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How It Should Be Remembered: The Redskins' Loss At The Giants In Week 15
by Al Galdi
Dec 17, 2014 -- 7:15pm
ESPN 980

The Redskins fell to 3-11 with a 24-13 loss at the Giants on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 14, 2014).  Here were the 10 most important items from the game:


1. Familiar spots


ESPN 980This loss clinched the Redskins finishing last in the NFC East for the sixth time in seasons.  The loss also clinched the Redskins finishing with a 1-7 road record for a second consecutive season.    


2. Bad offense

There are many reasons for this, but the bottom line is that the Redskins are a bad offensive team and have been for a while.  Since the 37-34 loss at Philadelphia in Week 3, they are averaging 16.0 points per game (176 points over 11 games).

The Redskins allowed seven sacks, marking the sixth consecutive game in which they gave up five or more sacks.  The Redskins exited Week 15 31st out of 32 NFL teams in fewest sacks allowed with 53.  The single-season franchise record for sacks allowed is 61 in 1998. 

The Redskins went 4-for-14 on third downs and exited Week 15 30th out of 32 NFL teams in third-down efficiency (31.8 percent).

The Redskins went 1-for-4 in the red zone and exited Week 15 tied for 21st out of 32 NFL teams in red-zone efficiency (50 percent).

The Redskins had 107 total net yards of offense in the second half, though they exited Week 15 12th in the NFL in yards per game (358.6).


3. Bizarre ending to the game

The Redskins essentially tapped out with more than two minutes left and an 11-point deficit, basically giving up on trying to score.  

The Redskins got the ball back with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter and trailing, 24-13.  And yet they didn’t display nearly enough tempo and did not throw the ball downfield on a five-play drive that included the following four-snap sequence:   
     •    A first-and-10 shotgun six-yard completion by quarterback Robert Griffin III to receiver DeSean Jackson

     •    A second-and-four shotgun sack of Griffin, who literally lay on the field for multiple seconds after the play despite not being injured

     •    A third-and-eight minus-one-yard draw-play run by running back Chris Thompson out of the shotgun, presumably because head coach Jay Gruden thought that Griffin was hurting

     •    A fourth-and-nine five-yard delay-of-game penalty on Griffin 45 seconds after the previous play had began

The Redskins punted at the end of the drive, becoming according to Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post the first NFL team since 2011 to punt after getting the ball back with less than three minutes remaining while trailing by two possessions. (i.e., trailing by between nine and 16 points).  Rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. actually muffed the catch of the punt, and safety Trenton Robinson recovered the ball.

And yet what did the Redskins do on the ensuing drive’s first play, which turned out to be the last play of the game?  A first-and-10 Griffin shotgun three-yard completion to Jackson.  Very strange, very odd, and Gruden did not provide a quality or acceptable explanation during his postgame press conference, his day-after-the-game press conference on Monday (Dec. 15) or his post-practice press conference on Tuesday (Dec. 16).


4. Bizarre ending to the first half

The final play of the second quarter was a third-and-goal-at-the-8 under-center scramble by Griffin, who dove head-first into the front-right corner of the end zone in a play that brought back memories of his historic 2012 rookie season.  The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but replay officials then reversed the call, ruling that Griffin was guilty of a lost fumble for a touchback off a seven-yard scramble.  The play was odd, as he lost control of the ball while in mid-air, then re-possessed it while crossing the goal-line, but then lost control of the ball upon crashing back down on the field.  

As much as the reversal stung, and as bad of a reputation as referee Jeff Triplette has, the correct call was made.  As FOX Sports NFL-officiating insider Mike Pereira tweeted, "RGIII needs to repossess it after the ball comes loose.  It's like catching a pass."

But the correct call being made didn’t stop receivers Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon from going off on the officials.  Moss ended up getting ejected, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty and a 15-yard disqualification penalty.  The 30 yards in penalties meant that the second half’s opening kickoff occurred at the Redskins’ 35.  The Giants’ Josh Brown booted an onside kick that was recovered at the Redskins’ 17, and the ensuing drive resulted in Brown’s early-third-quarter 32-yard field goal that tied the score at 10.  So the Redskins, instead of potentially having a 24-7 lead off touchdowns at the end of the second quarter and early in the third quarter, instead found themselves tied at 10.


5. Quarterback Colt McCoy lasted for just one drive and then was done for the season

McCoy started off suffering a neck injury in the Week 14 loss to St. Louis, but he left this game after just one drive due to an aggravation of the injury.  He was placed on the reserve/injured list on Tuesday (Dec. 16).

Griffin played for the rest of the game, but had he gotten injured, the Redskins would have gone to either fullback Darrel Young or receiver Andre Roberts as their emergency quarterback.  Gruden made a major mistake in not having three quarterbacks active.  

McCoy’s lone drive was a 13-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in Kai Forbath’s first-quarter 35-yard field goal.  McCoy had a first-and-10 20-yard read-option shotgun run and a first-and-15 I-formation play-action 17-yard completion to rookie running back Silas Redd.  But McCoy also got wacked around on a second-and-10 four-yard shotgun scramble and threw short on several incompletions, including a third-and-six shotgun incompletion intended for Garcon.


6. Griffin was very mixed in his first extended action in three games

Given Griffin’s disastrous performances in the Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay and the Week 12 loss at San Francisco, this game was a step forward and, to me, his best game of the season from a play-making standpoint.  But Griffin also was guilty of taking too many sacks and not throwing to open receivers.

Griffin went 18-of-27 for 236 yards and a touchdown and was truly impactful as a runner for the first time this season: five carries for 46 yards.  But he registered a Total QBR of just 21.3. 

Griffin’s second drive of the game, a seven-play, 77-yard second-quarter drive that resulted in his third-and-four nine-yard shotgun touchdown pass to Thompson, also included:
     •    A first-and-10 under-center play-action 22-yard completion to Garcon

     •    A first-and-10 offset-I play-action 17-yard completion to tight end Niles Paul

     •    A first-and-10 under-center play-action-boot 18-yard completion to Moss

The late-second-quarter drive that resulted in Griffin’s third-and-goal-at-the-8 seven-yard under-center scramble and then lost-fumble also included:
     •    A second-and-10 shotgun 37-yard completion to Redd on a short pass

     •    A first-and-10 shotgun 20-yard completion to Roberts

     •    A third-and-three shotgun eight-yard completion to Redd

The Redskins’ eight-play, 73-yard drive that resulted in Forbath’s third-quarter 38-yard field goal, included:
     •    A third-and-six shotgun 61-yard completion to Roberts

     •    A first-and-10 under-center play-action-boot 11-yard scramble and then a nine-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty on safety Antrel Rolle

The Redskins’ early-third-quarter drive that resulted in a fourth-and-two sack-strip of Griffin included a second-and-six 23-yard I-formation play-action scramble on which he provided a beautiful stiff-arm on Rolle.  The unfortunate part of this play, though, was that Griffin could have thrown deep to either Jackson or Garcon.

