The Washington NFL team beat the Cleveland Browns, 20-17, in their preseason opener on Aug. 13 in Cleveland, a win that nonetheless left Washington with concerns about its starting lineup.
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III looks to pass during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. Washington won 20-17. (AP Photo/David Richard)
All eyes were on quarterback Robert Griffin III, who hasn’t remained healthy or played consistently well since his rookie season in 2012. Griffin played the entire first quarter of the game, and completed four of eight pass attempts for 34 yards. He played in two possessions during the quarter, but wasn’t able to lead Washington to a touchdown in either series; the first ended in a punt and the second resulted in a 33-yard field goal made by Kai Forbath. However, RGIII did toss a deep ball to veteran receiver Pierre Garçon, which should have been a touchdown—but Garçon dropped it.
Griffin told reporters after the game that he thought the starting unit “got some good work in,” but wasn’t satisfied.
“Obviously, you want to score every time you get the ball,” Griffin said. “ came away with a field goal on the second drive, but you want to get seven.”
Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson (25) breaks a tackle from Cleveland Browns cornerback Charles Gaines (43) in the third quarter of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Griffin and Washington’s starting offense failed to score a touchdown in any of last year’s four preseason games, and the team went on to struggle offensively once the regular season began. Washington fans are hoping this season won’t turn out the same.
Much like last preseason, backup quarterback Kirk Cousins looked far more impressive than Griffin when he took over in the second quarter. Cousins completed 12 of 14 passes for 154 yards and ran in a short touchdown.
On defense, Washington’s starters allowed Browns veteran starting quarterback Josh McCown to complete a perfect five of five pass attempts for 33 yards, including a touchdown pass to receiver Travis Benjamin. Browns backup quarterback Johnny(“Johnny Football”) Manziel flashed signs of why he was selected in the first round of last year’s draft, completing seven of 11 passes for 42 yards’ Manziel also ran for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Washington running back Alfred Morris led all rushers with 48 yards, and receiver Andre Roberts led the game with four receptions for 71 yards.
Washington starting tight end Niles Paul fractured his ankle in the game and will miss the entire season.
Next: Washington will host the Detroit Lions in Week Two of the preseason on Aug. 20 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.