When you watch the Washington Redskins in past years, you expected solid offense and poor defense. On Sunday, they got a little of the reverse. The defense was better than expected and the offense, well that was non-existent. This week should be a tough week of practice ahead of next week’s game. So what happened is yesterday’s loss? Here is my good, bad and wtf from week 1.
The run defense of the Washington Redskins was much better than in years past. With a running back the caliber of LeGarrette Blount, past opponents would have gashed the Redskins for 100-plus yards. On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles ran the ball 24 times for a total of 58 yards. That is an average of 2.4 yards per carry. Definitely a welcoming site.
During the game Sunday, we saw why the Washington Redskins signed RB Chris Thompson to an extension. He was probably the best player on the offense against the Eagles. He often saved Kirk Cousins from the blitz killing him. Thompson proved to be a solid receiving option on the day. The value that he provides the Redskins is unvalued.
The Washington Redskins are supposed to be a high-powered offense. On Sunday, they were about as bad as the New York Jets. The offense starting slow was a point to watch out for. Kirk Cousins was throwing high, the o-line was inept, the running game was non-existent (more later), and the receivers could not catch. The Redskins hope that this is just a week one anomaly and things get better going forward.
The Pass Rush
Why oh why do the Washington Redskins go away from things that are working. During the first quarter and a half on Sunday, the defense was getting pressure on Eagles QB, Carson Wentz. As in years past, it stopped in the second half. Now I understand that other make adjustments. However, there was a lack of blitzing and other ways to attempt to get pressure.
The Run Game
The running game of the Washington Redskins has been an issue for several years. Probably since the hiring of Jay Gruden. During Sunday’s game, the Redskins carried the ball ONLY 17 TIMES!!! This is absolutely uncalled for. You have a very capable running back in Rob Kelly. If he is not getting the job done you have a strong rookie in Samaje Perine. There HAS to be an added emphasis on running the ball 25-plus times per ball game.
The Blaming of One Person
When a team loses, fans immediately want to point the blame to the person they feel strongest about. It is no secret that many fans of the Washington Redskins are against QB Kirk Cousins. They want nothing but to see him fail.
Has he individually cost us games in the past? The answer is, Yes! Think back to the New York Giants game in week 17 last season. Week two against the Dallas Cowboys last season as well. Both games he threw bad interceptions. Yesterday, he did this too. However, he was not the only reason for this loss.
Several factors contributed to the Redskins going down in defeat. The offensive line not giving time to the QB. The wide receivers not catching passes that hit them right in the mitts. The defense allowing the Eagles to go 8 for 13 on third down conversions. Turnovers! Three out of four, not the QBs fault. So as you can see, this loss is not just on Kirk Cousins.
Next up for the Washington Redskins is a road game in Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Rams. If you think they played a tough defense in week one, wait until week two. There needs to be a shift in strategy to keep them off-balance. If not, the Redskins could be looking at a long season ahead.
Follow Sean for all your NFL news all year long on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @NFLWBLZ.