Redskins 24, Bucs 22: Ten Observations | WashingtonExaminer.com
On Thursday I watched Trent Williams limp to his car and thought, "No way." It wasn’t like he was moving a whole lot better the next day. During a mini-scrum in front of his locker on Friday, it was pointed out to Williams that he was still having a hard time moving around and then was asked how much his bruised knee was bothering him. He replied, "It’s not bad." Then he flashed a big smile, as if he was concealing a whole lot from us.
"Obviously if you miss too many, your employment’s not very long," Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan said following the win.
Robert Griffin III (26-35, 323 yards) has received credit for how smart he is, but maybe not enough. His brains and work ethic are his best attributes. OK, the physical side is important, but without the other two he’s JaMarcus Russell or Ryan Leaf.
Offensively This Was the Washington Redskins Most Complete Performance: -That might seem weird given that the Washington Redskins have put up more points and gained more yards in other games this season, but this was the most impressive offensive showing in my book
Any kicker who misses three field goals in a 1-point loss has job security concerns, and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan can be particularly spiteful. In one of the more audacious scapegoat moves in recent memory, Shanahan forced Deltha O'Neal to move from cornerback to receiver after O'Neal was beat for a late game-winning touchdown against New England in 2003. Cutting a kicker that just cost him a game wouldn't be that difficult for Shanahan.
"Every week, we always practice me calling the plays [as if] the headset has gone out," Griffin explained. "The funny thing is, the headset did go out on that drive. "It was neat how that practice scenario played out in the game. You don’t want that to happen, but I was pleased."
Cundiff knows this. "We got the win, but that’s not the kind of stuff you want to put on film," he said. "And that’s not the stuff you want your teammates to [see] knowing that in the fourth quarter they have to be able to trust you." Cundiff is safe for now. But "for now" is measured in days. Another shaky game in six days against the Falcons might have Cundiff on the street, regardless of whether the Redskins win or lose.
Battered and bashed in the season’s first three games, Griffin showed he can operate the Redskins‘ offense without absorbing a dizzying succession of hits. The Buccaneers knocked down Griffin 10 times, but he avoided the string of cringe-inducing hits that stalked his first three weeks in the NFL’s regular season.
But hanging on to leads has proved challenging for these Redskins. They were up 21-6 on the Rams and couldn’t close the deal, and they let the Bucs erase an 18-point deficit. "We can’t keep doing that," DeAngelo Hall said. "We’ve gotta buckle down and finish games off."
Everything could change after the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons come to FedEx Field on Sunday. We could be right back to wondering how far down the NFC food chain this team actually is. But Sunday, pitchforks and torches were lowered for an evening.
In only his fourth NFL game, Griffin displayed franchise-quarterback poise Sunday while leading the Redskins to a 24-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With his headset malfunctioning, Griffin could not communicate electronically with the coaching staff on the final, game-winning drive. Still, he kept cool and called all the plays.
"I knew all week I was going to play in the game," Garcon said. "That was part of the game plan to play in the game all week." Also part? That Garcon wouldn't be a major piece of the Redskins' offense. The No. 1 receiver was targeted just once, a 20-yard catch, and was not on the field for the final drive that led to the game-winning field goal.
At the risk of jumping the gun way too early for this supremely gifted athlete, I have decided to take a cursory look at what QB Robert Griffin III has done through the first quarter of his rookie season in the NFL. Here are his statistics as they appear right now:
Robert Griffin III – Stat line: 323 yards passing on 75 percent completions with 43 yards rushing and no turnovers. I can’t recall a bad play he made, and he went 56 yards with less than two minutes for the game-winning FG. It’s clear this man is a high-level boss.
The NFL at the quarter pole: strange days indeed. Cards and Vikings, a combined 7-1. Saints and Lions, a combined 1-7. Rookie quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck are plugging away, playing well, but the best rookie of the first quarter of the season is a kicker from Missouri Western. The refs are back, and guess what? They're not perfect. Your NFL receiving leader after four weeks: Brian Hartline, with more yards (455) than Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Crabtree combined (443). And referee No. 99, Tony Corrente? Alive and well, to his own surprise.