Redskins Starter Snaps- All but one of the team’s starting defenders played on Thursday night (Shaun Dion Hamilton). The vast majority of the unit was on the field for 18 snaps and three drives.
The first stringers did not give up any points, only allowed 40 yards of offense and scored a touchdown on a 96-yard interception return. They also held the Bengals to just 2 first downs, both of which came via penalties.
Penalties- The Redskins’ starting D was responsible for all four the team’s defensive penalties (3 accepted). All four of those infractions came on a four-snap span during the opening drive of the game, and they cost the team 55 yards of field position.
Bengals Starter Snaps- The Bengals played all but two of their offensive starters (A.J. Green and John Ross). Like the Redskins’ starting defense, the bulk of those players were out there for 18 snaps and three drives.
Yards- The defense as a whole did not fare nearly as well as the starters. The Skins allowed 335 yards of total offense over the course of 67 plays (5-yard average).
Points- The Bengals put up 23 points on the board, which represents the ninth time in the last eleven games that Washington has allowed at least 23 points. Their opponents scored a total of 32 touchdowns in those nine contests (3.56 TDs per game).
3rd Down- The defense held the Bengals to a 36% conversion rate on the money down (5-of-14). It certainly helped that the D forced them into a 3rd-and-long situation on 71% of those plays. Ryan Finley and the second-team Cincy offense were responsible for picking up four of the five conversions.
The Skins’ starting defense didn’t give up a single third-down conversion and returned an interception for a touchdown on the first third-down they faced.
Takeaways- The pick six represented the only turnover the Burgundy and Gold forced in the contest. It was the team’s first defensive touchdown since Week 7 of last season (vs. Dallas) and only their second such score since 2017.
Red Zone- The aforementioned interception occurred in the red zone, but that was the only time the Washington defense staved off a touchdown after allowing the Bengals to reach the red area. The defense allowed touchdowns on each of the next two red-zone possessions they faced. The Bengals actually gained positive yardage on all seven of their red-zone plays after the pick six.
|Defensive Line (9 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Jonathan Allen *||14||19%|
|Daron Payne *||11||15%|
Jonathan Allen- Jonathan Allen did not record any pressures in the game, but was very active as a tackler. He stopped a pair of Cincinnati runs for gains of 2 and 3 yards and chased down Tyler Boyd on a third-down wide-receiver screen. Allen led all Washington D-linemen in total tackles (3) and was tied for the most stops (2).
The only mark against him in this regard was that he was charged with an unnecessary roughness penalty for throwing Giovanni Bernard to the ground on his first tackle.
Daron Payne- Payne’s 11 snaps were the lowest by a Redskins defensive lineman against the Bengals, but he definitely made the most of the opportunities that he had. He finished the day with 2 assisted tackles and had a solo stop get negated by a holding penalty.
His assists were both counted as stops, which tied him with Allen for the most by a Skins D-lineman. Payne’s 34 stops as a rookie ranked eighth in the NFL among all interior defenders.
Finally, and most importantly, he batted an Andy Dalton pass into the air that would be caught by Montae Nicholson and returned 96 yards for a touchdown.
His 81.9 PFF grade ranked second on the defense.
Matt Ioannidis- Ioannidis played on 13 snaps with the first-team defense. He did not record any tackles or generate any pressures on those plays. This was the first time since Week 5 of last season (at New Orleans) that Matty I failed to score any pressures in a game he played more than 3 snaps in.
Caleb Brantley- Brantley was held out once again because of his foot injury. In all likelihood, we will not see him on the field during the preseason.
Brantley has only played a total of 413 snaps (including preseason) going into his third year in the league.
Tim Settle- Washington’s backup nose tackle played 26 snaps before exiting the game because of knee soreness. Settle really didn’t accomplish much when he was on the field, as he did not make a single tackle and only generated pressure on one of his 18 rushes.
Fortunately, Settle still has ample time to develop his game. At 22 years and 38 days old, he is still the youngest player on the defense.
JoJo Wicker- A week after only recording a hurry and an assisted tackle, Wicker wasn’t able to find his way onto the stat sheet at all. He was on the field for 22 defensive snaps.
