The Washington Redskins continued their 2019 preseason with a 23-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in both team's second matchup of the preseason Thursday night. After a dominant start by the defense, the remainder of the game consisted of stagnant offensive play.
Here are five takeaways from the defeat:
1. First-team defense dominates.
After a tone-setting hit by safety Landon Collins on the Cincinnati's first play from scrimmage, the Redskins starting 11 dominated the point of attack, leading to multiple Bengals false starts and holding penalties.
On the opening series, the Redskins were actually the ones committing most of the penalties, and their lack of discipline allowed the Bengals to advance into the red zone. But with the road team on the brink of striking first, Daron Payne batted Andy Dalton's pass into the air and Montae Nicholson came up with an interception. Nicholson would not be touched as he raced down the left sideline for a 96-yard pick six with Payne and outside linebacker Montez Sweat leading the way.
2. Dwayne Haskins throws first-career touchdown.
After an uneven professional debut, Dwayne Haskins wowed the FedExField fans with his first NFL touchdown Thursday night. Haskins showcased his intellect, poise and arm strength during his 45-yard strike to Robert Davis in the second quarter. First Haskins signaled to an offensive lineman about a blitzing corner, then he hung in the pocket as it collapsed around him and finally he fired a missile before getting knocked to the ground. The pass landed in the hands of Davis, who did the rest en route to scoring his second touchdown in as many preseason games. For the night, Haskins finished 7-for-14 for 114 yards.
3. Adrian Peterson flashes youth on first run.
The jump cut, a move patented by Peterson throughout his career, was on display again Thursday on the Redskins' first offensive play from scrimmage. After taking the hand-off from Case Keenum, Peterson sidestepped a free-running Bengals defender and burst around the left edge for a 26-yard gain. If there were any questions concerning Peterson's effectiveness entering this season, the 34-year-old did his best to squash those doubts with his first carry of 2019.
4. Cassanova McKinzy has an elite spin move.
With Ryan Kerrigan receiving most of the night off, Cassanova McKinzy received an ample amount of snaps working off the edge Thursday along with Ryan Anderson and Montez. McKinzy's ability to lower his center of gravity while navigating by offensive linemen could possibly earn the former Auburn Tiger a spot on the final 53-man roster. After the game, head coach Jay Gruden mentioned the importance of keeping his pass rushers fresh, saying the rotation of Kerrigan, Anderson, Sweat and McKinzy will be vital to the Redskins overall success as a defense.
5. Several players leave with injuries.
Wide receiver Terry McLaurin (back soreness) and middle linebacker Cole Holcomb (shoulder) were held out Thursday with minor injuries, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters after the game. Both rookies are expected to play next week in Atlanta.
Defensive lineman Tim Settle (knee), linebacker Myles Humphrey (knee), running back Shaun Wilson and offensive lineman Morgan Moses (hamstring) all left Thursday's contest early.
Gruden said that Settle, who has been rotating in with the starting defensive line, "will be fine." Meawhile, Gruden said the team held out Moses for precautionary reasons due to his status as the starting right tackle.