Redskins Report Card vs. Ravens

griffinThe Washington Redskins’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens Saturday night, 23-17, provided a glimpse into what has the making of a team with an outstanding defensive front seven, a patchwork secondary, and a soon to be quarterback controversy, as Robert Griffin, III once again struggled to find receivers and back up Kirk Cousins looked solid.

Quarterbacks: Robert Griffin, III (5/8 for 20 yards) continues to struggle in head coach Jay Gruden’s offense. Griffin looked uneasy in the pocket, had difficulty finding open receivers, and was inaccurate on his throws. Griffin’s biggest missed throw of the night was early in the second quarter when he underthrew a wide open DeSean Jackson on a go route. On the other hand, back up Kirk Cousins looked solid, finishing the evening 14/20 for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Though Cousins was facing the Ravens second and third string defense, he continues to be more comfortable running the offense than Griffin. Grade C-

Running Backs: Alfred Morris showed why he is a Pro-Bowl caliber player. His ability to find holes in the zone scheme and turn upfield is in midseason form. Morris’ first run of the night for 19 yards demonstrated his ability to carry the Redskins’ offense on his back. Roy Helu also played well. His dual threat capability of running or catching the ball out of the backfield was outstanding. Grade B

Receivers: Give the Ravens secondary credit as they shut down the Redskins deep to mid-range passing game all night. Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson were neutralized and played only a small role in the passing game. Add to that, the poor performance by Griffin in finding receivers, and this was a subpar effort by this unit. However, there were two bright spots in veteran Santana Moss and Tight End Jordan Reed. Grade C

Offensive Line: Just like last week against the Cleveland Browns, this unit continues to struggle in blocking the outside zone and because of that, the Ravens were able to get penetration all night long. In the passing game, the line struggled to keep the pressure off Griffin. Trent Williams had a huge holding penalty called on him that negated a Jordan Reed 23-yard reception. Tyler Polumbo also struggled against Ravens Defensive End Elvis Dumervil. Grade D+

Defensive Line: For most of the first half dominated the Ravens Offensive Line. Defensive End Jason Hatcher showed early on why he was a Pro-Bowl player in Dallas by sacking Joe Flacco on the second series. Defensive Tackles Barry Cofield and Kedirc Golston provided great upfield rush to neutralize the Ravens run game on two, first quarter, 4th and 1 plays. Grade A-

Linebackers: Keenan Robinson led the way with several huge plays early on in the game. On the Ravens’ first series, Robinson made an outstanding tackle for loss on Ravens running back Bernard Pierce on 4th and 1. In the second quarter, with the Ravens in the red zone, Robinson batted away a Flacco pass intended for a wide open Dennis Pitta in the end zone. Ryan Kerrigan picked up another sack and provided great play against the run. Grade B+

Secondary: As good as the front seven were, the secondary continues to be the question mark for this Redskins’ defensive unit. The Ravens were able to get receivers open all night. Corner DeAngelo Hall struggled at times to cover Torrey Smith in the open field. Steve Smith ran wild at times as Corners David Amerson and EJ Biggers failed to contain the shifty veteran receiver and Safety Brandon Merriweather did provide great support on several run plays. Grade D

Special Teams: Andre Roberts once again was electrifying returning punts. The kicking competition is still wide open as Kai Forbath made the only field goal of the night from 32 yards. Zach Hocker’s kick offs were not as booming as the week before but had great height and allowed the coverage team to hold the Ravens’ returns inside the 20-yard line. New punter, Tress Way made up for a horrible 28-yard punt with a 50-yarder late in the second quarter. Grade B

Overall: If week three of the preseason is a predictor for how a team will perform in the regular season, then the Redskins have some major concerns. The biggest issues exist at the Quarterback position and in the defensive secondary. Robert Griffin has to step up his game and take control of the offense. If he doesn’t he may find himself watching Kirk Cousins from the sideline this season. Grade C-

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Brian Hradsky

The owner of MSB, I created this website while in college and it has never died.

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