Jonathan Bonner- The rookie UDFA did not record a single stat and failed to generate pressure on any of his 26 snaps. His 29.7 PFF grade for the contest ranked dead last on the team and 3rd-worst among the 130 defensive linemen who played at least 10 snaps in Thursday and Friday’s games.
Austin Maloata- Bonner’s fellow third stringer, nose tackle Austin Maloata also was unable to crack the box score in any fashion. The big Samoan will need to step his game up if he even wants to make the practice squad.
Ryan Bee- The jewel of the third-team D-line had another good showing for the Burgundy and Gold. He led the team’s defensive linemen group in snaps by a wide margin (42 to 26) and notched 2 tackles (1 solo), a stop and two pressures. One of those pressures was a QB hit and the other came on a third down (a hurry). This was Bee’s second consecutive game with a hit and/or a sack.
I wonder if there are still people out there who think JoJo Wicker should make the team ahead of Bee.
|Outside Linebackers (8 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Montez Sweat *||22||29%|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||9||12%|
|Myles Humphrey||ST Only||N/A|
Ryan Kerrigan- Kerrigan made his first appearance of the 2019 season on what was the eve of his 31st birthday. He did not record any traditional stats or generate any pressure on his 9 snaps and 5 rushes. He was able to draw a holding penalty on C.J. Uzomah, but it was negated by a Washington penalty.
If he can rack up at least 7.5 sacks in the upcoming season, he will be just the fourth player to hit that number in each of his first nine years in the league. He would join Derrick Thomas, Jared Allen and Reggie White on the list.
Montez Sweat- The rookie out of Mississippi State started alongside Kerrigan and played 22 snaps in his first career game in the pros. He was unable to generate pressure and only recorded an assisted tackle on a one-yard stop in the running game.
We may not have seen Sweat flash any of his ultra-athletic traits on Thursday night, but trust me, they are there. He ran a blistering 4.41 forty at the combine, despite weighing in at 260 pounds. That is the fastest time on record by a player who weighs over 255 pounds. Here is the very small list of players who have posted the same forty time or better at the combine or their pro days and who weighed over 235 pounds when doing so (again, remember Sweat weighed 260):
- Calvin Johnson: 4.35, 239 lbs.
- Patrick Willis, 4.37, 242 lbs.
- Terrelle Pryor: 4.38, 240 lbs.
- Ryan Shazier: 4.38, 237 lbs.
- Matt Jones (WR): 4.40, 242 lbs.
- Dontay Moch: 4.40, 248 lbs.
- Vernon Davis: 4.40, 254 lbs.
- Bruce Irvin: 4.41, 245 lbs.
- Anthony Barr: 4.41, 255 lbs.
As you can see, nobody within 17 pounds of Sweat posted a time that was more than a tenth of a second better than his. The weight disparity is the reason why Sweat is the owner of the best speed score in recorded NFL history (137.48). Only Calvin Johnson (133.5) and fellow Redskin Vernon Davis (137.48) are even close to him. Wow. Now that is truly a freak!
Jordan Brailford- Brailford remained on the sideline because of his groin injury.
It’d be nice to see his athleticism on display in a real game, as well. He is not in the same galaxy as Sweat athletically, but he does profile as a rather explosive player. His 40-yard dash, broad jump and vertical jump numbers all rank in the 86th percentile or better among edge rushers.
Ryan Anderson- Anderson came back to Earth after a plus-showing against the Browns in Week 1. He mixed in with the first and second-teamers, notched one hurry on his 12 pass-rushing snaps and failed to make any tackles. This marked the eighth time in his career that Anderson has failed to record any traditional statistics (tackles, PDs, sacks, etc.).
Cassanova McKinzy- McKinzy led the outside backer corps with a career-high 43 snaps played.
He assisted on a late third-quarter tackle in the running game and then proceeded to dominate the action on the ensuing drive. On said drive, he tipped a pass that he was actually in an excellent position to intercept (he should have), made a stop in the running game and scored a QB hit on a third-down play which the Bengals failed to gain any yardage on.
This was McKinzy’s second straight game with a QB hit and multiple pressures and the pass defense was the first of his career.
Marcus Smith- The sixth-year edge rusher out of Louisville was in the lineup for 39 snaps against the Bengals.
