The good, bad, and more from the Redskins’ 29-26 loss in Minnesota.
1. DeSean Jackson. Top 3-5 deep threat/playmaker in the league. His offensive P.I. late really hurt their final offensive drive but 4 catches for 120 yards was his 5th 100+ yard receiving game of the season.
2. Griffin’s start. A dynamic playmaker at times today especially on the first 2 drives of the game. His 3rd & 6 escape and throw to Helu was vintage 2012 RG3. Gruden didn’t mess around making sure Minnesota knew early that they must account for Griffin as a playmaker/runner. An early read-option keeper set up Morris for his biggest day of the year. RG3 had an overall mixed-result day but he seemed sharp early even though he took an ugly-looking sack in the pocket. His late 2nd quarter INT was perhaps THE play that got Minnesota back in the game. Instead of a potential 10+ point halftime lead they led by 3.
3. Alfred Morris. His best day of the year in so many ways. Griffin’s return as another legit playmaking threat helps Morris for sure but his 92 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards with no fumbles.
4. Bashaud Breeland. The defense got ripped apart in the 2nd half but Breeland wasn’t the problem. He covered well and tackled very well.
5. Special Teams. A good day for Tress Way, Kai Forbath, Andre Roberts (his 45 yd return led to pts.), and kick/punt coverage.
1. 2nd-half defense. The defense was pretty good in the first half but the 2nd half was bad. Minnesota scored on 3 of its 4 drives (last drive was a clock-killer) rolling up 205 yards and converting 4 of 5 on 3rd down. I thought Bridgwater did a great job but his guys were wide-open a ton of the time. In fact, some deep shots in the first half were open but Bridgewater missed them. The one to Patterson actually looked more catchable than Patterson seemed to think it was. Why didn’t Hatcher play more? It seemed like he wasn’t on the field as much as a player of his caliber should be.
2. Ryan Clark. He’s much better in the box as a run-stopper but seems totally lost much of the time in coverage. The TD pass to Chase Ford at the end of the first half appeared to be all on Clark who had Ford from the start.
3. Pass protection. How much of it was on the offensive line, backs, and QB can be better understood by the coaches but 5 sacks when you’re running the ball effectively in a close game are too many even against a solid defense.
4. Griffin’s 4th and 6 miss. Bottom line, it was an awful throw and one that shouldn’t have been made in the first place because one pump fake towards Garcon and Griffin could’ve run for 15-20 yards.
1. More on Griffin.
A) I thought overall he played at a B level. His start was great. His willingness to be a playmaker combined with the talent they have at the skill positions will give this offense a chance to be very good the rest of the year. Pass pro didn’t help him but on occasion he could’ve been more decisive as a runner or a quick thrower to avoid the minus plays.
B) There are plays that make you scratch your head. The INT late in the 2nd qtr was horrible. For starters, it’s a throw he never steps into and he also may have been late to start the process of the throw. Secondly, it’s a terrible game mgt mistake. Up 10-zip at your own 40 with 1:04 left in the half is a bad time to throw a pick. It gave Minnesota field position and they scored a touchdown before the end of the half to gain major momentum when it looked like they would go into halftime down 10-zip or worse. The throw on the final 4th and 6 to an open Pierre Garcon was awful. It also looked like he could’ve easily run for the first down which should’ve been his decision given it was imperative that he get the first down to keep his team alive in the game. He looked tired and maybe a bit banged up on that final drive but the run on 3rd & 20 for 14 yards lacked some explosiveness. Add to those plays, the one legit complaint that Griffin doesn’t always feel where pressure is coming from was illustrated perfectly on their 2nd drive of the 3rd quarter when Griffin was flushed left out of the pocket and then turned BACK INTO where the pressure was coming from for a 4-yd sack/loss.
C) He threw the deep ball exceptionally well all day long. The throw to Jackson from his own 9 was spectacular. The deep shot to Jackson in the 4th quarter was perfectly thrown. He also had a deep ball to Garcon that was catchable.
D) It appeared he did a good job at the line of scrimmage with audibles. Two in particular seemed to get Morris into a better run plays.
E) He made some very good throws from the pocket. The 3rd and 4 to Roberts on their first drive was great. The 3rd and 4 3rd-qtr throw over the middle to Reed from the pocket was nice. The touchdown pass to Jackson was on the money.
F) He made some very good off-schedule plays. The throw to Helu on the opening drive was vintage 2012 RG3. He made a huge 3rd & 5 throw to Helu for 8 in the 4th quarter after being flushed from the pocket was the type of extended play he must continue to make.
G) Was he totally healthy after that first-drive sack that bent him around? Not sure but he lacked some of the 2012 burst that maybe I’m just hoping he’ll get back at some point but hasn’t really to this point.
2. I didn’t have any issues with replay results on the first-half plays involving a near-Amerson INT and the Munnerlyn INT.
3. I loved the 3rd and 21 draw to Morris on their first drive of the game. It was the play after an ugly-looking sack taken by Griffin and another sack would’ve knocked them out of FG range. Smart game management by Gruden.
4. I thought the late-hit call on Smith on the RG3 3rd-down RO run was a terrible call. It was the difference of 4 pts to the Vikings.
5. Skins got no turnovers and have just 8 takeaways in 9 games. Only 3 teams have less.
6. The first 4th and 6 play on the Skins’ final drive which resulted in offsetting penalties was a stop and go to Reed in man coverage against Smith. If Smith doesn’t hold, it’s a 30+yard play if not a TD. Wouldn’t have mattered because Lauvao was called for holding.