LANDOVER, Md. -- The Washington Redskins started slow -- being outgained by 98 yards in the first quarter -- before rebounding vs. Cincinnati in a 23-17 win. They at least put together some good drives, but they did not play the sort of crisp game the coaches would have liked -- at least when it comes to the passing attack.
QB depth chart: Kirk Cousins has not had a strong summer. He finished the preseason having completed 25 of 44 passes for 258 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He made a bad decision on one ball Sunday, making his mind up before seeing the play, and it turned into an easy pick-six for linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Backup Colt McCoy looked more comfortable than he had in the first two games, completing 8 of 11 passes with one touchdown. A second one was dropped.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Redskins looked : Bad at first, then better. Washington trailed 14-13 at halftime when matched vs. the starters. The offense did start to run the ball well, the first positive sign the Redskins have shown this summer. Rob Kelley carried 10 times for 57 yards and a touchdown. The defense allowed a long drive on the opening series, allowing two third-and-longs to be converted. It was a mixed effort in the dress rehearsal game.
One reason to be concerned: The Redskins’ receivers just haven’t made many big plays this summer. Terrelle Pryor and Cousins haven’t found much of a rhythm -- some passes have been high and Pryor dropped one Sunday. Ryan Grant just doesn’t make big plays and Josh Doctson did not play vs. the Bengals. He has big-play ability, but now you have to wonder about his durability. The Redskins haven’t yet shown they’ll be OK minus Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson.
That guy could start: Rookie center Chase Roullier. He made his first start with Spencer Long injured and handled himself well. Long will start when he returns, but if he can’t make it back for the season opener Roullier has shown this summer he won’t be overwhelmed. He’s smart, can anchor and worked his combo blocks well Sunday.
Rookie watch: Corner Josh Holsey played well again and will make it real tough on the Redskins to cut him. The problem is, he’s likely their sixth corner at this point so if he makes the roster they’d have to keep one less player elsewhere. But he’s competitive and plays bigger than his size (generously listed at 5-foot-11).
Long awaited debut: Linebacker Junior Galette made his Redskins debut -- more than two years after he signed with Washington. Galette, returning from two years of Achilles’ issues, played with both the first- and second-team defenses in nickel packages. He had at least two good rushes, showing good burst to the inside. Galette will help.
Healthy return: Tight end Jordan Reed played for the first time this summer as well, having missed the first two games while on the physically unable to perform list. Reed didn’t play many snaps, but did catch two passes for 12 yards and was targeted two other times, once in the end zone. With questions still at receiver, the Redskins need a healthy Reed this season.