In the first half of the game vs. the Giants, the Redskins were cooking on most cylinders. The hurry-up offense gave life to our offense and jump-started the game. Robert Griffin III continued his progression as an NFL passer, adding an aspect to his game I've been calling for in my breakdowns for awhile now; the check-down pass. Everyone enjoys the deep ball and the home run play, but the check-down can be crucial to a quarterback's development. I'm not talking Jason Cambell and John Beck-type check-down passes. I'm talking about taking what the defense gives you and living to play another play. Getting the ball out of RG3's hands quick kept him up-right most of the 1st half. Still, things started to break down and we ended up on the downside of a losing effort. Lets take a look at some missed opportunities that could have changed the landscape of the game.
Here's the first missed opportunity. Redskins are running a Read-Option PA pass. Marked in white is where RG3 should have gone with the ball.
RG3 has a tremendous pocket here. It appears he is looking for the deep ball to Aldrick Robinson like I had marked but he hesitates. Robinson has the speed advantage and the safety is flat-footed.
RG3 still has a nice pocket and dumps it off the Garcon in the flat. Not a bad decision as you can't go broke taking a profit but Robinson is open and an accurate throw would have been a touchdown.
This is the Aldrick Robinson reverse. It should have been a touchdown.
The hand-off to Alfred Morris goes right and Robinson gets the reverse coming left. The entire Giants defense flows with Morris. Robinson has an open field. All Trent Williams needs to do is block the safety.
Trent misses the block. Rg3 gets caught in the middle of it, takes a huge hit and cuts off Robinson's lane. Effectively, turning a touchdown into a gain of 9 yards.
Here's a play-action bootleg in the red zone. Both backside post routes come open.
Logan Paulsen and Joshua Morgan both have open lanes to the end zone. RG3 dumps it off to Fred Davis. Luckily, this wasn't a HUGE missed opportunity because Paulsen catches a touchdown pass shortly after.
Here's one of Kyle Shanahan's favorite plays. The play-action reverse deep-shot.
RG3 drops back but you can see hesitation in his hitch-step. It's probably because he sees the CB stays over the top of Aldrick Robinson and there's a deep safety. I already mentioned RG3 did a good job with his check-downs this game but this is another one he should have hit. Garcon was open in the flat but RG3 takes the deep-shot into double coverage. Incomplete pass.
Here's a play in the two minute drill towards the end of the 1st half. Roy Helu Jr. motions out of the backfield to a fly route at the bottom of the screen.
RG3 breaks contain and the defender with Helu stops. The safety is out of position and Helu raises his hand for the pass as he is streaking down the sideline. Instead, RG3 continues his scramble out of bounds.
Here's a 3rd down play in the red zone. Pierre Garcon is the target at the top of the screen. The Giants are in a man coverage.
One Giants defender from Garcon's side comes down and covers Helu out of the backfield. RG3 is expecting Garcon to go to vacated middle of the field on a post route.
Instead, Garcon stays to the outside and RG3 throws it right to the Giants defender who nearly picks it off. Turns 7 points into 3.
Combine some of these plays with the crucial drops in the 4th quarter and it makes you wonder just how close we were to beating the Giants.