Looking Past Philadelphia: This Washington Redskins Loss Had To Happen, And Here's Why

Patrick Smith

Robert Griffin III shook off the rust and nearly lead a comeback win against the Philadelphia Eagles. I think it's time to put things into perspective and move on. I mean really, it's just Week 1.

No matter what you thought after the Washington Redskins 27-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles: That had to happen.

Washington's Starting QB Robert Griffin III returned to a world watching, and with a leg that would be tested no matter who played them. I watched him struggle just like you did.  From the sailing balls, miscommunication, to the small debut of "Conservative RG3" (I don't like that guy.). And those stats in the First half? Gracious:

Total yards: 322-75. First downs: 21-3. Time of possession: 20:20-9:40. Philadelphia's 53 plays were the second-most in a first half by any NFL team since 1991 (NFL.com).

It looked as bad as it reads. But you have to remember: Anyone who plays against RG3 plays with a certain amount of fear of his talents, therefore, there's only one plan: Throw the kitchen sink at him. In fact, make him think about his leg every time your defense lines up. Show him a variety of scenarios that's going to make him split his frame of mind between worrying about the safety of his leg and making First downs. 

Kelly's plan worked for the first half, until his own team began to lose steam.  There was no way the Eagles were going to keep that pace the entire game. The Eagles' blitzkrieg offense had the swagger and sexiness of a college team on its opening day. In the end, they had to come back to Earth, and the posture of the Washington Redskins changed from victims of shock and awe to the NFC East Division Champions.

It took the entire game to get that  feeling back, but it did return. This was the mission of Week 1. Winning would have been a great bonus, but it wasn't expected. The expectation was to get RG3's groove back. So for those who hit the panic button wondering if head coach Mike Shanahan was wise in sitting him out the entire preseason, you'll get your answer soon. Until then, I'll be the first to argue that RG3's first game back was not going to dodge the sloppy but cleaned up, rough but refined presentation that was expected.

That mission has been completed. It's time to get ready for Green Bay. All the questions surrounding RG3's ability to come back and play were answered, now he just has to get back to the business at hand: Winning games.

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