Redskins 45 Bears 41: Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down
TE Jordan Reed had a huge game today, catching nine passes on nine passes thrown his way for 134 yards, seven first downs and one TD. It’s the most receiving yards for a rookie TE in franchise history and the most receiving yards by any Redskins rookie since 2001. Reed now has 26 catches for 298 yards [11.5] and 2 TD in only five games, clearly moving into second place to Pierre Garcon among Redskins receivers. With Fred Davis listed as probable on the injury chart, but left inactive on game day, it is clear Reed is now the starting tight end and will receive the vast majority of passes thrown to the position. Reed, a former basketball player, uses his immense athleticism and basketball moves to elude defenders; he’s open on virtually every passing down he goes out on a pattern. While not a good blocker yet, Reed has actually out-performed expectations in this area. However, Reed was drafted to catch passes and that’s how he’ll make his bones in the NFL. On the game-winning drive today Reed was the top target repeatedly and he came through every time. The early signs are very, very good. Washington has a deadly weapon at tight end again.
QB Robert Griffin III threw an interception today, his sixth of the season — more than he threw in 15 games last year. He also missed TE Logan Paulsen wide open in the end zone. Otherwise, though, RG3 was vintage 2012 today, throwing accurately, running confidently, and making big plays off play-action. He completed 18 of 29 [62%] for 298 yards [10.3], 2 TD, 1 INT and rushed for 84 yards on 11 carries [7.6]. Best of all, on that 10-play 80-yard game-winning drive, Griffin made huge plays, including a scramble to the right sideline on third and six when he hit Garcon with a perfect pass into a tight window for seven yards and a first down. He also opened the drive with a 26-yard pass over the middle to Reed and then connected with the rookie again for 10 yards on third and four from the 13-yard line. Washington scored the winning TD on the very next play. With 382 yards of total offense and fearless general-ship in the games’s final moments, Griffin proved he’s as good as ever. He picked the right time to have, easily, the best game of his season.
Honorable Mention: RB Roy Helu, RB Alfred Morris, CB DeAngelo Hall.
SS Brandon Meriweather is a disgrace. He got two more penalties for targeting defenseless receivers with his helmet, extending drives and giving the Bears 30 free yards. Bears WR Brandon Marshall has had it with Meriweather:
“Guys like that really don’t understand that there is life after football,” Marshall said. “I respect the league trying to better our game and guys like that, maybe he needs to get suspended or taken out of the game completely. I understand. I get it. I was one of those guys. I played defense growing up. I was a headhunter. Even sometimes on the offensive side, I played that way. But with rules in place, you’ve gotta respect it.
“Guys like that just don’t understand. Those are the guys that are in trouble. They really don’t have anything to do after football because they think it is all about football. Guys like that, it’s tough.”
I completely agree. What’s more, he’s not even a good safety anymore. The NFL should suspend Meriweather for a year for what he has done and continues to do. However, the Redskins should not leave it to the NFL, they should just cut Meriweather tomorrow. If he was a top-flight safety I could understand keeping him around, but he’s not. He’s a below-average player who has no idea how to tackle. He either commits a penalty or he misses the tackle. He’s not a good player and now he is bringing the entire team into disrepute with his ugly style of play. He’s got no place in the league and no place wearing the burgundy and gold. Get rid of him now!
Special Teams continues to be a huge problem for the Redskins. Washington gave up an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown today, the second straight game with a punt return for a TD and the third straight game in which the special teams has given up a touchdown. They have allowed a blocked punt, a fake punt and today would have given up an on-sides kick if not for a save when a Bears player was offsides on the kick. What’s more, the special teams doesn’t make any big plays. KR Josh Morgan, who should not be returning kicks, averaged under 18 yards per return today. He couldn’t even get the ball to the 20-yard line when the ball didn’t reach the end zone. The Redskins must be the only team in the NFL where the correct strategy is NOT to kick a touchback because the return game is so weak. What’s more, Morgan fumbled a kickoff return, though Niles Paul recovered it. Paul had his own trouble — it was his missed tackle on Devin Hester that allowed the 81-yard punt return for a TD.