Friday, August 10, 2012

Notes and Observations: Preseason Week 1

Robert Griffin III, above, was excellent in his first game. (Photo: townnews.com)
Last night, the Washington Redskins opened up their preseason schedule with a Thursday night thriller in Buffalo against the Bills. Here, I am going to highlight a few things that I noticed as I watched.

Bad Run Block, Good Pass Block
I was not at all impressed with the Redskins run blocking. The Redskins managed 87 yards on 32 rush attempts and that works out to be an average of 2.7 yards per carry. Only one Redskins running back averaged over four yards per carry and that was Roy Helu Jr who only had a total of four carries so the numbers are off. The Redskins offensive line has to get better in the run blocking area if this team wants to see any success. If it weren't for the hard running Alfred Morris seemingly willing the offense down the field in the second half, they would have become one dimensional.

On the flip side, the pass protection was excellent. Not a single Redskins quarterback got sacked and only a few times did the quarterback even get touched. The Bills brought a few blitzes and few even rushes and the front five turned them all away.

The Redskins Really Want Brandon Banks
It is more than clear that the Washington Redskins want to see Brandon Banks thrive as a wide receiver. He was targeted yesterday nine times. That's two more that the next closest receiver (Josh Morgan, 7). Unfortunately, that only resulted in 2 receptions for seven yards. They looked to him short, middle, and deep and came up empty most of the time. Granted, he ran a lot with Rex Grossman and Kirk Cousins as quarterback, so I would like to see him get some time with the eventual starter, Robert Griffin III, before we write him off just yet.

Still Got the Pass Rush!
The Redskins pass rush hasn't missed a beat since last season. They were just as tough up front as ever and really gave one of the best pass protection lines a good game. Bills quarterbacks were hit five times and sacked four other times. Two of the Redskins eight pass deflections came at the line of scrimmage. The front seven was by far the second brightest spot last night.

But what was the BRIGHTEST spot last night?

He's The Real Deal
Oh boy do we have the quarterback of the future. Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III looked excellent in his first real live NFL game. He was making great reads, looking off safeties, and best of all, he stayed in the pocket. Only once did RG3 run the ball. He stayed in the pocket, trusted his offensive line, and connected 4-of-6 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. One play from RG3 that really stuck with me came at the beginning of the touchdown drive for the Redskins. Robert Griffin III rolled left after a play fake and was staring down a Bills linebacker who keeping contain. The threat of RG3 embarrassing forced the linebacker to stay back and wait for RG3 to react. While the play resulted in a dropped pass, RG3, without even moving his feet, bought time. His athleticism has already gained him that much respect in the NFL.

Overall, I am pleased with the Redskins first preseason game. They've got a great foundation and really have some good things going. They've got things to improve on, such as run blocking, and great things to build on, such as RG3.


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