Regardless of what some pundits and fans say, the Redskins offensive success in the second half(even though they are down) does mean something. What we’ve seen these last two games is two completely different offenses from the first half to the second half. In the first half we pound the run, get behind the chains, and put our offense in tough third down spots (We did it sometimes last year, but RG3’s magic saved us, if you recall for a large part of the season we struggled on third down, and any time we had a major penalty against the offense it effectively ended the drive.)
The only way our current offense works is with this kind of magic from RG3. Sadly it is the same kind of play style that puts him at a greater risk of injury, but I digress. In the second half we abandon the pound it out running scheme for more of a spread offense passing attack. RG3 drops back, makes quick decisive throws and,in spite of his mechanics and getting back into football shape, moves the offense.
So twice we started out the first half with an ineffective running attack and twice we have abandoned it in the second half for a more effective spread passing attack; twice we have scored nothing in the first half, and twice the offense "magically" comes to life in the second half. Some would have us believe that the success is due to the defense mailing it in. I personally believe that the success is due to the offense being more tailored to Griffin’s strengths.
This is what Griffin did in high school and all 4 years at Baylor. All of his senior games are on youtube and you can watch them for yourself. This is the system that RG3 ran when he won the Heisman and completed over 70% of his passes all the while having a Porous Offensive Line. RG3’s potent combination of speed, quick release, arm strength, accuracy, and amazing deep ball is what made him so dangerous and why we drafted him.
But “The zone-run pound the defense scheme worked so well last year” you say. Yes, it did. But that was when we could run the ball effectively, rely on RG3’s magic for 3rd conversions, and we had a defense that forced turnovers and held teams to field goals. This year, at least for the first two games, we can’t run the ball, RG3 does not play with the same magic (for whatever the reason), and we have the worst Redskins defense I have ever seen.
I have no idea where we go from here. The zone-blocking running game is Mike Shanahan’s legacy, and it is inconceivable for him to abandon it for a more spread, quick throw passing attack (even though that is where the entire league is trending). So I guess we just have to hope that the Redskins running game comes back, RG3 finds his magic, and all of the defenses ills can be cured by an offense that converts some first downs. Needless to say I’m skeptical.
Before the season I was brimming with optimism and I couldn’t imagine a scenario where Shanahan would be let go. Now I’m not sure. Watching the Skins play the Eagles and the Packers, I find myself constantly thinking that the Skins slow run pounding offense is archaic. The best offense for the Skins is one that is suited to RG3’s strengths - his great deep ball, his accuracy, his quick release, and his ability to get to the outside. Inherently, running Shanahan's heavy-run attack puts the offensive chances of success on the shoulders of the running game.
When the running game is successful the offense is successful and when the running game struggles the offense struggles. Wouldn't it make more sense to put the offenses chances of success squarely on the shoulders of its best player? Why are we constantly talking about RG3 needing to change his game? Peyton Manning runs the spread shotgun, Tom Brady runs the spread shotgun, Brees runs the spread shotgun, Rodgers runs the spread shotgun, Rivers runs the spread shotgun, E. Manning runs the spread shotgun, Romo runs the spread shotgun, Vick runs the spread shotgun and so do many other teams. All of these teams put the chances of success squarely on the shoulders of their best and highest paid player. The Redskins on the other hand do not.
If this is the offense we plan to run for RG3's career then we seriously have to question why we drafted him in the first place. Can he succeed in the offense we had last year, yes because he’s a good QB and the running game was effective. Is it best suited to his talent and skill set… that’s another question completely.
BTW, this is my first fan post, so any tips or suggestions would be appreciated. HTTR.