PFF’s ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game’s most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.
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The starting offensive line played a very solid game, particularly in pass protection, despite the absence of perennial Pro Bowler Trent Williams. Case Keenum was faced with the occasional quick pressure but was kept clean on the majority of his dropbacks.
The Redskins struggled to score points in large part due to unremarkable performances from both Keenum and Haskins. One could argue that Washington’s offensive MVP was wide receiver Robert Davis. Both of the team’s third-quarter drives were extended after Davis recovered a muffed punt, and those two recoveries resulted in 10 points for the Redskins.
Safety Landon Collins made his impact felt in both phases in the first half, most notably picking up a tackle for loss on Atlanta’s opening drive and breaking up a Matt Ryan pass late in the second quarter that he nearly turned into an interception.
Edge defenders Cassanova McKinzy and Marcus Smith both played well down the stretch for the Redskins’ defense. McKinzy recorded a strip-sack, and Smith had a strip of Falcons’ running back Qadree Ollison.
NC State product Kelvin Harmon had an efficient night, catching 2-of-3 targets for 37 yards. Cornerback Jimmy Moreland turned in a quality performance. He recorded two tackles, including a great tackle neat the line of scrimmage on a wide receiver screen.
Edge defender Adrian Clayborn was a force to be reckoned with on Thursday night, generating multiple pressures despite only playing a handful of snaps. His return to Atlanta after a one-year stint in New England will be a welcome boost to the Falcons’ pass-rush, as he looks primed to be their top edge defender.
Third-year linebacker Duke Riley was dominant against the run. He demonstrated good quickness in closing in on the ballcarrier at the line of scrimmage and made a number of defensive stops, the most noteworthy of which were when he tackled Derrius Guice for no gain on back-to-back plays in the second quarter.
After an excellent performance a week ago in which the Falcons’ franchise quarterback looked especially sharp, Matt Ryan was a bit more up-and-down in the team’s regular-season dress rehearsal. Among his most notable throws, Ryan showed nice touch and ball placement on a pair of deep throws (one of which was dropped by Christian Blake), but he also saw new Washington safety Landon Collins drop an interception on a ball left behind an open Calvin Ridley.
The Falcons’ offensive line largely held up well in pass protection throughout this game, but it was an especially rough outing for rookie tackle Jaelin Robinson, who was beaten on several occasions including for a strip-sack by Cassanova McKinzy in the third quarter.
Chris Lindstrom struggled in this one. He earned underwhelming marks in pass protection and as a run-blocker. Undrafted Boise State product Durant Miles did not play well in this one, as he struggled significantly as a pass-rusher and was unspectacular in run defense.
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