Redskins-Buccaneers observations

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1 Left tackle Trent Williams was not perfect Sunday. But the fact that he was even on the field says a lot -- as does the fact that he finished the game. Williams barely could move during the week, limping to the parking lot as late as Thursday afternoon. There was no way he was going to play. But he gutted it out and helped with his blocking. At times he obviously couldn't move or finish blocks the way he does when he's healthy. But there were a couple times in which his blocks made a big difference. And he was not beaten for any pressures. Heroic is a strong word, but it was a darned good effort.

2 Robert Griffin III is many things: talented, athletic, fast. But he's also smart, and that part of his game can't be underestimated. It was especially noticeable on the final drive. Griffin enjoys the two-minute situations in part because he enjoys pressure but also because he's so well-prepared. With the headsets having gone out on the final drive, it was up to Griffin to call plays (half of them) and not panic. He more than passed this test.

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Here's the scary part about the Redskins' offense: It has a lot of room for improvement. They remain bad on third down (2-for-11 Sunday), and they hurt themselves with penalties. Griffin, for all his sizzle, is still a rookie quarterback with plenty to learn -- and running back Alfred Morris is the same way. He has improved because he's coachable and hard-working, but he's not a finished product, either. Better defenses await in the coming weeks, but this offense can get better.

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The Redskins still have a long way to go. This was an excellent and much-needed win; a 1-3 start with the upcoming schedule could have proved disastrous. The game shouldn't have been that close, but it was, and the Redskins' defense failed to respond, allowing more big plays. The Bucs entered with one of the NFL's poorer passing attacks yet found a groove. Trouble lies ahead as these issues date to last season. The Redskins talked a lot about them, but they're not fixed.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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