At long last the Redskins finally got some production from their first team offense, but it's hard to say the progress was overly encouraging.
On their first four drives of Sunday's game against the Bengals, Kirk Cousins guided the Redskins to two punts, a field goal and then, the quarterback threw an interception that got returned for a Cincinnati touchdown. Even the field goal hardly deserves praise, as the Washington offense got the ball in Bengals territory after the Redskins defense recovered a fumble. Gifted solid field position, Cousins got sacked on third down and kicker Dustin Hopkins was forced to make a 50+ yarder.
One area that definitely needs improvement will be on the offensive line. Last week against the Packers, the Redskins line blocked well in pass protection of Cousins, but performed poorly in the run game. On Sunday against Cincinnati, the opposite was true. Cousins took a number of hits and was sacked twice in a half.
The Redskins offense needs to be the strength of this team, especially if the squad wants to compete for a playoff spot. So far, it hasn't.
After those first four possessions, and the emergence of some boos at FedEx Field from frustrated Redskins fans, the offense finally clicked. The Redskins pulled off a 10 play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a Rob Kelley touchdown.
In fact, Kelley and the Redskins run game took over for much of that drive. He busted off a 26-yard run to get the Redskins some breathing room, and for the first time all preseason, the ground game repeatedly worked for Washington.
"Makes a big difference because we hand one off and the seas just parted. Next thing you know the ball is in the midfield. I didn’t do anything," Cousins said after the game. "I just handed the ball off and next thing you know we’re midfield."
Cousins also hit some passes, including a key connection to Terrelle Pryor on third down in the red zone. Cousins and Pryor aren't quite in sync yet, but the throw and catch came at a critical juncture on the drive and might provide the pair some momentum.
"We have to learn that and grow together," Cousins said of Pryor. "It is a work in progress and I think Terrelle will just keep getting better and better as he gets more reps and more experience. But we don’t have time, we have to be ready Week 1."
While Cousins getting more in tune with Pryor matters, the most important part words from the QB are the realization that the Redskins are running out of time.
The team's offense can't afford to start like they did against the Bengals. Especially not in two weeks against the Eagles, when the games actually do count.
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