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Turnovers Cost Redskins In Week 1 Matchup Against Eagles

Week 1 matchup Keith Allison via Flickr

NFL

Redskins’ Fall To Eagles 30-17 In Week 1 Matchup

The Washington Redskins opened up the 2017 season against their NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles. In a much-anticipated week 1 matchup, fans of both teams wondered how new additions would do and which players have improved since they last met. It was the fans of the Eagles who returned home with the most satisfaction. They saw their favorite team capture a victory on the road 30-17 against their heated rivals. For Washington however, they will look to improve and answer some questions about themselves this week. Here are some of my takeaways from their week 1 loss.

Defense Looks Sharp And Aggressive

During the preseason, one aspect of the Redskins that looked particularly good was their defense. It was good to see that carry over into the first game of the regular season. From their first snaps on defense, they were able to pressure Carson Wentz and make him uncomfortable. The only problem is that they couldn’t wrap him up at times. That allowed Wentz to extend plays and burn them deep on a few throws. This included a 58-yard touchdown to Nelson Agholor on their first drive. Three Redskins players had a shot to tackle the second-year quarterback on that play, however, they couldn’t bring him down. They would get a total of nine hits on Wentz but were only able to bring him down twice.

Junior Galette and Kendall Fuller had solid games as well. Redskins fans were happy to finally see Junior Galette play a game in the regular season. He was acquired in 2015 but missed that season and also 2016 due to Achilles injuries. Before joining Washington, he registered 22 sacks with the Saints and is looking to return to that form. From the looks of it, he is already on the path back. He was able to pressure the quarterback with some good inside moves. Kendall Fuller showed his growth from last year to this year. He looks more comfortable in the nickel and was able to diagnose and break up a couple of screens. Overall, the defense stepped up by forcing two turnovers and coming up big in tough spots in their Week 1 matchup against the Eagles’ offense.

Zach Brown Is The Answer

One of the more under-the-radar signings this offseason was that of linebacker Zach Brown. With the Bills last year, he was a pro-bowler and also was second in the league in overall tackles. I honestly don’t know how Brown was so underrated. Maybe playing in Buffalo had something to do with it. During the preseason he showed a little bit of what he could do. He was in a position battle with Will Compton and won the job. If Redskins fans still weren’t aware of what he brings to the table, then his first game against the Eagles provided them with plenty of information. Zach Brown was a force all game. He had a total of 14 tackles including a key stop on third down in the early portions of the game.

If Brown can continue this level of play, then this will be huge for Washington, who struggled mightily in defending the run last year. The only knock on him this game was that he got picked on in passing situations. He didn’t match up too well against the running backs and tight ends.

Offensive Woes Are Still Present

During the preseason, one thing that worried the burgundy and gold faithful was how out of sync the first-team offense was. They couldn’t run the ball effectively. Kirk Cousins wasn’t sharp, and neither were his receivers. Fast-forward to their week 1 matchup against the Eagles, and you would see the same problems. Additionally, you would see four turnovers. Teams have to take care of the ball and Washington did not do that. Three of the four turnovers that the Redskins committed came via Kirk Cousins. He fumbled twice (one of those was questionable in the fourth quarter) and also threw a key interception in the red zone. The fourth turnover happened on a dropped punt by Jamison Crowder.

As mentioned before, Kirk Cousins didn’t the play the best game. He missed some receivers high and threw off his back foot more times than I was comfortable with. The interception that occurred in the red zone was one result of this. What he did do well was move his feet and scramble for the first down and extend plays. This was an area of his game that people were critical of, including me. This would be a good trait to develop if he intends to improve his overall game. It’s wasn’t all on Cousins though. The offensive line had problems protecting him, and Terrelle Pryor had a hard time catching the ball. In addition, the Redskins only gained 64 yards running the ball. That doesn’t help either. They will look to tweak some things as they head out to Los Angeles to take on the Rams next week.

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