Washington Redskins

Quick Links

Redskins first half awards

lorenzo_alexander_giants.png

Redskins first half awards

Here is one blogger’s opinion on the best and worst of the Redskins’ season at the halfway mark.

Offensive MVP—The obvious and only choice is Robert Griffin III. He has been the catalyst for the team’s three wins and he has given them a chance in all but one of their five losses. He has made more memorable plays this year—the 76-yard TD run, the scrambling fourth-down conversion, the 88-yard “Griffining” TD to name a few—than the team has had in the past several years combined.

Defensive MVP—As easy as it is to choose an offensive MVP, it is just as difficult to pick one on a defense that has been a major disappointment. The front seven is not generating a pass rush with any consistency and the coverage has been spotty. And although the rushing defense has been pretty solid that is in large part because teams don’t run against them because it’s so easy to pass on them. Still, Ryan Kerrigan has played well. He’s not piling up a lot of sacks but he has been steady at many aspects of the game and at times, like when he plucked Matt Ryan’s pass out of the air  and rolled in for a touchdown, spectacular.

Special teams MVP—This award is almost as easy as the one for the offense. Special teams have had plenty of issues with blocked and missed kicks and an inability to break out and get a big return. But the coverage has been solid and captain Lorenzo Alexander has been a demon in in that department and the glue that has held the units together.

Surprise development—The emergence of Alfred Morris as not just the team’s leading rusher but as one of the best running backs in the league is something that nobody expected when training camp opened. The sixth-round pick seemed to be on the roster bubble in early August but by the time the season started he was the opening day starter in New Orleans.

Disappointing development—The defense was ranked 13th in the NFL last year and if they just could have duplicated that performance this year the Redskins likely would be in the thick of the playoff hunt. But they are near the bottom of the league overall and on pace to become the first NFL team to allow 5000 yards passing in a season. Nobody every thought they would long for the Redskins’ 2011 defense, or even the 10th-ranked 2009 edition. 

Quick Links

After rookie jitters in Week 1, things are slowing down for Samaje Perine

After rookie jitters in Week 1, things are slowing down for Samaje Perine

Samaje Perine's highlight reel will not feature many clips from his first preseason game. The rookie running back out of Oklahoma struggled in that game, rushing six times for just 15 yards. 

In his second game, however, Perine found his game. Playing with the second team offense, Perine looked strong. He ran eight times for 45 yards, more than 5.5 yards-per-carry, and also caught one pass for 29 yards. 

RELATED: REDSKINS-PACKERS WEEK 2 PRESEASON MUST-SEE PHOTOS

"I just got the first game under my belt. First game jitters always going to happen. Once I got that out of the way I got to settle in," Perine said (full video above). "I got to go out and have fun."

More importantly, Perine didn't make the same mistakes the Redskins saw in Baltimore. He held onto the ball, made an impressive catch, and while pass protection will still take some work, he made tremendous strides from the first game. 

"The first game everything was going 100 miles-per-hour," he said of the difference between Week 1 to Week 2. "Once I got a chance to actually reevaluate, and slow things down, it just became football."

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden noticed the difference in Perine's play as well. 

RELATED: FIVE BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS' 21-17 LOSS VS. PACKERS

"I think there was a major step up and I expected that from Samaje," the coach said. "He’s the type of guy that I figured would bounce back. I’m glad to see him play so hard, so well."

The Redskins first-team offense again struggled to run the ball. Rob Kelley doesn't seem to be doing much wrong, as holes and running lanes have not been present with the top unit on the field, but his stats through two games are paltry (12 rushes, 11 yards). 

Perine might eventually push Kelley for carries, but that won't be the case at least early in the season. More performances like the game against Green Bay could possibly accelrate that timeline. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Redskins Playbook: Jordan Reed is back, but what happens next?

usatsi_9695471_1.jpg
USA Today Sports

Redskins Playbook: Jordan Reed is back, but what happens next?

Ugly. Bad. Subpar. Any of these words properly describe the Redskins offense through the first two weeks of the 2017 preseason, but that could change quick. On Sunday, the Redskins announced that Jordan Reed had been activated from the PUP list.

That means the star tight end can again practice with the team. Reed immediately becomes Washington's most dangerous offensive weapon, even on a team with guys packed with potential like Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, or a player that has produced like Jamison Crowder.

RELATED: REDSKINS-PACKERS PRESEASON WEEK 2 MUST-SEE PHOTOS

Reed makes defensive coordinators alternate their game plan, and his health is of paramount importance to the Redskins.

Last season, Reed sustained a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys. In the five games after that loss in Dallas, where Reed either didn't play or played with limited effectiveness, the Redskins passed for more than 300 yards just once. In the four games before the injury, including the Cowboys game, the Redskins passed for more than 300 yards three times, and 400 yards twice. 

It's simple really: Reed on the field makes the Redskins offense dynamic. It makes Kirk Cousins a better quarterback. 

Looking ahead, the question becomes if Reed will play in the preseason. He doesn't need to. He really doesn't.

RELATED: FIVE BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS' PRESEASON LOSS VS. PACKERS

If he does get through the week of practice healthy and without setback, it seems a safe bet he might play next week against the Bengals. Let Reed get some work, and let the new offense see what it looks like with the No. 1 tight end on the field. 

Reed doesn't need to play in the preseason. His resume, when healthy, speaks volumes. 

But the Redskins might need Reed. The team could use a spark. Against Green Bay's first team defense, the Redskins were wholly ineffective. 

In three seasons, Jay Gruden has never won an opening game as coach of the Redskins. Reed playing in the preseason might not change that, but if Washington is able to get some momentum from an impressive outing against the Bengals, it could help. 

Reed has that type of talent. He's also missd 20 games in a four-year career. Watching him at practice this week will be a major development. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!