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Three Plays from Redskins gameday versus the Eagles in Philly

We get up close on three players from the Week 1 game: Ereck Flowers, Terry McLaurin and Montae Nicholson

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

For each Redskins game in the 2019 season, Andrew York plans to pick three plays and break them down in an effort to highlight individual Redskins players.

For the Week One matchup against the Eagles in Philadelphia, the three plays will focus on an offensive lineman, Ereck Flowers, a wide receiver, Terry McLaurin, and a defensive back, Montae Nicholson.

Redskins @ Eagles, Week 1 highlights | NFL 2019 on YouTube

Posted by Bill Horgan on Wednesday, September 11, 2019

[1:30] Ereck Flowers (77) successfully wins the punch on Fletcher Cox, getting his hands inside to stand Cox up and ruin his leverage. Flowers then passes Cox off to Roullier and goes to assist Penn, knocking Eagles’ DT Malik Jackson around.

This isn’t an incredible play, but I think it shows a lot of growth in Flowers. First of all, he actually wins the punch on Cox and stands him up. I think Cox was a little surprised by that, not realizing how long Flowers can reach and so not getting his own hands up in time.

One advantage Flowers has is that he is much taller and longer than most guards (6’6” tall, with 34.5” arms), giving him a range advantage and leverage in the hand fight. Also, passing off Cox to Roullier in order to go assist Penn shows more awareness of the field and his duties as an OL than I think we’ve seen him play with in the past.

He still seems to be playing high, but he’s more effective while playing high than most OL I’ve seen, perhaps because he has so much upper body strength.

Posted by Bill Horgan on Wednesday, September 11, 2019

[4:48] Terry McLaurin (17) wins his matchup on Ronald Darby with strong hands and body control, despite having very little separation.

We’ve all seen the clip of McLaurin running past his coverage to get open and that speed is great, but this play shows that he has more ways to win. He shows very strong hands at the catch point here, practically ripping the ball out of the air and away from Darby. He also shows great body control, landing both feet in bounds after going airborne despite Darby’s attempt to shove him out of bounds.

This versatility is great, because there are going to be CBs like Darby with 4.3 speed who can run with McLaurin, so he needs more than one way to win. Also, I was very critical of McLaurin’s college tape in our Ranking the NFCE WRs article for being a body catcher, not a hands catcher, but he has progressed quite a bit since last year, and this play shows very good hands-catching ability.

Posted by Bill Horgan on Wednesday, September 11, 2019

[7:17] Montae Nicholson (35) is playing somewhat close to the line of scrimmage with Quinton Dunbar (23) lined up opposite DeSean Jackson at the top of the screen. After the snap, it looks like Dunbar is in man coverage on DJax giving him a huge cushion, but Nicholson moves underneath DJax to help bracket him.

However, Nicholson seems to break off his assignment after getting baited by Wentz’s eyes, leaving DJax wide open on an out route. Combine this with his amazing PBU here, and these two plays really summarize the good and the bad of Nicholson. On the one hand, he’s a big hitter with incredible speed, able to patrol a large part of the deep field. On the other hand, he seems to have iffy instincts and has some combination of over-aggressiveness and poor discipline that results in major coverage busts and giving up big plays.

There was no reason for him to run to the leaking TE on this play, DJax was clearly the bigger threat and looked to be his assignment.

Which of these plays do you think matters most? Were there any other plays from the game that you think deserve highlighting?


Who plays more snaps this season?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Ereck Flowers
    (297 votes)
  • 6%
    Wes Martin
    (19 votes)
316 votes total Vote Now


How many yards for Scary Terry this season?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Less than 300
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (3 votes)
  • 15%
    (56 votes)
  • 40%
    (151 votes)
  • 43%
    more than 900
    (160 votes)
370 votes total Vote Now


Will Nicholson be the starting safety next to Landon Collins in Week 1 of the 2020 season?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    (190 votes)
  • 43%
    (147 votes)
337 votes total Vote Now