Redskins start slow again, net first preseason win

LANDOVER, Md. — After another sloppy start for the first string offense and defense, the Redskins settled down on Sunday and got their first win of the preseason.

Despite digging themselves into a 14-3 hole at FedEx Field, the Redskins surged late and held on to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-16.

The offense went three-and-out on its first three possessions and had just one total yard in the first quarter. Kirk Cousins had a slow start again as well, which included a poor decision that resulted in a Vontaze Burfict interception returned for a touchdown.

On its next possession, the offense showed some life, especially in the run game. A 10-play, 75-yard drive ended with Rob Kelley scoring on a one-yard touchdown run. The Redskins had said they needed to run the ball effectively or they wouldn’t win many football games. They did that on Sunday, as Kelley had his best game of the preseason, carrying the ball 10 times for 57 yards and the score.

The defense couldn’t get off the field on the opening possession, allowing a long, 87-yard touchdown drive in which the Bengals converted two 3rd-and-longs.

Don’t let the final score deceive you — there are still many questions that need to be answered by the season opener on September 10, the next time we’ll see the starters.

Preseason debut

Tight end Jordan Reed saw game action for the first time this summer, after practicing a few days this week. He caught a 6-yard pass on his first play from scrimmage. He finished with two catches for 12 yards and admitted that he knows he can’t miss anymore practice time because he needs to get on the same page with Cousins.

On the defensive side, linebacker Junior Galette suited up for the first time in over two years. He showed some of that explosiveness that everyone has been waiting to see. He played with the first and second units on defense.

Impressive rookies

Cornerback Josh Holsey had the first sack of the day for the Redskins defense. It forced a punt in the third quarter. Gruden praised Holsey this week.

“He’s doing an excellent job. He’s surpassed expectations by far,” he said.

Safety Fish Smithson intercepted A.J. McCarron in the fourth quarter and returned the ball 63 yards to the Bengals 34.

The preseason finale is Thursday in Tampa. The starters will not play, so their preseason is done. The next time they suit up will be against the Eagles on September 10, and it will count.

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