Last night, the Washington Redskins defeated the Cleveland Browns 20-17 which was both teams’ preseason debuts. Redskins QB, Robert Griffin III only played two series and led his team to only three points on this second series. Even in victory, the Redskins lost a key contributor this season in tight end Niles Paul who is done for the season.
Here are four takeaways from yesterday’s game.
1st down – Chris Cooley might be an option for Washington: Tight end, Niles Paul, is out for season due to a fractured ankle. This happens just days after Paul was listed as the starting tight end for the Redskins. With Paul out, alongside another fellow tight end, Logan Paulsen who is out with a toe injury, the Redskins are down to Jordan Reed, Je’Ron Hamm, Chase Dixon, and Devin Mahina. Reed has not been the most reliable tight end as he has been injury prone throughout his career. The latter three tight ends have no regular season experience. This might warrant a call to former Redskins tight end, Chris Cooley. The 33-year-old, Cooley, has not played football since 2012.
2nd down – Kirk Cousins can still play: In yesterday’s game against Cleveland, Redskins QB, Kirk Cousins, was 12-14 throwing and threw for 154 yards. Cousins was able to use the read option to get himself a four-yard touchdown. Even though he played did not play against Cleveland’s starting defense, Cousins showed that he is more than capable of commanding an offense. Cousins has had a roller coaster of a career so far as a Redskins, mainly playing as a backup to Robert Griffin III. When given the reins, he has shown some flashes of promise but he has struggled at times. The only thing that has held him back is consistency. If that is displayed during the preseason, he could be looking at a starting job in the 2016 season somewhere other than Washington.
3rd down – Don’t give up on Preston Smith: Even though he has not wowed anyone in training camp, second round draft pick, Preston Smith, made the most of his preseason debut. Smith racked up six tackles (two for a loss of yardage) and a sack against Cleveland yesterday. Maybe this is the performance that Smith needed in order to gain some confidence moving forward as we get closer to the regular season. If Smith can play like that going forward, that is more firepower to the Redskins already loaded front seven.
4th down – Kai Forbath: Kicker Kai Forbath has been far from consistent throughout training camp, but you would not be able to tell from Thursday’s game. Forbath made both of his field goals, one from 33 yards and the other from 52 yards. Like Smith, having a good performance in a real game setting could be a confidence booster going forward. The Redskins might be able to live with Forbath’s inconsistencies in practice if he can be consistent in games. If not, his days in Washington will be numbered.