The good, bad, and more from the Redskins 41-10 win over Jacksonville.
1. Defense. One of the best days defensively I can remember. Of course it’s Jacksonville and you can’t get overly euphoric but it was a near-perfect performance if not for a couple of dumb penalties and what appeared to be another bad play by Rambo. 36 of Jacksonville’s 48 offensive plays were 3 yards or less. The Skins held Jacksonville to 8 first downs, 148 total yards, 3 of 13 on 3rd down (2 of the 3 on penalties), and sacked Chad Henne 10 times. The run-defense was dominant….the pass rush relentless. I’m not going to go nuts but it’s so obvious how much faster, overall athletic, and better the defense is this year. It all starts up front and the addition of Hatcher, the increased presence of Baker, and the improvment of Jenkins is making everyone else on the defense better.
2. Jason Hatcher/Chris Baker/Jarvis Jenkins. The Skins haven’t had this much interior athleticism and muscle in years. Hatcher was unblockable, Baker nearly the same and Jenkins’ season is off to a good start.
3. Brian Orakpo/Ryan Kerrigan. If Hatcher plays the way he’s played in the first 2 games, Orakpo and Kerrigan are going to have monster seasons. Kerrigan had 4 sacks….Orakpo had 1 but both were great. Kerrigan has great feel and is so smart as a rusher and as a weak-side defender against bootlegs. Orakpo has been outstanding against the run in both games.
4. Robinson/Riley. Speed like they haven’t had inside in a long time. Both are dangerous blitzers and Robinson in particular is solid in coverage.
5. Amerson. He’s impressive in coverage and tackled well.
6. RG3 before the injury. If there were ever a snap shot on how much better RG3 can be if he’s a run-threat then today was it. Two read-option runs for 22 yards, a read-option/play-action throw to Niles Paul for 19 yards, and a nice play-making throw to Jackson on a bootleg on the play he got injured. He appeared poised to have a big day before he got hurt. The crowd felt the electricity of him running early and making plays as they chanted “RG3, RG3”.
7. Kirk Cousins. Completed his first 11 en route to 21 first half points. There’s no doubt he’s comfortable with all of the things Griffin has been uncomfortable doing. He knows where to go and usually does it quickly. He makes checks at the line of scrimmage like the one I think he made that led to an Alfred Morris run for 18 yards. His accuracy hasn’t always been great but it was solid today. He took a sack late in the half that knocked the Skins out of FG range. It appears he didn’t see the blitz on that play although that could’ve been a mistake by Trent Williams too.
I’d like to hear the fool that still thinks it was a bad idea to draft Cousins. He came of the bench to win 2 games in 2012 that helped the team win the division. Last year’s starts weren’t great but they had one healthy receiver and the team was 3 and 10 and counting the hours until the season was over. He’s going to have some inconsistent days which is a given for someone with just 4 NFL starts but he’s an NFL starter for sure and perhaps a good one in the right scheme. This scheme, which is very similar to the Shanahan scheme, is a good one for him.
8. Rush offense. Morris had a nice day. Helu had a great 9-yard run. Silas Redd was great in mop-up duty. He’s got terrific vision…perfect for the zone run scheme.
9. Andre Roberts. Always open, makes every catch, is solid after the catch, and is dangerous as a punt returner. His 37-yard punt return set up points in the 2nd quarter and was his 2nd big return to set up short-field points in as many weeks.
10. Niles Paul. Almost didn’t put him on this list because he dropped what may have been an easy 20+ yarder and perhaps a touchdown but he’s proving that his move to tight end from a pass receiver stand point was a good move.
11. Special Teams. Tress Way kills the ball….49.8 per boot. Forbath was 2 for 2. Coverage was near-perfect except for a 40-yard kickoff return. Trenton Robinson is a special teams star in the making. He also had a pick when he replaced Rambo in the 2nd half. He’s great on coverage teams. There were a few penalties on Sp teams including an offside on a kickoff but it’s obvious that the end to the salary cap penalty allowed the team to go out and upgrade talent.
1. Penalties. 11 for 98 yards. It was the only thing that seemed to keep Jacksonville on the field or the Redskins out of the end zone for at least one more score if not two. A few of them were totally unnecessary. D-Hall’s 15-yarder was totally unnecessary with the runner already stopped and who knows what Trent Williams did to get called for unsportsmanlike conduct but it cost his team a chance at 7.
2. Injuries. Griffin and Jackson. I think it’s obvious that Griffin is brittle. Interesting to see that he had seemed to improve as a slider.
3. Rambo. His chances to play are running out. That was a terrible angle on the touchdown to Lewis.
1. Jackson’s catch early was a catch. CBS’s Mike Carey (the ref who didn’t work a Redskin game for his last 7 years as a ref because he’s offended by the name) said it should’ve been overturned. He called the league an “it stands league”.
2. Trenton Robinson played for Rambo in the 2nd half.
3. D-Hall seemed to have a rough day. He got beat on a deep ball to Hurns early that should’ve been a touchdown and he had a totally unnecessary 15-yard personal foul.
4. Breeland nearly made the “good list”. He’s going to make some plays this year. He almost had a pick-6.
5. The Davis 15-yd penalty on the punt return is another example of how football has changed. Three years ago, that’s one of the plays/hits of the weekend.
6. Gus Bradley’s timeout with 3 seconds left in the half gave the Skins an additional play. It looked like they weren’t going to get the play off.