Redskins-Browns preseason best and worst

The Washington Post's Scott Allen and Gene Wang discuss the studs, the duds and all those penalties called in the Redskins' 24-23 win over the Browns on Monday night at FedEx Field. (Kyle Barss & Randolph Smith/The Washington Post)

Best and worst moments from Washington’s 24-23 win over Cleveland in a preseason game at FedEx Field.

Best ending: After the Browns’ Emmanuel Ogbuehi caught Connor Shaw’s 45-yard desperation heave as time expired, Shaw threw incomplete on a two-point conversion attempt to preserve the Redskins’ 24-23 win.

Best decision: Browns first-year Coach Mike Pettine going for two. No one wants to see preseason overtime football.

Best game-plan: Before the game, ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters asked Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III about his development as a pocket passer this preseason. “The more years you get under your belt, the more experience you get, so I know I can’t take those unnecessary hits,” Griffin said. “I gotta slide, get down. Playing football is a beautiful game. Every time you play you get better.”

Worst execution: Griffin finished with four terrifying carries for 24 unnecessarily dangerous yards. He slid awkwardly on multiple runs and everyone noticed, including Skip Bayless.

Worst sight: So Griffin’s slide remains a work in progress. Fine, at least he’s making an effort to get down. There’s really no excuse for him sacrificing his body for a few extra yards as he did on another first-half run. It’s the preseason, man. Just step out of bounds.                      

Best throw: It was a lot less terrifying to watch Griffin stand in the pocket and throw the ball. He finished 6 for 8 for 112 yards, including a beautiful 49-yard completion to Andre Roberts.

Best debut: DeSean Jackson. After sitting out the first preseason game with an ankle injury, Jackson made his presence felt in his first appearance with the Redskins. He had a 23-yard reception on a comeback route and later used a stiff-arm to turn a short catch into an 11-yard gain.

Worst throw: Facing pressure, Griffin stared down Jackson and forced a throw off his back foot that was picked off by Browns all-pro cornerback Joe Haden.

Best kicking competition: Rookie Zach Hocker, who had a better showing in the Redskins’ first preseason game than veteran Kai Forbath, drilled the opening kickoff for a touchback and made a tackle on a kickoff return later in the game for the second consecutive week. Forbath drilled his only field goal attempt, from 26 yards. 

Worst quarter: The first one. The Browns’ first two plays from scrimmage  a Brian Hoyer sack following a bad snap and a Joe Thomas false start penalty were indicative of the terrible, meaningless football that was to come. The teams combined for eight penalties, three sacks and zero points in the first 15 minutes. The Browns ran nine plays for 17 yards, while the Redskins averaged eight yards per play but couldn’t capitalize because of two turnovers.

Best defense: Hoyer and Johnny Manziel had something to do with it, but the Redskins’ first-string defense looked strong again, forcing three-and-outs on the Browns’ first three possessions.

Best QB controversy: Hoyer vs. Manziel vs. Shaw vs. Rex Grossman. Woof. Hoyer started the game and opened 0 for 2 with a sack for minus-6 yards. Manziel took over on the Browns’ third possession after Haden’s pick and threw incomplete to a wide open Jordan Cameron on his first pass attempt. Things didn’t get much better for either quarterback from there. Manziel finished 7 for 16 for 65 yards and a touchdown, while Hoyer was an abysmal 2 for 6 for 16 yards. Shaw finished 8 for 9 for 123 yards and one improbable touchdown, while Grossman did not play. 

Worst non-existent QB controversy: Robert Griffin III vs. Kirk Cousins. Cousins, who overthrew Aldrick Robinson for an interception in the first half, rebounded nicely to finish 12 for 21 for 145 yards and a touchdown against the Browns’ reserves, but he didn’t outplay Griffin.


(Richard Lipski/AP)

Best taunting: After Ryan Kerrigan got to Manziel for his second sack of the game, Brian Orakpo did the “Money” sign that the Browns rookie made popular at Texas A&M.

Worst taunting: Johnny [Expletive] Football.

Worst turnover: Alfred Morris fumbled a routine Griffin toss at midfield on Washington’s first drive. 

Best goal line stand: The night didn’t get any better for Alf. After a defensive holding call gave Washington a first and goal at the Browns’ 3 early in the second quarter, he ran for two yards before being stuffed at the 1 on second and third down. Morris ran left on fourth and goal and appeared to score a touchdown as his helmet was ripped off, but officials overturned the call on review after determining that Morris’s knee was down before the ball crossed the plane. 

Best backup running back: Evan Royster. He looked so smooth catching a 24-yard pass out of the backfield that Jon Gruden mistook him for Roy Helu Jr. The Westfield High and Penn State product scored Washington’s first touchdown on a 2-yard rush with 28 seconds remaining in the first half.

Best backup wide receiver: For the second consecutive week, Ryan Grant made a splash. The rookie out of Tulane had four receptions for 44 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown on Washington’s first drive of the second half.

Best blast from the past: Facing third and 19 in their own territory late in the first half, 35-year-old Santana Moss looked more like a 30-year-old Santana Moss in taking a bubble screen 24 yards for a first down.

Worst entrance: Colt McCoy’s first pass was picked off and returned 19 yards for a touchdown by Jim Leonhard in the fourth quarter.

Best redemption: McCoy’s 30-yard touchdown strike to Nick Williams with 2:01 to play gave Washington a 24-17 lead.


(Via ESPN)

Best guest: Dale Jr. Earnhardt Jr. was at the game and dropped by the Redskins radio booth. He was also interviewed by Salters and, when asked about Manziel, said he would’ve played him for a full quarter instead of rotating him in and out.

Best hit: Bacarri Rambo forced a fumble on Hoyer’s first completion that was recovered by rookie Bashaud Breeland.

Worst jersey: At least LeBron has actually returned to Cleveland.

Worst T-shirt and hat combo: Cowboys and Browns. C’mon, man!

Best Beats: Jackson.


(Richard Lipski/AP)

Best reunion: Welcome back, Kyle.

Best legends: Doug Williams and Jim Brown before the game.


(Evan Vucci/AP)
Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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