Revisiting the five things I listed to watch during Sundays Redskins-Panthers game:
1. THE NEW QB OBVIOUSLY
Who would have thought during a 33-20 loss to a team that entered with just one win, quarterback John Becks play wouldnt be nearly the biggest issue?
Beck was only 6-of-12 for 53 yards and a lost fumble in the first half (and a dropped interception), but after Tim Hightower departed with a knee injury and the Redskins fell behind by two scores, the passing game was unlocked.
Beck was OK 22-of-37 for 279 yards, one touchdown and one interception. But he was basically a rumor in the Redskins locker room because most of the chatter was about Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.
2. PRESSURING NEWTON
The Redskins sacked Newton four times, all in the first half, but it was a play they didnt get to him that illustrated the day.
Third play of the game. The Panthers need 9 yards for a first down. Newton received the shotgun snap, was pressured and then got on the run. From start to finish, the play lasted 15.84 seconds, as Cam darted through and around Redskins defenders for a 25-yard gain.
The Redskins pass rush was probably limited in the second half because the defensive side needed to be so aware of Carolinas unique running game.
3. THE REBUILT OFFENSIVE LINE
The Redskins had new starters in Sean Locklear (left tackle) and Erik Cook (center). Will Montgomery moved from center to left guard.
The running game was effective 23 rushes for 92 yards (4.0-yard average). Locklear had two penalties.
The line clearly benefited from having Beck behind center. He instantly looked more comfortable on designed rollouts. Additionally, there didnt seem to be any blown assignments in which Panthers simply werent blocked.
4. DEFENDING SHOCKEYOLSEN
Hey, finally an area where the Redskins defense did something right. Shockey had four catches for 32 yards and Olsen was limited to one catch for 4 yards.
The Panthers were having too much success going to Steve Smith to worry about getting the tight ends involved.
5. STEVE SMITH VS. DEANGELO HALL
Smith worked against Hall and Josh Wilson and punched the clock to the tune of seven catches for 143 yards, including plays when he was left alone (by Wilson) and plays in which Wilson had great coverage (a 36-yard reception down to the 1-yard line).
The Redskins have allowed two other receivers to get over 100 yards the Giants Hakeem Nicks (122) in Week 1 and Arizonas Larry Fitzgerald (133) in Week 2.
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