And there was still too much bad from Griffin:
     •    Griffin got sacked seven times and was at fault on at least five and perhaps as many as six of the seven sacks.  The protection certainly wasn’t perfect, but he repeatedly failed to see or throw to open pass catchers on plays that resulted in sacks.

     •    Griffin was guilty of three fumbles, including the lost fumble on the final play of the first half.

     •    Griffin’s laying on the field for multiple seconds on the Redskins’ penultimate drive was “Robert being Robert” according to Gruden on Tuesday (Dec. 16), and that apparent overly-dramatic reaction to being sacked may have been the cause of Gruden essentially tapping out (though the Griffin reaction doesn’t excuse that; Gruden and the Redskins were still wrong to give up offensively as they did).


7. This was a typical game for the 2014 Redskins defense

Good yardage numbers, especially against the run, but not enough play-making and not enough quality defense late in the game.  That could be said of many games this season, including this one.

The Redskins held the Giants to 287 total net yards of offense, 2.2 yards per rush on 22 carries and 4-of-13 on third downs.

But the Redskins got scorched by Beckham: 12 receptions for 143 yards and three touchdowns on 15 targets.

Rookie corner Bashaud Breeland had quite a battle with Beckham, committing four penalties while dealing with breathing/bronchial issues:
     •    First-and-10 15-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty on the first offensive play of the game for shoving Beckham

     •    Second-quarter first-and-10 15-yard taunting penalty off a 16-yard reception by Beckham that came despite a defensive-holding penalty by Breeland.  The drive, though, resulted in a punt.  

     •    Third-quarter first-and-10 17-yard pass-interference penalty while covering Beckham.  That drive, though, resulted in a punt.

     •    Late-third-quarter first-and-10 23-yard pass-interference penalty while covering Beckham.  The drive resulted in Beckham’s late-third-quarter second-and-five 35-yard touchdown reception.

     •    It is worth noting that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said on Wednesday (Dec. 17) that the NFL had acknowledged that the taunting penalty and one of the two pass-interference penalties were bad calls

The Redskins’ defense totaled zero takeaways, though the Redskins did recover the late-fourth-quarter muffed catch of a punt by Beckham for a takeaway.  The Redskins exited Week 15 tied for 26th out of 32 NFL teams with 16 takeaways.

The Redskins totaled just one sack, a third-quarter second-and-sack by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan for a 12-yard loss.  He now has a career-high 12 ½ sacks this season, including five over the last four games.  The Redskins exited Week 15 tied for 16th out of 32 NFL teams with 33 sacks.


8. Redskins special teams had another bad game

Redd was in position to recover Brown’s onside kick at the start of the third quarter but wasn’t aggressive enough, and the recovery was made by corner Chandler Fenner.

The Redskins allowed a 45-yard kickoff return by receiver Preston Parker.  The ensuing Giants drive resulted in Beckham’s late-first-quarter third-and-eight 10-yard touchdown reception.  The Redskins exited Week 15 26th out of 32 NFL teams in fewest yards allowed per kickoff return (26.1).

The Redskins committed two more special-teams penalties and exited Week 15 21st out of 32 NFL teams with 24 accepted special-teams penalties this season.  The Redskins had 21 accepted special-teams penalties all of last season.
     •    Linebacker Trevardo Williams, whom the Redskins signed off their practice squad on Dec. 9, committed a 10-yard illegal-block-above-the-waist penalty on an early-second-quarter punt return by Roberts.

     •    Long snapper Nick Sundberg committed a 15-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty on the first play of the fourth quarter, a 13-yard punt return by Beckham.

The Giants downed two punts inside the Redskins’ 10, catching each punt on the fly.  

Tress Way was credited with a fumble on a dropped snap in the second quarter.  But the resulting punt went 51 yards and yielded a return of just one yard by Beckham.  Way averaged 45.2 yards per punt and 42.0 net yards per punt on six punts.  He did exit Week 15 first in the NFL in yards per punt (47.9) and tied for 10th in the NFL in net yards per punt (39.9).  

Forbath went 2-for-2 on field goals: a first-quarter 35-yarder and a third-quarter 38-yarder.  He now is 21-for-24 on field goals this season, ranking tied for 11th in the NFL in field-goal percentage (87.5).  Forbath is 56-for-64 on field goals over his three seasons with the Redskins.


9. Redskins running backs were impactful in the first half but then mostly silent in the second half

The Redskins had 27 carries for 144 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.  But if you remove Griffin’s early-third-quarter second-and-six 23-yard I-formation play-action scramble on which he provided the beautiful stiff-arm on Rolle, the Redskins had just 10 carries for 23 yards in the second half.

Running back Alfred Morris had nine carries for 47 yards in the first half but five carries for two yards in the second half.

Thompson, whom the Redskins signed off their practice squad on Dec. 11, had the second-quarter third-and-four nine-yard touchdown reception and three carries for 12 yards, including a late-second-quarter first-and-10 seven-yard shotgun read-option run on the drive that resulted in Griffin’s lost fumble and an early-fourth-quarter second-and-10 six-yard shotgun read-option run on a drive that resulted in a three-and-out.

Redd had three receptions for 62 yards on three targets.  He had a first-and-15 17-yard reception on the drive that resulted in Forbath’s first-quarter 35-yard field goal and two receptions for 45 yards on the late-second-quarter drive that resulted in Griffin’s lost fumble.


10. Absentee report:

Inactives for the Redskins were:
     •    defensive end Jason Hatcher due to inflammation in his right knee.  He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this past June.

     •    linebacker Keenan Robinson for a second straight game due to an MCL sprain suffered in the Week 13 loss at Indianapolis

     •    safety Brandon Meriweather for a second straight game due to a big-toe sprain suffered in the Week 13 loss at Indianapolis

     •    running back Roy Helu Jr. due to a big-toe sprain suffered in the Week 14 loss to St. Louis

     •    receiver Leonard Hankerson for the third time in four games

     •    quarterback Kirk Cousins for a sixth straight game

     •    guard Josh LeRibeus

The Redskins also played this game without:    
     •    linebacker Brian Orakpo, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 21 due to a torn right pectoral muscle suffered in the Week 7 win over Tennessee

     •    corner DeAngelo Hall, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a torn left Achilles injury suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia.  We learned on Oct. 31 that he had torn the Achilles again.

