December 15, 2019

Redskins open 2013 preseason with win over Titans

COUSINS IMPRESSES WITH TOUCHDOWN IN LIMITED DUTY; EIGHT STARTERS HELD OUT

More notable for players that didn’t play than did, the Washington Redskins — at least those in camp trying to win positions or make the roster — opened their preseason play with a 22-21 win over the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville.

The Skins held most of their starters on the sidelines, including rehabbing QB Robert Griffin III and second-year RB Alfred Morris. The ones that suited up, though, gave head coach Mike Shanahan an irrelevant preseason win to kick off the four-game campaign before things get going for real — a Sept. 9 Monday night regular season opener against division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

Backup and second-year QB Kirk Cousins performed admirably in his two series of play, finishing the night 6-for-7 for 52 yards with a three-yard touchdown to TE Fred Davis, returning from his Achilles injury of last season. On the play, Cousins faked a pitch to RB Roy Helu, Jr. to the left, then rolled right and found Davis in front of the goal post for the relatively easy score.

The touchdown capped the second drive of the game for the Skins. Cousins went 4-for-4 on the drive with 36 yards The TD pass ended Cousins’ performance for the evening, but the young signal caller got good work in with the offense and looked comfortable leading the Skins while he was under center.

Davis, playing in his first game since surgery to repair the Achilles injury, caught two balls for 14 yards with the first team offense.

Helu, looking to make an impact as a third down back and capable backup to Morris, ran for 57 yards on 13 carries behind a somewhat make-shift line that did not include LT Trent Williams, just one of eight Skins starters that were held out of the preseason opener.

Veteran backup QB Rex Grossman took over for Cousins and had a mixed bag of success (10-for-21, 119 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int.), but did hit Leonard Hankerson for an eight-yard touchdown strike that tied the game at 14 just before the end of the first half. Hankerson, still trying to establish himself as a reliable target in the offense, made four catches for 38 yards.

Ten Skins receivers in all made receptions on the evening.

Third string QB Pat White made the best of a late-game opportunity, leading the Skins on a 12-play, 80-yard drive, culminating in White’s nine-yard touchdown run and subsequent two-point conversion to reserve TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi to provide the difference in the final score.

Defensive leader Brian Orakpo returned to the field after missing much of 2012 with a torn pectoral injury, and the veteran looked like he hadn’t missed a day at all. He put pressure on Titans QB Jake Locker on several occasions, including registering a sack on Tennessee’s third possession of the game, sprinting past Titans’ LT Michael Roos and catching up with Locker on a strong outside rush.

Because of multiple injuries to veteran defensive backs, three rookie draft picks — Safties Baccari Rambo and Phillip Thomas and CB David Amerson — started for the Skins to mixed results. Amerson almost had an interception and recorded three tackles, but Rambo was juked by Titans RB Chris Johnson en route to a 58-yard touchdown run, was similarly faked by Titans backup RB Shonn Green for a 19-yard score, and pushed Green after the run to draw a 15-yard penalty.

Thomas, a fourth-round pick from Fresno state, left the game in the first quarter after suffering a right shoulder and left foot injury on the same play. Replays showed Thomas’ foot got caught underneath the ball carrier on the tackle and the team announced he was held from the rest of the game due to the foot injury.

NOTES: In addition to Griffin, Morris and Williams, the Skins also played without WR Pierre Garcon, DBs DeAngelo Hall, Brandon Merriweather and Josh Wilson, and NT Barry Cofield.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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