Landover, MD - Hello ES and welcome all to the Extremeskins Coverage of the third preseason game of the 2016 season. I'm TSO in the press box at FedEx Field along with Spaceman Spiff, here to provide you with the best damn coverage we possible can!
Last week I talked about the burden that undoubtedly weighs on every Redskins fan's mind... that fear that lingers knowing that, after every successful season in the last how many years, the team followed it up with utter failure. The paranoia that something terrible is right around the corner. The Redskins "curse", if you will.
But then the very real hope that all of the signs - and there are many legitimate ones - point to it being different this time, right? They're steeped in rationale and logic, and we've seen the fruits of it already with an NFC East division title under our belts. That hope is forcing us to remove those fears, doubts and paranoid attitudes, leaving us to remain more curious than anything else. Wondering if this time, you guessed it... is it real?
Last week against the Jets we had an insightful, albeit "preseasonal" and therefore half-baked, tour into the answers we're seeking. We saw young, unheralded guys like Anthony Lanier II and Martrell Spaight continue to rise. We saw Colt McCoy continue to solidify why he's a great backup to have, one very few teams have the luxury of. We saw the Oline pick it up in the running game against the elite Defensive Line/Front of the Jets, with Matt Jones reeling off numerous runs that proved not only his improvement, but also why the team hasn't hesitated to trust him with the starting job. We saw the guys who no one talks about at WR, like Ryan Grant, Maurice Harris, and Rashad Ross, show why it's arguable we have the best and deepest WR corps in the NFL.
But that was week 2 of the preseason. Week 3 is an entirely different animal, as everyone knows it's considered the "dress rehearsal" for the season. This game also brings with it an extra layer of intrigue due to the surprise Coach Gruden laid on all of us, as well as the players, that many of the usual starters would be getting the night off last week, all the while acknowledging the importance these snaps tonight will have for everyone to prepare for the Steelers on Monday Night.
So are we going to keep getting positive affirmations regarding the "is it real" question? Or are those fears and doubts going to be allowed to creep in? Stay tuned here on the Extremeskins Coverage Blog to find out with us!
Some Pregame warm-up notes -
*Trent Williams is such a great leader (see video below, try to pay attention to how he roams the entire roster). He's involved with every position group, talking to them, getting them hyped, etc... Ihenacho caught a nice pass one-handed and Trent was right there like "yeaaaaaaaah". In the video, you can see Kendall Thompson engage him. It's fun to watch him simply being a Redskin through and through.
*Speaking of Olinemen, Leribeus just false started during a simple warm up routine.
*TJ Thorpe can dance.
*It's oddly very enjoyable watching Gruden and Scot McCloughan together. Somehow every smile, every laugh they have together warms the heart. It's incredibly lame.
Ziggy Hood starting for Baker. Dline gets nice pressure, Ziggy Hood cleaned up for sack. First drive solid pressure from Dline overall. Kerrigan hurt, though. Doesn't look good the way he's talking on the sidelines with other players. :/
First Redskins drive, Bills getting good interior pressure, Lichtensteiger with the hold as well.
2nd drive for the Bills, after INT, no pressure from front and they were able to run on them. Not a good look, but secondary came through. Norman, blanket coverage in the redzone, fun to see him make a play in a Skins jersey for the first time.
Reed, Grant and Garcon drops on Redskins 2nd drive, followed by a Hopkins miss. Team, outside of secondary and flashes from the Dline, in general seems off.
Norman with nice pass break up again on 3rd down of Bills 3rd drive. He's on fire.
Redskins 3rd drive, Trent with a slight limp after first play. Continued to go backwards on running play, then screen to DJax, then it was just a penalty-fest. Pretty ugly.
Bills 4th drive... Preston Smith beasting on 1st down run play with TFL of 5 yards. DHall with a terrible personal foul that gives the Bills a first down, nullifying the previous loss. Bills running the ball easily up the middle it seems, it's a problem.
Will Compton with a TFL as the Bills continue their 4th drive, he's had quite a few this preseason. DHall follows up with a great tackle in the open field to bring the TE down, hurting him in the process. At least the D is holding the Bills to FGs.
