Redskins Report Card, Offense: Game 6
This is the game 6 report card for the offense of the Washington Redskins against the Chicago Bears.
QUARTERBACK: This was clearly the best game of the season for Robert Griffin III, the one in which he looked the most like the man who propelled the Redskins to the division championship in 2012. RG3 completed 18 of 29 passes [with 5 drops] for 298 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT. He also rushed 11 times for 84 yards [7.6]. His passer rating of 105.2 and QBR of 91.8 are both superb, especially since Griffin didn’t wait until the second half of a rout to put up his stats. Griffin was good early and he was good late, leading the team to a game-winning TD with less than one minute left in regulation. Griffin averaged 10.3 yards per passing attempt, a superstar type of number. He did make mistakes. The interception was thrown into double coverage when Griffin appeared to not CB Charles Tillman drop into a Cover 3 scheme and then cut in front of WR Leonard Hankerson to make the play. On the 45-yard TD pass to Aldrick Robinson, Griffin was lucky the pass was not picked off — the correct play there was to throw over the middle to a wide-open receiver who would have produced a big gain. The deep pass worked out, but most of the time it would not. Let’s not forget Griffin’s running, which yielded big gains and important first downs. More importantly, it slowed down the pass rush and opened up the stretch running game for Alfred Morris and Roy Helu. Griffin also looked very comfortable running the “turbo” or no-huddle offense in the third quarter. The Redskins seem ambivalent about this offense, but I’d like to see more of it if it continues to work as well as it has. GRADE: A-
RUNNING BACK: Alfred Morris and Roy Helu combined for 136 yards on 30 carries and many of those yards were hard-won. I counted nine negative plays for the Redskins, mostly on running plays and almost always because the blocking was subpar. However, Morris and Helu kept plugging at it and when RG3′s read option running opened up the stretch running plays, the backs were able to take advantage. Morris [19 carries, 95 yards, 5.0] broke off some beautiful runs and ran with his typical passion and power. The fact that 67 of Morris’ 95 rushing yards came after contact tells you what a tough, hard runner he is. Helu [11 carries, 41 yards, 3.7, 3 TD] also ran nicely and overcame some dicey blocking early. Helu was more patient than usual against Chicago and set his blocks up nicely on all three touchdown runs. Helu’s average would have been higher except two of the scores were from three yards out when the runs could have gone for much further than that. GRADE: A
WIDE RECEIVER: Another mostly dismal game from Washington’s wideouts. Pierre Garcon really didn’t make a contribution in the game until well into the second half and in the end he caught only 5 passes on 8 targets for 58 yards. About 7 yards per targets is not close to what the Redskins need from Garcon, who dropped a couple of passes. Aldrick Robinson had only two passes thrown his way, but he made them count, catching both for 75 yards and a TD. Robinson doesn’t get a lot of burn so when he does get on the field he really needs to make it count and he did against the Bears. Leonard Hankerson continued to demonstrate he’s not a true #2 WR by catching only one pass for 26 yards on five targets. He also had another drop and committed a bad penalty that negated a long run by Morris. Hankerson just doesn’t get open often enough. Every once in a while he’ll have a nice game and give people hope, but he’s not a polished route-runner and his hands are still subpar. Joshua Morgan has basically dropped out of the passing game, being on the field for only 6 pass plays and never getting a pass thrown to him. In his 27 plays from scrimmage against the Bears, Morgan was a run-blocker 21 times. Morgan also committed a penalty. The fact that the Redskins are paying Morgan $6 million to block for running plays and be one of the worst kick returners in football is a scandal. Santana Moss was in for only 17 snaps and didn’t make a case for more, getting two passes thrown his way and dropping both. GRADE: F
TIGHT END: Logan Paulsen had only one pass thrown his way and he did not catch it, but he blocked well enough, mostly for the run. Niles Paul played only 6 snaps from scrimmage. The real story here, of course, is the emergence of Jordan Reed as perhaps the team’s best and most reliable pass-catcher. The untold story is that Reed, who came in with a reputation as a poor blocker, is doing just fine in that area. He’s hardly a road-grader and won’t make anyone forget Don Warren as a blocker, but that’s not his job. As a “joker” or move tight end, Reed is blocking rather well. But it is his receiving that is justly getting the most notice. Reed played only 40 snaps — just over half — and spent 18 of them blocking for the run or the pass, but when he did get to run patterns he made them count catching all 9 of the footballs thrown his way for 134 yards [14.9], 54 yards after the catch, 7 first downs and 1 TD. He made two huge catches on the final, game-winning drive, both for first downs, but was unstoppable in the first half when the offense seemed more focused on him. When throwing to Reed RG3 had a passer rating of 155.8, which is almost perfect. GRADE: A
OFFENSIVE LINE: The downside is that the line allowed far too much penetration in the first half, allowing the Bears to stop numerous rushing plays for negative yards. I counted nine during the entire game, but the bulk of them came in the first half. Clearly, the Bears were committed to stopping Alfred Morris and things loosened up a bit after RG3 burned them with his read option plays, but the line must do a better job of getting push in the running game. I thought C Will Montgomery did a good job in the running game, getting out frequently to the second level on stretch running plays to open up lanes for the backs. The Redskins ran for 209 yards and I saw some of the linemen doing a nice job protecting RG3 on his read option runs and scramble plays. The left side of the line, Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger, held up well in pass protection, allowing no QB sacks or hits and only one QB hurry between them. The middle of the line had more trouble, with Will Montgomery and Chris Chester combining to allow 7 QB hurries. Tyler Polumbus at right tackle allowed one QB hit and nothing more. In fact, Polumbus had one of his better games and stacked up well against any other lineman against the Bears. GRADE B
SUMMARY: Washington’s offense rolled up 499 yards against the Bears, with 209 on the ground and another 290 in the air. RG3 was sacked only once and Jordan Reed had a bigger day than Chris Cooley ever did in his entire career. This was the closest Washington has come in 2013 to matching their efficiency in 2012.
OVERALL OFFENSE GRADE: A