Some this and that from Robert Griffin III’s performance vs. the New York Giants:
…On the fourth-and-10 play on the go-ahead drive, Griffin kept the play alive for 8.7 seconds. Not sure I’ve ever seen a play extended that long before, at least not by a Redskins quarterback. One of the amazing things about that play: the kid was falling forward as he delivered a perfect strike 20 yards downfield to Logan Paulsen. Did Griffin need to do all that scrambling? Paulsen broke free around the 45-yard line. However, there was a safety playing up about four yards away (with another over the top deep, about 12 yards back). But Griffin made a remarkable effort because of his ability to extend plays — I wonder if there are times he doesn’t force a pass because he knows he can still make something happen and maybe get a more clean look. Anyway, as he starts back upfield, Paulsen is waving at him. Just an incredible effort by Griffin.
…On the touchdown to Moss, I have no idea what the safety is doing. There are four defenders in man coverage, but there is no one else threatening the safety, yet he barely moves out of his spot and that enables Griffin to make his perfect pass to Moss. Had the Giants lost, I wonder what would have been said about that coverage (six defenders rushed; all were picked up as Griffin unloaded the pass in 1.8 seconds).
…The problem with playing against strong, athletic ends was exemplified on Griffin’s fourth-quarter fumble. Right after he faked a handoff to Alfred Morris, Jason Pierre-Paul corralled Griffin – before he could secure the ball. Because it was not tucked into Griffin’s body, Pierre-Paul was able to knock it free. It wasn’t necessarily a mistake that Griffin kept the ball either. Pierre-Paul played it well enough that he would have tackled Morris for a loss as well.
…In the final four minutes Sunday, Griffin completed six of nine passes for 76 yards and a touchdown and ran once for 24 yards. But his success in this stretch should not be surprising given his play all season. In the last four minutes of a game, Griffin has completed 19-of-25 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. He’s also run nine times for 166 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating in the final four minutes: 113.91. The Redskins have scored 17 points on those drives (including the game-winning field goal vs. Tampa Bay).
…By the way, Griffin has now gained 100 yards the past two weeks when the defense blitzes and plays man coverage in the final four minutes.
…My initial thought on Griffin’s interception is that it appeared he expected Paulsen to keep running on the route. After watching it again, just looks like a bad throw. Griffin had Paulsen open when he was first ready to throw after the zone read fake handoff to Morris. But for some reason he hesitated and looked back to the middle, then finally threw the ball. Almost thought he was trying to check Niles Paul on the other side and perhaps in his peripheral vision he could see Paul covered by linebacker Michael Bolley. When Griffin first had Paulsen open, his feet were in perfect position to make that throw – both pointed in the direction he wanted to pass. But after hesitating, his front foot was open and he was almost too upright and the pass sailed a bit.
…It’s a shame that the 35-yard touchdown pass to receiver Joshua Morgan did not stand. Griffin made one of his best throws of the game. Corey Webster had solid coverage on Morgan, staying right on his hip and he forced Griffin to make a perfect throw. In fact, as the ball is in the air, Webster’s left arm is almost equal to Morgan’s outstretched right arm. There was perhaps a six-inch window. It’s a big-time throw made with confidence and the pass led Morgan into more yards after the catch – and preventing the safety from getting him. The rest was all Morgan, but Griffin’s accurate pass into a tight window got it started. Griffin didn’t hesitate, either. By the way, Davis never got set.
…One throw Griffin missed? A deep out to Davis. The play-fake sucked up Bolley and that left only a safety in two-deep coverage to deal with Davis. Griffin has plenty of time in the pocket and was looking at Davis as he crossed the safety’s face. Bolley scrambled to get back into coverage. But as Griffin is looking at Davis, Bolley is a good seven yards from Davis. It should have been a big play (Davis might have gotten to the Giants’ 35-yard line for a 25-yard gain). Instead it was a six-yard Griffin scramble. I will say, it was a rather nifty run as Griffin ran to the left and had to swerve back about five yards to avoid the safety and then turned outside the numbers to get them all back. But at least after he hesitated on this throw, he didn’t compound it with a late throw and a turnover.
… One pass I wondered about was the one right before the Redskins’ first field goal, in which Griffin took 6.0 seconds from snap to throw. He wanted Leonard Hankerson in the right front corner of the end zone, but wisely went away. He quickly turned back the other way, barely pausing to look over the middle. Had he done so he would have seen Morgan, who got inside corner Prince Amukamara in the back of the end zone. There was no traffic in front of Morgan, either. Griffin, though, had quickly looked to his left (where there were no receivers) and ran to his left before throwing the ball away. You don’t want to throw in that situation if you’re not sure, but Griffin also had room to lead Morgan, who had a step or two on Amukamara.
…Griffin made an almost perfect pass to Hankerson on the deep ball early in the third quarter. Griffin’s play fake froze not only the linebackers but safety Stevie Brown, allowing Hankerson to get a half-step on him and Webster. The ball glanced off Hankerson’s fingertips; not sure why he didn’t dive on the play.
…Griffin led Paul about a foot too much at the goal-line on that first series, allowing Amukamara to come down on his arms and break up the pass. Paul had position on him with a slant route. Hard to knock Griffin on throws like this because he is accurate, but it illustrates sometimes how accurate you have to be all the time. Tough job.
…Griffin spread the ball around the field well. Here’s the breakdown: between the left hash and numbers (5 completions-86 yards); between the right hash and the numbers (4-32); over the middle (5-57); outside the numbers on the left (3-68); outside the numbers on the right (3-15).
…Perhaps the hardest hit Griffin took occurred with 10:18 left in the second quarter, when he kept around right end for an eight-yard gain. Griffin’s fake fooled end Justin Tuck, who hesitated then shot at Alfred Morris and wrapped him up. Meanwhile, Griffin took off around the end. He should have had more yards, but right tackle Tyler Polumbus was going to help Darrel Young on linebacker Chase Blackburn, outside the hashmark. When Griffin saw Polumbus pop into view, he was forced to cut it up inside (had he gone around him he had more defenders in pursuit). Because of this, Blackburn got off Young’s block and popped Griffin in the upper body. Had Polumbus not been there, Griffin could have slithered through for a much longer gain. Regardless, they scored a touchdown on this series.