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Five observations from Redskins' lackluster preseason loss to Ravens

Five observations from Redskins' lackluster preseason loss to Ravens

BALTIMORE — The first game of the Redskins' 2017 preseason is in the books and things did not exactly go according to plan.

Here are five takeaways from the Redskins' 23-3 preseason loss to the Ravens.

1. It’s possible to raise some concerns even in a very small sample size.

Offense is going to be the team’s calling card this season as it has been in the past two years. It is not encouraging to see the offensive starters go three and out twice before taking their shoulder pads off for the night.

In particular, the vaunted offensive line looked lost, allowing a sack, a pressure, and a tackle for a loss on third and one.

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2. Nate Sudfeld has a long way to go and he may never get there.

The second-year quarterback relies too much on his arm too often instead of stepping into throws. He had one good throw, a 31-yard strike to rookie receiver Robert Davis. Other than that he was 4 for 11 for 37 yards (3.4 yards per attempt).

3. The Redskins just might have a good one in Jonathan Allen.

His sack for zero yards was his only tackle but he made a smart play there in containing the quarterback as he scrambled. He cut upfield but he had Allen waiting for him and the defender dragged him down.

Allen could be fun to watch in extended playing time.

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4. Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins both said that they had not prepared for some of the pressure that the Ravens put on them.

And not scouting and preparing for your opponent in the preseason is standard operating procedure. But perhaps Gruden should rethink the way he scripts the preseason games offensively and have some wrinkles to throw at the other team. You don’t want to give away too much in the preseason but if the other team is going to get exotic, you have to counter with some surprises of your own to try to keep your offense on the field.

5. Samaje Perine is not going to be your Week 1 starting running back.

He removed all doubt tonight even though he did lead the team in rushing with 15 yards on six carries. But he also fumbled once (he recovered), dropped a pass, and didn’t have a good sense for where to run much of the time.

He will learn but he is not going to push Rob Kelley out of the starting lineup anytime soon.

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 20, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Raiders at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1:45; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 3:30

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 12
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (11/23) 23
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 39

First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

—This tweet seems a bit audacious. It’s from Vic Tafur, who writes about the Raiders for the pay site The Athletic.

They are second in the NFL in offensive yards and first in points scored. Oakland is fourth in rushing yards and 13th in passing yards. QB Derek Carr is third in the NFL with a stellar 126.5 passer rating and Marshawn Lynch has a bruising 121 yards rushing. They’re good but I would reserve phrases like “doing whatever they want” for teams like the Greatest Show on Turf or the ’07 Patriots. The Raiders aren’t there yet.

—Defensively, the Raiders are just OK, especially considering they have played a Titans team that is solid but not an offensive juggernaut and the putrid Jets. They are 17th in yards given up and tied for 11th in points allowed. They haven’t intercepted a pass although they have two fumble recoveries. They have five sacks, one more than a Redskins team that talks a lot about a need to get to the quarterback. Khalil Mack has one sack and Bruce Irvin hasn't tallied one yet. But they could explode at any time and the Redskins' pass protection will need to be on point. 

—Carr and Kirk Cousins have very similar numbers in the two seasons plus two games that they both have been starters. One area where Carr has an edge is in the touchdown passes column. Carr has 65 while Cousins has just 46. The Raiders have some quality receivers in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. But Cousins could throw to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon up until this season and Washington also has tight end Jordan Reed. It’s at least a wash in terms of quality of targets if not an advantage to the Redskins. It is something that Carr has solved that Cousins has not. Carr’s ability to get the ball into the end zone helped him become the NFL’s highest-paid player, albeit temporarily.

—Although the Raiders’ offense is not going to make history, the Redskins still need to be prepared to be in a shootout on Sunday night. To be sure, the Redskins defense has improved but it’s hard to see the Raiders scoring less than somewhere in the mid to upper twenties. That means that the Redskins will have to score at least as many points as they did against the Rams, maybe more. They started and ended well in LA; to win next Sunday they probably won’t be able to get away with zero second-half points until after the two-minute warning.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

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Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

It took the New York Giants a full game and another quarter before they scored their first touchdown of the 2017-18 NFL season.

Giants rookie Evan Engram was the recipient of their first touchdown of the season, scoring the first of his career on Monday Night Football.

Naturally he began to celebrate his accomplishment, but perhaps his celebration was too natural. 

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In the clip, right in front of the cameraman, the 23-year-old proceeds to dance with a finishing move crotch grab in the midst of his teammates.

Apparently the loosened NFL celebration rules from this off-season did not take out any sexually suggestive actions. 

It resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kick-off for the Giants.

With the ball then kicked out of bounds the Lions had the ball at their own 45-yard line.

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Likely the grab will give Engram a fine from the NFL.

Last season Antonio Brown was fined for a similar celebration, by twerking following a score.

The touchdown remains the only time New York has found the end-zone through two games.

With only 13 points it is the lowest scoring two game start in 70 years for the franchise.