Before Further Review: Redskins-Jets observations

Taking a deeper dive into what transpired during the Redskins' 22-18 win against the New York Jets, including Nate Sudfeld, Matt Jones and Martrell Spaight.

LANDOVER, MD -  Immediate analysis of the Washington Redskins' second preseason game against the New York Jets is already on record. There will be time for a more detailed look at the game film later in the week. For now, here's a deeper dive into those initial thoughts. 


  • Quarterback Colt McCoy finished the first half going 13-for-16 for 159 yards, two touchdowns -- both to wide receiver Rashad Ross -- and one interception. He had his highs and his lows, in typical McCoy fashion. But he did move the football and showed some nimble feet several times while eluding pressure. 

  • Running back Matt Jones ran aggressively on the first drive and had a solid game until he sustained a shoulder injury. Head coach Jay Gruden doesn't believe the injury is too serious: "It's a little upsetting, but I think [Matt Jones] is going to be OK," he said. Jones did look more decisive with the ball in hands. I liked how he planted his feet and went uphill on a few runs. He did, however, botch a snap that would be credited as a fumble. His injury could force the team to finally sign a veteran back.

  • Wide receiver Jamison Crowder looked like a savvy vet. He had a touchdown on the opening drive that was called back due to a costly penalty from rookie wide receiver Maurice Harris. But Crowder ran some great routes, displaying his quick feet. He could have a great year in this offense. However, he continued to struggle as a punt returner. He muffed a punt after the Jets' first drive. Crowder had issues with decision-making as a punt returner during his rookie season. The Redskins may need to consider finding someone else to return punts. 

  • I like how Harris runs his intermediate, inside-the-numbers routes. He had a nice crossing route where he correctly crossed the face of the Mike linebacker instead of rounding the route. He also had a nice catch on a skinny post route. It'll be interesting to see how the numbers game goes for him at WR. He is 6-foot-3, and the Redskins lack size at the position without Josh Doctson. But Harris hasn't shown much on special teams. 


  • Ross had a good first half. He ran a really nice fade route for his first touchdown, allowing enough room for McCoy to squeeze the ball into the end zone. He also showcased that blazing speed of his on a long 39-yard touchdown. His speed and ability to play special teams should secure him a roster spot. 

  • I really liked the duo of Shawn Lauvao at left guard and Spencer Long at center. They played extremely well together and opened up some massive lanes in the run game a few times. 

  • Second-year center Austin Reiter was manhandled a few times in this game. He hasn't shown much in limited preseason action.

  • Quarterback Nate Sudfeld struggled with his accuracy on a few throws. He had a near interception while attempting to fit a ball between three defenders. The pass was underthrown and late. He also had a bad throw to wide receiver Kendal Thompson on a post route; Sudfeld needed to lead his receiver but instead threw the ball behind him. However, Sudfeld had some late-game heroics that put his gamer mentality on display, hitting Thompson for a game-winning touchdown.

  • Speaking of Thompson, who played QB in college, he put his ball skills on display late in the game. He had a nice one-handed catch that he followed up with a great two-point conversion. 


  • Second-year linebacker Martrell Spaight is having a quality preseason so far. He brings the boom every time he comes downhill to make a tackle. Not to mention, he proved his ability to create plays by forcing a turnover in this game. 

  • The most explosive player in Washington's starting defensive lineup has been linebacker Preston Smith. He's playing with more burst this year. Smith continued to pressure quarterbacks and had a near sack on an inside stunt rush where he overwhelmed New York's interior line. 

  • Outside linebacker Willie Jefferson also nearly had a sack. I like the way he used his long arms and hands to combat the Jets' offensive tackle. It was one of the better plays I've seen from a Redskins outside linebacker not named Preston Smith during this preseason.

  • Defensive end Stephen Paea recorded the team's first sack of the preseason in the third quarter. He had another series this week where he completely dominated. His situation is very odd because you'd think he would get more run with the first- or second-team defense by now. Inconsistency has reportedly been his biggest bugaboo, but he's looked good in the times I've watched him.

  • Rookie cornerback Kendall Fuller had some ups and downs in this game. He made some really great plays and some really bad plays. Fuller tackled with his head down a few times and didn't turn his head downfield on a few plays. The weird thing is, however, he was rarely out of position and his technique was sound.

  • Due to Fuller's inconsistencies, Dashaun Phillips could be solidifying his spot as the starting nickelback. He's doing a great job of coming downhill to make tackles. He's also played well in coverage.

  • Rookie LB Su'a Cravens looked lost a few times in coverage. He's still raw in that regard at the inside linebacker position. 

  • Deshazor Everett had a few nice plays coming down from safety. He's not afraid to make tackles and did a nice job of forcing a fumble. He also made a stellar play as a gunner on special teams.


You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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