1 Robert Griffin III needs to develop more as a passer in the pocket. His 68-yard touchdown to Leonard Hankerson came from the pocket, but it was off a play-action and fake end around to buy time. But Griffin is still adjusting to life in an NFL pocket. He hangs in the pocket and keeps his eyes downfield, but he hasn't mastered being able to throw without resetting his feet. It led to the interception under duress at the end of the first half, and it nearly resulted in another pick in the third quarter. The Rams did a good job containing him.
2 Having said that, it's also clear that Griffin will bear more of the burden than the coaches desired before the season. Coach Mike Shanahan had hoped the defense would help offset the growing pains of a rookie quarterback. The Redskins did not have the look of a top-10 defense before losing starters Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo to season-ending injuries. This will make the defense's job tougher as well as Griffin's.
3 Zone coverage doesn't work if you can't pressure the quarterback. And the Redskins did not pressure Rams quarterback Sam Bradford enough as he grew more and more comfortable in the pocket as the game unfolded. Few secondaries can cover a long time, but the back seven's strength is not coverage. They'll be exposed the more they have to cover if the pressure doesn't increase. The Redskins mixed in a little man coverage in the second half.
Jarvis Jenkins is still adjusting to playing defensive end in the NFL. Even he admits that, but it bears watching now that he might have to play more. He has not yet mastered what Carriker was able to do in terms of occupying blockers and keeping the linebackers free. That's a major part of the job, and it's why Kedric Golston will have a big role. The Redskins need to keep Golston healthy, so Jenkins will need to play a lot more. Jenkins can be an explosive player, but he too often gets upright on his second step, causing him to lose power as he rushes.
- John Keim