Welcome to another edition of "What We Learned". My personal way of justifying the money I spent on NFL Game Rewind! In each of these posts, I will document a few things that I noticed when watching the All-22 film. I am by no means an NFL or football expert (although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once!). Please feel free to provide your comments and feedback.
Let's get started!
1. Our quarterback learned that discretion is the better part of valor. Enough has been written on this, so I will leave it right there.
2. We should consider going off script once in a while if we are really doing something that the defense is not able to stop.
This may mean not following pre-scripted plays early in the game. I know this may go against the grain, and I am by no means an NFL coach, or College/High School/Pop Warner for that matter. But sometimes it seems like NFL coordinators are there own worst enemy.
Two weeks ago, Kyle came out with a triple option and pounded it until Cincy figured out how to stop it. Well, actually they never did. But we stopped going to it later in the game before they proved they had an answer. Now in that game, it did take our franchise QB out of danger. But in this game, we had a similar situation and this time our decision to not continue taking advantage of an opponent's deficiency may have hurt us.
Here is the play by play from our first drive.
Washington Redskins at 09:10
- 1-10-WAS 20 (9:10) 10-R.Griffin pass incomplete short left to 88-P.Garcon (55-J.Abraham).
- 2-10-WAS 20 (9:07) 46-A.Morris left end to WAS 31 for 11 yards (25-W.Moore).
- 1-10-WAS 31 (8:25) 46-A.Morris left end to WAS 47 for 16 yards (28-T.DeCoud).
- 1-10-WAS 47 (7:44) 10-R.Griffin sacked at WAS 40 for -7 yards (sack split by 23-D.Robinson and 95-J.Babineaux).
- 2-17-WAS 40 (7:12) (Shotgun) 10-R.Griffin pass short middle to 11-A.Robinson to 50 for 10 yards (56-S.Weatherspoon).
- 3-7- (6:37) (Shotgun) 10-R.Griffin pass incomplete short middle to 82-L.Paulsen.
- 4-7- (6:32) 6-S.Rocca punts 35 yards to ATL 15, Center-54-J.Snow, fair catch by 29-D.Franks.
Washington Redskins at 05:16
- 1-10-WAS 21 (5:16) 85-L.Hankerson left end to WAS 23 for 2 yards (54-S.Nicholas). End around
- 2-8-WAS 23 (4:35) (Shotgun) 46-A.Morris right tackle to WAS 24 for 1 yard (56-S.Weatherspoon).
- 3-7-WAS 24 (4:03) (Shotgun) 10-R.Griffin pass incomplete short middle to 89-S.Moss [56-S.Weatherspoon].
- 4-7-WAS 24 (3:57) 6-S.Rocca punts 56 yards to ATL 20, Center-54-J.Snow. 29-D.Franks to ATL 20 for no gain (97-L.Alexander; 56-P.Riley).
And our third drive...
Washington Redskins at 00:07
- 1-10-WAS 20 (:07) 10-R.Griffin pass short left to 88-P.Garcon to WAS 20 for no gain (56-S.Weatherspoon).
END QUARTER 1 2nd Quarter
Washington Redskins continues ...
- 2-10-WAS 20 (15:00) (Shotgun) 10-R.Griffin pass short middle to 83-F.Davis to WAS 34 for 14 yards (25-W.Moore).
- 1-10-WAS 34 (14:28) 46-A.Morris left guard to WAS 47 for 13 yards (23-D.Robinson; 25-W.Moore).
- 1-10-WAS 47 (13:52) (Shotgun) 46-A.Morris right end to WAS 49 for 2 yards (56-S.Weatherspoon, 54-S.Nicholas).
- 2-8-WAS 49 (13:13) (Shotgun) 10-R.Griffin pass incomplete short middle to 88-P.Garcon.
- 3-8-WAS 49 (13:09) (Shotgun) 10-R.Griffin pass short right to 83-F.Davis to ATL 46 for 5 yards (56-S.Weatherspoon).
- 4-3-ATL 46 (12:35) 6-S.Rocca punts 35 yards to ATL 11, Center-54-J.Snow, fair catch by 29-D.Franks.
So let's recap. In our first 3 drives, we had 15 plays. We ran left 3 times, for 11, 16, and 13 yds. We ran right for 1 and 2 yds. On all other downs, we passed or ran an end around.