     •    corner Tracy Porter, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Nov. 26 due to a right AC-joint separation suffered in the Week 12 loss at San Francisco

     •    safety Duke Ihenacho, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a fractured heal bone suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia

     •    linebacker Adam Heyward, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Nov. 24 due to a tibial plateau fracture in his right leg suffered in the Week 12 loss at San Francisco

     •    linebacker Akeem Jordan, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 18 due to a sprained left MCL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28 and then re-aggravated in the Week 6 loss at Arizona

     •    nose tackle Chris Neild, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Aug. 30 due to a torn right ACL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28

     •    rookie offensive tackle Morgan Moses, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Dec. 11 due to a Lisfranc injury suffered in practice on Dec. 10


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How It Should Be Remembered: The Redskins' Loss To St. Louis In Week 14
by Al Galdi
Dec 10, 2014 -- 3:41pm
ESPN 980

The Redskins fell to 3-10 with a 24-0 loss to St. Louis on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 7, 2014).  Here were the 10 most important items from the game:


1. History essentially repeated itself on the one-year anniversary of the Kansas City Game


ESPN 980 GalleriesOne day before the one-year anniversary of one of the worst days in Redskins history, we got a near-carbon copy: multiple pregame reports and drama, horrible offense and woeful special teams against a team from Missouri.  

Also, the loss to the Chiefs, like this loss, clinched a double-digit-loss season for the Redskins.  They now have five double-digit-loss seasons over the last six years.  New England, for comparison’s sake, clinched its 12th straight double-digit-win season with a victory at San Diego on Sunday Night Football in Week 14.

The Redskins were shut out for the first time since the 23-0 loss to Buffalo in Toronto on Oct. 30, 2011.


2. As for the reports and drama…

President and general manager Bruce Allen on Dec. 30, 2013 called the many reports and leaks of the 2013 season “distasteful” in announcing the firing of executive vice president/head coach Mike Shanahan.  But the reports and leaks haven’t stopped.

We had five major items involving the Redskins in a four-day period:
     •    Washington Post columnist Jason Reid on Thursday (Dec. 4): After working with [quarterback Robert] Griffin [III] for more than 10 months…[head coach Jay] Gruden is now done with him, according to multiple people within the organization.  Gruden’s assessment goes deeper than Griffin’s play.  He has major concerns about Griffin’s decision making off the field…To Gruden, Griffin seemed more concerned about enhancing his brand than about honing his pocket skills.  Often, Gruden rolled his eyes after being informed about the life lessons the 24-year-old offered on social media.  Gruden became frustrated that Griffin, even after Gruden benched him, failed to acknowledge his role in his failure.

     •    ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted the following later on Thursday (Dec. 4): There's a "real chance" Robert Griffin III will be Washington's starting QB before this season is over, per source.

     •    TMZ Sports reported the following in the early-morning hours of Saturday (Dec. 6): Robert Griffin III is a spoiled diva who cares more about branding himself than winning  ... so says a Washington Redskins player who tells us he's not the only one in the locker room who feels this way.  The player -- who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity -- says playing with RG3 has been a nightmare this season ... and the locker room has lost faith in the QB.  "No one is happy ... no one gets the hype around him anymore."  As bad as Griffin's play on the field has been this year, our guy tells us it's actually RG3's off-the-field demeanor that ticks off his fellow players the most.  "He's secluded and it affects us in the game.  We don't have that real rapport.  He's lost confidence and is complacent now."

     •    Reid on Saturday (Dec. 6): Less than a year after a showdown over Robert Griffin III, another appears to be brewing. Jay Gruden’s desire to part ways with the ineffective quarterback may put him at odds with owner Daniel Snyder and President and General Manager Bruce Allen, potentially leaving the Washington Redskins searching for a coach yet again.

     •    Former Redskins linebacker London Fletcher on CBS Sports Network on Sunday (Dec. 7): "Why does Jim Haslett still have his job as a defensive coordinator after five years now of just ineptitude at the defensive coordinator position?  He’s clueless as a defensive coordinator. He lacks attention to detail. He lacks feel on how to call a game.  Some of the calls he used to call when I was playing were head-scratching. They were so bad, I used to change them, like, ‘We’re not running that.’ And we’d get off the field and he would ask, ‘Why did you change the call.’ (I would say), ‘Because that’s just a dumb call.  That’s why I changed it.’  For years he has always made excuses.  One minute it was, ‘We’re changing from the 3-4 and we don’t have the right personnel.’  Next minute it is salary cap.  Next minute it is Mike Shanahan.  Next minute it is injuries.  Mike Shanahan recognized early that this guy does not know what he is doing.  And he tried to help him out….And what does Jim Haslett do?  He threw [Shanahan] under the bus just like he throws everybody under the bus, players and coaches included."


3. Quarterback Colt McCoy was mediocre at best

The film revealed a performance that wasn’t as bad as it appeared, as McCoy simply didn’t have much to work with around him due to the lack of a running game and more bad pass protection from running backs.  But the bottom line production was not good.  

McCoy threw two picks (both of which were bad throws), averaged just 6.2 yards per pass attempt and was sacked six times (though he himself wasn’t mostly at fault on any of them).  He was off on a good number of throws, even some completions.  McCoy registered a Total QBR of 7.6 and a passer rating of 54.0.

McCoy led a Redskins offense that accumulated just 13 first downs and 206 total net yards of offense and went 3-of-12 on third downs.

McCoy had a first-and-10 four-yard shotgun read-option run on which he fumbled and should have handed the ball off the running back Alfred Morris.  The ball was recovered by tight end Jordan Reed, and the drive resulted in a punt.

McCoy left the game late in the fourth quarter with a neck injury.  Griffin came and went 3-for-4 for 33 yards but got sacked.


4. Redskins running backs were bad

The Redskins totaled just 12 carries for 27 yards.

Morris had a career-low eight carries for a career-low six yards.  His had a first-and-10 12-yard pistol-handoff run on the second offensive play of the game.  His other seven carries went for minus-six yards.