He was able to register both a pass defense and a QB hit on the same play, as he tipped the pass and fell into Ryan Finley in the same motion. The last time he recorded a PD or a hit was way back in Weeks 12 and 13 of the 2017 season, respectively.
Smith only made one tackle on the day, but it came on a 2nd-and-1 stop for no gain that was instrumental in forcing the Bengals to go three-and-out and to punt two plays later.
Andrew Ankrah- You wouldn’t believe Ankrah played in this game unless you were told so. He did not record a stat of any kind on his 11 defensive snaps.
The rookie edge rusher has yet to generate a single pressure in the preseason. He’s as good as gone.
Myles Humphrey- Humphrey, who played 35 snaps in Cleveland, was relegated to a special-teams-only role against the Bengals. Unfortunately for the second-year edge rusher, he injured his knee and was waived with an injury designation.
|Inside Linebackers (7 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons *||41||55%|
|Jon Bostic *||18||24%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||DNP||N/A|
John Bostic- Starting inside backer Jon Bostic bounced back from a poor performance in last week’s game that saw him get blanked on the stat sheet. He was much more active against the Bengals.
On the opening drive, the former second-round pick was held on one snap (flag on guard John Miller), made a tackle for no gain which was negated by yet another Cincinnati holding infraction and gave up a 13-yard first-down reception in the red zone that Landon Collins made the tackle on.
He would not be denied on the second series, though. Bostic made three consecutive tackles on the drive to almost single-handedly force a Bengals’ three-and-out.
He finished the contest with 3 tackles (2 solo) and 2 stops on his 18 snaps played.
Cole Holcomb- Holcomb was unexpectedly held out with an AC joint injury. Some had even anticipated that he would start alongside Jon Bostic, but those duties were left to another player.
He returned to practice today.
Josh Harvey-Clemons- Josh Harvey-Clemons started for just the second time ever and was on the field for a career-high 41 defensive snaps.
JHC made the most of the opportunity by recording a game and career-high 7 tackles (4 solo). He made what would’ve been an eighth tackle had the play not been negated by a holding penalty.
The Bengals did not pick up a single first down on any of the plays he recorded a takedown on. In fact, JHC shut all but one of those plays down 5 or more yards away from the sticks, with the lone exception being his stop for no gain on a 3rd-and-1 passing play. His 4 defensive stops were tops on both teams and represented another career-best, as well. On the downside, he did whiff on a pair tackles, which gave him the most missed tackles on the team.
Harvey-Clemons production wasn’t just limited to tackling, though. JHC only rushed the quarterback once in the game, but registered a QB hit on the play.
He did allow 4 receptions on 25 coverage snaps and 6 targets, but those catches only gained a combined 13 yards and none of them picked up first downs, including the two third-down receptions he made stops on.
If Bostic or Hamilton aren’t able to go at any point in the season, it should Harvey-Clemons and not the rookie Holcomb who replaces them. In fact, we should probably be considering the idea of JHC starting over SDH or Bostic if he continues to play well.
Shaun Dion Hamilton- SDH sat out with a chest injury. The Redskins are hoping that the second-year inside backer will stay healthy enough to play in his team’s full complement of games for the first time since he did so as a sophomore at Alabama.
Like Holcomb, Hamilton returned to practice on Sunday.
B.J. Blunt- Blunt’s playing time doubled from 17 snaps in Week 1 of the preseason to 34 in Thursday’s game. His 4 solo and 5 total tackles were both tied for the second-most on the team. All five of his tackles were made short of the line to gain, with three of them coming on third-down plays. He also scored a 1-yard TFL on a Cincinnati first-down run.
He gave up two receptions to running back Jordan Ellis for a total of 12 yards (on 2 targets), but made up for it by finishing both plays with a tackle.
Marquis Flowers- Flowers led all Washington defenders with 46 snaps played on the night. Like Blunt, he recorded 4 solo and 5 total tackles; three of those takedowns were made several yards short of the sticks and were counted as stops.
He did, however, give up receptions on both of the targets thrown in his direction for a total of 15 yards, including a 12-yarder to Alex Erickson on a 3rd-and-6 play.
Darrell Williams- The Auburn product was on the field for 11 defensive snaps in his pro debut, but did not record a stat of any kind on those plays.
Gary Johnson- Johnson, who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs a month after joining the team as a UDFA, was signed by the Redskins on Saturday.
