Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/25/12

Week three of the preseason gave in some circles a hyped match up of the top two selections in the 2012 NFL Draft in Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. Still, it was only the preseason, but it did see both lead their respective first-team offenses into the start of the second half. Here's this week's positional notebook from the Redskins win at FedEx Field on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Quarterbacks

Of the three games Luck now has under his belt this preseason, the game against the Redskins was probably the most "NFL" like. The pressure coming at him was not any different, nor was the game speed or opposition. Rather, the play calling offensive coordinator Bruce Arians provided and the debut of wide receiver Donnie Avery gave Luck more to use.

He again showed poise in the pocket, stepping up several times to avoid the incoming rush, but had a couple of occasions where he held the ball too long and was hit as he threw. The highlight of the day was a 31-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline, done by keeping his focus downfield after taking a step forward into the pocket to avoid an outside rush and put a perfectly thrown ball over the defensive back where only T.Y. Hilton could nab it at the goal line.

Overall, Luck showed he is more than comfortable targeting wide receivers and not just tight ends as he only hit four different wide outs for receptions. He made a variety of throws with different timings too, which should be a staple of the offense at full speed. He finished 14-for-23 for 151 yards and a touchdown passing.

Chandler Harnish came in as relief in the third quarter with Drew Stanton taking this one off. Not much to say as he was just steady and ran the offense without many complaints.

Grade: B

Running Backs

The running part can be ignored as there wasn't a lot of it going on. The Redskins defense seemingly focused on Donald Brown early as the Colts made an effort to get the ground game started. What he couldn't produce in yards, Brown made up for in protection and blitz pickups, looking like a completely different player than in his career thus far. Vick Ballard came on second and didn't have much luck either, but unlike Brown had some problems picking up rushers, one of which helped allow a sack of Harnish.

Deji Karim was the lone back to get into double digit yards rushed, and Darren Evans took a fourth-and-two handoff just across the goal line for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Grade: C-

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Wide receiver could be one area the Colts excel at in 2012 after seeing Saturday's performance. Reggie Wayne having another strong performance showed there are again no worries of him not being the team's top wide out. Hilton had a strong showing off last week's down performance, taking a bubble screen 12 yards for a first down and was on the end of Luck's 31-yard touchdown throw.

The showing of the day was the debut of Avery, who appears to be a big weapon for the offense. Avery caught six passes for 38 yards, going over the middle, taking a bubble screen and showing burst after the catch. Griff Whalen caught everything his way and multiple times gained some substantial YAC.

Dwayne Allen lined up more in F-back ways by taking a handoff from the fullback spot, but dropped a pass off his hands from Luck.

Grade: B+

Offensive Line

Offensive is one way to describe the front five's play as a group Saturday. Namely, it was a rough day for guys like Joe Reitz, Samson Satele and Seth Olsen who particularly struggled as the game wore on. Satele also was called for clipping on the opening drive. George Foster and Jeff Linkenbach lined as the backup tackles and promptly were the key causes to giving up a safety.

Anthony Castonzo was a bright spot on an otherwise grim day. The saying goes that if there's really nothing good to say, then nothing should be said. It will just have to be the case here.

Grade: D

Defensive Line

Not a lot of positives to say about this group either. Namely, the run contain problems were just as prevalent for a second consecutive week. Chuck correctly noted this matchup on Friday as the team struggled. Not a lot of penetration into the backfield and on the one occasion it got a man in, Drake Nevis whiffed, allowing a run to the outside for 20+ yards.

Pass rush was a different story though, as the gaps were created at multiple points to get the linebackers open lanes towards the quarterback. That type of play allows the entire defense to look better because of the urgency it makes the offense play under to get its play off.

Grade: C

Linebackers

Pass coverage, as it was for the rest of the defense, was a strong point in this group. Jerrell Freeman looked good in a starting role, introducing himself to Griffin III on a third down plant job from a blitz up the middle. He later ate up the tight end on a quick out route. Jerry Hughes continued making a case for playing time with several  strong plays on play-action fakes.

It is tough not just to put the entire front seven together in regards to the failed run game. No one was able to do a consistent job in filling gaps or keeping the backs from getting to the outside and ended up over committing on a few plays which made things easy for a cutback towards the middle. Because of next week's chance we will see little of the starting group, the jury will have to remain out heading into the season on how effective this group's play will be.

Grade: C+

Defensive Backs

Great day overall for the group against the Redskins starters. Jerraud Powers and D.J. Johnson made a couple of great plays on deep balls in one-on-one coverage and the entire group held the majority of pass completions in front of them for short gains.

As far as depth, it is up in the air as to who could make the team. Cassius Vaughn was shaky in coverage, Josh Gordy looked lost and Korey Lindsey gave up position on the inside for an easy touchdown. This group should be the story heading into the preseason finale as who to watch. Maybe this is where team owner Jim Irsay's cryptic Twitter trade rumors will fall.

Grade: C+

Special Teams

Pat McAfee still has a steel toe, as evidenced by his 63-yard boot early in the game. Adam Vinatieri made an appearance on a 31-yard field goal he made. Hilton was primarily used as the return man in both scenarios. Coverage on both kick and punt returns mainly went untested, but neither let anything significant up.

Grade: B

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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