August 11, 2017
Sports Insider Weekly
With the NFL regular season less than a month away, the preseason officially kicked off last week with the Cowboys besting the Cardinals 20-18 in the Hall of Fame Game on August 3.
The Redskins got into the action on Thursday, when they played the Ravens in their preseason opener. The team struggled on both sides of the ball, though it was their offensive struggles that front and center. Washington’s starting offense allowed one sack and earned just 2 yards on three runs over six plays in the 23-3 loss. Unimpressive would be an understatement.
Thankfully for the Redskins, preseason games don’t mean much, and in many cases serve as auditions for players to make either the starting lineup or final 53-For quarterback Kirk Cousins–who failed to agree to a long-term deal with Washington and is playing under a franchise tag for the second straight year–it helped highlight where the team needs improvement.
“It showed us that as much as we have been making plays in camp and feeling good about what we’re doing, it’s a realization that we have a long ways to go,” Cousins, who took six snaps and threw to passes, said. “It can be a good thing in the long run. It could be good to have that wake-up call. It could be the best thing we need right now.”
While the starting defense fared somewhat better, they still looked overwhelmed by Baltimore’s size and strength. It probably didn’t help the Redskins that Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder were sidelined with injuries. Even so, Washington will need to play better when it counts, with and without key players, if they want to be a serious contender this fall.
“Obviously, you don’t want it to persist through the preseason,” Cousins said. “It needs to be fixed. But if it’s fixed, we’ll point to this night as a night that helped us get going in the right direction.”