-Yes I know he threw two interceptions at the end of the game that allowed the Falcons to run out the clock, but this loss is not blamed on him. Cousins is a rookie who barely gets any snaps in practice, especially with the starters. So it is not surprising to see him and Fred Davis on a different page on a timing route (1st interception). As for the 2nd pick, I’ll be interested to see the game film, but he was under heavy pressure and forced a ball trying to make a play. Cousins had little time in the pocket, and there is no guarantee that Robert Griffinwould have done any differently down the stretch.
-I know many will say that it was a cheap shot and illegal hit on Robert Griffin, but there was nothing malicious or wrong with the hit. Griffin didn’t fully slide and it wasn’t helmet to helmet. Nor could Sean Weatherspoon be expected to stop in time. Griffin needs to throw that ball away instead of taking the sack (I wouldn’t be surprised if they recalculate it as a negative run). Given the struggles of Billy Cundiff the idea of losing two yards is not a favorable one. These are the hits that are completely avoidable, and ones that Robert Griffin III will be better about staying away from in the future. Hopefully the concussion doesn’t have too many lingering effects and he can return next week. They said it was a mild concussion, but the reports of him not knowing where he was or the score of the game are not promising.
– I know most Washington Redskins fans would hate the idea of Rex Grossman coming in, but it probably would have been the right call in that situation yesterday. I’m as big a Kirk Cousins fan as there is, but I don’t see how you can expect a rookie to effectively back-up another rookie, especially coming on in relief. Maybe Kirk Cousins with a full week of work, could start a game in place of an injured Robert Griffin III, but asking him to come in with little practice time is putting quite a bit of pressure on the rookie. Cousins even talked about how little practice time he gets with the first team, “I go in for a couple hand offs now and then to give Robert a breather, otherwise just the scout team.” I understand that making Grossman active means that either Kirk Cousins is inactive, or a spot for a guy like Brandon Banks may not be available, but either is preferable to forcing Cousins into a bad situation.
-Billy Cundiff missed another 30 yard field goal yesterday and while it may not have been the difference in the game, it is possible that it could have changed the dynamic of the game. Regardless of how much impact it would have had there is no excuse for missing a 31 yard field goal. It wasn’t raining at the time, and the snap and hold looked pretty good. Mike Shanahan needs to show that he made a mistake with choosing Billy Cundiff over Graham Gano and fix it. Billy Cundiff doesn’t deserve anymore chances after that missed kick.
-Morris was the one bright spot offensively for the Washington Redskins yesterday (well that and the Santana Moss TD), Morris had 115 yards on 18 carries (6.4 ypc) and added a reception for 20 yards. On a day where the passing game couldn’t get going, Morris helped keep the Redskins in the game.
-Since his 88 yard catch and run TD versus the New Orleans Saints, Garcon has disappeared for the Washington Redskins. Now for the rest of the Saints game and the next two games it was understandable because he was injured. These last two weeks though there is no excuse as he really hasn’t been a factor. Against the Falcons, he was unable to come up with any real big catches (and had some big drops). He had the most targets of any Redskins pass catcher, but really didn’t show up. The Washington Redskins obviously expected more when they gave Garcon a contract that averages $8.5 million a year. Garcon needs to be a more featured part of this offense if the Redskins are to be successful.
– I know the defense gave up 340 yards passing, and allowed the Falcons to control the clock for much of the game (though a lot of that was on the offense), but overall I thought they did a good job all things considering. The Falcons averaged less than 4 yards per carry, and the Redskins got two turnovers. The first was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, and the 2nd gave the Redskins good field position, before the missed field goal. Also holding the Falcons to just 24 points, is a pretty good accomplishment in and of itself. Three of the Falcons points were due to Matt Bryant kicking a 51 yard field goal (yes some kickers can make kicks like that) Whether that kick went in or not, that is a win for the defense to not only keep Atlanta out of the endzone that drive, but to force a 50 yard + kick, which isn’t a high percentage play. One area of concern for the defense was the general lack of a pass rush on Matt Ryan. On most plays Ryan had a pretty clean pocket and he was able to wait for someone to come open. Giving any quarterback 4+ seconds to throw is asking for trouble, and giving ti to a budding star like Ryan is a death sentence for the secondary.