The Washington Redskins (0-1) fell to the Houston Texans (1-0) 17-6 in what was a match-up of the worst two teams from last season. At times — a lot of times, it certainly looked like it. Both teams got in the way of themselves by making crucial mistakes, but the Redskins made a lot more than Houston.
Much like last season, the Redskins special teams had a couple breakdowns Sunday. A blocked extra point by Texans Defensive End JJ Watt early in the game was just a great play by Watt. But the missed block by Roy Helu Jr. on a punt attempt that resulted in a blocked punt — touchdown for the Texans was unacceptable. On defense, the team did fairly well with exception of a breakdown in coverage (and mentally) by Safety Bacarri Rambo.
Below are our initial game notes. Of course, thoughts are subject to change post-film study.
- I like how Head Coach Jay Gruden mixed up personnel packages. DeSean Jackson seeing time in the backfield. Offensive Tackle Tom Compton came in to play next to Right Tackle Tyler Polumbus for extra protection. Tight End Logan Paulsen also was used to help protect the QB.
- Gruden did have a rookie HC mistake by not trying to score from the team’s own 41 towards the end of the first half.
- I said prior to the game that the Redskins should run at Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney because he tends to over pursue. They did that Sunday and had a lot of success. Clowney left the game towards the end of the first half and didn’t return.
- WR Andre Roberts looks to finally be a reliable punt/kick returner for the team. He had a couple nice returns including a 26 yarder. Roberts plays with a lot of heart. He really was one of the bright spots for the team Sunday — on offense and special teams.
- Speaking of special teams, Punter Tress Way had some booming punts early in the game that gave Houston poor field position.
- RB Roy Helu looked good in his action on offense but missed a huge block on a punt attempt that resulted in a Texans touchdown.
- Safety Bacarri Rambo had a nice pass rush early, but took a few bad angles and allowed a 70 yard touchdown to Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins in the first half.
- LB Keenan Robinson is such an instinctive player. When you match that with his athleticism, Washington could have themselves an impact guy. I really liked his ability going downhill plugging holes. He alone forced several fourth downs. Everyone knew he could cover, now he’s showing his game is well rounded.
- The Redskins running game with Alfred Morris and Roy Helu was pretty successful on Sunday. Morris had 91 yards on 14 carries and Helu had 46 on four carries.
- The Redskins simply couldn’t block JJ Watt. He’s the best defensive player in the NFL and showed that Sunday. LB Brooks Reed also gave the Redskins fits. That offensive line is still not where it needs to be. I think the Redskins need Morgan Moses and Spencer Long to develop quickly.
- Robert Griffin III went 29/37 for 267 yards. He didn’t have a lot of time to throw in the pocket, but he continues to not climb the pocket. Some may not think he had room to climb the pocket, but there were several occasions he could have extend a play by a second or two by doing so. Griffin did, however, show a few flashes. He had a couple nice throws. I think he missed a few opportunities to audible out a play. But he didn’t play horribly. This Texans defense just put on a show Sunday.
- DeSean Jackson looked good, but just didn’t get a ton of opportunities downfield. He appears to be unstoppable on those hitch routes.
- The Washington Redskins just can’t seem to get out of the way of themselves. QB Robert Griffin III tripped over his center (which has happened way too often in his career) messing up the sequence of a proper handoff to Alfred Morris. Because of that, the ball was fumbled. Then the Redskins finally got a big play on a Niles Paul 46 yard catch… but then he fumbled. They had plenty chances to get points on the board, but got in the way of their-own-selves.
- I was surprised the Washington Redskins defense played so much off-coverage. I expected them to get up in the receiver’s face and force QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to make accurate throws.
- Ryan Kerrigan had a huge play in the fourth quarter stripping Arian Foster of the football.
- Brian Orakpo didn’t get his name called during the game. So, I’m mentioning him after the game because of that.
- Jason Hatcher, Barry Cofield and Chris Baker looks to be a really solid starting line. However, all three of them got injured during the game.
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