Why? I suspect because these were installed. I get it. But it seems pretty clear that we had a good thing going running to Trent William's and Lichtensteiger's side. Now some runs could have been called, and we checked out due to the defense. But I certainly hope that in the future we can go off script when needed and we don't fall into the pass happy offense that got us into trouble last year. Kyle earned some capital in the first 4 games, but this had to at least be highlighted. I think we wasted an opportunity with the success of our run game to the left last week.
3. In this installment, I want to continue discussing what appears to be one of the key opportunities for our franchise quarterback. His ability to read and throw intermediate crosses and long post corner routes.
These routes are key to beating 2 deep cover schemes and can be man beaters with a single safety in the middle. The outside corner is the area left open by these defenses and Griffin has to begin seeing receivers running these routes and pulling the trigger.
Before we look at the video...I want to provide a quick stat that will help demonstrate my point.
Out of 15 throwing attempts made by Griffin on Sunday, Zero (0) were made outside of the hashes on intermediate or deep routes.
In the Bucs game, I saw 4. 2 were streaks which are not applicable to my point, 1 was the trick play with Banks thrown to Paul, so that doesn't count either. And the last was a bootleg pass to Morgan on a corner route. It was actually a really good play by Griffin and where I continue to see opportunity.
I didn't check the Bengals again, but I spoke about the same issue in my last post, so I won't delve into further detail on that game.
Let's go to the video tape.
In this first play, it is second and 5.
This looks like zone based on the circled corner staying outside unaligned. The Skins are in their traditional bunch formation. The routes have Moss running a post corner, Hankerson running to the flat outside,and Garcon running a quick slant inside. A pretty basic route combination.
As the play begins, the Falcons drop into a what appears to be 1 deep zone in the middle and matchup man underneath. It appears that Griffin picks it up and is indeed reading deep to short, as seen here.
Here Griffin see the corner retreating and likely reads man or cover 3. In this case, the flat read is probably correct, and Griffin immediately goes to Hankerson who is open. But as you see here, if Griffin would have let the play develop a split second more, he would have seen the DB way inside and the corner route was wide open.
So, this is a case where I think you see Griffin going through his progressions and reads by the book. We can't be too upset about that, especially in the red zone.. But with a little more time and development, I think Griffin will see this route open up a bit more and trust his receiver to make a slightly more aggressive read. And based on the hands RGIII has on top of his head after seeing Moss, I think he realizes this as well.
Let's take a look at one final play that reinforces the opportunity that exists. This play is from the Buccaneers game. The formation that you see in the result of motion to the inside by Hankerson who will be faking a block a turn into a short outlet. Fred Davis is running an intermediate crossing route and Garcon is going on a deep 9 route straight up the hash marks. Griffin is going to execute a fake and a bootleg to the left..
When Griffin completes his bootleg, he has two options. Fred Davis is wide open to the left with room to run on the right (due to what appears to be a blown coverage based on how the circled player is frantically pointing). But Griffin knows Garcon is on a streak and not the corner that he is selling, and sees the opportunity to go deep and decides to seize it (assuming a deep to short read).
This screen shot is at the same time as the shot above. Here you can see that it will take a really good throw to complete the pass to Garcon, which didn't seem as apparent in the earlier shot, a High Risk/High Reward decision, However, Davis is basically going to get at least 20 yards. In all other scenarios, Griffin seems to take the safe play. But in at least two instances that I can recall (see my last WWL for the other example), he chooses the deep ball as opposed to open routes to the outside.
And as Griffin releases the ball, you see the extent to which Davis is open.
Ultimately, Garcon drew a pass interference on this play, so it worked out well. However, I continue to find Griffin's tendency to throw to the middle very conspicuous. Eventually, defense will begin keying in on this. But I trust Kyle to address this in the near term.
Interestingly, I was unable to find many examples of post corners or intermediate crosses in two games, so this may be scheme related. I know these types of routes were a staple of Kyle's offense with McNabb and Grossman, so I see tremendous opportunity here. Griffin III has the arm to easily make these throws. The question is are the lack of these routes and throws a product of scheme, a lack of comfort or recognition by Griffin, or a combination of both. Time will tell.
I hope you enjoyed these week's What We Learned. I can't commit to creating these every week, but I definitely enjoy digging through the all 22 enough to try to make it a regular occurrence. I am always learning about the game, and this is a great tool. I look forward to your feedback and thoughts.
As usual, UK will likely have a much deeper analysis and I look forward to his thoughts as well.
Have a great weekend and HTTR!! Let's get back to .500!