Through the first four games of the season there have been some players who have stepped up and some players that have dissapointed so far. These first four games have been called a preseason by many since there was a shortened offseason. It has been interesting to see which guys could play well without OTAs, minicamps and actual preseason games. Even though Washington is 1 – 3 there have been flashes of talent and the team is still very alive in the battle for the NFC East. Let’s check out the players I think have been Studs and Duds for Washington so far.
Antonio Gibson has been a bright spot for the team so far. He finally had a breakout games against the Ravens last Sunday. He had 13 carries for 46 yards and 4 catches for 82 yards versus Baltimore. Gibson was the second highest graded week four running back by pro football focus with a grade of 83.8. He has the ability to catch a screen pass and break out for 20 to 30 yards. Antonio is great with helping out a young quarterback in Dwayne Haskins. Haskins checked down to Gibson on 3rd down and Gibson ran for forty yards after the catch. The young running back out of Memphis has a lot of potential and is starting to look like another third round steal for Washington.
Terry McLaurin has been the best offensive player by far through the first four games. He is currently fifth in the NFL in receiving yards after four games. McLaurin has put up big numbers against tough competition. He balled out with 7 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown against stud cornerback Patrick Peterson. McLaurin just had 10 catches for 118 yards against a tough Ravens defense. The crazy thing is that opponents know that the ball is mostly going to Terry McLaurin and defenses have not been able to stop him so far. This should be the year that Terry gets national media respect.
Troy Apke & Landon Collins have been duds so far. Troy Apke was hyped up by the local media all training camp. Apke was actually a surprise starter and beat out safety Sean Davis for a spot on the roster and the starting free safety position. Apke is known for his 4.3 40 yard dash but his speed has not been seen in games. He has consistently let receivers run past him for big catches. Sometimes it has looked like he runs with cement in his feet. Over the last two games Apke has played better. Let’s not forget this is his first season as a starter and getting legit playing time other than playing special teams. Apke does need to improve but that can only happen if he gets more playing time and experience. Ron Rivera has stood up for Apke and said that he has played better than we think but so far he has been underwhelming.
Landon Collins has struggled in coverage as he is known to be a box safety. Collins has missed a couple of huge tackles as well. He will always be held to a higher standard since he signed a huge 6 year $84 million dollar contract in 2019. Landon has missed tackles that have led to big plays and touchdowns. I still have faith in Landon but he’s starting to look like another bad Dan Snyder free agent signing.