What we learned about the Redskins in their win vs. the Vikings

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1

Quarterback Robert Griffin III will play the same, though he's learning when to be reckless and when to get out of bounds. The fact that he did so on some bootleg runs Sunday wasn't a surprise; it's what he has done in other games off those plays. But his 7-yard quarterback draw in the red zone can't be run with timidity. And he was aggressive in trying to score, even diving into the end zone as he was hit. So he always will be exposed to potential big hits -- though he avoided at least one when he slid a yard early in a non-scoring chance. But Griffin also swerves enough on cuts to make it harder for defenders to get a clean shot. That's one reason, along with sliding and going out of bounds, that he was rarely hit hard if at all Sunday.

2 Fullback Darrel Young is a good weapon to use on occasion. It would be easy to say he should get the ball more, but the tough part is that this offense wants to get the ball down the field; that means receivers and tight ends. But Young provided a reminder that he can help when called upon. It gives teams something else to think about in the red zone, too. With Minnesota focused on stopping running back Alfred Morris, Young was able to sneak into the flat and catch the ball at the 6-yard line. Where Young stood out on the play was his ability to catch and turn upfield without losing steam. Not every fullback could do the same.

3 The NFC East has issues, which is good news for the Redskins, of course. The Redskins' flaws are well-known, yet they're only one game out of first place, and a win Sunday at the New York Giants perhaps would stamp them as contenders -- as long as Robert Griffin III is upright, that is. The Giants are in first place but already have two division losses. Dallas and Philadelphia have received sporadic quarterback play; both teams rank in the top 11 in total offense yet are 24th and 31st in scoring, respectively. All it means is this: No team has proved it is above the others. And the Redskins have not proved that they're below any of them.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner