By: Ryan Cooley
Here are five takeaways from their 31-21 loss.
Manusky needs to go ASAP
Coming into this season, question marks swirled around the offense. Two weeks later and questions are swirling about this abysmal defense. How can this defense improve? Manusky being fired would a good first step.
I understand they have faced two very good offenses, but in two division games, there is no excuse for those performances. Manusky was brought in to bring some grit to this defense. Instead, they seem to give up big yardage every other play.
The defense does not lack talent. They have Payne, Kerrigan, Collins, and Norman. Norman has been a disappointment, but it is the coordinator’s job to get the best out of their players. When a team has an underperforming defense like the Redskins, you need to look at the coordinator.
The difference from a successful and unsuccessful team can always be found in the number of penalties. The Redskins have committed 18 penalties in the past two games. Their offensive drives have been killed by holding calls. The untimely flags on defense keep the opposing offenses on the field.
This is a very young team which usually leads to undisciplined play. However, Gruden must do a better job at teaching his young group how to play with discipline. If this team has any chance next week against the Bears, they must limit the penalties.
Week one was the tale of two halves. This week was nearly the same. In the first quarter, the defense was holding Dak and Zeke, and the offense was moving the ball. Then the collapse began after Norman gave up a 51 yd TD.
If I had to describe the Redskins in the past ten years in one word, it would be inconsistent. There are halves or even games in which the Skins look like a very good team. They then follow it up with a disappointing performance.
Mclaurin is #1
The weakest point of this team coming into the year looked to be the WR position. No one had a clue who the number one receiver would be. After two weeks, McLaurin has established himself as that guy. In two games he has 10 receptions, 187 yds, and 2 TDs.
McLaurin has impressed more in two games than Doctson did in his three-year span. He finally gives the Redskins a home run hitter, something they have not had since Desean Jackson departed. Hopefully, this receiving core will continue to develop, so when Haskins time comes, he will have weapons to throw to.
Offense shows potential
McLaurin is not the only player in this offense that is impressing. Keenum has looked solid in his first two outings. He has not been perfect but looks much like he did in 2017 for the Vikings. Keenum is the definition of a system QB. He fit seamlessly in Pat Shurmur’s offense with the Vikings, and he looks to fit right in with Gruden’s system.
The offensive line has not been impressive in many areas. They have, however, surprised in pass protection. Keenum has only been sacked twice this season. They need to improve on run blocking and limit their holding penalties, but they have looked better than many thought. They will need to be at the top of their game with the Bears are coming to town Monday night.