December 7, 2019

Five takeaways from the Washington Redskins preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens

Here are five big takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 23-17 preseason road loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night:

  1. Another underwhelming performance from Robert Griffin III. In the first play of an important opening second half drive, Griffin threw a pass that looked bad the minute it left his hand and ended up in the hands of Baltimore’s rookie linebacker CJ Mosley. Griffin was 5-for-8 for 76 yards and no touchdowns with a fumble on top of the pick. In the first quarter, he also had a chance to convert on third down but tried to keep the play alive by running the ball before running out of space and getting sacked. With the third-year quarterback coming under some fire this week for his social media presence and telling detractors to “keep doubting,” the criticism heaped on Griffin this week looks to have some merit.
  2. Kirk Cousins was very strong, there’s no other way to put it. In garbage time, he executed a picture-perfect drive, culminating in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Nick Williams. That touchdown was set up by a 20-yard deep pass down the middle to Niles Paul. Cousins was 14-for-20 for 122 yards, and threw for two touchdowns. Although there probably shouldn’t be a quarterback controversy in Washington, the stark difference between the two quarterbacks’ outings will raise questions.
  3. No running back was particularly impressive. Roy Helu had seven carries for thirty yards, both of which were team highs. Alfred Morris was just behind him with 29 yards on six carries. The offensive line was largely unimpressive, leading to the general stagnation of the offense all night. It’s still unclear what the answer is on third down, a question that might be answered in the game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday.
  4. The defense came up big in the first quarter with a couple of crucial fourth down stops. Although the final score wasn’t much of an indicator, those stops may just be a sign of things to come in short-yardage situations. With that said, though, Joe Flacco was able to largely pick apart the secondary, going 16-for-23 for 180 yards and a touchdown. The front seven put plenty of pressure on the Ravens offense, and Kerrigan and Hatcher both recorded a sack.
  5. Turnovers weren’t as much of an issue this time around. Although the only giveaway was Griffin’s aforementioned interception in the third quarter, it came with the Redskins down 10-3 at the start of the third quarter and looked like a morale blow that led to a Justin Tucker field goal that put the Ravens up by 10. That the number of turnovers decreased is certainly a positive, but the timing wasn’t great and what made matters worse was Baltimore scoring off that giveaway.

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page. Eric is a freelancer covering high school sports for his hometown newspaper, InsideNova.com. He previously attended Longwood University, serving as sports editor of The Rotunda for two years and hosted his own radio show for three years on the campus radio station, while calling basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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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