The Washington Redskins began their 2019 campaign with a 30-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns in both team's preseason opener Thursday night. In spots, the team showed promise. At times, it looked overmatched. Below are the key takeaways from the defeat:
1. Jimmy Moreland shines in debut
The rookie cornerback did not disappoint in his burgundy and gold debut, recording a team-high six tackles (five solo), three pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
Moreland quickly strengthened his case to make the final 53-man roster with a defensive sequence on the goal line during the first quarter of Thursday's matchup. On a 2nd-and-goal play from the 1-yard line, Moreland boxed out the opposing receiver to break up a fade route. Two plays later Moreland was tested to the inside on a slant that he quickly denied with a pass breakup.
The final play of the series was Moreland's most impressive. On a dive play to the right, Moreland burst around the edge, broke down and then planted his facemask on the football to force a fumble that linebacker Cassanova McKinzy recovered.
Working at both inside and outside corner spots throughout the game, Moreland's debut will go down as one to remember if the rookie corner develops into an immediate contributor in Washington.
2. Keenum stays simple, while Haskins flashes with room for improvement
Case Keenum received the start under center and was efficient during his brief appearance. Attempting just 11 passes, Keenum finished with a 103.9 quarterback rating and threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Robert Davis midway through the first quarter.
Haskins' night included spells of quality as well as expected rookie mistakes. On his first play in a Redskins uniform, Haskins rolled to his right and connected with a crossing Darvin Kidsy for a first-down. With three preseason games remaining until Week 1, Haskins will receive ample opportunity to work against live defenses. After playing both the second and third quarters in Cleveland, Haskins will make his FedExField debut next week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
3. Several starters sit
Thursday's starting defense included just a few starters: inside linebackers Jon Bostic and Shaun Dion Hamilton, outside linebacker Ryan Anderson and corner Fabian Moreau. This was by design, as proven first teamers seldom play in preseason openers.
The starting offense also looked different, with center Chase Roullier, right guard Brandon Scherff and right tackle Morgan Moses receiving the night off. Running backs Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson also did not play.
4. Tim Settle, Ryan Bee lead defensive line
Tim Settle and Ryan Bee were standouts among the defensive line Thursday. Settle routinely blew past opposing blockers and took ball carriers to the ground before the play could develop. His improvement this offseason has the second-year lineman in a mindset to dominate.
Bee, an undrafted free agent out of Marshall, recorded the only sack among Redskins defenders. McKinzy's pressure around the right edge forced the opposing quarterback to step up into the pocket, and Bee was right there for the take down to close out the first half.
5. Robert Davis, Darvin Kidsy headline receiving core
Both Keenum and Haskins preferred one target in particular Thursday night.
For Keenum it was Davis, who not only drew a lengthy pass interference call but also caught the team's only touchdown of the game. After missing all of last season with an injury, Davis hauled in his lone reception for a 46-yard score in the first quarter.
Kidsy did not find the end zone, but the second-year player was the Redskins' leading receiver with five catches for 86 yards.