I just want to start out by saying, "damn I'm good at predicting things." In article yesterday about what to watch for in the preseason opener I pointed out a few players and positions to watch and boy did those things shine through last night.
The good news is that besides a fumble on the second possession of the game the starters for the Redskins played really well for their limited time, that's including rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III (4-6 for 70 yards, a touchdown and a 145.3% passer rating) and new wide-out Pierre Garcon (3 catches for 58 yards and 1 TD). One of the things I was looking for from both of them was how well they clicked and they seemed to click very well. Of all the things I saw with RG3 this was the most positive because as we've seen from elite quarterbacks in the league they have to have one receiver that they click with.
The make-shift offensive line played well. The scary front four of the Bills got very little pressure on the RG3 and even though Evan Royster got off to a slow start his last couple of runs were quite well and the line opened up so holes for him. The stand-out was third year tackle Trent Williams who, on Garcon's touchdown run, took out two Bills defenseman to spring Garcon after the catch. However, after that play Williams left the game and was limping down the tunnel to the locker room. The Redskins haven't released any information on his injury yet so we're not sure how serious it is.
Other notes from the starting line-up, the defense played very well. Second year linebacker Ryan Kerrigan picked up a sack on the Bills first drive and new safety Brandon Merriweather looked like the player the Skins hoped he was. The secondary looked pretty solid for the Skins and didn't give up any big plays to an offense that had plenty of them last season.
Rex Grossman looked like Rex Grossman, that's I'll have to say on that subject.
It's looking like the defensive front seven will be the hardest place to cut from for the coaching staff. I can't recall any bad plays by those guys (can't really think of any bad plays by the defense really) so I'm willing to bet some of the guys cut from there will find homes somewhere in the NFL.
I know it's just one game but it's not looking like the move to tightend is working out for Niles Paul. He had a few drops in the game and didn't look comfortable running routes from the line of scrimmage. The good news is I didn't see any blocking issues from him.
Lastly, it looks like the Shanahans or at least Kyle really want to give Brandon Banks every chance in the world to make the roster. Unfortunately for Banks he didn't make the most out of any of his numerous chances last night. He was thrown to at least nine times and only came away with two catches for seven yards. Banks showed a knack for returning kick-offs two seasons ago but with the kick-off spot being moved up five yards he's gotten few chances to show off his speed and at 5-7 153lbs he's just two small to be a dependable wide-out in the NFL. In spite of the many chances he was given last night I doubt he'll get too many more and probably won't make the 53-man roster.
So last night was just one game and only three drives for rookie QB Robert Griffin III so there isn't too much you can say about the performance other than he did a good job. I don't think it means he'll be an elite quarterback this season or ever, but at least he and the team didn't play terrible.
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