Couldn’t care less about the final score but I’m pretty satisfied with the Redskins’ performance last night. A few impressions, first on RGIII:
- Griffin’s (awesome) QB Rating is pretty meaningless. Buffalo didn’t blitz him much and their defensive scheme was as bland as our offensive one. But I was very pleased with his patience and calmness, which are so critically important and among the things that don’t always translate from college to the pros. Nobody really expected any different, but it’s huge that we saw it.
- I especially love that he moved the offense without any sort of reliance on the boot game, which I believe will be his most dangerous tool. I hope they continue to hide that—and any Pistol ideas—until the games count.
- He didn’t rip any crazy bombs but his gas on the intermediate stuff is three leagues above anything we’ve seen in forever. Pierre, Leonard, and Joshua will get tons of chunk yardage over the middle this year. Cousins has pretty good juice too. They both make Rex’s throws look like change-ups.
On the rest of the offense:
- They were really force-feeding Banks, huh? Or at least trying to. I think I read he had 10 targets? That’s kind of ridiculous for a preseason game. I think they love what he can do when he gets the ball in his hands, but the problem is that he can’t keep the ball in his hands. Banks has been making a lot of noise in camp but we were reminded last night that he will always struggle against physical corners.
- FroMo is easily the hardest-running of the healthy running backs. Has a little Hightower in him (or, someone on Twitter mentioned a young Natrone Means, which I thought was an awesome comparison). No huge chunks but very fun to watch and believe he has an NFL future.
- Kudos to the backup linemen forced into action, especially the rookie Gettis, who acquitted himself very nicely. Polumbus was up and down but he’s definitely no major step back from Brown. I’m not afraid to admit they proved me dead wrong by keeping RGIII clean against a very potent starting D-line. I thought they’d get pushed around. I’m not terribly worried about these guys (and Hurt and LeRibeus) playing in the regular season…just that they don’t really have any backups of their own, which will be a problem if Lichtensteiger and/or Brown miss multiple games, which I rather expect. Because you have to assume more injuries will come. But for now: nice job.
On the defense:
- Backup tackle/end Chris Baker has come pretty much out of nowhere to be a legitimate baller. He might have been the most disruptive player on the team. Even one more preseason performance like that one and I think he seals a roster spot, which puts fan-fave Truck Neild on the bubble.
- The rookie corner Crawford is making this team, you can stamp that. He backed up a really nice camp with an awesome debut. Good instincts on defense and I love his patience/balance on returns. He might be the fifth corner but I don’t see how they can cut him; he won’t clear waivers. I think he takes Brandyn Thompson’s job.
- Keenan Robinson is very fast and looks natural in coverage. Under Fletcher’s tutelage, I think he’ll turn into a fine player. Riley and Robinson could be an awesome ILB tandem in the future.
To me, the most important thing about any preseason game is escaping without major injury, which seems to have happened. The only concern is Trent Williams’s foot, which he apparently hurt while man-handling two dudes on Garcon’s sweet touchdown play. T-Dub is primed for a monster year and we desperately need him healthy, but he seemed to be moving around okay at the end of the night, thank goodness. If there’s any question for next week, I hope they’ll hold him out and be ultra-cautious so he’s ready for the Saints.