Redskins 1st drive of 2nd quarter, Lichtensteiger, Long and Trent Williams with great blocks on 2nd down, allowing Robert Kelly to get outside for 9 yards.
Bills 2nd drive in 2nd quarter, 2nd down Ziggy Hood with excellent penetration and TFL of 4 yards. Trent Murphy almost gets home on 3rd down, nice speed pass rush. Once again, Norman with the blanket coverage.
Redskins 2nd drive, Oline pass blocking well while run blocking is an issue, as usual. Lichtensteiger with another hold.
My man Ryan Grant with a sick cut for the TD run after an excellently timed pass by Cousins.
Bills 3rd drive, interestingly Paea and Ioannidis out there with some of the 1s. Ioannidis gets immediate pressure causing an incompletion on first down. Followed up by Ricky Jean Francois sack forcing the Bills into a 3rd and 17. Dline making some noise!
Redskins 3rd drive, yet another hold on Lichtenstieger that cost Reed a nice catch and run. Ridiculous, that's 3 holds on him. Ryan Grant continues to be hot and cold, drops easy pass behind the LOS on 2nd and 10. After roughing the passer call, Lauvao with a great block on running play, opening a huge path for Robert Kelley. Run blocking has picked up in general, it seems. Good to see, but could be due to Bills bringing in lesser guys on their line.
Bills 4th drive, Will Blackmon with the caused fumble... on the same play Trent Murphy actually had another nice rush almost getting home.
Coming off the turnover, Redskins score via Kirk to Garcon after seemingly being unable to get the snap off. Check out how it looked from the press box:
Bills come back with a nice FG drive of their own, mainly off of an EJ Manuel run that should've been a sack in the backfield, though I missed who got the pressure on him and whiffed. Stay tuned for more analysis by the Extremeskins Coverage Blog!
So, some notable stats to start off. Cousins finished 12 of 23 for 188 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT for a QB Rating of 101.1. Not too shabby after a shaky start. Desean Jackson was 4 on 5 for 56 yards. Vernon Davis was 3 on 3 targets for 42 yards. J Reed was 2 on 4 targets for 28 yards and a TD. Garcon was 2 on 4 targets for 24 yards and a TD. Ryan Grant was 1 on 4 targets for 38 yards and a TD (as of the 1st half).
Not much to talk about during the 2nd half, but here were some notes:
Redskins 1st drive of 3rd quarter, Ty Nsekhe with a great block to seal edge and allow Mack Brown a big gain. Second string Oline doing some solid work opening holes for Brown in general. Though they definitely seemed to lose something once Long went out with an ankle injury and Reiter came in. Long is a nice presence for the run game when he's under center.
On Bills 2nd drive, Stephen Paea with nice penetration and a TFL. Ricky Jean Francois continues to consistently penetrate. Corey Crawford with a vicious thrown down of the RB after Ihenacho got a hold of him, then Crawford follows it up with a nice pass rush on 3rd down which caused Manuel to escape the pocket and throw an incompletion.
Interestingly, it looks like Garvin has moved up the depth chart as he's playing next to Spaight with the backups.
Speaking of Garvin, on the 4th down play of the Bills 3rd drive, he showed a bit of his weakness in the running game as he was easily blocked on the second level by a Bills' Guard, allowing the run for the first.
Redskins offense just isn't moving the ball after their first drive of the half (which still came away with no points). Backup Oline seems to be pass blocking well enough, but not many open options for McCoy, who seems a bit off himself.
On the first down of Bills 4th drive, Garvin does a good job using his speed to get in position to tackle the RB, but he can't finish and allows the RB to get outside for a nice gain. My man Lanier finally showed up with a nice TFL on the Bills RB.
Redskins 4th drive of the half, Oline not getting much push for Mack Brown. Kouandjio with a holding penalty on top of it. This has been quite the utterly boring second half.
Lanier with a deflected pass on the Bills final drive. Kendall Fuller follows with a big pass break up in the endzone, followed by another pass breakup by Mariel Cooper!
Last two plays were fun, Wakefield with a sack followed by a Kendall Fuller INT to seal the deal, Redskins win!
At least the final drive was a little bit exciting, pretty dull 2nd half overall. Going to head down to the locker room now, see you all in a bit.
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