A look at the good (Hail!) and bad (Fail!) from the Redskins’ 21-9 loss to the Colts on Sunday.
The most glaring number from Sunday’s loss isn’t the 18 total tackles for Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard or the 21 combined yards rushing for Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, but 57,013 — the announced attendance at FedEx Field. There have been thousands of empty seats at home games in Landover over the years, especially in more recent seasons, but the Redskins had continued to boast about a home sellout streak that began in 1967. Until Sunday. It’s refreshing that the team is finally making an effort to be more transparent under new president of business operations Brian Lafemina. The crowd wasn’t treated to much of a football game, but the overall experience — including revamped player introductions and the regular season debut of an open-air fan pavilion in the west end zone — is at least trending in the right direction. The sparse turnout on Sunday proves there’s a long way to go.
Fail: Adrian Peterson’s Gift
After totaling 166 yards in the opener, Peterson raved about how wonderful it was to run behind an offensive line that could “get the job done” and shared his plan to buy his offensive linemen king-size mattresses as a sign of his appreciation. “I want to make sure that they’re sleeping in comfort, that they’re well rested,” Peterson told Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. The mattresses may not have arrived yet, because Trent Williams and Co. played like they spent Saturday night tossing and turning on deflated air beds. Peterson had five carries for three yards at halftime and finished with 20 yards on 11 carries in the game. “The energy coming out was really poor,” Peterson said afterward. “I felt like our execution on all the plays, we didn’t do a great job.” Peterson displayed this sort of inconsistency in Arizona last season, rushing for 134, 21, 159 and 29 yards in his first four games. Washington could use a rebound from A.D. in Week 3 against the Packers.
Hail: Alex Ovechkin, Stanley Cup Champion
The Capitals star was an honorary captain and participated in the pregame coin toss, which the Redskins won, obviously, because they were in the presence of greatness. If only Ovechkin, who wore a custom No. 8 jersey (Kirk who?) and received the loudest cheers on Sunday, could’ve brought the Stanley Cup.
Here’s the Redskins’ record after Week 2 in every season since 2011, the last year they started 2-0: 1-1, 0-2, 1-1, 1-1, 0-2, 1-1, 1-1. With the Eagles losing in Tampa Bay, the Redskins missed an opportunity to enter Week 3’s home game against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers all alone atop the NFC East.
Hail: ‘The Flight Marshals’
D.J. Swearinger was among the bright spots for the Redskins’ defense, which held its opponent to fewer than 300 yards for a second consecutive week. Swearinger had three tackles, two passes defended and a pair of interceptions, matching the two he had in Week 10 of last season against the Vikings. Swearinger’s first pick was a thing of beauty, a diving grab of an Andrew Luck pass that was batted into the air by Mason Foster. The Redskins have three interceptions this season and after each one of them they’ve broken out the best turnover celebration in football: the pat-down inspection. The Redskins’ secondary debuted the celebration in training camp last season. It’s an extension of the “Flight Marshals” nickname that Swearinger gave to the unit. “A little Flight Marshal signature,” Swearinger explained last year. “Lock him up. I guess we locking up.”
Fail: Redskins WR’s Fantasy Stock
Of the 54 passes Alex Smith has completed in his first two games as a Redskin, exactly one-third (18) have been to wide receivers. Jamison Crowder, who was expected to be the most productive member of the group, has five catches for 40 yards through two weeks. Paul Richardson Jr. was fine on Sunday, with four catches for 63 yards, while Josh Doctson dropped what should’ve been a long completion in the first half. It could take a few games for Smith and Crowder to develop their chemistry, and Doctson still has more untapped potential than a keg of Devils Backbone Burgundy Ale, but if former Redskin DeSean Jackson is still available on the waiver wire, don’t hesitate to dump any of those guys for him.
Hail: Jehu Chesson
Between Peterson and Chesson, the Redskins have shown a remarkable ability to spot and sign talent off the street. Chesson, a fourth-round pick of the Chiefs out of Michigan last season, was signed to the practice squad earlier this month and promoted to the active roster after fellow wide receiver Trey Quinn was placed on IR. In his Redskins debut, Chesson came oh-so-close to blocking a couple of Indianapolis punts. He also couldn’t come up with an important third-down catch on his only target of the day. The fact that he earns a “Hail” says everything about Washington’s ‘Fail’ of a game.
Fail: Washington’s Pass Rush
The Colts were without injured left tackle Anthony Castonzo, but the Redskins only managed one sack of Andrew Luck. Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, who led Washington with 13 and 8 sacks, respectively, last season, are both still looking for their first sacks of 2018.
Read more on the Redskins: