Linebackers Willie Gay Jr., Anthony Hitchens, and Nick Bolton all played well and showed they can be impactful playmakers. On the first drive, Gay was flying all over the field. He made three tackles and broke up a checkdown pass from Kirk Cousins intended for Chad Beebe. The 23-year-old linebacker delivered a strong hit to jar the ball loose.
Hitchens wasn’t picked up by a blocker and had a free pass on Cousins. Bolton did not start, but quickly made an impact when his name was called. The rookie linebacker would make a tackle for loss on his first play, and then would close down Cousins near the sideline to force a punt. Bolton was also not on the field for long, but made his presence known in the short stint he had.
It was good to see flashes of Gay Jr. and Bolton, who may be forming a partnership by the end of the season.