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Redskins fall to New England Patriots 26-17 in Pre-Season Opener

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Washington Redskins fall to the New England Patriots in the pre-season opener after starting the game with a 17-0 lead.

NFL: Washington Redskins at New England Patriots Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins got off to a great start against the New England Patriots in their pre-season opener. The decision to give the starters the night off was extremely questionable given the circumstances. Washington has had a significant amount of turnover in the off-season, regardless of how many repetitions the starters get in the outing against New England, the bottom line is the starters should have seen some time on the field.

Nonetheless, the Redskins got off to a 17-0 start offensively and allowed just one first down in the first 29 minutes of the game. The second-string offense, led by quarterback Colt McCoy, was able to pick apart the New England secondary ending his night going 13-18 for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Solid night overall for McCoy as multiple times he was able to extend plays outside of the pocket and convert for first downs and touchdowns.

While receiver Maurice Harris had a good outing, second-year receiver Robert Davis and rookie Cam Sims had even better showings. The two, who combined for five catches for 109 yards, connected with Colt on numerous occasions and showed an ability to gain yards after the catch. Although his time was ended short due to a knee injury, rookie Derrius Guice displayed strength and vision in a couple of his carries.

Unfortunately for Guice, his best run of the night was negated and happened to be the play he was injured on.

Guice ended the night on six carries for just 19 yards, but it was his abilities with the football in his hand that made him separate himself from others on the depth chart.

Defensively, inside linebacker Martrell Spaight and defensive end, Matt Ioannidis led the front seven in the first half. Washington’s second-string defense stifled the Patriots offense until the end of the second quarter’s final minute, when they began to show cracks in their armor.

Rookies Greg Stroman and Tim Settle were very impressive in their debut with Washington as well. Stroman also displayed his versatility in being able to return punts and gain positive yards doing so. Although the Redskins third-string defense was putrid, allowing the Patriots to score 23 second-half points, Tim Settle dominated at the nose tackle position for Washington. Settle’s performance is an encouraging sign for the Redskins staff, he displayed his strength and motor with the ability to penetrate the offensive line the backfield nearly every snap.

The lead did not last. The Patriots scored 26 unanswered, dominating the time of possession in the second half outgaining the Redskin by a large margin. Third-year quarterback Kevin Hogan had a very dull performance along with the other members of the third-string unit, ending his night with seven completions for just 44 yards and a fumble on the night.

There were positives and negatives on the night, with all the positives belonging to the second team, and Tim Settle. The negatives, injuries to key players Derruis Guice and Matt Ioannidis whom both left with knee injuries, and the third string units on both sides of the football. It will be hard to say who made a case for themselves after this outing.