Redskins defeat Steelers 24-13

We will be running this new segment after each game played this year. The optimistic hope here is that each game there will be more things to love than to hate on.

 

Here are 5 things I loved and 3 things I hated from the second preseason game:

5 Things I Loved

1. RYAN KERRIGAN – With no disrespect to Brian Orakpo whatsoever, Ryan Kerrigan is and has been everything a Redskins fan has ever wanted out of the LB position. Kerrigan continues to impress Redskin Nation through his consistent play and tonight was no different. Yes it’s preseason but every time an opponent runs a screen play and Kerrigan is on the field I’m anticipating a batted ball or a tipped pass.

Count me as one of those who believes greatly in the talent of Orakpo but I think a lot of fans are guilty of not giving Kerrigan enough credit due to the a

Kerrigan with swatted ball

From the looks of things offensively last night was going to be a struggle for Washington but Kerrigan made a couple huge plays that managed to turn into a TD and some great field position before the offense ended up turning the ball back over.

Over the course of 3 quarters so far Kerrigan has two sacks, two takeaways and a TD.

We can only hope as fans that Orakpo will show up and play like the type of defensive player he believes he can be and combine with the play making Kerrigan to cause chaos for opposing offensives and give defensive coordinators fits in game planning sessions.

2. REDSKINS OVERALL DEFENSE – As a whole, what Washington was able to accomplish against the Steelers was pretty impressive. The stat line will tell you that the Steelers had 300 yards of total offense – 205 yds passing on 19-37 attempts, 95 yds rushing on 27 attempts for a 3.5yd avg. What you will also see is 6 QB hits, 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 TD and a whole lot of pressure.

The Skins on occasions were their own nemises by extending drives through penalties but for the most part improved on what was an average performance against the Titans. I don’t really care if you are playing the Lake Braddock Bruins or an NFL team, holding an opponent to 13 points is an impressive feat no matter what level you are playing at or what time in the year it is.

Key point here is that this was done without some key starters on the field. Also want to give a shout-out to Darryl Tapp who looks like he’s going to give Rob Jackson a run for his playing time when he gets back from his four game suspension. Jim Haslett was gloating about Tapp earlier this week in his weekly press conference and you can kind of see why.

3. RUNNING GAME – Another week, another game where I loved what Washington did on the ground. Keeping in mind just how much better the run game will be when the leader of this team comes back, you know that guy named RGIII, it doesn’t seem to matter who the Redskins put in the backfield, a 5yd average seems to be something of a foregone conclusion for these guys.

Didn’t seem to matter whether it was Keiland Williams, rookies Chris Thompson or Juwan Jamison or Roy Helu Jr. who iced the game with a 30yd touchdown, this portion of the Redskins team seems to be in good hands. This team will be as succesful on offense as it’s running game will be and from the looks of things after two weeks the Morris-Helu Jr. tandem could be one hell of an exciting RedZone Channel watch every Sunday.

 

4. ALDRICK ROBINSON AND LEONARD HANKERSON – Albeit for one dropped pass by Hankerson this duo had themselves a quite but important game. Hankerson showed off those bear mitt hands we’ve heard about since he was breaking records at Miami:

Aldrick Robinson continued to show that he’s no longer simply a 9 route reciever. Having watched his snaps throughout the game and preseason you can see that he has a lot more confidence than he’s played with in his tenure with the Redskins. Robinson had a key reception for 23 yards with 11 seconds left to set up a FG before the end of the 1st half. The catch while not of the highlight reel variety showed Aldrick’s fearlessness of going across the middle and being able to execute a catch in traffic.

Aldrick Robinson Fearless Catch

What excites me the most about these two young fellas coming into their own is that combining them with already established starters Pierre Garcon, Joshua Morgan and Santana Moss provides the Redskins with a very dangerous set of recievers that have a good mix of size, speed and hands.

5. SEXY REXY –  Rex had his typical 1 interception and 1 lost fumble, but in between the turnovers he looked good. He actually threw 2 touchdown passes, a strike to Robinson was ruled not a touchdown as Aldrick was pushed out of bounds earlier in the play and was not eligible to make the catch. One play later, he found Hankerson for the beautiful touchdown as seen above. The real positive was Rex’s 2 minute drill right before half, which in this case was a 51 second drill. He moved the ball precisely and found Robinson over the middle with 3 seconds to go to set up a field goal. It was an excellent drive.

 

3 Things I Hated

1. INJURIES AND THE PRESEASON–  I know I’m not alone here but has preseason not become a balance of the love of football being back and bracing for where the dreaded injury bug is going to hit the team you love to root for. We watch from afar and see things like Dustin Keller tear every possible cartilage in his knee to the Skins own sideline and the loss of Keenan Robinson, Phillip Thomas and now we as we all hold our breath, RGIII’s backup Kirk Cousins.

Cousins_medium

Just makes you wonder how many more of these guys has to go down before we start seeing 2 game preseasons and 18 game regular seasons? Did I mention that Aldrick Robinson, Leonard Hankerson and Barry Cofield all left the game with injuries as well?

2. ROOKIE PLAY –  Monday night was not a particularly good one for the Redskins 2013 draft class.

3. RGIII UPDATES –  Enough already. Every word he utters, every step he takes, every time his surgeon is somewhere public we are constantly being advised of the one thing we have always known. He will not play in preseason, he is ahead of schedule in his recovery, and if he is healthy which all signs point to he will play in week 1 against the Chip Keagles and the flash card Philadelphians.

Oregon play card - Jim Rome, boxing, four-leaf clover, GROCERIES

The media is doing to RGIII what it has done for years to the Cowboys…talking about him endlessly, pissing off all people who are not Redskins or RGIII fans and then taking credit for him being great and/or setting him up for critique at every moment possible.

If we could flash forward 3 weeks to get the regular season under way I think we would all appreciate it, for the sake of RGIII’s recovery, preseason football, awful injuries in meaningless games and to get all of our fall Sunday’s back to their normally scheduled programming.

Rgiii_james_medium

 

HONORABLE MENTION – FedEx Field bathrooms  – I honestly have not been to any other NFL stadiums for a pro game, whether preseason or games that count but I cannot imagine a bathroom flooding or asshole fan situation nearly as bad as what I witness when I make my usual three trips to FedEx field as a fan.

Whether it’s the flooding of the #2 stalls which no matter where I sit (lower level, club level or upper deck), the people, yes, both from the Redskins, visiting fans and ridiculous Cowboy or Eagle fans who make trips to the stadium when their teams are not playing, it never fails that a trip to the bathroom is an adventure of tip toe’ing and eye rolling listening to the trash talking between drunk adults.

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