It’s been a first half to… well… a first half to forget for the Redskins, more or less.
In the first two quarters of play in six months, the Redskins have looked understandably rusty. They’ve failed to muster any points on offense, and they’re currently down against the Ravens, 13-0. They couldn’t seem to get anything done, and even with the painfully optimistic announcers sounding off every few seconds, it was still hard to watch.
Nonetheless, there are a few silver linings to take away from the Redskins’ uneventful first half. For the most part, the offense did absolutely nothing. But on both sides of the ball, there were some positives to take away from the early preseason play. Take a look below:
Zach Brown has been flat out energetic on defense, making multiple stops both against the run and the pass. It’s too early to make any conclusions, but he appears to be a very underrated free agent signing. His natural talent is what the Redskins needed to complete the linebacker position.
Deshazor Everett is making waves. The special teams captain in place of Niles Paul, Everett is playing with an edge that he’s come to be known for in Washington. He made a couple nice stops on defense and put himself in position to block a pass that very well could have been a pick six. With more reps, Everett can be a surprisingly solid defensive contributor.
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Phil Taylor made some impressive stops against the run, his most impressive one being on the goal line against Terrance West. He could be the Redskins solution at nose tackle. Yes, we said that about Terrance Knighton. But Taylor is younger and appears to have the necessary twitch and strength to cover the middle.
Josh Holsey has impressed in training camp, and in the first half, he made more eye-grabbing plays. He was one of the few reserve defensive backs to have consistent solid coverage, and he made one nice deflection on a would-be touchdown pass from Ryan Mallett. The seventh-round pick is furthering his case to occupy a roster spot.
Jonathan Allen got his first sack. It took him a while to get the quarterback, but he eventually came from behind on a second attempt and took the passer down. The play not only highlighted Allen’s effort and drive, but also the solid coverage by the defense. That symbiotic relationship will be an important one to keep for the Redskins’ defense moving forward.
Brian Quick was a diamond in the rough on offense. He made a nice sideline grab near the end of the half, and with the first-team offense, he could reap bigger rewards for the offense.
The offense was stagnant throughout the half, only gaining a little over 30 yards. Cousins left the field after a quick and ineffective spell. McCoy fared worse, failing to move the offense and throwing a late-half pick that resulted in a field goal. It’s very early, but they didn’t look sharp.
Samaje Perine looked shell shocked to start his football career. He was consistently stuffed at the line, showing a more timid nature that was not expected of him. He also fumbled the ball once and dropped an easy check down. Look for the rookie to improve as he gets more experience.
Penalties were prevalent in the first half. Stacy McGee gave the Ravens a free first down with an illegal formation penalty, and Josh Holsey was caught on a pass interference call. Sloppy football is to be expected after a long break, but the Redskins need to start refining their game.
The offensive line looked absolutely horrid. Not even going to sugarcoat it. It’s hard to knock on the running backs when they have no room to run. And that’s what’s happened so far. The Ravens are manhandling the Redskins at the point of attack. The starters looked less than stellar. We won’t see them again until next week.
Trent Murphy left the first half with an ankle sprain. While no injury is a positive, Murphy will have extra time to recover if it’s worse than expected, due to his four-game suspension.
We didn’t get to see anything from Terrelle Pryor. He dropped one pass that was too high for him early on, and soon after that, the first team was taken off the field. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more from him in the upcoming games.
The backups will get the brunt of the workload in the second half. It appears to be on the verge of getting out of hand for the Redskins. They haven’t looked sharp thus far in the preseason opener. But hey, it’s only preseason. There’s plenty of time to improve. And perhaps this poor performance will be motivation in the days to come.