LANHAM – The Washington Redskins’ offense was lackluster and could not manage 50 total yards against the Baltimore Ravens. After accounting for just one first down in the first half, the Redskins fell to the Ravens 23-3 in Washington’s preseason opener at M&T Bank Stadium on Aug. 11. “I mean, six snaps, heck, we overthrew […]
LANHAM – The Washington Redskins’ offense was lackluster and could not manage 50 total yards against the Baltimore Ravens.
After accounting for just one first down in the first half, the Redskins fell to the Ravens 23-3 in Washington’s preseason opener at M&T Bank Stadium on Aug. 11.
“I mean, six snaps, heck, we overthrew the first pass a little bit, and Terrelle (Pryor Sr.) couldn’t go up and get it,” Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden said about the rocky start. “On third down, we gave up a sack. We had Vernon (Davis) running down the seam, and unfortunately, Spencer (Long) tripped in the pocket and gave up the pressure. Next drive we had third down and one and miss blocked it.
“Unfortunately, it was six plays that weren’t as productive as I would like. It was a good learning experience for our guys. I’m glad they got out there and got beat around a little bit, took a few hits, and played against a physical defense. Now they know what to expect next week. We just have got to turn it up next week and play a little bit better and harder.”
Redskins starting quarterback Kirk Cousins was pressed to find time in the pocket against the vaunted Ravens’ defensive front, and only completed one pass for five yards in two series of action before hitting the bench. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy did not fare well either with the second team offense.
After Ravens running back Terrance West plunged into the endzone late in the first quarter from two yards out for the first score of the contest, the Redskins’ offense struggled to find any consistency through the air or on the ground.
McCoy hoped to create a spark in the first half, but the Ravens’ defense stepped up time and time again. After Baltimore quarterback Ryan Mallett led a 14-play drive late in the second quarter, kicker Justin Tucker booted a 37-yard field goal to extend Baltimore’s lead to 10 points with only 40 seconds remaining before halftime.
McCoy had some time to lead a scoring drive before intermission, but rookie cornerback Jaylen Hill intercepted the former Texas Longhorn on the second play of the ensuing drive. He finished the contest 6-for-13 for 40 yards and an interception.
With only seconds remaining, Mallett hit two receivers for a total of 13 yards to set up Tucker with a 59-yard field goal. Tucker, another former Longhorn, nailed it through the pipes to go up 13-0.
Washington finally scored when Dustin Hopkins hit a 49-yard field goal on the first possession of the second half.
Baltimore went on to score 10 unanswered points after backup quarterback Josh Woodrum hit Tim White on a 33-yard touchdown with 11 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Tucker then knocked down his third and final field goal from 21 yards out to seal the victory.
Once again, Washington did not execute a solid rushing attack to open up the passing game. Despite all of the high praise that rookie running back Samaje Perine received during training camp, he accounted for only 15 yards on six carries and had a fumble. The running backs rushed for an abysmal total of 39 yards altogether.
“(Perine) had a rough first start,” Gruden said. “He had that little fumble, kind of a missed exchange a little bit, and then he dropped the pass. He didn’t quite hit the hole as violently as we’d like him to hit it. You know, a couple of times he was weaving his way through traffic a little bit, trying to get his reads right.
“I think getting him the ball more, letting him see more runs, get him some of these outside zones, these powers, some duos, and stuff like that and see how he hits it. We’re not losing faith in Samaje. We have total confidence that he will get right.”
The Redskins got hit with injuries again, this time to linebacker Trent Murphy and safety Su’a Cravens. Murphy will undergo season-ending knee surgery while Cravens will have to nurse a knee injury of his own that may take two-to-three weeks to heal fully.
Even though the Redskins’ offense was not hitting on all cylinders, some players on defense played well individually. Rookie linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons led the team with six tackles, while fellow rookie Nico Marley tallied four tackles and a sack.
The Redskins’ defensive depth will be tested once again when they take on the Green Bay Packers Saturday night.