it now being the third game it’s tough to continue to make excuses for them. In the first two games you could point to some inexperience or just that it was too early to worry, but in the 3rd preseason game, when the starters and key back-ups played most of the night it’s more of a problem. No longer were a large percentage of the penalties being committed by players who were unlikely to make the team. Also after the first two games coaches talked about how they would focus on cutting down on the infractions. Yet they are still happening at way too high of a rate. This is something that really needs to be worked on for the regular season as it’s so easy for a penalty to kill a drive on offense, or put the defense in a bad situation.

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