Johnson racked up 90 tackles, 16.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles as a senior at Texas last year. He led the Longhorns or ranked second on the team in every one of those categories. His blazing 4.43 forty at the combine places his speed in the 99th percentile among inside linebackers.
|Cornerbacks (11 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Quinton Dunbar *||18||24%|
|Fabian Moreau *||16||21%|
|Josh Norman *||14||19%|
Josh Norman- Josh Norman played on 14 of the 18 starter snaps. The referees made a questionable call when they flagged Norman for unnecessary roughness (15 yards) on a hit of Gio Bernard. He argued the call and the refs tagged him with an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction that gave the Bengals another free 15 yards and set them up at the Washington 14-yard line.
Like or not, but Norman was responsible for about half of the yards the Cincinnati offense picked up on that drive. We are well aware that this is old hat for J-NO, who has committed roughly 50 penalties in his career and led the league in them in 2016.
Moving on, Norman was only targeted once this week and gave up a 6-yard reception to Auden Tate on the 2nd-and-10 play before pushing Tate out of bounds to record his lone tackle.
Quinton Dunbar- Dunbar stepped onto a field to play a football game for the first time since re-aggravating a nerve injury in his leg in last Thanksgiving’s matchup with the Cowboys. He played at the right cornerback spot on all 18 of his snaps and dropped into coverage on nine of them.
Andy Dalton only threw at Dunny once, when he and wideout Josh Malone tried to hook up on what would’ve been at least a 45-yard deep shot, if not a touchdown, had Dunbar not ran stride for stride with Malone on the play to prevent the long reception.
Fabian Moreau- The Skins’ starting nickelback was out there for 14 snaps against the Cincy first-team offense. The only ball thrown into Moreau’s coverage was caught by Tyler Boyd for a gain of 8 yards on 3rd-and-19 screen pass.
Last year, Moreau led the Burgundy and Gold cornerback corps in passer rating allowed (105.8), coverage snaps per target (8.7) and coverage snaps per reception (13.2).
Earlier today, Jay Gruden informed Redskins beat writers that Moreau suffered an ankle sprain in the game.
Jimmy Moreland- The People’s Corner was not up to the task of putting on an encore performance that was anywhere near as impressive as his debut was. Moreland, who led all Redskins CBs in playing time (37 snaps), did flash on the 2-yard TFL he made on Alex Erickson, but that was one of the few good things he actually did on Thursday night.
He led the team with 5 solo tackles, but only the TFL came within 9 yards of the line of scrimmage and he was responsible for allowing a reception on four of those plays.
Moreland led the team in receptions (4), receiving yards (38) and first downs (3) allowed.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromatrie- DRC surrendered receptions on two of the three targets thrown at him. He gave up 24 yards on those passes, including a 19-yard catch on third down that was actually the Bengals’ longest play of the night. Two of those three tackles came on the receptions he gave up.
On a more positive note, he was able to register a PD on a first-down pass.
Greg Stroman- The second-year DB out of VA Tech had a pretty decent showing in what was his first game of 2019. He dropped back in coverage on 22 of his 25 snaps and was targeted three times on those plays.
Stroman let up two grabs to Bengals RB Jordan Ellis, but dropped Ellis in the backfield for a loss of a yard on the first one and only allowed 3 yards on the second one before making the tackle.
Stroman’s only glaring errors of the contest were allowing tight end Mason Schreck to haul in an 18-yard first-down reception (2nd-longest gain by the team) and missing a tackle that would’ve prevented Schreck from gaining his last 11 yards of YAC and setting the Bengals up at the Washington 10-yard line on the play. Cincinnati scored a touchdown two plays later.
Again, outside of that play, he had good game. His 80.5 PFF grade ranked first among all Redskins who played 20 or more snaps in the game (29 players).
Adonis Alexander- Alexander’s quad injury kept him off the field for the second game in a row. Time is running out for him to get back on the field and secure his spot on the roster. His 8 total tackles (half in preseason) and 2 pass defenses (all preseason) from last year likely did not impress enough to do the trick; Alexander has less than two weeks to figure it out.
