IT WAS OVER WHEN... Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, facing a third down and six from his own 24-yard line, dropped back to pass, read the Minnesota blitz, and took off through a hole in the middlle of the line of scrimmage. Cutting back toward the left sideline to evade tacklers, RG3 turned the corner and raced up the field. Vikings defenders rushed to stop him, but nobody was quick enough -- nobody was even close. The young
passer runner turned on the jets and cruised the last 55 yards to the end zone, with no defender even close to him. He kept running through the end zone, leaping into the crowd at the back of the end zone, basking in the adoration of 90,000 fans. The 76-yard TD run by RG3 was the longest by a Redskins QB in the history of the franchise and the third-longest by any Redskins runner. It was also the longest touchdown run by any NFL QB since 1996, when Kordell Stewart of the Steelers ran 80 yards.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING... The Redskins were 6-12 on third down, easily the best performance by the team all year long. The Redskins entered the game last in the NFL in third down conversions and coming off a 1-9 outing just seven days ago... RG3 leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns with six... RG3 is on a pace to rush for 16 touchdowns this season, which would break the NFL record for rushing scores by a QB set last year by Cam Newton... Washington's win today broke an 8-game losing streak dating back more than one calendar year... RG3 has been known for spreading the ball around the offense and today he connected with eight different receivers and threw to nine... RG3 had all 85 Redskins rushing yards in the second half... According to Rich Campbell, RG3 ran the last 60 yards on his 76-yard TD run in six seconds and the last 40 yards in four seconds... The Redskins scored a defensive touchdown for the fourth time this season, but this is the first time they've won all season when the defense scored... Santana Moss may be back -- he caught a pass all four times he was thrown to against the Vikings.
WHAT I LIKED... Obviously, Robert Griffin is a special talent and the Redskins did not allow small-minded critics to change the way they used him. RG3 has a great arm and great legs and he must use them both to realize his awesome potential. The best way to keep RG3 healthy is not to turn him into Dan Marino, it is to protect him when he is in the pocket. The Redskins did that today, allowing only one sack for four yards.
LT Trent Williams did not allow a sack all day despite facing DE Jared Allen, one of the great pass-rushers in NFL history. Allen's only sack came when the Redskins tried to block him with TE Logan Paulsen, an obvious mistake. Two plays later, RG3 ran 76 yards for a touchdown.
ILB Lorenzo Alexander is a wonder. He moved around on defense and really showed there is more to him than one of the league's best special teams players. Alexander is credited with 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, 5 tackles, one tackle for loss and four QB hits. He also delivered a beautiful and brutal hit to make a tackle in the kicking game. He does it all and he needs to play more from scrimmage.
Play WR Santana Moss more. He's older, but obviously still has plenty left in the tank and seems very mch at home now that he's been moved inside to the slot position. Washington just scored 31 offensive points against a very good Vikings defense and they did it without expensive free agent acquisition Pierre Garcon. Let Garcon sit until he's truly healthy and let Moss get back to getting open over the middle of the field.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE... The offense became too conservative late in the fourth quarter and you could see the Vikings comeback coming a mile away. Fortunately, RG3 bailed the team out with a superman play.
The Redskins gave up 327 passing yards today and it seems every QB they face throws for over 300 yards. It makes me shudder to think how many yards Eli Manning will throw for next week.
The prevent defense the Redskins played in the fourth quarter was awful. Vikings QB Christian Ponder faced very little pressure and far too often the Redskins allowed a Minnesota receiver to catch a pass and then run out of bounds, stopping the clock without using a precious timeout. The purpose of the prevent defense is to trade yards for time, but it doesn't work well if you let the offensive players stop the clock after almost every play.
Blocking for TB Alfred Morris was often poor and I counted at least three occasions in which he received virtually no blocking at all. The Redskins lost 10 yards on those three plays.
Apparently, the game plan today was to never cover TE Kyle Rudolph. That's not a good game plan.
AND IT ALL MEANS... The Redskins are 3-3 and have a chance to seize the division lead by going to New Jersey next Sunday and beating the 4-2 Giants. The Redskins have a defense that gives up far too many yards through the air because the pass rush is poor and the coverage might be worse. Washington is going to have to score a lot of points this year to win games. The Redskins never scored 30 points in a game during Mike Shanahan's first two seasons in Washington. They scored 38 points today, the third time the team has scored more than 30 in a game through the first six games of 2012. Dan Snyder owns the franchise, according to the team website, but the Redskins now belong to Robert Griffin III. The more the coaches realize that and tailor every game plan to take advantage of his almost-unique talents, the better. The previous two years, losing 21 of 32 games, proved there are no geniuses on the Redskins coaching staff. This team is about Robert Griffin III. Everyone must step aside to make way for him. Fortunately, the young man seems to not be the sort to take advantage of the situation. If he stays healthy, the Redskins may well have the best player in the NFL before long and they'd be foolish to do anything other than what they let him do today -- everything.