There are not many ways to describe the way the Redskins played against the Ravens. The offense got smacked in the mouth, all night. They looked unprepared, there was either miscommunication or a lack thereof on the offensive line, receivers had their share of drops, running backs failed on blocking assignments in pass-protection, the quarterbacks were inaccurate, and the offensive unit had 5 fumbles (3 officially). I’m pretty sure one can guess how the Redskins need to respond following the performance against the Ravens.
Here’s what you should be looking for against the Green Bay Packers this Saturday.
The Redskins starters will presumably get at least 1 full quarter this week against the Packers, maybe some snaps into the second quarter as well. Offensively, it’s all about how the Redskins will respond after a lackluster performance a week ago.
Do the Redskins still struggle to run the ball this week? There was only 39 rushing yards produced on 18 attempts. There should be legitimate concern, knowing the struggles from years past and just a week ago.
Will Samaje Perine bounce back from a seemingly jittery debut? He showed indecision, missed a couple of blitz pick-ups, also fumbled and dropped a pass in consecutive plays. The good news was that the second half as a ball-carrier was much better for Perine.
Yes, the Ravens traditionally have always been known for being great defensively, but that's not an excuse to produce just 138 total yards offensively. The Redskins offense had 99 passing yards, 3.3 yards per pass, 3 sacks given up, numerous drops, and 1 interception. It’s essential for the offensive line, receivers, and quarterbacks to respond as if this was a regular season game.
The season is right around the corner, and the team’s main players have one more game against the Bengals before they step on the field against the Philadelphia Eagles. There needs to be much sharper execution in this phase of the offense.
The bread and butter of Jay Gruden as a coach has always been the passing game, so the quarterbacks and receivers need to show a better rapport throughout this game, from pre-snap down to the pass and route ran.
The offensive line, again, doesn’t get any slack either, communication in pass-protection needs to be better, as well as blitz pick-ups.
Defensively, the Redskins had individuals who stood out throughout the night. Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson, the Redskins first two draft picks this year, had very solid outings. Both players created pressure throughout the night, and Ryan Anderson set the edge and displayed physicality in his time on the field. Phil Taylor, Terrell McClain, Anthony Lanier, Zach Brown, Nico Marley, Chris Carter, among others had impressive nights against Baltimore as well. For the Redskins defense this week, it will be a much better game to evaluate, as the Packers are a much better opponent offensively than Baltimore.
The Packers offensive line was one of the better lines in the NFL a year ago. Can the Redskins front 7 show consistency? Show signs of being able to win against the better lines of the league? The defense displayed physicality at times, the starting defense was impressive for the most part. The Redskins defense produced 4 sacks, 3 of which came from the front 7, and 6 quarterback hits.
Inside linebackers Mason Foster and Zach Brown had reps together against Baltimore, will the reps continue to increase this week? The duo looked good together, and played fast. Also, Josh Harvey-Clemons debut showed promise, can he transition into the team’s dime linebacker? How does he build upon last week’s performance, and do the coaches put more on his plate this week? Something to look at.
Second year Redskin Su’a Cravens is sidelined for the remainder of the pre-season, which means Deshazor Everett will now be plugged into the starting role. He’s a guy who to this point has displayed strengths in coverage, but also was active as a box safety against Baltimore. This is an opportunity for Everett to increase his value for Washington when the games count. He’s a good special team’s player, but I believe he can do more.
How does Kendall Fuller play against a solid receiving core? Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams are all capable of playing in the slot. Kendall was beat on one play against Baltimore deep, from the slot, but was saved because the pass was underthrown. If Fuller is still unimpressive from the slot, a switch may be made with Breeland to put Fuller on the outside.
Nico Marley, the fan favorite, had a very impressive debut. With 4 tackles, 1 sack, tackle for loss, and a quarterback hit, he was all over the field. In order to make the final 53, he has to have another outing like last week, the odds are stacked against him, but if he’s able to show consistency for a guy of his stature, he can be more than just hype.
When looking at the things that need to be addressed by the Redskins, what makes the top of your list? Comment, let us know.