The first professional matchup between the top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, Robert Girffin III and Andrew Luck, was pretty much a toss-up, with both players leading scoring drives for their respective teams. But in the second half, the Washington Redskins backups, depth players and roster bubble players outshined the Indianapolis Colts and the Skins improved their preseason record to 2-1 with a 30-17 victory at FedEx Field.
- Alfred Morris. The running back selected in the sixth round this year put on another impressive performance, carrying the ball 14 times for 107 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for six yards. He busted loose for runs of 17, 18 and 23 yards.
- Santana Moss. Caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Griffin just before halftime. Returned two punts for 12 yards. Doesn’t seem like much in the box score, but a 33 year old’s willingness to return kicks speaks loudly and might give Mike Shanahan a little more flexibility with roster decisions.
- Niles Paul. The tight end — converted from wide receiver — showed why he was considered a dangerous kick returner at Nebraska when he took the opening kickoff 42 yards. Another example of roster flexibility.
- The starting defensive line. Pressured Luck just about every time he went back to throw.
- Rex Grossman. Went 8-for-8 for 127 yards and two TDs in the second half. Take the praise where you can get it.
- Brandon Banks. There’s a reason Shanahan wanted to see Moss and Paul handle return duties. The team can only carry so many wide receivers, and if Banks can’t contribute on offense maybe they can disburse his duties elsewhere and save the roster spot. He could be in big trouble despite being a very exciting return man.
- Kirk Cousins. Only played one series. Don’t think it’s really a reflection on him since he played so well last week. Perhaps it was more of a message to the silly national media types suggesting there would be a QB controvery between Cousins and Griffin. Trust us: No Controversy.
- Leonard Hankerson. He’s big. He’s fast. He’s strong. And he’s still dropping balls that should be caught. Also looked like he gave up on a long route before turning it back on to try to chase down a Griffin throw, to no avail.
- Madieu Williams. Was beaten on a touchdown play when he lost his footing. The safety positions are up for grabs and when Brandon Merriweather returns it’ll be even murkier. Tanard Jackson played real well again as well. No one can afford mental errors at this point.
For Brian Murphy’s complete photo gallery of the Skins 30-17 preseason win over the Colts, please click here.
Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Redskins coverage on Twitter @RedskinsDSP.