All I can say is HOLY MISSED TACKLES BATMAN!
On a night where starters were scheduled to see significant action, the Redskins looked more like a Pop Warner team after their first week of practice. Both starters and reserves looked absolutely horrible tackling. To top that off, the first team offense sputtered under veteran Alex Smith on the first two drives of the night, and found themselves playing from behind all game. The defense could not seem to get off the field all night, while allowing 29 points.
Overall, it was a poor TEAM effort by the Redskins, who looked over-matched by a Broncos squad who is far from world-beater status.
Below are my Studs and Duds of the game, followed by some notes.
Adrian Peterson - I hope everyone can now finally understand what a good RB can do behind this talented offensive line. Peterson looked decisive, fast, powerful and explosive in his Redskins debut. I loved how he set up the defenders on the fourth and short in the second quarter before bursting to the outside to pick up 15. He had 11 carries for 56 yards (a 5.1 YPC average).
Chase Roullier - The second year center really stood out among the offensive linemen last night. I thought he played with great power (always seeming to generate movement up front), excellent hand placement, and showed well climbing to the second level. I loved the way he finished some of his blocks and played through the whistle. Great job by the second year pro!
DaRon Payne - Payne continues to be a beast for anyone who tries to block him. His numbers weren’t overwhelming, but his presence was felt.
Tim Settle - The rookie defensive tackle continues to show well in games. Even when he’s initially blocked, he gets in hands up in the passing lanes to disrupt plays. He is showing a very good motor as well, and doesn’t give up on plays; even ones he has no business being in.
Kevin Hogan - Hogan, despite poor pass protection, managed to go 7/9 for 88 yards and two touchdowns in reserve duty Friday night. He also showed the ability to make plays on the run when protection broke down.
Phil Taylor - Phil Taylor made a few nice splash plays. It’s nice to see the big fellow back out on the field. He was a complete handful for the Broncos reserve linemen.
Tress Way - This guy has one hell of a leg!
Alex Smith - Alex was not sharp on his first two drives of the evening, despite the line giving him time in the pocket. He was surprisingly inaccurate when throwing out of the pocket, missing some open targets, and making some questionable throws on others. he did look better on the team’s third offensive drive, twice hitting Richardson for nice gains.
Vernon Davis - The veteran tight end didn’t look good on the evening working with the first team. he dropped a would-be first down on the first drive when Smith vacated the pocket, rolled to his right, and hit the him right between the numbers on the sideline. He also needs to understand where the first down marker is, as he ran his route a bit short on fourth and three late in the first quarter resulting in a turnover on downs.
Rob Kelley - 2.4 YPC on eight attempts. Only Alex Smith averaged less on his one zone-read attempt.
Tyler Catalina - Catalina was just awful with the second unit, getting both over-powered and beaten with speed both to his inside and outside.
John Kling - This guy is NOT an NFL offensive tackle! He’s going to get someone killed out there.
Mason Foster/Zach Vigil - The linebacker duo looked bad on the evening when working with the starters. Both players were easily blocked at the second level and missed some key tackles. Foster, in particular, looked bad, both against the run and in coverage. It’s hard to believe Martrell Spaight played better than both starting guys.
Quinton Dunbar - the young corner drew the start opposite Norman, and was not very sharp in coverage, allowing his receiver to make too many plays.
Troy Apke - Apke was awful, and I mean AWFUL against Denver, missing numerous key open-field tackles (the one on the Sanders end-around that resulted in a touchdown was particularly bad) and being a step late in coverage. He was also called for a holding penalty on special teams. It’s going to be a rough film session for the rookie.
- WAY to many missed tackles as a team. We need to clean this up ASAP!
- Josh Norman was not what I’d call a dud, but he didn’t show extremely well against Denver, missing some tackles (common team theme here), and not locating the football on a thrown down the sidelines late in the first quarter.
- Ryan Anderson was on the field for quite a few defensive snaps, but just never seems to make a play or make much of a difference.
- Montae Nicholson was hit-or-miss - literally. He missed two open-field tackles, but did make a few other nice plays.
- Fabian Moreau showed great break on the ball on two occasions; once knocking away a would-be completion in the first quarter. He made a few nice open-field tackles as well.
- Beautiful coverage and play on the ball by Alexander on a deep attempt down the left sideline early in the third quarter. He also had some nice tackles in the game, but just like almost everyone else, missed some too.
- Shaun Dion Hamilton made a nice play on the tight end in coverage in the end zone. Possibly could have been called for pass interference, but IMO, it was a bang-bang play with a good no-call. he looks comfortable in coverage.
- Anthony Lanier had a nice game playing with the back-ups. he had a sack and some nice tackles up front.