Monday Tuesday AM pundit report is here. The Washington Redskins, led by rookie QB Robert Griffin III, WR Pierre Garcon, and some nifty offensive line play, extended their winning streak to 3 straight, all over NFC East Division rivals, and pulled their season record to 6-6, just one game behind the Giants for the division lead. The Redskins defeated the Giants at FEDEX Field last night 17-16. The big win in DC also snapped a an NFL record 10 game losing streak by the Redskins on Monday Night Football. So what do the media pundits have to say?
Dan Graziano, ESPN
This is unquestionably the case, outside the Redskins' locker room and in, and Griffin is the centrifugal reason. He is the franchise player for whom the Redskins happily traded three first-round picks and a second-round pick, because they knew that the process of building a core group around your quarterback is far less stressful when you're no longer worried about your quarterback. And Griffin has delivered, repeatedly. But what has been happening over these past three weeks is the emergence of the young group he has got around him on offense. And Monday night's victory managed to do something few have been able to do this year -- slide Griffin into something less than the starring role.
The MVP of this game for Washington was rookie Alfred Morris, a tireless skee-ball of a running back who fits Mike Shanahan's offense with utter perfection, building a head of steam, spotting the hole, hitting the hole and running as far as he can before he gets tackled. If you want to know what the Redskins like about Morris, all you have to do is watch the tape of this game, in which he picked up 124 yards on 22 carries. He was the engine of a Redskins' offense that was determined to stick with the run even though it was behind in the second half and seemingly couldn't get on the field. And after a costly third-quarter red-zone fumble that led to three points for the Giants, Morris returned more determined than ever. He got 58 of his yards on 11 carries after the fumble, including the critical third-down pickup that finished off the game with a minute to go.
Our Response: It is so easy to get caught up in all the hoopla that is Robert Griffin III. Why? Because he is changing the very face of the National Football League. He is one of the most electrifying players to grace the NFL in the last two decades. He has revitalized and reignited what was becoming a dormant fan base for one of the most storied franchises in the game. However, to be fair, let;s not lose sight of rookie 6th round pick Alfred Morris. He has been absolutely instrumental in Washington's success the past three games. Given the fact he was such a late round pick, sixth round, makes his value that much more. Let's also give appropriate credit to the Washington offensive line. RGIII was not sacked once last night. They blew open holes for Morris to do his thing. This line is playing excellent football. So when we ravish praises on RGIII, well deserved, let's be clear that the success is not just a one person show. It's a team effort.
Clark Judge, CBS Sports
Let me repeat that. The defense that betrayed the Redskins earlier this season on Monday preserved a critical 17-16 defeat of the New York Giants that might have saved Washington's season.
But that's the second time in their last three starts the Redskins bottled up an opposing offense, and this time it wasn't just anyone; it was Eli Manning and a Giants' club that shredded Green Bay a week ago in a victory reminiscent of so many wins in the Giants' Super Bowl run of 2011. Moreover, it was a Giants team that's a tough out on the road, winning 26 straight starts there when ahead at halftime -- last blowing a halftime lead in 2006.
Our Response: Valid point. I spent numerous commercials last night screaming and hollering at the Washington defense. Too many open wide receivers, almost as if the Washington secondary simply forgot the element of covering opposing receivers. Obviously, Jim Haslett and London Fletcher drew up some adjustments in the second half that neutralized Eli Manning and the Giants offense. Not an easy feat. They held the Giant offense to 16 points and fended off any late game heroics by Manning. For that, recognition deserved.
William Brinson, CBS Sports
With Garçon on the field, RG3's averaging 234.67 passing yards per game, and the Redskins are averaging 27.83 points per game. Without Garçon on the field, Griffin's averaging 209.83 passing yards per game and the Redskins are scoring an average of 24.17 points per game.
The proof isn't just in the stats and the wins -- it's in the game as well. With Garçon on the field it's clear Griffin's more confident in the passing game with a true No. 1 option.
Our Response: We agree. Garcon's involvement in the offense has made RGIII a much more confident player in the passing portion of his game. It was evident in week one that RGIII clicked in chemistry with Garcon more than any receiver on this team. His presence the last few games has been huge. His catches have been game changing. The return of Garcon has been a vital injection of production for the young rookie quarterback.
AJ Perez, Fox Sports
Griffin’s charisma — not to mention his athleticism and what the Redskins mortgaged to draft him — created buzz. The fact he’s churning along with other facets of the team has made the Redskins a contender, even if the road the rest of the way is by no means easy.
Our Response: AJ uses the term 'mortgaged', we prefer the term "investment'. RGIII and the three first round draft picks was a monumental investment that is already, in his first season, yielding huge returns. There is nothing that drives franchise success than a franchise quarterback. Ask the Giants, the Patriots, the Steelers, and the Packers. Washington's investment of three first rounders to get their franchise QB was full of risk, but has turned out to be a clear winner.
Curtis Crabtree, Pro Football Talk
Snyder was excited after the game and congratulating everyone in the Redskins locker room according to Robert Klemko of the USA Today. It was what he told a team staffer that stood out.
“I hate those motherf——,” Snyder said of the Giants.
Our Response: No criticism of Dan Snyder here. We hate those mother f _____ too! There is no doubt John Mara hates competition. That's why he stole cap dollars from Washington and Dallas because both franchises rejected going along with a plan for illegal collusion. Either that, or he was simply jealous that Snyder and Jerry Jones were simply smarter than he was in cap management. So yeah, I hate those mother _____ too! Very much.
Peter King, CNNSI
What's going to make Washington a tough team to beat down the stretch is the maturation of its Pistol offense led by Griffin. In the Pistol, the quarterback stands about four yards behind center instead of the seven yards in the Shotgun; standing closer for the snap allows the quarterback to get the ball faster, and allows more options in the running game because the back isn't so deep and can hit holes in the line faster. As this year has gone on, the neophyte Washington offense with the rookie quarterback and running back and the new lineup of wideouts and tight ends has learned the offense better week by week. I'd estimate 70 percent of the Washington offensive snaps Monday night at the snap of the ball were run out of the same formation, with maybe a few different motion characteristics.