Redskins Starting Defense- This still was not the complete defense as Shaun Dion Hamilton was out injured and Ryan Kerrigan getting limited snaps. The first drive the defense was everywhere and the only way the Bengals got down the field was penalties. The highlight of the drive was the 96 yard interception return by Montae Nicholson on a tipped pass by Da’Ron Payne. This will be the focal point of the team.
Adrian Peterson– Does he even age? If he does, which we all do, he doesn’t show it. On the first offensive play of the game Peterson broke off an easy 20 yard run. This is a luxury for the team to have in an experienced, talented back as Peterson.
Dewayne Haskins– The stats tell you one thing, your eyes tell you another. Haskins finished 7 for 14 for 114 yards and a touchdown, but the biggest stat is zero interceptions. While he did have a very questionable sack fumble, Haskins took care of the ball. Haskins extended plays when needed, got down field, and managed the game well. Haskins’ talent is showing but the progression from last week to this week was good. If Haskins continues this improvement he will be on the field sooner than later.
The Referees– Normally the officiating in a preseason game doesn’t matter. In this game however the officiating left a lot to be desired. Questionable pass interference calls, personal foul on Josh Norman going after an interceptions, holding calls, and so on. This game left the team more confused on how games will be called.
The Place Kicking– Kicking on both sides was pretty bad. Dustin Hopkins had an especially rough night missing an extra point and then a 50 yard field goal. The hold was bad on the 50 yard attempt, however Hopkins did not instill confidence last night. This along with a shaky camp might lead to concern for the team.
Sacks– The offensive gave up four sacks and that is a major concern. Haskins was on his back plenty of times and the run game came to a screeching halt when the starters sat down. This has to be addressed moving forward.
Penalties– Coach Gruden mentioned it in his press conference after the game, too many penalties. The Redskins had ten accepted penalties for 105 yards. There were more that were declined. Some were bad technique and holds, some where self control penalties, others questionable calls. No matter how they were incurred, the Redskins have to a better job in that department.
Challenges– The new system of challenging pass interference calls was used twice by the Redskins and once by the Bengals. All three went against the Redskins and seem to confound coach and players alike. When asked after the game about a pass interference call Josh Norman answered with a befuddled look, ” I don’t know… we are just waiting for understanding from upstairs.” The Redskins haven’t had the best challenge luck over the last few seasons. They must use their challenges wisely.
Special Teams– Two preseason games, two late punt returns given up for touchdowns. That unit is manned by a lot of guys who probably wont make the squad, however that needs to be cleaned up. Even a few of the kickoffs were returned fairly well. This must be addressed.