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‘Skins stumble in preseason opener

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Posted at 4:15 AM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 04:15:07-04
Sean Weatherspoon #56 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Matt Jones #31 of the Washington Redskins (Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Sean Weatherspoon #56 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Matt Jones #31 of the Washington Redskins
(Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, Ga. – Kirk Cousins completed all five of his pass attempts on his only drive of the night. But the rest of the Redskins offense couldn’t find the firepower to catch the Falcons in their preseason opener.

Washington was out-gained 359 to 234 in total yards in a 23-17 loss at Atlanta. The ‘Skins rushed for just 79 yards on 24 attempts. They were also penalized 14 times for 123 yards.

Cousins and the first-team offense played one series, netting two first downs but a costly Morgan Moses holding call stalled the drive. Cousins finishes the night 5-of-5 passing for 39 yards.

Running back Keith Marshall, a 7th-round draft pick, replaced starter Matt Jones on the second series.  The ‘Skins defense held Matt Ryan and company to back-to-back three and outs before the day was done for the Falcons first-team offense. Washington took its first lead of the game when Dustin Hopkins booted a 41 yard field goal with 6:14 to play in the 1st.

The 2nd quarter was one to forget for Washington. No offensive rhythm, no points. Aldrick Robinson, a  former Redskins receiver, now with the Falcons torched the Skins defense for 115 yards on two receptions. Look for rookie quarterback Nate Sudfeld to take the majority of the snaps the rest of the way.

23 unanswered Falcons points, highlighted by a 101 yard kickoff return touchdown by J.D. McKissic to open the third quarter, staked Atlanta to a 23-3 lead. Robert Kelley scored the Redskins first touchdown of the preseason with a one yard TD plunge with 4:53 left in the 3rd. That pulled Washington to within 23-10.

Nate Sudfeld’s six yard TD strike to Marcel Jensen with 9:20 to play in the 4th quarter clipped the Falcons’ lead to 23-17. Washington got the ball back with 1:44 to play, down by six, but Sudfeld couldn’t engineer a game-tying drive in his pro debut.

Complete coverage: 2016 Redskins Training Camp

Next Friday, the Redskins return to FedEx Field for their home preseason opener against the Jets. You can see that game on News 3.

The team is back in Richmond Saturday for its final weekend of training camp.