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Week 3 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 29, Washington Redskins 17
What you need to know
put on a kicking clinic, going 5 for 5 with a long of 56 yards in the 4th quarter. Courtland Sutton
was featured in the first-string offense and Emmanuel Sanders
was in mid-season form. Rookie Royce Freeman
had a tackle-breaking touchdown run that showed surprising burst.
Washingtonís offensive line looked cohesive and aggressive in this week 3 preseason game. If they can become more consistent this season then it will help the passing game tremendously. Defensively, being able to rush this passer remains a question mark. The ability to stop the run should take a leap forward with the addition of 1st round drafted rookie Daron Payne and getting back 1str rounder Jonathan Allen from injury. Alex Smith
offers a little more scrambling upside at qb for Washington but the lack of top flight weapons in the passing game could potentially leaving Washington hopefuls disappointed. Alex had much more firepower in the Kansas City offense last season.
Keenum played great for two quarters with the first team offense, leading the Broncos on three scoring drives(two touchdowns and one field goal). Keenum didn't push the ball deep very much save for one beautiful connection with Emmanuel Sanders
down the left sideline for a big gain in the second quarter. Keenum did struggle a bit with batted balls, as Washington was able to knock several of his pass attempts into the air at the line of scrimmage. Tight end Jake Butt
just barely broke up one such play that nearly resulted in an interception. Keenum worked the ball around well in the short and intermediate passing game. He established a good connection with Sanders in the second quarter and did a good job with ball placement on passes out of the backfield, giving his running backs room to work after the catch.
Kelly entered the game in the third quarter after Keenum got in a solid first half with the first team offense. He was nearly intercepted shortly after when a linebacker batted a pass attempt as Kelly ran out of bounds. After that, Kelly did a nice job taking care of the ball as he led the offense on two scoring drives in the third quarter that both ended in field goals. Kelly took a couple of shots at the end zone but couldn't connect with his receivers. It's Keenum's offense, but Kelly certainly looks like a better backup option than Lynch at this point.
Lynch didn't make it into the game until the 4th quarter, and he didn't exactly light it up once he did. He scrambled around haphazardly in the pocket, handed the ball off a lot and threw a few passes at his backs. Lynch and company did convert a couple of third and long situations that were mostly credited to nice running after the catch by the backs and receivers.
Booker joined Case Keenum
in the Broncos backfield during Denver's first offensive series of the game. He had a slow night, but he did have a nice run called back for holding early on. Despite only collecting three carries and no targets, Booker did still play 5 more snaps that Royce Freeman
, and appears to have the inside track for passing down work at least.
Booker got the start, but Freeman quickly spelled him on Denver's first offensive drive, picking up a first down with his first two carries against the Washington defense. Freeman ripped a 24 yard touchdown run right up the middle of the Washington defense at the end of the first quarter. Fullback Janovich laid a great block on the middle linebacker and Freeman broke a coupe of ankle tackles at the second level for the score. Freeman struggled after that, getting hit in the backfield for a couple of losses before leaving the game before the 3rd quarter. He was not targeted in the passing game.
Henderson didn't see any action until the second half, but he did enter the game on the Broncos first drive of the 3rd quarter and went right to work, flexing out to the slot and catching a short out route that he turned up the sideline for a 19 yard gain. Henderson piled up stats in the 4th quarter in garbage time, but was honestly outshined by David Williams
, who came in around the same time and made a couple of big plays in the passing game.
Lindsay entered the game during the latter part of the Broncos opening offensive drive, hauling in a wheel route from the backfield to convert a 3rd and 3 play with plenty to spare. Lindsay was sprinkled into the RB rotation in the first half behind Devontae Booker
and Royce Freeman
, and also continued to see action into the 3rd quarter. Lindsay showed off a few strong runs as the Broncos split the carries pretty evenly amongst the five running backs.
Williams showed off some nice moves after coming into the game late in the 3rd quarter. He hauled in a pass down the right sideline for a 22 yard gain on 3rd and long, and juked a defender right out of his shoes on another reception later in that drive. Williams hauled in one more short reception, piling up 46 yards total on his three catches.
Hamilton caught his first pass in the third quarter, splitting out wide right and hauling in a quick curl route from Kelly. Hamilton nearly secured a deep ball down the left sideline later in the same drive. Kelly looked to him again on 3rd and long, but Hamilton was dragged down well short of the first down marker after catching a quick out route.
