Preseason Week 1: Washington vs Tennessee

After writing about why it’s ok to miss the 1st week of preseason from a FFL perspective – we here at the Art of Score thought we’d highlight just a few things from each game, in case you took our advice and were curious as to what went down.

Washington

Kirk Cousins is an ok QB.  In this one he looked great mainly because the Titans starting d offered little pressure – and then the few times they were in Kirk’s face their secondary largely forgot to cover anyone.  On his lone TD pass to TE Fred Davis the entire Titans secondary bit on a bootleg and Fred was the 1st and only read needed on the play since he was so wide open.  Fred’ s lined up up for a very nice year in fantasy if he gets these goal line looks in the regular season.  I think his upside is top 5-7 TE status and he’s worth taking a shot on if you’re taking a TE in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft.

WR Leonard Hankerson and RB Roy Helu:  are fantasy players from Washington to watch going forward in the preseason.  Helu got a lot of touches behind the starting Washington O-line and performed a little better than average.  To me it doesn’t look like he has all his speed back yet, but he ran harder than I remember.  There was some talk about him being on the roster bubble, but I think it’s safe to say he’s on the team in Sept, and probably as the number 1 backup to Alfred Morris.    Hankerson had an up and down night, as he finished strong with a TD on a great 2nd effort – but he was also spoken to about not laying out his body earlier in the game for a 1st down.  Hankerson’s hands have been in question throughout his short career, but on this night he was one of the only WR’s that didn’t have a bad drop (Aldrick Robinson & Dezmond Briszcoe lowlighted those)

Tennessee

QB Jake Locker’s 7 for 11 for 58 yards seems like the typical conservative stat sheet for a starting QB warming up in a preseason game.  But, if you watched the game you’d notice it was far from it.  Locker faced uneven pressure as the Redskins forced 2 sacks of him, but he was also playing against a secondary that was comprised of 2 or 3 rookie starters on each of his attempts.  Instead of taking advantage of this,  he was a captain checkdown and even in those situations he sometimes lacked the zip on the ball required to make the throw – one throw to WR Kenny Britt in particular allowed the Redskins corner to close about 5 yards and bat it away on a simple toss in the flat.   Locker needs this preseason badly to improve his overall game, and should focus next week on building his repertoire of attempts as the Titans put in more of their gameplan.

WR Kendall Wright had a bad drop, and WR Justin Hunter blew a 1st down by catching a ball beyond the marker, and getting tackled back behind it while trying to fake out defenders.  Right now it’s tough to like anything Tennessee is doing in the air.

However, the story of this for the Titans on offense was their running game.   RB Chris Johnson’s 58 yard TD was a good thing to see….but we have to value it correctly as it came on a completely busted play by what has to be an embarrassed Redskins’ defense.   There was no containment by the team and then no one at the 2nd level took any kind of proper tackling angle.  So, while it was good to see Johnson recognize and perform the cutback, he really didn’t have to shed any tackles or make any moves on the play once he made the one cut.

RB Shone Greene the new acquisition to backup Chris Johnson ran hard as well.  He made several good reads, and cuts – and his TD came on an excellently blocked off tackle play.  We still don’t know how the Titans will (if) use Greene in the redzone this season as a short yard back, but he’s a player to monitor if he does get some of those.

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