Morris and running back Roy Helu Jr. continued to struggle in pass protection, as they were at fault on multiple sacks.  Helu suffered a toe injury and left the game in the second half.

Rookie Silas Redd’s lone carry was a late-fourth-quarter eight-yard pistol-handoff run on which he fumbled.  Receiver Santana Moss recovered the ball.


5. Redskins tight ends were bad

Reed and Niles Paul again struggled mightily when it came to run blocking.  This has been a major problem for Reed this season, so much so that the Redskins should consider treating him as a receiver and not ask him to block so much.  Paul got shoved back big time by defensive end Chris Long on an early-second-quarter first-and-10 I-formation-toss run by Morris for minus-seven yards on a drive that resulted in a punt.

Reed had just three receptions for 25 yards on seven targets and ran a bad route on McCoy’s second pick, a fourth-quarter fourth-and-11 shotgun pick to safety T.J. McDonald.


6. Redskins special teams were hideous

The Redskins allowed three big punt returns to receiver Tavon Austin: a late-third-quarter 78-yarder for a touchdown, a second-quarter 37-yarder and a late-second-quarter 28-yarder.  The Redskins exited Week 14 29th out of 32 NFL teams in yards allowed per punt return (10.5).  The Redskins on Tuesday (Dec. 9) waived three special-teams players: linebackers Steve Beauharnais and Everette Brown and corner Greg Ducre.

Receiver Andre Roberts had two punt returns, both coming in the fourth quarter.  They went for zero and three yards.  He exited Week 14 16th out of 22 qualified players in yards per punt return (7.7).

Punter Tress Way ran for just two yards on a fourth-and-five fake punt in the third quarter, cutting inside when he had wide-open space outside.  The ensuing Rams drive resulted in tight end Jared Cook’s third-quarter first-and-goal one-yard touchdown reception that was followed by punter/holder Johnny Hekker’s two-point-conversion pass to tight end Corey Harkey.

Way also had a mere 33-yard punt on the first play of the second quarter.  The ensuing Rams drive resulted in Cook’s second-and-15 35-yard touchdown reception.  Way did exit Week 14 first in the NFL in yards per punt (48.1) and 14th in the NFL in net yards per punt (39.7).


7. The Redskins’ defense, despite some key absences, played well enough to win

Linebacker Keenan Robinson, safety Brandon Meriweather and defensive end Kedric Golston were inactive.  And yet the Redskins registered four sacks and held the Rams to 24 points, 19 first downs, 329 total net yards of offense and 1-for-3 in the red zone.

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had two sacks, including a sack-strip that was recovered by the Rams.  He now has a career-high 11 ½ sacks this season, including four over the last three games.


8. That said, the defense wasn’t without fault

The Redskins had zero takeaways off generating three in each of the previous two games.  The Redskins exited Week 14 tied for 27th out of 32 NFL teams with just 15 takeaways this season.

The Redskins allowed the Rams to go 6-for-12 on third downs.  The Redskins exited Week 14 tied for 23rd out of 32 NFL teams in opponents’ third-down efficiency (43.4 percent).

Rams journeyman quarterback Shaun Hill went 16-of-22 with two touchdowns to Cook, who was wide open on each play.

Austin, in addition to killing the Redskins on punt returns, thrashed the Redskins on end-arounds: five carries for 46 yards.

Safety Ryan Clark was guilty of several mistakes:
     •    Clark committed a terrible third-and-one 16-yard personal-foul penalty for hitting a defenseless player on the Rams' first offensive drive, which resulted in a punt.

     •    Clark had a bad missed tackle on running back Benjamin Cunningham's second-quarter third-and-two 20-yard run on the drive that resulted in Cook's second-and-15 35-yard touchdown reception.

     •    Clark and safety Phillip Thomas had missed tackles on receiver Stedman Bailey's third-and-12 36-yard reception on the drive that resulted in Cook's third-quarter first-and-goal one-yard touchdown reception.


9. Adding insult to insult

The Rams’ coin-toss captains were the six active roster players the team acquired using picks from the 2012 RGIII trade.  

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher on Monday (Dec. 8): “I think they [i.e., the Redskins] got more issues than the coin toss yesterday.”  He also denied that there was any meaning to what he did.  The Redskins deserve all of the criticism they get, no question.  But that doesn’t mean that what Fisher did and the jokes he cracked the next day weren’t classless.  Fisher’s regular-season record over his last five seasons is 34-42-1.  He’s not exactly in position to be passing judgment on other franchises, even if he does have a dislike for Allen and is friends with Shanahan.     


10. Absentee report:

Inactives for the Redskins were:
     •    receiver DeSean Jackson due to a right fibula contusion suffered in the Week 13 loss at Indianapolis

     •    linebacker Keenan Robinson due to an MCL sprain suffered in the Week 13 loss at Indianapolis

     •    safety Brandon Meriweather due to a big-toe sprain suffered in the Week 13 loss at Indianapolis

     •    defensive end Kedric Golston due to a back sprain and plantar fasciitis

     •    quarterback Kirk Cousins for a fifth straight game

     •    right tackle Tyler Polumbus for the fifth time in six games

     •    guard Josh LeRibeus

The Redskins also played this game without:    
     •    linebacker Brian Orakpo, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 21 due to a torn right pectoral muscle suffered in the Week 7 win over Tennessee

     •    corner DeAngelo Hall, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a torn left Achilles injury suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia.  We learned on Oct. 31 that he had torn the Achilles again.

     •    corner Tracy Porter, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Nov. 26 due to a right AC-joint separation suffered in the Week 12 loss at San Francisco

     •    safety Duke Ihenacho, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a fractured heal bone suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia

     •    linebacker Adam Heyward, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Nov. 24 due to a tibial plateau fracture in his right leg suffered in the Week 12 loss at San Francisco

     •    linebacker Akeem Jordan, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 18 due to a sprained left MCL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28 and then re-aggravated in the Week 6 loss at Arizona

     •    nose tackle Chris Neild, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Aug. 30 due to a torn right ACL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28

     •    corner Chase Minnifield, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Dec. 6 due to a concussion suffered in the Week 13 loss at Indianapolis


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How It Should Be Remembered: The Redskins' Loss At Indianapolis In Week 13
by Al Galdi
Dec 02, 2014 -- 7:10pm
ESPN 980

The Redskins fell to 3-9 with a 49-27 loss at Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 30, 2014).  Here were the 10 most important items from the game:


1. Here we are again

ESPN 980 Galleries
This loss clinched the Redskins’ fifth losing season in six years and ninth losing season in 13 years.

