RG3 Report: Redskins 38, Cowboys 31

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim,RGIII

 

  1. Robert Griffin III has played three NFC East games. His passer rating: 138.4. Do I need to add anything else?
  2. Coach Mike Shanahan told reporters after the game that he doesn’t subscribe to the notion that Griffin plays even better on the big stage. In Shanahan’s mind every game is a big stage. He’s right, of course, but it certainly seems when there’s something to this idea. The opener; the first game in New York; the Thanksgiving game. It’s not as if he’s played poorly in other games. But in games you would describe as somehow bigger – the season opener, the home opener and the three NFC East games — Griffin has thrown 13 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. It’s not so much that he just plays to the moment, but he does embrace it. Some athletes try to do too much in those situations, but that’s not the case with Griffin. I have a hard time believing he’s more locked in than normal, but it wouldn’t stun me if he were. Honestly, in that second quarter Griffin could have thrown a pass blindfolded and behind his back and it would have been perfect. I tweeted this, but I half expected him to run by the bench and shrug a la Michael Jordan vs. the Blazers in the NBA finals when he went on a three-point run. It should make Redskins fans excited if and when they ever make the playoffs with Griffin. Hard to believe it won’t happen much sooner rather than later.
  3. There were plenty of good throws by Griffin, but one that was bad worked out fantastic when Pierre Garcon turned it into a 59-yard touchdown. Garcon, running across the middle, had to reach high and to the left to catch the ball. Thing is, had Griffin led Garcon then linebacker Bruce Carter would have had an excellent shot at intercepting the ball. Of course, if Garcon hadn’t made the grab then a safety behind him could have intercepted it.
  4. Griffin made three fantastic throws, one of which wasn’t even a completion. But the throw to Santana Moss on the sideline that was incomplete was unreal. Not sure how he fit that ball over the defender. That’s how good a day Griffin had; even his incompletions stood out. There were two others: The sprint rollout pass to Moss in the end zone was phenomenal  as Griffin threw to the back shoulder. Moss made a nice adjustment turning back for the ball and the DB had no shot. A perfect pass. Another time, on a third and 2, Griffin hit Moss, who was nearly sandwiched between two defenders. There was a narrow window and Griffin threw it at the right time. A half-second later and Morris Claiborne has a pick. My notes on that play included the word bullet twice as well as the word perfect. Yep, that’ll do it. Here’s what Dallas owner Jerry Jones said after the game, “On at least two of those throws, I don’t know how you could cover them any better, and there might have been as many as five or six of them.”
  5. And I didn’t even mention the throw to Morgan in which DeMarcus Ware drilled Griffin. It was a perfect throw. Yeah, Griffin showed toughness by getting up. But most quarterbacks do. Not sure how many could have made that throw.
  6. The zone read fake completely froze the safety on Aldrick Robinson’s 68-yarder. Griffin hung with the fake a long time, keeping the safety flat footed. That’s all Robinson needed. At times I’m not sure Dallas knew how it wanted to attack Griffin in the zone read game. The outside ‘backers bit hard on those fakes, getting too far inside so when Alfred Morris wouldn’t get the ball, they couldn’t react. That’s how Griffin got outside for a 14-yard gain in the third quarter (helped in part by a Pierre Garcon block). Another time Griffin ran a speed option to the right; the safety went with Brandon Banks while linebacker Anthony Spencer went hard at Morris. Nobody had Griffin; he gained nine yards.
  7. On the interception it appeared Griffin didn’t have much room in the pocket to step into the throw and therefore it had the effect of him throwing off his back foot, causing the ball to sail on him. His target, Joshua Morgan, was not very open but the pass sailed.
  8. I know there was probably a sense that the Redskins shouldn’t be so bold in the fourth quarter when they had a big lead. And the interception had to scare some people. But on the next series the Redskins played it right. They have confidence in Griffin to make the right decision and to come through with a big throw. It could take a bit to get used to having a quarterback in whom there’s so much confidence. Griffin is special. Not many athletes have entered their professional sporting world with so much hype and then delivered. It’s a short list.
  9. They weren’t going to win just by running the ball. So on a second and 11, Griffin, on his first throw after the pick, connected with Santana Moss for 22 yards. He had much more room in the pocket on this throw and delivered a perfect pass. It’s one of the plays that helped the Redskins run off nearly 6 minutes off the clock after Dallas had closed to 35-28 (as was the third-and-2 pass to Moss).  On that drive, Griffin completed three of four passes for 40 yards.

 

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