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What To Look For In Redskins Second Preseason Game

second preseason Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia


Redskins Second Preseason Game

The Washington Redskins will return home to take on the Green Bay Packers in their second preseason game. After a 23-3 loss in their first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, there are some things to look forward to in their second preseason game as the team looks to improve.

Kirk Cousins And The First-Team Offense

It is no secret that Kirk Cousins and the first-team offense came out flat in both of their early possessions against the Ravens during their first preseason game. From both of those series they only combined for five yards. Preseason or not, it is expected of the first team to look like the best unit of the night like Baltimore’s first defense did. The good news is that Jamison Crowder is coming back from injury and will be playing. This should help them in their second preseason game.

Josh Doctson, who has been cleared, aims to start against the Packers as well. The red zone is another area that the Redskins should look to gain access to. It was an area of weakness during the regular season and it is vital that Washington work on it during in-game speed. It will also be important to look at how the offensive line will deal with some of the blitz packages that Dom Capers will feature including his new “NITRO” package. The offensive line struggled with the blitz, particularly on third down against Baltimore.

Running Game Adjustments

A big reason as to why the Redskins struggled offensively in their first preseason game was due to the ineffectiveness of the running game. Averaging only 2.2-yards-per-carry led to Washington only gaining 39 total yards on the night. Washington is a team who wants a downhill physical rushing attack. It is a big reason as to why they drafted Semaje Perine. Perine will look to improve from his debut in which he showed some of the qualities as to why Washington drafted him. Against the Packers, it is vital that he take care of the ball after fumbling last week. Also, he should look to continue to display his downhill running ability and explosiveness as he looked hesitant at times.

Life Without Su’a Cravens

Safety Su’a Cravens will miss the rest of the preseason with a knee injury but will return week one. The coaching staff now has the opportunity to better evaluate the depth at the position. This means that Deshazor Everett will get a chance to start alongside DJ Swearinger. Everett was undrafted out of Texas A&M as a cornerback but was converted to safety. Used primarily on special teams, he gets to now show how effective he is as a safety. Rookie safety Montae Nicholson will have the same opportunity. The Michigan State product was drafted in the fourth-round by Washington in the 2017 draft. It will be interesting to see how he takes advantage of this opportunity as a rookie.

Trent Murphy’s Absence

Redskins pass rusher and outside linebacker, Trent Murphy suffered a torn ACL and MCL against the Ravens. He will miss the entire season. This means that Preston Smith and Ryan Anderson will have a chance to replace him. Preston Smith will be a game-time decision, however, as he is returning from a minor injury. I expect him to play some snaps now that Murphy is out. Ryan Anderson looks to improve in his second preseason game from what I thought was a solid game against Baltimore. He was effective in setting the edge on run plays and looks to improve his pass rushing abilities. I expect him to see more time alongside his college teammate Jonathan Allen. Allen should see more snaps in pass rushing situations as well. He recorded a sack in his last game.

Position Battle: Inside Linebacker

Both of the inside linebackers positions are up for grabs. Will Compton, Zach Brown, and Mason Foster will be making their cases as to why they should hold one of those positions. Compton and Foster started the game against Baltimore. Brown replaced Compton and looked very good in his absence. Against the Packers, Mason Foster and Zach Brown will get the start. This isn’t surprising because they were the most effective pair for Manusky’s defense when they were out there. While I do expect Zach Brown to go into the season as the starter alongside Mason Foster, Will Compton will have the chance to make his mark. Another linebacker to keep an eye out for is Josh Harvey-Clemons who looked very impressive in his debut. He looks to keep improving in his second preseason game.