This loss also eliminated the Redskins from playoff contention.


2. The Redskins’ defense gave up five touchdowns of at least 30 yards

The Colts amassed 487 total net yards of offense on just 49 plays and just 23:55 time of possession.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 370 yards and five touchdowns.  He went 4-of-7 for 182 yards and three touchdowns on balls thrown more than 20 yards downfield.
     •    Luck’s first-quarter first-and-10 30-yard under-center play-action touchdown pass to tight end Coby Fleener came with him wide open thanks to a blown coverage by corner David Amerson and despite an illegal-use-of-hands penalty on rookie corner Bashaud Breeland.

     •    Luck’s third-quarter third-and-two 48-yard shotgun touchdown pass to rookie receiver Donte Moncrief featured another blown coverage by Amerson, who threw his arms up.

     •    Luck’s third-quarter second-and-10 73-yard shotgun touchdown pass to Fleener featured major YAC thanks to missed tackles by safety Ryan Clark and linebacker Everette Brown.

     •    Luck’s fourth-quarter third-and-nine 79-yard shotgun touchdown pass to Moncrief featured Amerson getting beat and safety Phillip Thomas blowing his coverage.

Running back Daniel “Boom” Herron’s early-second-quarter second-and-two 49-yard shotgun-handoff touchdown run featured a bad angle taken by safety Brandon Meriweather and Herron running away from Amerson and Clark.

The Redskins’ defense did have to deal with various injuries.  
     •    Meriweather left the game in the second quarter due to a big-toe sprain

     •    corner Chase Minnifield left the game in the second quarter due to a concussion.  He was placed on the reserve/injured list on Saturday (Dec. 6).

     •    linebacker Keenan Robinson suffered an MCL sprain in the second quarter but returned to the game

     •    defensive end Kedric Golston suffered a back sprain during pregame warmups and Gruden revealed on Monday (Dec. 1) that Golston is also dealing with plantar fasciitis

     •    linebacker Will Compton suffered a spine injury


3. The Redskins did force three more takeaways, all in the first half, but failed to capitalize on them

Each of the Colts’ first two drives resulted in Redskins takeaways.
     •    Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan produced a sack-strip and defensive end Jason Hatcher recovered the fumble on the first offense play of the game.  But the ensuing Redskins drive went just eight yards on four plays and resulted in Kai Forbath’s first-quarter 25-yard field goal.

     •    Clark had a second-and-nine pick on the Colts’ second drive of the game.  But the ensuing Redskins drive resulted in a three-and-out.

Linebacker Perry Riley Jr. forced a late-second-quarter fumble on a first-and-10 seven-yard reception by Herron.  The ball was recovered by Clark.  But the ensuing Redskins drive resulted in a three-and-out.

The Redskins, who totaled just nine takeaways over the first 10 games, now have six takeaways over the last two games.  But the Redskins have totaled just six points off those six takeaways.


4. Quarterback Colt McCoy was very mixed.  Among the negatives:

McCoy was credited with four fumbles, including a third-quarter fourth-and-one I-formation play-action sack-strip by linebacker Erik Walden.  Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson recovered the ball and returned it 35 yards for a back-breaking touchdown that helped to give the Colts a 35-17 lead.

The McCoy-led Redskins had just 92 total net yards of offense in the first half, going 1-for-7 on third downs and producing just eight first downs.

The Redskins’ offense had a number of administrative issues, including communication and tempo problems.  McCoy was hit with a fourth-quarter third-and-24 three-yard delay-of-game penalty on a drive that resulted in a punt.  Head coach Jay Gruden on Monday (Dec. 1): "I just felt like the tempo was terrible."

McCoy was off on some throws.
     •    McCoy’s threw too low on a fourth-and-goal-at-the-2 I-formation incompletion intended for tight end Jordan Reed on the first play of the fourth quarter.

     •    McCoy had a near-pick in the end zone on an early-fourth-quarter second-and-three shotgun incompletion intended for receiver Andre Roberts, who was forced to play defender.

McCoy was sacked six times, though Gruden said on Monday (Dec. 1) that only one or two of the sacks could be considered on McCoy.  Gruden also said that the majority of the sacks were on the running backs and tight ends and that the offensive line played pretty well.


5. But McCoy got going midway through the second quarter and finished with some impressive numbers

McCoy went 31-of-47 for 392 yards, three touchdowns and no picks.  He threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns over the final three quarters.

McCoy shined on the opening drive of the second half, an eight-play. 80-yard drive that resulted in the play of the game for the Redskins: McCoy’s second-and-five 16-yard under-center play-action-boot touchdown pass to tight end Logan Paulsen off evading three Colts pass rushers.  Also on the drive was McCoy running to his right to extend the play on a third-and-four 24-yard shotgun completion to Roberts.

McCoy actually under-threw the ball on his third-quarter first-and-10 42-yard shotgun touchdown bomb to receiver DeSean Jackson.  But that six-play, 80-yard drive also included a second-and-three 11-yard read-option shotgun run by McCoy and him doing a nice job of sliding up in the pocket on a second-and-19 29-yard shotgun completion to Reed.


6. Redskins pass catchers shined with the exception of one key guy

Reed had nine receptions for 123 yards on 11 targets.  He did a terrific job of generating YAC on his second-and-19 29-yard reception on the drive that resulted in Jackson’s third-quarter first-and-10 42-yard touchdown reception.

Jackson had five receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown on six targets.  His ball-tracking skills were on full display in catching what was an underthrown ball on the third-quarter first-and-10 42-yard touchdown reception.  Jackson did leave the game late in the third quarter with a right fibula contusion.  And he was the victim of what appeared a cheap shot by safety Mike Adams, who was on the receiving end of a gentle shove from fullback Darrel Young and, in attempting to sell the shove as a late it, flopped to the ground and dove into Jackson’s legs after an early-third-quarter first-and-10 18-yard reception off I-formation play-action.

Roberts had just two receptions on five targets, but the two catches were impressive:
     •    leaping catch on a third-and-10 22-yard reception on the drive that resulted in running back Roy Helu Jr.’s second-quarter 21-yard touchdown reception

     •    third-and-four 24-yard reception on which Roberts did a great job of keeping his feet in-bounds.  The drive resulted in Paulsen’s early-third-quarter second-and-five 16-yard touchdown reception.

Helu had four receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown on four targets.  The touchdown was a second-quarter 21-yard reception on a choice route off McCoy operating out of the shotgun.

