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NFL Preseason Wk1: Falcons vs Redskins Recap

Falcons second stringers pull out the win against the Redskins


After six months of predictions, NFL teams throwing all their money at players and patience, football has return to us. The first preseason game of the season was in Atlanta as the Falcons beat the reigning NFC East champs Washington Redskins 23-17. 
With most of these games, they aren’t for the starters but for the players to get ready to play live football and for the coaches to pick out their 55 players for the team. With these two teams, they didn’t come into this game with any true positional battle. 
The Redskins started with the ball and Quarterback Kirk Cousins looks extremely sharp in his first and only drive, throwing for 39 yards and going five for five on that drive that started in their own 10-yard-line. He looked calm when pressure was right in his face and he looks ready to go. 
The same perhaps can’t be said for Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan who didn’t complete one of his four passes in his time on the field. Staying in for two drives, Ryan just either overthrew the ball or put the ball in an area that should’ve been picked off. Realistically, no one should get that worried about this stat since it’s still the preseason but it will be an interesting topic to keep an eye on.
Another interesting storyline in the league was how would Cornerback Josh Norman play after footage of him getting burned in training camp was all over social media. In the one drive that he did play, Norman looked fine since the ball was thrown in his direction one time and it was overthrown. It look like he was in his natural habitat, playing on one side of the field for the three plays he was on the field and effectively shutting that side down. This is another storyline that people will play attention to as well. 
A problem (albeit short) was the lack of a running game by both team’s top running backs. Running Backs Matt Jones (Was.) and Devonta Freeman (Alt.) rushed for 10 yards on seven carries. Like Ryan, people shouldn’t blow this out of proportion as this was the first game and it should be resolved by the time the regular season begins.
Three players on the Falcons who played well were Quarterback Matt Schaub and Wide Receivers J.D. McKissic and Aldrick Robinson as Schaub looked very strong in the three drives played, throwing 10 of 15 for 179 yards. Robinson caught three of those 10 passes for 118 yards, one went for 47 yards and the second catch went for 68 yards. Robinson at this moment is a second string receiver behind Mohammed Sanu and Justin Hardy and if he continues to play like this, he should get a lot of time as the third receiver on the field. McKissic made his impact on a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the beginning of the second half. If the undrafted rookie can keep making plays like this, he could challenge Tevin Coleman and Eric Weems for their starting spots.
The Redskins also had some players shine as well. Running Back Robert Kelley rushed for 40 yards on seven carries and a touchdown during the second and third quarter of the game. The undrafted rookie is facing tough odds on making the team as he’s the fifth string for Washington but if the young man can continue to play like this, he might find a spot available on the roster.
Though the Redskins lost, both teams got a lot out of this game as they saw what they need to improve on and where their strength is. The Redskins will be home when they face the Jets next Friday while the Falcons will be at Cleveland to go up against the Browns next Thursday.


NFL Preseason Wk1: Falcons vs Redskins Recap

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