Rick Snider: It's too early to figure these Redskins out

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,Rick Snider

A quarter of the way through the season, the Washington Redskins continue to mystify.

It's no surprise they're 2-2. However, the prevailing thought was that Washington would beat St. Louis and lose to New Orleans and not vice versa.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III is better than expected, which is kind of like saying Usain Bolt is faster than anyone thought.

But receiver Pierre Garcon, the big offseason free agent signing, has done little. Sure, he had an 88-yard touchdown reception in the season's first 15 minutes, but he suffered a foot injury on the play and didn't return until Sunday at Tampa Bay, where his cheap shot penalty nearly inspired a comeback win for the Bucs.

The offensive line appeared set to be awful after some preseason injury woes. Instead, Griffin remains healthy and the running game is solid.

Tight ends too often seem absent in the passing game, though. Fred Davis has a team-high 15 catches but no touchdowns and only a few big plays. Niles Paul has only four catches. Neither has been able to replace Chris Cooley.

Alfred Morris may be the most famous Alfred since Batman's butler if he maintains his production. The sixth-round selection -- the pick was obtained from Minnesota in the Donovan McNabb trade -- has rushed for 376 yards and four touchdowns. Times four, that's 1,504 yards and 16 touchdowns. Realistically, a 1,200-yard season seems possible.

There's nothing behind Morris in the backfield, though. Roy Helu is on injured reserve, and Evan Royster has been bothered by injuries. Maybe free agent Ryan Grant will emerge later, but Morris has to do it all.

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has broken out in his second season, somewhat offsetting the loss of injured Brian Orakpo for the season. It's not a big surprise after a solid rookie season, but the fact that he's producing without Orakpo on the other side to balance the blocking is impressive.

The secondary has been roughed up more than a deadbeat bettor, though. The Redskins desperately needed safeties, and one was banned for the season, and another has been hurt. It's hard to blame cornerback DeAngelo Hall, though. He simply has been beaten on a handful of perfect passes.

Sav Rocca is having another solid punting season. With a bad defense, every yard helps.

But deep snapper Nick Sund?berg is hurt, and kicker Billy Cundiff missed three field goals against Tampa Bay. He would have been unemployed before he left the locker room had he not made the game-winner. Still, Cundiff seems one miss away from exile.

Victories like Sunday's make the Redskins seem like an 8-8 team.

Losses make it feel more like a 4-12 one.

Former Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell once said it was too early to assess the season. That was in the 15th game. A quarter of the way into this season, it's uncertain how the Redskins will fare.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

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