A negative was receiver Pierre Garcon's frustrating season continuing.  He had just three receptions for nine yards on nine targets and now has just10 receptions for 64 yards on 20 targets over the last four games.


7. The penalty and return problems continued for Redskins special teams

Paulsen’s early-third-quarter second-and-five 16-yard touchdown reception helped to cut the Redskins’ deficit to 21-17.  But defensive end Frank Kearse committed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on the extra point, and safety Phillip Thomas then committed a five-yard offside-on-free-kick penalty on the ensuing kickoff.  The ensuing Colts drive resulted in Moncrief’s third-quarter third-and-two 48-yard touchdown reception.

The Redskins exited Week 13 last in the NFL with 22 accepted special-teams penalties.  The Redskins had 21 accepted special-teams penalties all of last season.

Roberts had punt returns of 11 and six yards and an 18-yard kickoff return.  He exited Week 13 16th out of 25 qualified players in the NFL in yards per punt return (8.2) and tied for 15th out of 17 qualified players in the NFL in yards per kickoff return (22.6).


8. Forbath and punter Tress Way continued to be positives

Forbath went 2-for-2 on field goals, connecting on an early-first-quarter 25-yard field goal and an early-fourth-quarter 29-yard field goal.  He now is 19-for-22 on field goals this season and 54-for-62 on field goals over his three seasons with the Redskins.  

Forbath did only see just one of his six kickoffs result in a touchback.  For comparison’s sake, seven of Pat McAfee’s eight kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

Way averaged 46.5 yards and 41.0 net yards on six punts.  He exited Week 13 first in the NFL with an average of 48.3 yards per punt and fifth in the NFL with an average of 41.5 net yards per punt.


9. The Redskins’ running game was disappointing

The Redskins trailed 21-3 in the second quarter and 35-17 and 42-24 in the fourth quarter, so the nature of the game dictated against running the ball.  But even when the Redskins did run the ball, the results weren’t what they could have been.  

The Redskins totaled 21 carries for 84 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per carry against a Colts defense that entered the game 29th out 32 NFL teams in yards allowed per carry (4.55).

Running back Alfred Morris had 17 carries for 67 yards.  If you take out his first-and-10 21-yard under-center-toss run on a first-quarter drive that resulted in a punt, he had 16 carries for 46 yards.  Also, Morris failed to catch the ball on a late-first-quarter under-center-toss play that officially resulted in a McCoy fumble that Morris recovered.  The drive resulted in a punt on the first play of the second quarter.


10. Absentee list

Inactives for the Redskins were:
     •    corner E.J. Biggers due to a concussion suffered in the Week 12 loss at San Francisco

     •    defensive end Stephen Bowen for the second time in three games.  He was underwhelming over his first three games this season off missing the first six games of the season due to being on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list, which he was placed on this past Aug. 30 due to microfracture surgery on his right knee last Dec. 3.

     •    receiver Leonard Hankerson for a second straight game.  He committed a late-third-quarter third-and-eight five-yard false-start penalty on a drive that resulted in a punt in the Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay.  That game marked his season debut off having been placed on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list on Aug. 30 due to season-ending surgery to repair ACL and LCL tears in his left knee on Nov. 21, 2013.

     •    quarterback Kirk Cousins for a fourth straight game

     •    receiver Aldrick Robinson for a seventh straight game.  He was waived on Saturday (Dec. 6).

     •    right tackle Tyler Polumbus for the fourth time in five games

     •    rookie guard Spencer Long

The Redskins also played this game without:    
     •    linebacker Brian Orakpo, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 21 due to a torn right pectoral muscle suffered in the Week 7 win over Tennessee

     •    corner DeAngelo Hall, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a torn left Achilles injury suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia.  We learned on Oct. 31 that he had torn the Achilles again.

     •    corner Tracy Porter, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Nov. 26 due to a right AC-joint separation suffered in the Week 12 loss at San Francisco

     •    safety Duke Ihenacho, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a fractured heal bone suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia

     •    linebacker Adam Heyward, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Nov. 24 due to a tibial plateau fracture in his right leg suffered in the Week 12 loss at San Francisco

     •    linebacker Akeem Jordan, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 18 due to a sprained left MCL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28 and then re-aggravated in the Week 6 loss at Arizona

     •    nose tackle Chris Neild, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Aug. 30 due to a torn right ACL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28


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How It Should Be Remembered: The Redskins' Loss At San Francisco In Week 12
by Al Galdi
Nov 28, 2014 -- 3:48pm

The Redskins fell to 3-8 with a 17-13 loss at San Francisco on Sunday (Nov. 23, 2014).  Here were the 10 most important items from the game:


1. We have been here before


This loss clinched the Redskins not having a winning record for the 16th time in 22 seasons.  For comparison’s sake, New England, with its 34-9 win over Detroit in Week 12, clinched a 14th consecutive winning season.


2. Quarterback Robert Griffin III was benched following this game

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news on Tuesday night (Nov. 25), and head coach Jay Gruden confirmed the decision the following day.  This marked the second benching of Griffin in a calendar year, as he was benched by then-head coach Mike Shanahan on Dec. 11, 2013 for the rest of that season for protection and performance reasons.

The news was jarring given where Griffin was two years ago but not surprising given how poorly he has been playing.  

If we remove the Week 2 blowout of Jacksonville, a game Griffin left early due to suffering a dislocated left ankle, he now has played poorly in five of his last eight regular-season games: 2013 Week 11 loss at Philadelphia, 2013 Week 12 loss to San Francisco, 2013 Week 14 loss to Kansas City, 2014 Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay and 2014 Week 12 loss at San Francisco.  

And it’s not like he was dynamic in those other three games: 2013 Week 13 loss to the Giants, 2014 Week 1 loss at Houston and 2014 Week 9 loss at Minnesota.


3. Griffin was terrible for a second straight game

Griffin led a Redskins offense that totaled 77 net yards passing and 12 first downs and went 2-for-13 on third downs.

Griffin recorded a 7.9 Total QBR, registering a season-low for a second straight game.

Griffin was better than he was in the Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay, but he still was guilty of missing easy looks and reads.
     •    The Redskins’ final offensive drive, which resulted in a third-and-eight sack-strip-lost fumble, included a first-and-14 shotgun incompletion that should have been thrown to receiver DeSean Jackson (who was open) instead of tight end Niles Paul.

