The Redskins went to Atlanta Thursday night in what is typically known as the dress rehearsal for the regular season, and came out victorious against a tough Falcons team. Despite the victory, there were some good and bad things to take away from last evenings game.
Below are my Studs and Duds, followed by some notes.
Derrius Guice - In his first game action since tearing his ACL last summer, Guice looked explosive, elusive and fast. He ran with authority and his power, vision and speed were on full display. He had 44 yards on 11 carries and had a touchdown called back for holding. He also caught his lone pass - a screen, which if one more block was made, would have went for big yards. There is a lot for Redskins fans to be excited for with the second year running back. Now, let’s just keep him in bubble wrap until the season starts.
Landon Collins - In some extended preseason action, Landon Collins looked great against the Falcons. He recorded four tackles, one for a loss and had a nice pass defended where he almost came away with the interception. He will be a force once the regular season begins as safety.
Donald Penn - Penn gets stud status here for the HUGE improvement we saw from last week. He wasn’t perfect, but he looked MUCH better in both run blocking and pass protection Thursday night. Maybe, just maybe, there is some hope for the regular season at left tackle here.
Ryan Anderson - I thought Ryan Anderson played very well last night, showing a surprising burst off the edge, great run defense, and exceptional hustle to chase some plays down. Hopefully this will be the year he puts it all together.
Cam Sims - Sims made two very good catches on the evening; one where he was flipped in the air and still held onto the football and another one-handed grab. He finished the night as the team’s leading receiver hauling in three receptions for 48 yards. He also looked VERY good in blocking and on special teams.
Cassanova McKinzy - McKinzy was all over the field Thursday night, and he accounted for two sacks and a tackle for loss while he was out there. He looked like Junior Galette coming off the edge!
Dustin Hopkins - Hopkins was 4/4 on field goals with a long of 48 and made his lone extra point.
Ereck Flowers - Last week Flowers was praised for his play. This week he took a big step back. It wasn’t all bad, but he missed a few blocks, got his quarterback beat up, and had a holding call that negated a touchdown.
Brandon Scherff - Scherff looked a bit off Thursday night. Maybe part of that is because most expect a very high level of play from him. Whatever the case, he missed some key blocks, and was the reason for the Keenum turnover.
Quinton Dunbar - Dunbar looked rusty with the first team against the Falcons starters. He gave up a few passes that you normally don’t see from him.
Ryan Bee - Bee saw a lot of action last night, and although he was in on a lot of tackles, he was not doing a good job holding his ground at the point of attack, and was getting driven off the ball way too much by Atlanta’s reserves.
- I thought Keenum played well with the first unit. He had some really nice passes, and that turnover, although tough to swallow, really wasn’t his fault. I believe I counted two drops - one on a bullet he threw to Reed, so his stat line in limited action could have looked even better.
Haskins and Harmon are starting to develop a bit of a connection in the passing game. They are going to be a fun combination to watch for years to come.
- Allen and Payne didn’t light up the stat sheet, but both had a few splash plays where they looked virtually unblockable.
- I thought Sweat showed some really good things against Atlanta. He flashed some of his quickness off the edge and showed good hustle chasing runs down. He wasn’t perfect, but once things start slowing down for him a bit, he’s going to be a force.
- Jimmy Moreland didn’t have any WOW plays on Thursday night, but man, he’s not afraid to come up and hit guys. He’s a very good wrap-up tackler.
- B.J. Blunt may not make this team as a linebacker, but he’s showing he can play in this league. Fun kid to watch!