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Washington’s Second Unit Shines In Victory Over Bengals

Washington's Second unit Keith Allison via Flickr


Washington’s Second Unit Shines In 23-17 Win

The Washington Redskins claimed their first victory of the preseason by beating the Bengals 23-17. After lackluster performances in their first two games, the team as a whole played slightly better. Especially Washington’s second unit. They will look to build on this performance going into their final preseason game on Thursday. Here are some takeaways.

Kirk Cousins And The Offense Needs To Build Chemistry

For the third week in a row, Kirk Cousins and the first-team offense has struggled. In my opinion, Cousins and his receivers need to build more chemistry. In passing situations the Redskins didn’t look efficient at all, especially in the first quarter. The first and second drives ended in sacks. When Washington’s defense caused a turnover late in the first quarter, it set the offense up in prime position to score. With the ball on the Bengals’ 30-yard-line Washington would have to settle for a field goal after Kirk Cousins got sacked again on third down. Things got worse after that. The next possession for the offense would end due to an interception returned for a touchdown. This would lead to Jay Gruden trotting his offense out for another drive.

Cousins and the offense would finally be able to put together a decent drive. They took the ball 75 yards down the field for a Rob Kelley rushing touchdown. The positive is that the running game looked the best it has the whole preseason. Kelley was able to gain 57 yards on 10 carries while scoring a touchdown. The offense as a whole was able to gain some momentum before their last drive ended in another three-and-out after the half. There is still more work for the offense to do. While it was nice to see that Cousins and Jordan Reed haven’t lost a step, he and his other receivers have to start getting on the same page and start holding on to the ball. As week one approaches, I expect them to start doing so.

Washington’s Second Unit Shines

Washington’s depth looked good against the Bengals. Colt McCoy was able to come in and effectively lead the offense. He completed eight passes out of 11 attempts for 76 yards and a touchdown. The defensive side of the ball was even more effective. Martrell Spaight and Will Compton combined for 12 tackles. The unit as a whole was active and blitzed well.

They were able to force an interception by Fish Smithson (yes you read that correctly) who looked good alongside Montae Nicholson at the safety position. Fabian Moreau also played well sticking to receivers and converging on balls that were thrown in front of him. The same can be said for cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon. It was nice to see linebacker Junior Galette finally make a debut in a Redskins uniform. He was able to pressure the quarterback a few times and showed the explosiveness that made him attractive to Washington. Depth was an issue for Washington last year, now the issue will be deciding who won’t be apart of the team after next week’s game.