Washington Redskins Quick Thoughts From Week 6
1. Robert Griffin III is electric:
-One week after having a game to forget, Griffin came back with a very strong all-around game. Even before he broke a 76 yard touchdown run to seal the game late in the 4th quarter, Griffin was having a strong game both running and passing, and had done enough to get the Washington Redskins their first home victory in over a year. Robert Griffin III over came an early interception, to go 17-22 for 182 and a touchdown. The Redskins utilized a quicker passing game to neutralize Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, and to help protect Griffin. Griffin picked Minnesota apart on some key drives, and when things broke down picked up some yards with his legs (while avoiding many unnecessary hits). All-around it was one of Griffin's strongest games this season, and by far his best game at home.
2. New Kicker Comes Through:
-The Washington Redskins didn't get a chance to ease their new kicker, Kai Forbath into his duties with an easy kick, as Forbath's first NFL kick was a 50 yard attempt with the Vikings already up 9-0. The extra distance and pressure of the situation didn't matter as Forbath drilled the kick, and probably would have made it from another 5-7 yards. Forbath now gives the Washington Redskins a chance to at least attempt long field goals, something they didn't have with Billy Cundiff, and more confidence with total accuracy. His kickoffs weren't as good as Billy Cundiff's, but they weren't awful by any means.
3. What a difference Pressure Makes:
-Last week the Washington Redskins defense barely came close to Matt Ryan, and he was able to pick apart the Redskins secondary at will, This week Christian Ponder was able to put up big numbers against the Redskins defense, but it came at a cost. Pressure forced four sacks including a fumble that set up the 2nd touchdown. Pressure also forced some off target throws, including the Vikings final pass of the game which was intercepted by DeAngelo Hall in the end zone. The Washington Redskins defense isn't that good, so they need to generate pressure to come up with big plays which can be the difference between a win or a loss.
4. 3rd down No Problem:
-The Washington Redskins came into the game with the worst 3rd down conversion percentage in the game, but were 6-12 on Sunday (including Griffin's 76 yard scamper). The Redskins started off poorly (2-6 in the first half), but did much better in the 2nd half of the game, which helped extend drives, and keep the Vikings off the field. No bigger conversion was the one of Griffin's scamper, as the Vikings were set to get the ball back with over 2 minutes and 1-2 timeouts (they likely would have called their second timeout had they held on third down), and would have taken the lead with a touchdown. Griffin's run picked up the first down (and then eventually a touchdown), and was a major deciding point in the game. Even if he hadn't have scored on the play, the first down, would have helped in the field position department, and forced the Vikings to burn their timeouts and the two minute warning.
5. Why is Brandon Banks touching the ball late in the 4th Quarter?:
-I know everyone thinks he's a "weapon", but let's look at the numbers. Zero kickoff return yardage, because the Vikings kicked it through the end zone on just about every kickoff. One punt return yard, on his single return. In the Redskins option style attack, Banks managed negative 2 yards on two attempts. Receiving Banks was a bit more effective,with 3 yards on two catches. The worst though was his final catch, where he caught the ball out in the flat after the Vikings scored to make it an 11 point game, and fumbled the ball (after gaining zero yards). Luckily for both Banks and the Redskins the fumble bounced out of bounds. Had a Vikings player recovered it it would have given Minnesota excellent field position, with about 8 minutes remaining and the momentum (also easily could have been a scoop and score type of play). When you are trying to run out the clock, why would you rely on a guy with chronic ball security problems? That was a horrible play call by the Redskins and one they need to avoid going forward.