Josh Doctson may not have been able to hold onto the ball long enough to warrant a ‘touchdown’ (despite that being a catch anywhere else on the field), but the second-year receiver sure showed his awe-inspiring ability in Monday night’s loss.
Doctson still caught two other passes for 27 yards in the game. Kirk Cousins threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Paired with his 52-yard touchdown reception the week earlier against Oakland, Doctson has flashed his skills and taken strides toward shedding that ‘bust’ label.
Doctson has now been targeted five times over the last two games, coming off of just one target in Weeks 1 and 2.
The Sports Junkies were thrilled with his performance, despite the final outcome, a 29-20 Redskins loss.
EB: I would go to Doctson more, actually. I see what all the hype is about. I see the body control, I see the way he goes after the football. If he can stay healthy, man, I’d go to that guy a lot more. Pryor is what he is — he’s not a tough, inside route-catcher. He’s not Pierre Garcon. But I still think you can find routes where he stretches the field, you can find him maybe downfield over the middle of the field a little bit. And then they have plenty of other weapons. They’ve got to find a way to get Crowder the ball more. I don’t know why that hasn’t happened. They’re using Ryan Grant more, but I don’t know why.
Cakes: I’d keep feeding Vernon Davis. I mean, Vernon Davis has been a revelation over the past two weeks.
Lurch: There is a lot of pressure on the passing game because the rushing offense is just putrid. There’s a lot of pressure on them moving the ball through the air.
EB: They’re doing a great job of balancing, though. Even last night where Cousins was the leading rusher, I believe.
Lurch: He was.
Cousins led the Redskins’ rushing attack with 38 yards on the ground, most of which came on their final scoring drive in the fourth quarter. Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson and Robert Kelley all combined for 73 rushing yards on a fairly balanced number of carries.
EB: They still were pretty balanced. There might have been one or two more passes than runs; Jay’s been pretty f’ing committed to the run this year and you’re seeing the results. Even though I have my qualms about who’s being utilized, they have so many weapons overall, I’m very comfortable with Kirk’s weapons. Very comfortable. I’d like to see Mack Brown used more, Perine used less. I’d like to see Chris Thompson utilized a little more. But that’s the running game. As far as the passing game goes, he’s got a ton of weapons, a ton of them, and I think we should be able to score points, and it’s just unfortunate that we let that one slip through the cracks last night. It would have been a steal, though. Don’t get it twisted. If the Redskins had won that game, if Josh Doctson had held on and the Redskins were able to keep the Chiefs out of the end zone late in that game, that would have been a steal. That would have been a 3-1 steal.
Lurch: Let’s be honest. After the first quarter, the Chiefs dominated the game.
Washington is now 2-2 and tied with Dallas for second place in the NFC East, behind 3-1 Philadelphia. The 0-4 Giants are still searching for their first win. Kansas City, mind you, remains the NFL’s only undefeated team at 4-0.
EB: Here’s what I know: they’re way better than anybody thought and they should — if they can stay reasonably healthy, the bye week hopefully comes at a good time — they should be able to stay in this until the very end and compete for a playoff spot. And what more can you ask?
JP: They’re better than I thought, but I wouldn’t say way better than anybody thought because people thought they were a .500 team, and that’s what they are! Didn’t you have them at 8-8?
EB: I did, but that was before. Listen, after the preseason, some people thought it was like a three-win team, four-win team. Now, I told you it was stupid and preseason’s meaningless. Hopefully, everyone agrees: preseason’s meaningless.
Cousins has passed for 1,004 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception through four games. At this point in his two previous seasons as the Redskins starter, Cousins had thrown for 1,005 yards/4 TDs/4 INTS and 1,172 yards/6 TDS/4 INTS in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
JP: You pointed to Kirk’s numbers, that he’s projected for 4,000 yards, well that last couple years have been close to five [thousand].
Lurch: Well, yeah, but we knew they would be down.
Cakes: Right. Losing D-Jax and Pierre, that’s gonna hurt.
JP: Well, some assumed that Doctson and Pryor were going to be very comparable numbers-wise.
Cakes: I might be one of those people that assumed they would step in and there wouldn’t be that big of a drop-off. I was wrong! I was wrong!
JP: Hey, Doctson did get the over yesterday in our over/under game, Cakes, because I set it at one-and-a-half.
Cakes: That’s true. He did.
EB: You know what? You’re gonna have to raise that over for Doctson, because he’s gonna be even more productive in two weeks.
JP: He should be!
Eric Bickel is trying to keep Doctson’s slow progression in the right perspective.
“It’s like his rookie year and they’re slowly working him in,” he said. “It’s rare that a receiver comes in — maybe an Odell Beckham does — and just lights the league on fire from his first game on. So I just throw out last year for Doctson. Let’s just consider this his rookie year. You know, he’s probably on pace for what a lot of guys do their first year.”
EB: He’s gonna build his confidence.
Lurch: He’ll learn to catch the ball and come down with it and hold onto it. He’ll learn to do that.
Cakes: He’s got to stay healthy. That’s the chief concern for him.