- Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was great in the loss to St. Louis. Griffin produced 206 passing yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT for a passer rating of 86.3. However, if you were to add his 8 rushing attempts, 82 rushing yards, and 2 rushing TDs to his passing totals, Griffin’s passer rating would have been 113.3. The latter rating is a better indicator of how RGIII played. This game was gritty, physical, and chippy. He delivered time and again with pressure in his face, showed a veteran’s poise, and refused to acquiesce to the fact that he was a rookie in an emotionally intense environment. With the Redskins trailing late in the 4th quarter, RGIII drove his team down the field and gave them the opportunity to, at the very least, tie the game before Josh Morgan’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty took the game out of his hands. This guy looks every bit the part of a quarterback who is ready to win now.
- WR Josh Morgan not only pushed a 47-yard game-tying field goal back to a 62-yard attempt with his penalty, but he also lost a chance to extend the drive by attempting to get out of bounds instead of immediately turning up field and securing the first down. How big of an impact could this have been? Well, even if Morgan still threw the ball at Finnegan after the play, the Redskins would have had a fresh set of downs to work with. Instead of being 4th & 16 at the Rams’ 45 yard-line after the penalty, it would have been 1st & 10 at the Rams’ 44. The penalty would have been stupid, but it wouldn’t necessarily have cost the Redskins the game.
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- While Morgan’s penalty was inexcusably stupid, he is currently the Redskins’ second-most efficient WR (Garcon is first). Morgan was targeted five times by RGIII; he finished with five receptions for 50 yards. Against New Orleans, Morgan was targeted twice with one reception. That means RGIII is currently completing 85.7% of the passes he targets Morgan with. Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Aldrick Robinson, and Dezmon Briscoe all have a lower completion percentage. Morgan is a big piece of this offense and while he’s understandably being vilified for his gaffe at the end of the game, the Redskins are a better team when he’s on the field.
- Other plays that could have made the difference between winning and losing? Robert Griffin III’s interception with under 2-minutes to go in the first half (turned into 3-points for St. Louis); the punt block against Sav Rocca (turned into Rams TD); dropped 60-yard pass by Aldrick Robinson (pass would have set the Redskins up in the red zone; instead, the drive ended in a punt).
- The replacement refs were awful all game long; however, they cannot realistically be blamed for any part of the Redskins’ loss. The Rams were robbed of two potential touchdowns in the first half, which would have had a far greater impact on the outcome of the game than any of the other (egregious) mistakes we saw.
- The Redskins won the turnover battle for the second time this season, forcing three while only giving up one. Winning the turnover battle is a hallmark of team prepared for season-long success. However, realistically, you have to add two extra plays to the “turnover” statistic that are not currently being counted: the two punt blocks given up by the Special Teams unit. Additionally, the Redskins boast a stat-padding takeaway on their resume: Reed Doughty’s INT on the final Hail Mary attempt by Brees in week 1, which really isn’t an indication of the ability of this defense to force turnovers. If you count the punt blocks and discount Doughty’s INT, the Redskins have four takeaways and three turnovers on the season.
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- The Redskins had 11 penalties for 96 yards against the Rams. They had 12 penalties for 127 yards against the Saints. This many penalties is the exact opposite of a hallmark of a team prepared for season-long success.
- Robert Griffin III completed passes to eight different players for the second straight game. This team is going to be diverse in its targets all season long.
- For the second straight game, the Redskins were poor on third down conversions. The Redskins went 4-13 (30.8%) against the Rams. Against New Orleans, the Redskins were 4-15 (26.7%). The Redskins’ current season-long third down conversion percentage (28.6%) would have been good enough for 31st in the NFL in 2011. That’s not nearly good enough.
- Even with 28.6% third down conversions, the Redskins are averaging 416 yards per game through two weeks. That would have been 3rd best in the NFL in 2011. That’s a testament to the explosive plays this offense is currently producing.
- The ageless wonder that is London Fletcher saved points for the Redskins by intercepting Sam Bradford in the endzone, and then gave the Redskins the opportunity to tie the game late in the 4th quarter by forcing a fumble on Daryl Richardson as the Rams were icing the game. He is still the key to the success of the Redskins’ defense.
- Stephen Bowen continued his disruptive season with one sack, two QB hits, one tackle for loss, and another pass batted at the line of scrimmage.
- Despite Bowen’s disruptive day in the passing game, the Rams owned the Redskins on the ground. Daryl Richardson and Steven Jackson averaged 5.9 yards per carry. The Rams accomplished that without the help of their starting pro-bowl center and their starting left tackle.
- One week after holding Drew Brees to under 50% completion, the Redskins’ defense allowed Sam Bradford to complete 74% of his passes. He was especially efficient to Danny Amendola, who caught 15 of the 16 passes that were thrown in his direction (93.8%).
- The Rams converted 7 of their 12 third down opportunities (58.3%). The NFL record in a single season is 56.7% conversion (New Orleans in 2011).
- Despite the Redskins’ poor third down conversion percentage, the offense was decent at holding the ball. The Redskins had 28:36 time of possession on 11 total drives. That is an average of 2:36 per possession. The Rams held the ball an average of 2:14 per possession. Against New Orleans, the Redskins held the ball for 3:01 per possession.
- Billy Cundiff has made one field goal in the last eight years of a distance greater than 50 yards. Cundiff’s game-tying 62-yard attempt fell well short and well wide of the mark.