In a game that featured virtually none of the presumptive starters for either team, all of the players were seemingly making their respective cases for a spot on the opening day roster. The Redskins have had a logjam at a number of positions including running back, defensive back, linebacker, and wide receiver.
Several of the Mason/Brennan nominees saw significant playing time on both sides of the ball in what for several of them could very well be their last chance to suit up for the Redskins.
With Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson all but secured on the opening day 53-man roster, tonight’s game was an opportunity for Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Kapri Bibbs, De’Veon Smith and Byron Marshall (who did not suit up due to injury) to vie for what could be just one or two open tailback spots.
Kelley led the way with 49 yards on 11 carries, and saw the majority of snaps in the first half. Smith chipped in with 7 rushes for 42 yards, while Perine finished with 30 yards on 7 attempts.
One of the more late-breaking competitions this preseason came between Kevin Hogan and new addition Connor Jessop, who joined the squad following Colt McCoy’s early departure against Denver. Hogan played the entire game and posted a stat line of 22-for-38, 272 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Both young quarterbacks have strong local ties and would certainly be intriguing options should the Redskins opt to keep three quarterbacks.
A footnote in the quarterback department: Robert Griffin III similarly worked to earn himself a roster spot in Baltimore alongside Joe Flacco and rookie phenom and fellow former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson. The former Redskins’ rookie did not play in the contest, raising the question of whether he has already done enough to earn his spot on the team. Meanwhile Jackson finished the evening with 109 yards passing and 25 yards on the ground including a touchdown.
On defense, Zach Vigil and Shaun Dion-Hamilton both had impressive showings as they sought to earn spots in what is likely a contest with Martrell Spaight and Josh Harvey-Clemons. Dion-Hamilton was the statistical leader in the group against the Ravens, racking up seven tackles including one for a loss.
Last week against the Broncos the defensive secondary struggled mightily, allowing long plays through the air and struggling to make open field tackles. This was a troubling trend that extended into their game tonight. Against the Ravens Troy Apke ended up with just one solo tackle, while Greg Stroman may have done enough in coverage to outpace Quin Blanding, Danny Johnson, and Kenny Ladler.
Now that the preseason games are in the books it’s time for the front office to make some challenging decisions for who stays and who goes. While they won’t ever openly admit to having your opinions affect their decisions, we certainly want to know what your final thoughts are as we prepare to put a bow on the 2018 preseason.
Which player do you think helped himself out the most in stating his case against Baltimore? Conversely, who hurt himself the most with a lackluster performance? If you were calling the shots, who would be the 53rd man to receive a locker on day one? Also, after seeing Hogan’s complete performance tonight, did he do enough to convince the Redskins to keep three quarterbacks? Throw what you know in the comments below!