Exhibition games are difficult to derive true meaning from.
On one hand, the big picture takeaway of a 23-3 loss to the Ravens in an exhibition game isn’t all that important. Yet, there is a reason the NFL includes these games in the schedule.
The starters on offense played just 6 snaps on Thursday. This is the trend across league. Teams don’t want to risk a starter’s health, so they have found it is better for the players to see a gradual increase in reps, versus just tossing them fully into the mix. This approach is mostly beneficial, but the criticism of limited full speed reps affecting players in week one is valid.
The first team offense was the Redskins strength last season. The passing game has been one thing this franchise has leaned on to have two winning seasons in a row. There were no familiar faces on the field for Kirk Cousins against Baltimore. Cousins needs opportunities to forge a relationship with his new revamped receiving core and did not get a chance to do so . The offensive line looked outmatched and didn’t receive a chance to settle in. The run game looked as pedestrian as it did in 2016.
The first team defense was a weak point last year and they looked improved. Stacy McGee made a poor mistake on special teams by lining up across from the center on a long field goal attempt that missed. The Ravens then drove down and scored a touchdown, meaning a mistake cost the Redskins seven points. Other than that blemish, the unit looked good. Trent Murphy and Su’a Cravens were banged up and will likely miss time, but we likely won’t know the severity until later.
There is no need for drastic depression, Skins fans. Still, the first team offense needs to really impress moving forward. The depth of the offense needs to step up. From a discipline standpoint, there needs to be less penalties. Washington has just two more days of Training Camp and 3 preseason games to correct a fair amount of errors and get its starters into regular season form.
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