D.J. White- The Georgia Tech product didn’t produce any stats in the game and was not “officially” targeted on any of his 10 coverage snaps. The only time you probably noticed White was when he gave up a 35-yard touchdown to Damion Willis; however, that play was wiped out by an offensive pass interference call against Willis.
Sometimes it’s best if you aren’t hearing much about a player, though; especially if they are playing a position like cornerback.
Through two games, White has only given up 2 receptions for 14 yards and no first downs.
Ashton Lampkin- The third-year corner was targeted on two of his eight coverage snaps (25%) and allowed first-down receptions of 7 and 16 yards on the plays. He made the tackle on the 7-yarder he gave up and made the stop on a Jeff Driskel read-option keeper after a gain of 4 yards.
Deion Harris- Harris played a bit better than he did last week when he gave up a team-high 72 receiving yards and a touchdown, but not by much.
For the second straight game, the rookie corner allowed 4 receptions and a touchdown, with this week’s score coming on a 3-yard slant to wideout Auden Tate. At least this time around he only surrendered 34 receiving yards and 2 first downs (3 at Cleveland).
Harris recorded 2 solo takedowns, but his whiff on another attempted tackle ended up resulting in a first down for the Bengals.
Dejuan Neal- After signing with the team last week, the rookie DB only played 3 defensive snaps in Thursday’s game and did not crack the box score.
Neal was waived by the team earlier tonight.
|Safeties (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Landon Collins *||18||24%|
|Montae Nicholson *||18||24%|
Landon Collins- Landon Collins donned the Burgundy and Gold for the first time in a game and played 18 snaps in his debut with the team.
He did not allow Tyler Eifert to catch up to a slightly overthrown ball in the end zone on the only target thrown his way and made a pair of tackles on passing plays. His first tackle stopped a C.J. Uzomah reception after a gain of just a yard on the first play from scrimmage.
Since joining the league in 2015, Collins leads the NFL in total tackles among defensive backs by a wide margin (428, 48 more than Reshad Jones) and actually ranks ninth among all players in that span. Malcolm Jenkins is the only DB who has recorded more defensive stops than Collins has in that time frame, and he leads Collins by just one in this metric (150 to 149).
Montae Nicholson- Thursday night’s game might go down as the first chapter in the Montae Nicholson redemption story.
The Bengals were set up in the red zone, thanks in large part to the four penalties committed by the starting defense (including Nicholson’s lowering the helmet infraction that negated a Cincinnati holding penalty), when the third-year safety picked off a tipped third-down pass at the 4-yard line and returned it 96 yards to the house for a pick six.
It was the team’s first pick six since Week 14 of the 2017 season (Bashaud Breeland 96-yard return at Los Angeles) and Nicholson’s first touchdown since high school.
He earned a team-high 88.7 defensive PFF grade for his efforts.
Nine months after the team traded away a fourth-round pick to bench him for HaHa Clinton-Dix and eight months after he was arrested on multiple charges, Montae Nicholson finally appears to be back on the right track again.
Troy Apke- The second-year free safety out of Penn State was tied for second on the team in both solo (4) and total tackles (5). He was not targeted in the passing game.
Deshazor Everett- The veteran backup safety and special teams ace didn’t do a whole lot to inspire confidence in the team’s depth at the position. He only made one tackle on his 24 snaps in the game, and that takedown came after a 9-yard Cincinnati reception on first down.
He didn’t fare any better in coverage, either. Everett gave up 16-yard a reception to Cody Core and then proceeded to surrender a 5-yard touchdown catch to rookie tight end Drew Sample.
He pretty much never plays a meaningful number of defensive snaps unless one of the staring safeties are hurt, and I would expect that trend to continue going forward.
Jeremy Reaves- Everybody’s favorite sleeper pick to make it through final cuts (including mine) didn’t really do much to impress this week. Only one of his four solo tackles came within 9 yards of the line of scrimmage and he allowed a 10-yard reception to Drew Sample on the only pass thrown into his coverage.
Reaves didn’t fill up the stat sheet, but putting up big numbers is something he grew quite accustomed to in college. In four years at South Alabama, the versatile DB racked up 301 total tackles, 20.5 TFLs, 8 interceptions, 22 pass defenses and 8 forced fumbles. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference in 2017.