Keenum gave Sanders plenty of looks in the first quarter of play, but the two struggled to connect, narrowly missing several opportunities. Sanders finally hauled in a skinny post for a nice gain in the second quarter, then followed it up on the very next play with a spectacular diving catch down the left sideline, good for a 33 yard gain. Keenum called Sanders number again two plays later, tossing him the ball on an end-around misdirection play. Sanders took the toss and wove in and out of defenders for a nifty 27 yard touchdown run. Keenum hit Sanders one last time on the Broncos final drive of the first half for a short gain on an out route. Sanders ended the night with a team-high 8 targets.
Sutton played in 3WR sets with starters Thomas and Sanders in the first quarter, collecting all three of his targets for a total of 45 yards. He hauled in a crossing route during the Broncos opening offensive drive for a medium gain. Sutton made a nice leaping effort down the right sideline later in the same drive. He is clearly the number three behind Thomas and Sanders.
Thomas had a strong catch on an out route during Denver's first offensive drive, moving the chains in Washington territory. He also caught on of his signature WR bubble screens late in the 2nd quarter with a little room to run, but he slipped and fell at the line of scrimmage after securing the catch. It was a slow night as Thomas did not catch either of his other two targets. Sanders appears to have a little more chemistry with Keenum at this point.
Butt got to work in the first quarter alongside Heuerman in two tight end sets. He split out wide left and hauled in a a quick 5 yard curl on the Broncos second offensive drive of the game.
Heuerman hauled in Keenum's first pass attempt of the game for a 6 yard gain. He fumbled the ball badly at the end of the play while fighting for extra yards, but fortunately it shot straight out of bounds. Heuerman also drew a defensive holding call in the 1st quarter to keep the chains moving for Denver.
performance was a tad on the poor side as he only tallied 19 yards on 8 attempts. He was working against the second team defense and operating the offense with second teamers as well. Jay Grudenís kept things extremely vanilla as the ground game got plenty work. Colt is an capable passer but as the backup he wonít get much action on the field.
had a rather conservative night as he only attempted 8 passes in a little over an quarter of work. It seems the Washington coaching staff wanted to get a lengthy look at the ground game as Alex found himself handing the ball off early and often. All three of his completions were short passes off of 3 step drops. Alex was without two of his starters at receiver and his top passing down back which may have contributed to his small passing sample night. As the season kicks off he will surely have plenty of opportunities with a full array of weapons at his disposal. It was hard to get a read on Alexís potential in Jay Grudenís offense based on this gameís opportunities.
was operating as the passing down back while also filling in as the 3rd running back on the depth chart. He made the most of his combined 4 touches totaling 60 yards. Kapriís best play of the night was a 38 yard run in which he exploded off tackle to the right side alluding two defenders before hitting the second level. He also gained 11 yards to get a first down on one of his receptions. Once Chris Thompson
returns Kapri will be irrelevant in the Washington running back rotation.
Robert Kelley was either a forgotten man or the coaching staff has seen enough of him this preseason. It was alarming to see that he didnít start the game as newly signed Adrian Peterson
got the nod. Rob got mixed work with the first and second team but was held in check running for 19 yards on 8 carries. Rob has looked noticeably in better shape and ready to prove himself worthy of the starting job but Adrianís presence has zapped some of his steam.
was the main attraction for this game as the newly acquired running back was signed this week. The Redskins gave him five carries in a row to start out the game. Adrian was the immediate focal point as it became very clear that the coaches wanted to see what he had left in the tank. Adrian drew the start and didnít disappoint. He ran surprisingly decisive for a guy that just looked at the playbook this week. Adrianís longest run was fifteen yards but he picked up a couple of first downs in his brief stint. There is still juice left in Adrianís legs and Washington seems intent on using it as signs point to him getting carries in the Washington ground game.
got the start in this game but only saw four targets in limited work. However, he did hook up with Alex for 21 yard gain showing off his ability to gain separation downfield. Paulís big play ability to high point the ball downfield could potentially be a valuable feature in the Washington pass attack this season.
got the start in this game due to the absence of Jordan Reed
and didnít get much work. He tallied two targets and it resulted in one catch for two yards. If Jordan Reed
misses any time during the year, Vernon would be a full time starter. He was fairly productive in backup duty last season.