-Last year the Redskins offense carried this team, but this season they have struggled. Their overall numbers aren’t that bad, but so much of it comes in garbage time that it is tough to give a lot of weight to it. In the first 5 games of the season the offense managed a total of 16 first half points (their defense had 21), but against the Bears the offense was able to put up 17 points in the first half (and the defense added another 7). The Redskins finally found the balance they’ve been looking for all season as the run game was working. The passing attack took a back seat and came up with plays when they needed to. This is how this offense was built and got the much needed win against the Bears.
-This was the best called offensive game for the Redskins by far. For the first time all year we saw the pass attempts under 30, as the Redskins stuck with the run throughout. This gave them the balanced offense they have been lacking. So much of their passing game comes off the run, so establishing a ground threat with Griffin and Morris was key. Some of Griffin’s best passes came off rolling out or the play fake. Another real positive with the play-calling was the uptempo offense that the Redskins utilized during certain stretches of the game. This really limited the Bears at times and helped make it easier to score.
-Last week against Dallas we finally saw the RGIII rushing ability that we saw last season, but his passing was off. This week Griffin continued to use his legs to pick up big gains, but he also threw the ball probably the best he had all season. Early on it didn’t look too good as he had a couple batted passes and a really bad interception, but Griffin responded well and was much better throughout the rest of the game. His running game was a big part of the Redskins offense early on, and helped set up some key early scores. His best drive was at the end though when he went 5-6 passing to set the Redskins up for the game winning TD.
-One week after their worst performance of the season the offensive line came up big for the Redskins. There were some issues with run blocking, especially in the first half, but they got the job done overall. Griffin had a clean pocket for much of the game, and when he was given time he was able to make the Bears pay. This was the best Griffin played all year, and while some of that is on him just getting better each week, and the good game plan, a lot was on the offensive line preventing him from being in poor situations.
Another area where the line excelled was Helu’s three TD runs. Last week the Redskins were 0-3 inside the red zone, but when the Skins got close this week they were 3-4. A big reason for the success this week was the blocking of the line in around the goalline.
–Reed Doughty did a great job not letting Alshon Jeffery catch the ball cleanly and went it was tipped up, Orakpo caught it and returned it for the score. This was a huge momentum shift for the Redskins and really got the crowd into the game. Not only was the turnover key, but taking it in for the score as well. While overall the offense played well, early on the Bears were doing a better job of limiting the Redskins and had they been able to hold the Redskins to a field goal it could have changed the game.
-Not only did the first half defense contribute with Brian Orakpo’s pick six, but they played a strong half to start the game. Their only touchdown allowed came after the RGIII interception on a really short field. The field goal they allowed in the first half was after a short punt when the Redskins punted out of their own end zone. The defense played well in the first half and had the Bears offense pretty well bottled up. The second half might have been a different story, but if the defense didn’t play like it did in the first half, this game isn’t a Redskins win.
–Jordan Reed has had good stretches in previous weeks, including the first half last week against the Cowboys but he came up huge this week against the Bears. Reed was Griffin’s most reliable target and always seemed to find a hole in the defense, particularly on some key third downs. Reed is no longer a sleeper, and should be an integral part of the Redskins offense from here on out.
-The Redskins finally got a consistent rushing attack going with a three-headed monster of Alfred Morris, RGIII and Roy Helu Jr. The Redskins had over 200 yards rushing and got back the football that won them 10 games last season. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the backs as Morris had a number of minimal carries early on, but unlike previous weeks where the running game was abandoned the Redskins stuck with it and it paid off.