Feel free to look back right after the NFL schedule was released, when I called that the Redskins would go to New Orleans week one and leave victorious. A lot had to go right and the five keys I outlined last week had to happen for the Skins to take down Drew Brees and the Saints. That happened and Robert Griffin III is the talk of the NFL.
RG3 showed us from the first series he is a NFL ready starter and a leader. Many questioned Mike Shanahan’s decision to limit Griffin in the preseason, but it didn’t show. As for the Shanahans, I really hope that fans will understand what Kyle brings to this team. I loved the game plan especially the first two series of the game. Kyle showed what he is capable of once he had players to work with. I have to give my friend Kingston credit, when he said last spring the offense would change completely with the addition of a Griffin, Luck or Manning. Sunday looked like a completely different team from the past 10-15 years. I know it’s only one game but every fan should be giddy about where this is going.
Griffin is an obvious choice for offensive MVP, but who brought in the defense? London Fletcher was a man like always and Ryan Kerrigan made plays all day. But I am going with Cedric Griffin. He was everywhere against a potent offensive passing game. The Skins will need this all season with the shaky play of DeAngelo Hall and the “always getting nicked up” Josh Wilson. I was thrilled that the defense was able to fluster Brees most of the day. And great for a guy like Chris Wilson to contribute with Orakpo just getting back from injury.
Back to Griffin now. His character and physical ability is what made us feel confident he could be a good one, but how impressive was his poise? RG3 was able to drop back in control, avoid any pressure, and then make plays. I didn’t expect to see the accuracy he showed right off the bat either. Much will be said about the 88 yard pass to Garcon (which was more great catch than toss), but I was most impressed with another play. The play that made me know we have something special was when Griffin avoided the rush and threw across the field to Fred Davis via rocket arm. That was the best toss by a Skins QB since Jeff George hit Irving Fryer on a long TD on Monday Night in St. Louis. I hope I just didn’t jinx RG3 since that was George’s only solid play.
As for other solid play, I did like what we got from new kicker Billy Cundiff on field goals and kickoffs. Gano would have been 3 of 4 in that game for sure. And Cundiff limited Darren Sproles to nothing in the return game. Disappointed by the block punt since I thought Sav Rocca may have been our best player last season. So I am not concerned as for now.
Finally, one of my keys was that Mike Shanahan and his staff had to work the Saints undermanned staff, and they did. The Shanahans had the Saints guessing all day and after starting pass heavy early moved to a ground and pound with Morris that was Riggo-esque in the second half. Love what I saw out of Morris all day as he continued to push defenders back for extra yards against a beaten Saints D.
So it’s on the road again to St Louis to play the Rams who almost shocked Detroit on their home field Sunday. The Rams already seem to be a different team with Jeff Fisher. We will look at that one later in the week once I stop my shaking from this week’s performance.