WASHINGTON — After two weeks of training camp, the Washington Redskins finally got to hit someone else Thursday night.
Jay Gruden and the coaching staff got their first chance to see how far they’ve come during their time in Richmond, Virginia. There was some good, some bad and some ugly from all units in the 23-17 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta.
- The first team offense had one drive against the Falcons and looked efficient. Kirk Cousins looked sharp, finishing 5-5 for 39 yards. His timing and decisiveness were good and the coaches got to see what they needed in the one drive.
- The running game struggled all night, beginning with Matt Jones. He had two carries for one yard. Colt McCoy ran once for eight yards, accounting for twice as many yards as the running backs in the first half.
- The running game didn’t get started until late in the third quarter when rookie Robert Kelley was finishing runs and ended up in the end zone for the team’s first touchdown. Kelley finished with seven carries for 40 yards and a touchdown.
- Rookie Nate Sudfeld played the second half and went 10-15 for 89 yards and a touchdown. The sixth-round draft pick out of Indiana looked sharp in his debut. He was confident and showed poise while nearly leading the Redskins to a comeback win.
- The Redskins played without three offensive starters: LT Trent Williams, WR Jamison Crowder and TE Jordan Reed.
- The first team defense showed signs of aggressiveness, forcing back-to-back three-and-outs to start the game. They put pressure on Matt Ryan and held him to an 0-4 night. The secondary was flying to the ball, something the coaches are going to like to see.
- The second unit struggled when it entered the game. Former Redskins receiver Aldrick Robinson had two big catches against cornerback Quinton Dunbar. Robinson had catches of 47 and 68 yards against him.
- Rookie linebacker Su’a Cravens seems to have a nose for the football. He had a strong game, finishing with four tackles, a knockdown and an open field tackle on special teams. He played the third quarter on defense after playing the first half on special teams. He was everywhere and Redskins fans are going to love seeing him play.
- After a decent first half, the game was lost on the opening kickoff of the second half thanks to a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. That’s not good.
- Tress Way punted seven times with an average of 53.7 and a long of 68 yards. Huge night for him.
- Dustin Hopkins connected on his only field goal attempt of the night from 41 yards out.
One thing the coaches are not going to be happy with at all are the penalties. The Redskins committed 14 penalties for 123 yards. That’s something that has to get better.
Best news of the night:
The Redskins got out of the game unscathed with no injuries to speak of. Tight end Niles Paul hyper-extended his knee, Jay Gruden said, but should be ready to practice this week.
The team returns to practice Saturday in Richmond. There are two more days of training camp before they head home to Ashburn beginning on Tuesday.