     •    A first-quarter second-and-10 deep shotgun read-option play-action incompletion should have been throw to receiver Pierre Garcon instead of Jackson, who failed to come down with the ball with two defenders on him.  The drive resulted in a punt.

Griffin got sacked five times, including the sack-strip-lost fumble on the Redskins’ final offensive play of the game.  Three of the five sacks were on Griffin; the other two were on rookie left tackle Morgan Moses, who started in place of the injured Trent Williams.
     •    If you remove the Week 2 blowout of Jacksonville, a game Griffin left early due to suffering a dislocated left ankle, Griffin now has been sacked 43 times over his last nine regular-season games.

Griffin appeared on his way to getting benched at halftime until a second-quarter 10-play, 61-yard drive that resulted in running back Alfred Morris’ third-and-goal one-yard I-formation-handoff touchdown run.  Griffin connected on three big plays on the drive:
     •    Third-and-five seven-yard shotgun completion to receiver Andre Roberts

     •    First-and-10 24-yard under-center play-action completion to Garcon

     •    Second-and-eight 11-yard offset-I play-action-boot completion to Paul


4. Several decisions by Gruden suggested a serious lack of faith in Griffin

Gruden called a third-and-13 shotgun quarterback draw that produced a run for no gain on a first-quarter drive that resulted in a punt.

Gruden didn’t use any of his first-half timeouts, even though the 49ers failed to convert on a third-and-14 with 46 seconds left in the second quarter.  The 49ers didn’t call a timeout until there were 11 seconds left, converted a fourth-and-two and then ended the half with a 41-yard field goal by Phil Dawson.  


5. Griffin’s struggles meant that the Redskins’ top two playmakers weren’t big enough factors, and at least one of those playmakers appears to be getting frustrated

Garcon had three receptions for 34 yards on four targets and now has seven receptions for 55 yards on 11 targets since Griffin returned in the Week 9 loss at Minnesota.  Garcon after the game: “What's it going to take?  Throw to the receivers.  There were a lot of opportunities.  Didn't take them."

Garcon also attempted a pass, throwing a second-and-eight deep incompletion intended for Jackson on a first-quarter drive that resulted in a punt.  The gimmick play featured Griffin with an under-center toss to running back Roy Helu Jr., who then flipped the ball to Garcon.  He said after the game regarding whether he had been looking forward to throwing a pass in a game: “Not at all. I was like, ‘This is where we've come?’ "

It is worth noting that Garcon’s blocking was instrumental in the success of the running game.

Jackson had two receptions for 39 yards on five targets and now has six receptions for 74 yards on 11 targets over the last two games.


6. Morris had his best game of the season

Morris had 21 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown and now has 73 carries for 375 yards and four touchdowns since halftime of the Week 8 win at Dallas.

The 100-yard game was Morris’ first since the loss at Minnesota on Nov. 7, 2013.

Among Morris’ impressive runs:
     •    Second-quarter third-and-goal one-yard I-formation-handoff touchdown run on a drive that also included a first-and-10 11-yard run off a toss out of the offset-I

     •    First-and-10 11-yard pistol-handoff run on the drive that resulted in Kai Forbath’s late-third-quarter 27-yard field goal

     •    First-and-10 30-yard run off a toss out of the offset-I on a third-quarter drive that resulted in a punt

     •    Second-and-10 22-yard under-center-handoff run on a first-quarter drive that resulted in a punt

     •    First-and-10 16-yard run off a toss out of the offset-I on another first-quarter drive that resulted in a punt


7. The Redskins’ defense had one of its best games of the season despite a near-absurd situation at corner

The situation at corner: the Redskins entered this game without DeAngelo Hall (torn left Achilles) and David Amerson (inactive due to a violation of team rules), lost E.J. Biggers to a concussion in the first quarter and lost Tracy Porter to a right AC-joint separation in the third quarter.  The Porter injury necessitated that Greg Ducre, who was signed off San Diego’s practice squad on Oct. 8, come into the game.  Porter was placed on the reserve/injured list on Wednesday (Nov. 26).

And yet the Redskins held the 49ers to just 16 first downs, 5-of-13 on third downs, 312 total net yards of offense and an average of 2.3 yards on 29 carries.  

The Redskins, who entered this game with just nine takeaways all season, produced three takeaways.  The problem was what the Redskins’ offense did after those takeaways.
     •    The first play of the second quarter resulted in a forced fumble by safety Brandon Meriweather and a fumble recovery by safety Ryan Clark.  But the ensuing Redskins drive was a three-and-out.

     •    Ducre had a third-quarter first-and-10 pick.  But the ensuing Redskins drive was a three-and-out.

     •    Rookie linebacker Trent Murphy, who had a very good game, had a fourth-quarter forced fumble that was recovered by safety Phillip Thomas.  The ensuing Redskins drive was a four-play, eight-yard drive that yielded a fourth-quarter 46-yard field goal by Forbath.

Linebacker Keenan Robinson had arguably his best game of the season.

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had a late-second-quarter second-and-10 sack for a four-yard loss on the drive that resulted in Dawson’s 41-yard field goal at the end of the first half.  Murphy played a big role in that sack.

Defensive end Jason Hatcher had a fourth-quarter first-and-10 sack for a six-yard loss on the drive that resulted in rookie running back Carlos Hyde’s first-and-goal four-yard read-option-looking touchdown run.


8. The Redskins’ two starting safeties, though, were guilty of more costly negative plays

Meriweather got beat by receiver Anquan Boldin in man-to-man coverage on his first-quarter second-and-six 30-yard touchdown reception.

Meriweather had a missed tackle on running back Frank Gore’s fourth-quarter fourth-and-one three-yard run.  The next play was a first-and-10 29-yard reception by Boldin, who also drew a 15-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty on Clark.  Three plays later was Hyde running through Clark on the first-and-goal four-yard read-option-looking touchdown run.


9. Redskins special teams were very mixed

Positive: Tress Way averaged 46.6 yards and 45.6 net yards on eight punts.  He exited Week 12 first in the NFL in yards per punt and tied for fifth in the NFL in net yards per punt.

Positive: Forbath went 2-for-2 on field goals, connecting on a late-third-quarter 27-yard field goal and a fourth-quarter 46-yard field goal.  He now is 17-for-20 on field goals this season and 52-for-60 on field goals over his three seasons with the Redskins.

Negative: Roberts had punt returns of seven and four yards and was replaced on punt returns by Jackson in the third quarter.

