My notes from Friday's game:
On the Redskins first offensive snap, Willie Parker actually did a decent job picking up a blitzing linebacker. He is not known for this particular skill.
Joey Galloway had appeared to be invisible to Donovan McNabb in the first two games, but Rex Grossman was looking his way from the beginning.
On the Redskins first running play both Casey Rabach and Derrick Dockery get overwhelmed by the Jets linemen and let the corner collapse (Trent Williams did his job and quickly shed off the RDE and was perfectly placed to seal the linebackers inside).
The offensive line (and other blockers) did a much better job than last week adjusting to blitzes from multiple angles. Lends more credence to the argument that many of the protection problems against the Ravens were due to preseason game-planning (or lack thereof).
I don’t think Willie Parker has quite picked up this zone blocking thing – there were a number of occasions where the blocking was set up in front of him giving him options and he just picked the wrong hole.
On consecutive plays late in the first quarter Anthony Armstrong got on the field in a two receiver set with Galloway. In each he initially lined up at flanker then motioned to the opposite slot to form twins WR left.
Chris Cooley, who I regularly excoriate for poor blocking, made a number of nice blocks in pass protection.
I would like to point out the Mark Sanchez looked like a pretty awful quarterback. Remind me - how many first round picks did we want to give up for him? How much worse off would this team be with Sanchez at quarterback and no Trent Williams (whose draft pick would have been traded away)? Even removing McNabb from the equation, Jason Campbell with Williams would be a much better situation than Sanchez without him.
I enjoy the persistence with which this offense forces the ball downfield. Pass attempts of 20+ yards were a once in a blue moon occurrence under both Joe Gibbs and Jim Zorn, but are now downright routine.
For the first time that I have noticed, Kory Lichtensteiger played something other than center. When the second team offense came in to start the 3rd quarter, Will Montgomery was at center and Lichtensteiger at left guard.
Speaking of Lichtensteiger, I really like him on screens. He showed the ability to get over from that LG spot to throw a key block on a WR screen to the right. He also did a good job getting in position on the screen to Johnson that resulted in the late touchdown.
Regular readers know that Reed Doughty is my favorite Redskins safety, but much like LaRon Landry and Chris Horton his true strength is making plays at strong safety. He is good enough as a free safety, so the panic over Kareem Moore’s injury is overblown. But I still hope Moore makes it back soon so that I can start agitating for Doughty to push Landry out of SS.
Maake Kemoeatu and Kedric Golston both got blown off the line all night. Worrisome. As a result London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh often wound up with guards in their faces, and unsurprisingly those matchups did not go our way.
In contrast Adam Carricker and Vonnie Holliday have both impressed me as ends in the three man fronts. They are some seriously strong guys.
The outside linebackers continue to look way too vulnerable to any sort of misdirection play.
For the first time Albert Haynesworth was used in a way that indicates the coaches realize they are pretty damn lucky to have Albert Haynesworth on their team. He spent much of his time at end, and when he was a nose tackle he was sent on stunts to try to get to the quarterback. His performance wasn’t dominant, but I think he played quite well. Hopefully this means Shanahan is finally done making his point and we can focus on football now.
The way DeAngelo Hall set up that interception was a thing of beauty. He’s not a perfect corner but he is legitimately skilled at creating turnovers.
Graham Gano’s kickoffs: goal line, 1 yard line, goal line, goal line, 5 yard line.
Josh Bidwell’s punts were a little inconsistent: 33 yards, 3.82 seconds; 52 yards, 4.6 seconds; 33 yards, 3.7 seconds; 49 yards, 4.13 seconds; 42 yards, 3.8 seconds.
So in case anyone wasn’t convinced that Anthony Armstrong is more than just a preseason darling and is actually going to make this team, last night he distinguished himself on the special teams coverage units as well. So he has locked down the #3 WR job and excels at special teams. Done deal.
I like that when Brandon Banks knew a punt was going to drop near the goal line, he positioned himself a good distance away and pretended he was about to field it to draw away the coverage and lessen the Jets’ chances of pinning us on the goal line. Doesn’t cancel out the fumble, but it was nice.