January 26, 2020

Five Takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 17-6 loss to the Houston Texans

In a largely underwhelming performance, the Washington Redskins lost their season opener at the Houston Texans on Sunday, 17-6. Here are five takeaways from the game:

  1. Robert Griffin III is still developing, to put it one way. Of course, it’s not ideal for your franchise quarterback that you gave up four valuable draft picks for to still be figuring out his game at the start of his third season. At times, Griffin looked out of place and incredibly indecisive, either not throwing the ball away or tossing it for a very short gain. There were also flashes of brilliance on display, like the long pass to Niles Paul that put the Redskins deep in the red zone before Paul fumbled. You cam probably chalk up some of the performance to an offensive line that didn’t give him much time or space to work with, but Griffin’s game was less than encouraging.
  2. The special teams still look to be suffering from Keith Burns Syndrome. The blocked extra point was just a sign of things to come, as a blocked punt later turned into the Texans’ second score of the afternoon. The return game was strong, save for Darrel Young trying to tackle Andre Roberts on an early punt return. Otherwise, the group looked like they picked up where they left off last year.
  3. The team misses Brandon Meriweather. This may seem like it would have been obvious heading into the game, but on Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 76-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the second quarter, Bacarri Rambo misplayed Hopkins badly. Rambo had his eyes on Fitzpatrick has Hopkins caught the ball a yard or two in front of him, side-stepped Rambo and scored. Although the Redskins’ secondary isn’t exactly the Legion of Boom without him, Week 3 against the Eagles can’t come soon enough for that unit.
  4. Alfred Morris was strong again, helping the Redskins on their sole scoring drive with two huge runs. The third-year back had 91 yards on just 14 carries and was one of the bright spots in the loss.
  5. Overall, the performance was discouraging but all is not lost. From a pure numbers standpoint, the Redskins performed well – 20 first downs to the Texans’ 16, 372 yards to Houston’s 316 and barely winning the possession battle, holding the ball for 30:54. The majority of the mistakes were mental, and there was probably some rust to shake off (as evidenced by four straight punts to start the game). Capitalizing on opportunities against the Jaguars, and ultimately winning, will be pivotal to keeping the locker room from going sour so early. That, and winning the turnover battle – the two fumbles cost Washington dearly today.
About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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