JoJo McIntosh- The rookie free safety was targeted twice but only gave up a 6-yard reception to Stanley Morgan on a third-down pass. McIntosh tackled Morgan three yards shy of the line to gain on the play and watched as the Bengals missed a 46-yard field goal on the next play. McIntosh finished the game with 3 solo tackles. He’s played okay thus far this season, but he’ll need to make some big plays if he hopes to stick around.
ALL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
|All Defensive Players (41 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Marquis Flowers||46||61%||Jon Bostic *||18||24%|
|Cassanova McKinzy||43||57%||Landon Collins *||18||24%|
|Ryan Bee||42||56%||Quinton Dunbar *||18||24%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons *||41||55%||Montae Nicholson *||18||24%|
|Marcus Smith||39||52%||Fabian Moreau *||16||21%|
|Jimmy Moreland||37||49%||Ashton Lampkin||15||20%|
|Jeremy Reaves||35||47%||Jonathan Allen *||14||19%|
|B.J. Blunt||34||45%||Josh Norman *||14||19%|
|Troy Apke||33||44%||Matt Ioannidis||13||17%|
|Deion Harris||28||37%||Andrew Ankrah||11||15%|
|Ryan Anderson||26||35%||Daron Payne *||11||15%|
|Jonathan Bonner||26||35%||Darrell Williams||11||15%|
|Tim Settle||26||35%||Ryan Kerrigan *||9||12%|
|Greg Stroman||25||33%||Dejuan Neal||3||4%|
|JoJo McIntosh||24||32%||Myles Humphrey||ST Only||N/A|
|Deshazor Everett||23||31%||Adonis Alexander||DNP||N/A|
|Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie||23||31%||Jordan Brailford||DNP||N/A|
|Montez Sweat *||22||29%||Caleb Brantley||DNP||N/A|
|JoJo Wicker||22||29%||Shaun Dion Hamilton||DNP||N/A|
|D.J. White||21||28%||Cole Holcomb||DNP||N/A|
|Special Teams Players (49 Players)|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|B.J. Blunt||15||50%||Deshazor Everett||6||20%|
|Matt Flanagan||15||50%||Dustin Hopkins||6||20%|
|Marquis Flowers||15||50%||Myles Humphrey||6||20%|
|Deion Harris||14||47%||Austin Maloata||6||20%|
|Troy Apke||13||43%||Byron Marshall||6||20%|
|Jeremy Reaves||13||43%||J.P. Holtz||5||17%|
|Andrew Ankrah||12||40%||Ryan Anderson||4||13%|
|Cassanova McKinzy||12||40%||Donald Parham||4||13%|
|Craig Reynolds||10||33%||Cam Sims||4||13%|
|Marcus Smith||10||33%||Greg Stroman||4||13%|
|Nick Sundberg||10||33%||Darrell Williams||4||13%|
|Tress Way||10||33%||Tony Bergstrom||3||10%|
|Kelvin Harmon||9||30%||Geron Christian||3||10%|
|Jehu Chesson||8||27%||Ereck Flowers||3||10%|
|Robert Davis||8||27%||Zac Kerin||3||10%|
|JoJo McIntosh||8||27%||Wes Martin||3||10%|
|Jeremy Sprinkle||8||27%||Ross Pierschbacher||3||10%|
|D.J. White||8||27%||Brian Quick||3||10%|
|Ryan Bee||7||23%||Dejuan Neal||2||7%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons||7||23%||Steven Sims||2||7%|
|Ashton Lampkin||7||23%||Jon Bostic||1||3%|
|Jimmy Moreland||7||23%||Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie||1||3%|
|Samaje Perine||7||23%||Tim Settle||1||3%|
|Shaun Wilson||7||23%||JoJo Wicker||1||3%|
Snaps- Marquis Flowers, B.J. Blunt and Matt Flanagan led the way with 15 special teams snaps. This was the second straight week that Flowers got the most playing time on Nate Kaczor’s unit.
Dustin Hopkins- Things did not go well for Dustin Hopkins in this one. He missed wide left on the extra point following the pick six and his line drive field-goal attempt from 50 yards out was short. Although, to be fair Nick Sundberg did not snap his best ball on the play.
And to make matters worse, all three of Hopkins’ kickoffs were returned at least 23 yards and each one of them made it out past the 25-yard line. Bengals return man Darius Phillips gained a total of 88 yards on those returns (29.3-yard average).
