Fast forward to the second quarter. Playing with vision got Hall in trouble on third-and-7 from the Redskins‘ 44-yard line. He got sucked inside following a receiver that didn’t appear to be his responsibility, and Flacco found Boldin over Hall’s head for an 18-yard gain.
And finally the dagger, Evans‘ 35-yard touchdown catch. The play validated Hall’s decision to afford Evans a cushion early in the game. Often when Hall gets beat deep, he is fooled by a double move or is otherwise caught looking into the backfield. On this one, however, Evans simply outran him down the sideline. Evans never separated from Hall by more than a yard or two, but all he needed was half a step because Flacco’s throw was perfect. If Hall had turned his head and found the ball, he could have broken up the pass. Instead, touchdown Ravens.
The negative plays are something coaches are willing to accept with a playmaker like Hall, but he’s got to minimize them.
There were some growing pains for FS Oshiomogho Atogwe, who made his Redskins debut after a hamstring injury sidelined him for two games. The Ravens converted third-and-15 from the Redskins‘ 31 after Atogwe, who appeared responsible for the deep right third of the field, ran to the middle with a Baltimore receiver slanting from the right sideline to the post.
It looked like Atogwe should have stayed where he was and passed the receiver off to ILB Keyaron Fox, who had dropped to the deep middle. Instead, WR Anquan Boldin found an opening just beyond LB Brian Orakpo, and QB Joe Flacco dropped in a perfect throw. Atogwe was late getting back over, and Boldin advanced to the 1-yard line.
Atogwe did make two tackles, including one run he chased down near the line of scrimmage from the backside.
Ravens RB Ray Rice cut backside for an 18-yard run after the Redskins got caught in an awkward situation. With WR Anquan Boldin in the slot, ROLB Brian Orakpo shifted out over him. Not only is Boldin vs. Orakpo a major mismatch in coverage, but it got Orakpo out of the box. The cutback lane for Rice was huge, and it didn’t help that SS Reed Doughty missed the tackle.
Overall, I thought Doughty played OK. He later diagnosed an end-around and stopped it for a 7-yard loss. Doughty normally is a sure tackler, and the Redskins can get by with him in the game (instead of an injured LaRon Landry) as long as he’s near the line of scrimmage and FS Oshiomogho Atogwe is deep.
NT Barry Cofield was pushed back or controlled at the point of attack more often than in the first two preseason games combined, and that’s a bit shocking considering Baltimore was without its first-string center or right guard. “I know I was sloppy — it starts with me, so I take a lot of blame for it,” he said. “I didn’t play my best ball.”
Second-string C Bryan Mattison beat Cofield off the ball on one run and threatened to get to the linebackers. Cofield had to hold Mattison with his left arm to keep ILB Keyaron Fox clean, and it worked because no penalty was called. Fox stopped RB Ricky Williams for a 1-yard gain.
Cofield was a pass-rushing threat, which we’ve come to expect. His two-handed swipe of Mattison’s hands freed him on one pass rush before Williams planted him with a shoulder to the chest. Williams won the leverage battle on that one. As bad as it is for the defensive line losing DE Jarvis Jenkins, Cofield has already proven he is indispensable up front.
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