Will Robert Griffin III play? Well, receiver Pierre Garcon said on ESPN Tuesday that Kirk Cousins would start. The reality is, however, nobody knows. Griffin will receive treatment throughout the week and until the Redskins see him practice, there's no way to know if he'll play. What they should not do, and likely won't do, is play him and somehow limit their attack. If he's healthy enough to play, then use him as you usually would. Griffin won't play with fear, and the Redskins won't call a game that way. If you have to limit him, you're saying he's hurt.
Could they win without Griffin? Yes. Cousins will be prepared and has shown that he won't get overwhelmed by the situation. It would change their offense as it's hard to imagine Cousins running the zone read, certainly not as much as Griffin. The key for Cousins will be not getting overaggressive with his throws.
Are the Browns for real? Well, they're certainly playing better as a three-game win streak attests. Keep in mind, too, that they've also lost three games by four points or less, including a three-point overtime loss at Dallas before the streak began. So, yes, they should be taken seriously. But also keep in mind that the last two wins came vs. Oakland and Kansas City. Still, Cleveland is a young team growing confidence.
Why has the defense excelled in the second half lately? Aside from the Dallas game, of course. They're an inconsistent group, but they have some players capable of making plays and that's what's happened the past two second halves vs. New York and Baltimore. The Redskins have applied more pressure in the final two quarters, forcing mistakes and turnovers. But they're still living dangerously as open receivers have been missed on three deep routes the past two games combined.
Is there a real concern over Alfred Morris' fumbling?
Morris did have an issue with this in college, fumbling 16 times in 762 touches. But his coaches said it stemmed in part from him fighting for extra yards while playing for a bad team (and behind a bad line). Still, he now has four fumbles in the past seven games, though one occurred on an exchange. He's lost a fumble each of the past two weeks. Late in the season, when the mind and body are tired, it's imperative to remember the details like holding the ball tighter.
- John Keim