IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Redskins strong safety DeJon Gomes, starting in place of the injured Brandon Meriweather, intercepted a Drew Brees pass at midfield and returned it to the New Orleans three yard line. The very next play rookie TB Alfred Morris bashed his way into the end zone to put the Redskins up 40-25.
Robert Griffin III was superb, completing 19-26 passes for 320 yards, 2 TD and zero turnovers. RG3's passer rating of 139.9 today is second only to Fran Tarkenton in 1961 in NFL history. He also ran 10 times for 42 yards. RG3 became the first rookie QB to lead his team to 40 points in his NFL debut since 1950. [That's 62 years for those of you who didn't major in math.] Griffin actually had a perfect 158.3 passer rating at halftime, the first time a QB has ever done that in his pro debut. Finally, no QB in his pro debut has ever thrown for at least 300 yards and two TDs and zero interceptions. Until today. That's what RG3 did. The humble Redskins rookie QB literally had an historic debut.
THAT WAS GOOD...
- The Redskins ran the ball 44 times and held the ball for over 39 minutes, critical because the surest way to stop the Drew Brees aerial assault is to keep it on the sidelines.
- The Redskins offense scored 8 times and 40 points is a new high in the Shanahan era. The Redskins offense didn't score 30 points in any game last year.
- The Redskins offense was 3-3 in goal-to-go situations, which is the key to winning NFL games.
- Billy Cundiff banged touchbacks on 6 of 9 kickoffs and was 4-4 on field goals, including a long of 45 yards.
- Washington's 11.5 yards per pass play was almost double what the Saints managed, which is not just good, it's amazing.
- 464 yards on the road is pretty impressive for an offense led by a veteran QB, let alone a rookie in his pro debut.
- Saints defense was committed to stopping the run, but the Skins out-gained New Orleans on the ground 153 to 32.
- Rookie TB Alfred Morris, also making his pro debut, ran hard and gained 96 yards and 2 TD on 28 carries against a defense stacked against him.
- Love to see Pierre Garcon run for over 70 yards after the catch on the 88-yard TD. The Redskins offense has badly missed a run-after-the-catch threat.
- The play where RG3 rolled to his left, dodged a defender, then spun and threw, on one foot, across the field, for 26 yards to Fred Davis, was truly amazing. Who else can do that?
- 8 different receivers caught a pass from RG3 today.
- LS Nick Sundberg is a stud. Dude broke his left forearm in the second quarter, but finished the game.
THAT WAS BAD...
- 12 penalties for 127 yards is unacceptable and the coaches need to get that fixed. Sloppy play like that will cost the Redskins wins this year.
- Third down efficiency of 4 for 15 [26%] isn't good enough. The Skins had too many third and longs instead of third and shorts.
- The special teams had a blocked punt, a dropped punt that led to two penalties downfield and allowed a 48-yard kickoff return late in the game.
- Brian Orakpo dropped a ball thrown right in his hands and then laughed about it afterwards. The next play, on 4th down, Drew Brees threw a TD pass. That's not funny.
- The secondary made a few plays, but FS Madieu Williams didn't look good and there were too many penalties.
- Redskins should have tried to get at least one first down to kill the clock at the end of the first half. Instead they played it safe, had to punt, got the punt blocked & returned for a TD.
- Redskins seemed to have some trouble with their option handoffs out of the shotgun, leading to a fumble and a broken play. They need to fix that.
AND IT MEANS...
The Redskins might be better than most of us thought. Washington had a fantastic game plan for RG3 and he executed it to perfection in the first half. He looked pretty good in the second half, too. I loved that the Shanahans had enough confidence in the kid to throw the ball to TE Logan Paulsen for 22 yards when the Redskins were trying to kill the clock late in regulation. The rookie QB looked poised and in control at all times and never made a killing mistake. He displayed remarkable athleticism at times, but most of all he didn't look like the game was too big for him. He made sound decisions, kept his eyes downfield, never looked to run when he should have looked to pass and actually out-played, at least for this game, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. It was a sparkling debut for RG3 and gives hope to the team and Redskins fans everywhere.