Early Season Returns: Three Surprise and Three Disappointing Players
1. RB Alfred Morris:
-Morris has by far been the Washington Redskins most pleasant surprise through the first 6 weeks. Morris is a 6th round rookie from Florida Atlantic, yet is currently 4th in the league in rushing with 538 yards. He is top 5 in the league in just about every rushing category and has shown no signs of slowing down. Though he has benefited from the running threat of Robert Griffin III, Morris has also made a lot of positive carries out of poorly blocked plays. Morris has done a great job of fighting for the most yards possible on each run, and has been instrumental to the Redskins offensive success.
2. QB Robert Griffin III:
– Yes Robert Griffin III came in with a lot of hype but he has exceed, early expectations, and looks to be a quarterback who can quickly join the ranks of the elite of the NFL. Rookie quarterbacks aren’t supposed to be this good this fast, so this is an impressive level of performance by Robert Griffin. He’s done a great job of overall taking what the defense gives him, instead of forcing plays. He’s also made some exceptional runs to balance out his passing game, making him a major threat in the red zone.
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3. WR Santana Moss:
-Moss was not expected to play this big of a role in the offense, but after 6 weeks he is tied for 2nd on the team in receptions (16), tied for 2nd in 20 yard receptions, he’s 2nd in yards, 3rd in targets and first in touchdowns. This despite the fact that he’s only been on the field for 62% of passing snaps. Yes he has somewhat benefited from the absence of Pierre Garcon, but only from a production standpoint not a snap count stand point. And unlike some other receivers he’s filling the void of Garcon, and keeping the offense moving forward.
1. OT Trent Williams:
-Now the Washington Redskins saw just how fragile their offensive line was when Trent Williams went down in the Bengals game, and his replacement Jordan Black was manhandled. Even with Williams in though the offensive line has had their share of struggles and too many are still coming from the left side. Now in fairness Williams hasn’t been bad, and in fact you would say it is an improvement from last year. The issue is though it is so far just a slight improvement, which is well below the expectations standard the Redskins promoted this offseason. Right now Williams is still closer to middle of the pack in terms of tackles than the top 5 status the Redskins were hoping for. Given his draft status and contract he should be able to attain that elite level by now. It’s also worth noting that the two games he struggled the most (Rams and Falcons) are both in the loss column for the Redskins.
2. LB London Fletcher:
-This may appear to be off base given that once again Fletcher leads the Redskins in tackles, but that isn’t a great statistic to justify quality play. Many of those tackles are a result of Fletcher getting beat in coverage and tackling the receiver after they already gained a first down. Fletcher’s coverage struggles aren’t the biggest concern, as he has three penalties already this year, and is not the same run defender he once was. Given how much the Redskins pay Fletcher they need better results.
3. DT Barry Cofield:
-Cofield has probably taken a small step back from last season in terms of his ability to stop the run. Though never the elite run stopper or a force that always required double teams, Cofield more than held his own last season. Now he’s getting more easily pushed off the ball. Given how the Redskins are short-handed in their front 7 with the loss of Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker, the last thing they need is additional players regressing.
Who do you see as the biggest surprises thus far and what players are disappointments?