It was 7:01 AM, August 19, 2017 in Myrtle Beach,South Carolina. It was my last day of vacation and it was time to make the drive home. This ride normally takes anywhere from 5 1/2 to 7 hours. Now on this trip home, I was a little bit more determined to get home this time around. This day would be the day I get my first opportunity to cover a professional sporting event as a sports journalist. Fast Forward 6 hours later, now it’s 1:37 PM, I’ve made it home, but there is no time to just sit around .So I unpack my stuff, then repack some things for the next trip…Landover, Maryland to cover the Redskins/Packers preseason game. At 3:07 PM, the car filled with gas, music blasting and now time to hit the road. After 4 1/2 hours of horrible traffic and finding my parking space, the first mission was accomplished & now it was game time.
Washington started this game off with an 3 and out. On the next play, Washington would regain the ball on the only turnover of this game. Packers KR/WR Trevor Davis muffed punt would set Washington up for a 34 yard Dustin Hopkins’ field goal. Despite having the lead, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense struggled on the first two drives going 1 for 4 passing the ball and only 3 yards rushing.
The Packers first offensive drive of the season with Aaron Rodgers behind center was a classic Packers drive, a 7 min 41 sec, 15 play 75 yards drive, capped off with what the Packers are hoping is a consistent thing all season, Rodgers to Bennett for the touchdown. The Packers were able to spread the ball around on this drive, as well as, Rodgers breaking loose for two scrambles for 15 yards.
After 2 more non-productive drives by the Redskins offense and 1 by Green Bay, Brett Hundley showed flashes of why people think he will one day be a starter in the NFL. Hundley went 4 for 4 on the drive including 38 yard pass to Jeff Janis, that set up a 5 yard TD pass to Aaron Jones putting the Packers up 14-3.
Cousins got the Redskins rolling towards the end of the first half after a 78 yard drive, where Cousins hit Vernon Davis for a 43 yard pass along the sideline, Chris Thompson picked up a couple of receptions and the drive finished off with a Cousins to Crowder 4yd TD, putting Redskins down four 14-10 at the Halftime. Jamison Crowder will be a man to watch out for this coming season. Most people have him as a #2 WR, but with Cousins so familiar with Crowder there is a strong chance he could end up being the #1.
Both teams struggled coming out of halftime, then midway in the 3rd quarter with Colt McCoy now in at QB for the Redskins, McCoy lead Redskins on 6 play, 40 yard drive with a nice dose of Samaje Perine and a Niles Paul 16 yard TD Reception. Perine, who finished the game with 8 attempts and 45 yards,is another player on my watch list. Perine reminds me of a thinner Maurice Jones-Drew with his ability to move in between the tackles and his toughness. Don’t be surprise if by the end of the year, Perine is the starting running back in Washington.
Going in to the 4th Quarter the Redskins had a 17-14 lead, but with 6:16 left, the Packers took the lead for good with the impressive mobility of QB Taysom Hill, who ran for 38 yards on 6 attempts & won the game for the Pack with a 23 yard scamper for touchdown, which included, a nasty juke move on 2 Redskins defenders and stiff arm that propelled him into the end zone.
Recapping this Game, the Packers still have two glaring weaknesses at the running & corner back positions. which they must fix for a chance at a Super Bowl run in 2017. The Packers still have a offense that can compete with any team in the NFL. The Front 7 of the Packers defense is solid and has room to grow. The Packers first pick of 2017 Draft,Kevin King & veteran Davon House will be two players to watch in the secondary, to see if the Packers will be able to contain some of the best wideouts in the NFL. Now the Redskins on the other have to find a way to continue to get better on defense. Rookies Ryan Anderson & Jonathan Allen development will be crucial this season to see if Washington can keep pressure on opposing offenses. On the offensive side of the ball, Washington has to make sure they can get some production from the running back position and in my opinion Perine could be that guy.
So after a long day of running around from state to state and a small celebration to commemorate this life goal, I finally made it home at 3:26 AM in the morning. This goes to show you, if you want something in life & you have a goal or dream don’t let anything stop you from making it happen. The one thing I can say is that this is humble beginnings for me & hope there is more to come.