Redskins

Quick Links

Five observations from Redskins' lackluster preseason loss to Ravens

Five observations from Redskins' lackluster preseason loss to Ravens

BALTIMORE — The first game of the Redskins' 2017 preseason is in the books and things did not exactly go according to plan.

Here are five takeaways from the Redskins' 23-3 preseason loss to the Ravens.

1. It’s possible to raise some concerns even in a very small sample size.

Offense is going to be the team’s calling card this season as it has been in the past two years. It is not encouraging to see the offensive starters go three and out twice before taking their shoulder pads off for the night.

In particular, the vaunted offensive line looked lost, allowing a sack, a pressure, and a tackle for a loss on third and one.

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS-RAVENS WEEK 1

2. Nate Sudfeld has a long way to go and he may never get there.

The second-year quarterback relies too much on his arm too often instead of stepping into throws. He had one good throw, a 31-yard strike to rookie receiver Robert Davis. Other than that he was 4 for 11 for 37 yards (3.4 yards per attempt).

3. The Redskins just might have a good one in Jonathan Allen.

His sack for zero yards was his only tackle but he made a smart play there in containing the quarterback as he scrambled. He cut upfield but he had Allen waiting for him and the defender dragged him down.

Allen could be fun to watch in extended playing time.

RELATED: HARD TO ANALYZE COUSINS WITH SUCH POROUS OFFENSIVE LINE PERFORMANCE

4. Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins both said that they had not prepared for some of the pressure that the Ravens put on them.

And not scouting and preparing for your opponent in the preseason is standard operating procedure. But perhaps Gruden should rethink the way he scripts the preseason games offensively and have some wrinkles to throw at the other team. You don’t want to give away too much in the preseason but if the other team is going to get exotic, you have to counter with some surprises of your own to try to keep your offense on the field.

5. Samaje Perine is not going to be your Week 1 starting running back.

He removed all doubt tonight even though he did lead the team in rushing with 15 yards on six carries. But he also fumbled once (he recovered), dropped a pass, and didn’t have a good sense for where to run much of the time.

He will learn but he is not going to push Rob Kelley out of the starting lineup anytime soon.

RELATED: NICO MARLEY BROUGHT IT WHEN OTHERS DIDN'T

Quick Links

2017 NFL Power Rankings: Both conferences are wide open through six weeks

screen_shot_2017-10-15_at_10.17.23_pm.png
USA TODAY Sports

2017 NFL Power Rankings: Both conferences are wide open through six weeks

Through six weeks of the NFL season, it's clear who the Super Bowl favorites are.

In the AFC, it's, um, well, OK, let's do the NFC first. In the NFC, you have to watch out for — actually, nevermind, this isn't that easy.

CLICK HERE FOR NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS

The Chiefs and Eagles are the only two teams standing at 5-1, but there are quite a few 4-2 squads right behind them, as well as talented 3-win teams who can take any opponent down if they bring their best stuff. That means that as the halfway point approaches, both conferences are still open races.

And those races got a lot more interesting after a fun Week 6. The power rankings look a lot different than they did before the weekend because of Week 6's results, too.

So, click the link above or below to see who's moving up and who's sliding back. Or, in the case of the Browns, who's sliding but staying in the same spot simply because they can't be dropped any further.

CLICK HERE FOR NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS

Quick Links

Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-49ers game

screen_shot_2017-10-16_at_5.19.12_pm.png
USA TODAY Sports Images

Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-49ers game

Did you guys know C.J. Beathard is related to former Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard?

Of course you do, because that storyline, as well as others like the Vernon Davis fumble(?) and Pierre Garçon penalty have been talked about plenty following the Redskins' 26-24 W over the 49ers on Sunday.

But there are other angles that have been under analyzed from the Week 6 matchup. So as fun as it is to celebrate Chris Thompson's brilliance, put that on hold for a minute and think about these five discussion points.

1) A big recovery by a big man 

One of the most underappreciated plays in football is a fumble recovery by an offensive player. Most of the time, players and fans are just mad that the offense fumbled and ignore the fact that the outcome could've been a whole lot worse.

Do you remember Trent Williams falling on a Chris Thompson fumble early on the Redskins' first drive? Maybe some of you do, but plenty of others probably don't. But because Williams was aware and smothered the ball before a Niner defender could, the Redskins were able to continue their possession and eventually finish it with a touchdown.

MORE: WHERE JONATHAN ALLEN WILL BE MISSED MOST

2) Kirk's questionable decision

Kirk Cousins provided what proved to be the game's deciding points with his fourth quarter read option touchdown. But it was an earlier run that could've been much more important, and not for the right reason.

On Washington's previous possession — which concluded with a 21-yard field goal — Cousins scrambled for an 18-yard gain, but instead of sliding at the end, he decided to take on San Fran safety Jimmie Ward. The two collided and thumped each other pretty hard, and while the QB may have earned some respect, he also said postgame that Williams immediately reminded him that he should've slid instead.

Was it entertaining to watch a signal caller try and run over a safety? Sure. But was it smart? Not at all. The Packers saw their star quarterback come out on the wrong end of a punishing hit Sunday, and the Redskins just as easily could be feeling their pain.

3) Samaje's second effort

Samaje Perine has a long way to go before he becomes the player many hoped he'd be when the Redskins snagged him in April's draft. But it was him traveling a short distance in the fourth quarter against the 49ers that was a crucial yet overlooked play.

Six snaps before Cousins' rushing TD, the rookie barely converted on a third-and-2 by pushing the pile and refusing to be brought down short of the sticks. Again, his first year as a pro hasn't been excellent, but that was one he deserves credit for.

4) A way too powerful punt

The Redskins' execution after recovering that late onsides kick wasn't just bad on offense. Tress Way's touchback was unsightly, too.

Even after Washington took a delay of game penatly to give their punter more room, Way booted his kick well into the end zone instead of forcing the Niners' returner to fair catch or giving his gunners a chance to down it. Next time, Way needs to use a little less club and force the opposing offense to start farther back than their own 20.

RELATED: WHY CAN'T THE REDSKINS HOLD ON TO LEADS?

5) Dunbar delivers

Perhaps because of all the injuries in the secondary, as well as an abundance of other things to chat about, a really strong performance from Quinton Dunbar isn't getting the necessary recognition. 

The visitors threw at Josh Norman's replacement often — 14 instances, to be specific — but he more than held his own, ending the contest as PFF's highest-graded 'Skin. Jay Gruden said earlier in the week Dunbar thinks he can cover "anybody, anywhere, anytime," and for the most part on Sunday, No. 47 did just that.