Tress Way- Washington’s ace punter booted the ball away seven times for a total of 372 yards. However, there was a difference of over 130 yards between his total and net yardage figures for the second consecutive week. The reason for this is that the opposition returned one of his punts for a touchdown for the second game in a row.
This time around Alex Erickson took a punt 75 yards to house while two pairs of Redskins defenders ran into each other and Robert Davis missed a tackle. Erickson also gained 38 yards on his four other returns in the contest, including one he gained 22 yards on before being tackled at the 37-yard line.
This was just the sixth and third time that the opposition has either returned a punt for a touchdown or racked up 100-plus punt return yards (113 yards vs. Cincinnati) in a game Way played in. It’s just crazy that 33% and 66% of those occurrences have been in the last two weeks.
Way did pin the Bengals inside the 20 twice on Thursday night (at the 7 and 13-yard lines), but he also punted a ball into the end zone for a touchback for the second straight week after not doing so once in the 2018 regular season.
Kick Coverage- Josh Harvey-Clemons made the tackle on the opening kickoff at the 44-yard line after Darius Philips gained 34 yards on the play.
Jimmy Moreland ended a 31-yard gainer on the next kickoff with an assist from Myles Humphrey. Humphrey also teamed up with Troy Apke to shut down a punt return for no gain at the 24.
Before he missed a tackle on the return touchdown, Robert Davis took down Alex Erickson at the 37 after a punt return of 22 yards.
Cam Sims got in the fun and recorded a solo teams stop for the second straight week, with this tackle coming after a 23-yard kickoff return, which was returned to the 26.
J.P. Holtz led the team with 2 special teams tackles (both solo). He held Erickson to punt returns of 6 and 10 yards on those plays, with the tackle on the 10-yarder pinning the Bengals’ offense at their own 13-yard line. This was the first time that Holtz recorded a tackle in his NFL career.
Kickoff Returns- Byron Marshall fielded the Bengals’ first kickoff at the 2-yard line and returned it 17 yards out to the 19. He watched as the second kick bounced out of the back of the end zone for a touchback.
Rookie running back Craig Reynolds took over kick return duties in the second half. Reynolds caught his only kickoff return of the game four yards deep in the end zone and returned it 29 yards before being tackled at the 25-yard line. Unfortunately, Robert Davis committed a holding penalty on the play that backed the offense up to the 15. All three of Cincinnati’s other kicks in the second half went for touchbacks.
Punt Returns- Shaun Wilson operated as the team’s punt return man in the first half and looked quite good in that role.
He watched as Kevin Huber’s first punt was downed at the 27-yard line. Wilson returned the next punt and broke several tackles on his way to a 27-yard gain on the play; Bengals linebacker Jordan Evans had to commit a face-mask penalty in order to take Wilson down and end the return. The Redskin offense had the luxury of starting the ensuing drive at the Cincinnati 45-yard line.
Wilson picked up 10 yards on his second and final return of the night before being push out of bounds at the 33. He fair caught the last punt he was in for at the 27-yard line.
Steven Sims replaced Wilson in the second half and did not perform nearly as well. He appeared to have misjudged the trajectory of the first punt he was in for, as he called for a fair catch only to have the ball land roughly five yards behind him and get downed at the 9. Cincinnati special teamers nearly downed the team’s final punt of the game at the 1-yard line, but the ball ended up bouncing into the end zone for a touchback.
Nate Kaczor- Nobody who took the time to look at how new special teams coach Nate Kaczor’s units have fared in the past should by shocked by the results we’ve seen thus far this August.
Here are the Football Outsiders and PFF rankings for his specials units in Tennessee (2013-2015) and Tampa Bay (2016-2018): 2013: 26th and 21st, 2014: 20th and 29th, 2015: 28th and 4th, 2016: 20th and 21st, 2017: 29th and 20th and 2018: 29th and 24th. Those rankings certainly seem to be in line with what we’ve watched through two weeks of the preseason.
*All statistics are courtesy of ESPN, The Football Database, NBC Sports, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Redskins.com, Team Rankings and The Washington Post*
Where will the Redskins’ defense rank in points allowed this coming season?
This poll is closed
Between 17th and 22nd