After last night’s performance against the Falcons, I only have two words for you– Super Bowl!
Now that that’s out of the way. With last season in mind, Skins fans were mostly treated to more of the same against Atlanta. Which is either good or bad depending on the tint percentage of your burgundy lenses.
No major injuries (Niles Paul with a hyperextended knee, said to not be serious). Strong overall performance by the first team defense. The secondary looked impressive in limited work. Tress Way being Tress Way. Dustin Hopkins being Dustin Hopkins.
Washington turned the Georgia Dome into Magic City, causing seventeen (17) penalty flags to rain down on the turf. An inability to run the ball by the first team. No pass rush. Up and down play by the second string defense. Special Teams gave up a KR for touchdown to start the second half. And NEWSFLASH, former Skins WR Aldrick Robinson can still get deep.
Offensively, the Franchise (tag), Cousins was 5-5 for 39 yards. Looking confident and under control in one series of work. McCoy still looks like he could take over playcalling duties if needed. And Nate Sudfeld whose gotten very little love this summer, looked pretty decent in his first NFL action– starting and playing the entire second half.
Question. Is it too early to push the panic button over the run game? I’ll leave the in-depth tape breakdown to the pros, but to the untrained eye, it looked like 2015 all over again. No consistent push by the line, and the backfield as a group was average at best. And the backs only graded that high because of the efforts of UDFA Robert Kelley (7-40) and Mack Brown (7-28). The second and third units clearly fared much better– but, it’s the second and third units.
Defensively, the first team looked very live and active at all three levels. There seemed to be an energy and swagger that wasn’t there last year. Though it’s far too early to tell, the secondary improvements and Will Compton starting in the middle from day one, could pay huge dividends for the squad once games start to count.
- Su’a Cravens – the burgundy & gold have a legit player in the second rounder from USC. He’s one of those guys the camera finds, because he finds the ball. Had an impressive tackle on special teams and against the run.
- Robert Kelley & Mack Brown – after preseason game one, I’d give Brown the slight edge for that third RB spot (w/Kelley on his heels). Kelley showed good vision on cutbacks, while Brown was more decisive and assertive w/his opportunities.
- Martrell Spaight – last night, he looked like Will Compton did in his first couple training camps. He just kept popping up around the ball. And we see where that got #51.
- Takoby Cofield had his name called a lot
- Jeremy Harris & Quinton Dunbar – both gave up big chunk plays once the starters went to the bench. The kind of mistakes that do happen in the regular season, but stand out in the race to 53.
Despite the team committing as many penalties as they had points, it was good to see some tackle football. One must not get to high or low on what’s seen after the first glorified scrimmage however.
But you heard it here first. Robert Kelley is not only making this team– he’s going to take Matt Jones’ job, run for 1700yds and win Offensive Rookie of the Year. What, it could happen.