Best and worst moments from Washington’s 23-6 win over New England in a preseason game at FedEx Field.
Best advice: Not like anyone would listen, anyhow.
Please don’t overreact tonight, folks. Last year’s preseason opener: Kirk Cousins had QB rating of 137.2. Evan Royster was top rusher.
— Homer McFanboy (@HomerMcFanboy) August 7, 2014
FYI: Since 2010, Redskins are 12-4 during preseason and haven’t lost a preseason opener since ’09. Still means nothing in regular season. — Homer McFanboy (@HomerMcFanboy) August 7, 2014
Best reason to get excited anyhow: Ryan Grant, obviously. The rookie receiver, who has drawn raves for weeks, had three catches for 37 yards, picking up yards after the catch and making one terrific diving grab. Either he makes the team, or he joins the list of past preseason heroes. Win/win.
Best second-half heroes: Third-string quarterback Colt McCoy was 8-for-9 for 102 yards and a touchdown. And rookie runner Lache Seastrunk carried 12 times for 63 yards. Hot preseason third-stringers are like lucky blackjack dealers; you know they don’t actually matter, but it’s easy to fool yourself time and again.
Best actual thing: Washington’s first-team defense held New England’s whatever offense to a pair of three-and-outs. Does it matter? Does anything really matter? Still seems better than the alternative.
Best quote: “It is exciting, because the players have found a new excitement,” Joe Theismann said shortly before the game started.
Best other quote: “The Redskins came out and did basically what they’ve done all year: run the football extremely well,” Theismann said at halftime. Since that first half constituted the sum total of the whole year, I guess I agree.
Best kickoffs: Remember when someone used to say that the Redskins weren’t actually trying to kick kickoffs into the end zone? That was silly. Rookie kicker Zach Hocker put his first kickoff out of the end zone. Incumbent Kai Forbath put his first kickoff deep into the end zone. Just do that!
Best competition: Forbath missed his first field-goal attempt, although it was wiped out due to a pre-snap penalty. He hit the ensuing attempt, but he missed his next attempt, from 46 yards. Hocker, meanwhile, hit both of his attempts, from 27 and 39 yards. And also made an outstanding open-field tackle on a kickoff return. Oh, and Forbath sent a second-half kickoff out-of-bounds, which is awful. I guess it actually wasn’t much of a competition on this night.
Best boring stat: Alfred Morris carried five times for 27 yards. Regular-season form.
Worst slide: Ryan Mallett! Huge upset. Mallet’s decision to lunge forward and jam his knee awkwardly into the ground made him the runaway winner of an honor that usually belongs to RGIII. The Patriots should employ Jim Zorn.
Neutral observation: Prompted by Kenny Albert, Joe Theismann talked about the Redskins name issue in the second quarter. “You know, I’ve done a lot of research and looked into it,” Theismann said. “Certainly there are people on both sides who feel strongly about it. I know that if you want to take a minute and go to RedskinsFacts.com, learn more about the name, learn more about the history of the Washington Redskins, and how it came about, it’s a great place to get some facts and understand what’s going on.”
That’s not best or worst. I’m neutral. That’s just a thing that happened.
Best red zone threat: Robert Griffin III almost found Aldrick Robinson for a touchdown on Washington’s first drive; the receiver’s hand came down out-of-bounds. Kirk Cousins did find Aldrick Robinson for a touchdown on Washington’s second drive; that put Washington up 10-0. Aldrick Robinson! Three catches for 45 yards and a score! Of course, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon weren’t playing. So. Yeah, I’m not sure why I’m doing this either. If you figure we all do this preseason thing for 12 hours a year, and will probably do so for at least 60 years, that’s a full month spent watching football games that mean absolutely nothing.
Best dance: Also Robinson.
Best punter boredom: Washington didn’t punt in the first half. The Redskins’ four possessions ended with a field goal, a touchdown, a missed field goal, and another field goal. I still can’t even keep the two punters straight; that first half didn’t help. Robert Malone finally punted with about a minute left in the third quarter.
Best sideline interview attire: Trent Williams!
Worst first throw: Kirk Cousins’s first pass attempt probably should have been intercepted. The jerk ruined all our potential quarterback controversy jokes, too. Although he did finish 9-for-13 for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Worst audio quality: Kenny Albert and Joe Theismann spent much of the first quarter sounding like Transformers, or like they were submerged in a pool of cotton balls and rocks, or like evil robot mutant static monsters. Man, that was a tough listen.
Preseason game replaced on FOX in Richmond by Two and a Half Men due to technical difficulties. As if it couldn’t get any worse…
— Brent Sower (@thebrowncoat) August 8, 2014
Best special teams moment: New arrival Andre Roberts — who will be counted on to turn a decrepit kick return unit into something better than that — took back his first punt return 14 yards. That wasn’t bad! Which means it was pretty dang good!
Worst special teams moment: The three first-half penalties. Don’t commit penalties on special teams is a good strategy.
Best preseason machine of domination: The Redskins. This stat doesn’t include Thursday’s victory.
The Redskins have won six straight and 10 of their last 12 preseason games.
— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) August 8, 2014
Worst personal hygiene conducted while on camera: I mean, I’m sure I pick my teeth all the time. Just no cameras in the newsroom, thank heavens.
Best observation to sum up preseason football:
Some good blocking on Ross’ return. Tough to see who exactly. but was good. so there you go.
— John Keim (@john_keim) August 8, 2014