The Washington Redskins are 2-2 on this young 2016 NFL season. After their victory on Sunday over the Cleveland Browns, I said that there was still some work to do, and there is. However, after watching the game back, there were some very good things that the Redskins did in their victory. Here is my further review on Sunday’s game.
The Washington Redskins were pretty perfect in this opening quarter. They had two offensive drives that got them into the Red Zone. This is a place that in the previous three weeks, was a struggle to score in. Not on this day. The Redskins were able to produce 2 TDs, both to TE Jordan Reed. Kirk Cousins was on point as well. He went 10-11 with 2 TDs in the quarter. This along with a solid run game on the first two drives kept the Browns defense off balance the entire 15 minutes.
The Redskins defense was also solid. The Browns had one possession in which they were not able to do anything. The Redskins pass rush was able to create pressure on the young QB Cody Kessler. They also did not let the Browns solid running game get started. This combined with the solid play from Washington Redskins offense made a perfect start to the match.
The Washington Redskins defense spent an awful lot of time on the field. This is not a good formula for a defense that is thin. This allowed the Browns to use their league leading run game and keep the Redskins defense off balance. A weak defense is certainly not a formula for putting a team away. Also, Josh Norman was not able to cover Terrell Pryor Sr. at all. Cleveland was able to score 17 pts in the second quarter on a defense that was on the field for most of it.
The Redskins had two possessions, but only one was sustained. The first was lost on an interception by Cousins. The second drive looked a lot like the first quarter. A nice sustained drive with a mix of pass and run. However, once the Redskins got in the red zone, they were unable to keep the momentum. Penalties and suspect play calling were key. The result was an FG when it should have been a TD.
A big Redskins issue came to light. The Redskins cannot get off the field on 3rd down. They have allowed 57.4% on 3rd downs this season. This is the worst since 1991 for any defense in the NFL. Yes, even the Cleveland Browns although they have had some pretty solid defenses in the past. Also, the Redskins Swiss Cheese run defense returned. If the Washington Redskins do not make some changes on defense, it could end up being a long season.
The offense was not on the field for much of the quarter. They were 3 and out on their first possession. The Browns made some good adjustments to get the Redskins offense. Those adjustments were not countered very well by Sean McVay and the Redskins offense. There was also a release of the run game. The Washington Redskins must continue to run the football to be successful.
The Washington Redskins returned to the running game. And why not? It has worked through the entire game. There should have been no going away from it. The defensive struggles that the team was having may not have been so prominent if the offense would have stayed on the field. I do not care that this game was played against the Cleveland Browns, The Redskins can run the football. They showed that in week three as well against the New York Giants. Running the football will only lead to bigger and better things for this offense.
The defense was on point again in the 4th quarter. Three straight possessions by the Browns resulted in 3 turnovers. Yes I know one was given to them by an official’s mistake. The key here is that the Redskins defense was keyed up. If they can get four quarters of a keyed up defense, this team would be that much better.
The Washington Redskins still have some work to do. Both offensively and defensively. On defense, they need to tackle better. A lot of the yards that the Browns were able to get came after the first contact. On offense, there needs to be a maintained commitment to the run game. This will not only help on offense but will help keep a thin defense resting on the sideline.
Week 5 brings the Battle of I-95, the Baltimore Ravens. They have a solid run game as well. If the Redskins do not improve their tackling, it could be a long afternoon. This team usually plays to the level of their competition so with that being said, they should show up ready to play. Let’s roll! ALWAYS HTTR!!!