Negative: Three of the Redskins’ seven accepted penalties came on special teams.  The Redskins exited Week 12 30th out of 32 NFL teams with 20 accepted special-teams penalties this season.
     •    The Redskins committed two penalties on a late-fourth-quarter punt return by Jackson.  The accepted penalty was a seven-yard illegal-block-above-the-waist penalty on safety Akeem Davis.  The declined penalty was a holding penalty on tight end Logan Paulsen

     •    Davis committed a first-quarter five-yard false-start penalty as Way was about to punt

     •    Roberts committed a 15-yard facemask penalty on a first-quarter four-yard punt return

Negative: linebacker and special-teams captain Adam Heyward suffered a season-ending tibial plateau fracture in his right leg in downing a mere 31-yard punt by Way early in the third quarter.  The Redskins placed Heyward on the reserve/injured list on Monday (Nov. 24).


10. Miscellaneous Notes:

Inactives for the Redskins were:
     •    left tackle Trent Williams due to sprains of the MCL and ankle of his right leg suffered in the Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay

     •    tight end Jordan Reed due to a hamstring injury suffered in the Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay

     •    defensive lineman Chris Baker due to an SC joint sprain suffered in the Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay

     •    receiver Leonard Hankerson, who committed a late-third-quarter third-and-eight five-yard false-start penalty on a drive that resulted in a punt in the Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay.  That game marked his season debut off having been placed on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list on Aug. 30 due to season-ending surgery to repair ACL and LCL tears in his left knee on Nov. 21, 2013.

     •    quarterback Kirk Cousins for a third straight game

     •    receiver Aldrick Robinson for a sixth straight game

The Redskins also played this game without:    
     •    linebacker Brian Orakpo, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 21 due to a torn right pectoral muscle suffered in the Week 7 win over Tennessee

     •    corner DeAngelo Hall, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a torn left Achilles injury suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia.  We learned on Oct. 31 that he had torn the Achilles again.

     •    safety Duke Ihenacho, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a fractured heal bone suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia

     •    linebacker Akeem Jordan, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 18 due to a sprained left MCL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28 and then re-aggravated in the Week 6 loss at Arizona

     •    nose tackle Chris Neild, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Aug. 30 due to a torn right ACL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28


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How It Should Be Remembered: The Redskins' Loss To Tampa Bay In Week 11
by Al Galdi
Nov 21, 2014 -- 2:37pm
ESPN 980

The Redskins fell to 3-7 with a 27-7 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 16, 2014).  Here were the 10 most important items from the game:


1. Quarterback Robert Griffin III had the worst game of his NFL career


Griffin was guilty of multiple bad outings in 2013: at Denver, at Philadelphia, home to San Francisco and home to Kansas City.  But his performance in this game was worse than any of those.  

Making Griffin’s performance even more disturbing:
     •    It came off off what was a pretty good performance by Griffin in the Week 9 loss at Minnesota

     •    It came against a Bucs team that entered this game just 1-8 and was without starting corner Alterraun Verner

Griffin registered a season-low 12.9 Total QBR.

Griffin threw two first-quarter picks.
     •    The first offensive play of the game resulted in a Griffin first-and-10 pick to linebacker Danny Lansanah.  Griffin, throwing out of the offset pistol and off read-option play-action, made a low and awkward throw while moving to his left (he continues to struggles when going left) on a pop pass.  Tight end Niles Paul bobbled the ball, which went into the arms of Lansanah.  Receiver DeSean Jackson was open on a bubble screen on the play.  

     •    Griffin threw a third-and-six 19-yard pick-six to corner Johnanathan Banks on a play that started at the Redskins’ 8.  Griffin, working out of the shotgun, was late on a throw to the left side, which included a dropping linebacker in Mason Foster.  He was the lone dropping linebacker, meaning that Griffin should have thrown the ball to the right side.  Foster tipped the ball, it went into the arms of Banks and he ran through an attempted tackle by Griffin for the touchdown.  

Griffin was sacked six times.
     •    The six sacks came despite Griffin being blitzed on just four of his 42 dropbacks according to ESPN.  Four of the six sacks came against standard pressure.  The Bucs’ defensive strategy also worked from a standpoint of Griffin's average pass traveling a career-low 4.2 yards downfield.

     •    The six sacks were registered by defensive linemen: Jacquies Smith (2), Gerald McCoy (1.5), Clinton McDonald and Michael Johnson (1 each) and T.J. Fatinikun (0.5).  McCoy after the game: "We knew we had to stay alive in our rush because [Griffin] does hold the ball a little bit."

     •    If you remove the Week 2 blowout of Jacksonville, a game Griffin left early due to suffering a dislocated left ankle, Griffin now has been sacked 38 times over his last eight regular-season games.

     •    Griffin took back-to-back redzone sacks during an early-second-quarter drive that at one point featured a first-and-goal at the 6 but resulted in Forbath’s missed 47-yard field-goal attempt.  The first sack of the sequence, a second-and-10 sack by McCoy for a 10-yard loss, came as a result of Griffin misreading the field and failing to run up an open hole in the A-gap.

Griffin didn’t see the field well and was off on multiple throws.
     •    Griffin twice overthrew receiver DeSean Jackson on deep balls.  The first instance was a first-quarter second-and-two pistol deep incompletion on a drive that resulted in a punt.  The second instance, which came out of the shotgun, was officially a third-quarter no-play thanks to a 15-yard facemask penalty on defensive end William Gholston on the drive that resulted in Kai Forbath’s third-quarter missed 50-yard field-goal attempt.  Jackson was open in both instances.

     •    Two plays after Griffin’s second overthrow of Jackson was a second-and-10 eight-yard pistol completion to Jackson on which receiver Andre Roberts was wide open for a big play.


2. Head coach Jay Gruden was highly critical of Griffin

Gruden essentially admitted after the game that thought about benching Griffin in favor of Colt McCoy.  But the real bombshells came the next day.

Gruden said the following of Griffin’s performance on Monday (Nov. 17): “Robert had some fundamental flaws.  He did.  His footwork was below average.  He took three-step drops when he should’ve take five-.  He took a one-step drop when he should’ve taken three on a couple of occasions.  And that can’t happen.  He stepped up when he didn’t have to step up and stepped into pressure.  He read the wrong side of the field a couple times…It was not even close to being good enough to what we expect from that quarterback position.”

Gruden said the following of Griffin’s postgame press conference, during which he took much of the blame for the loss but also said that his teammates didn’t play well enough and need to play better: “Robert needs to understand he needs to worry about himself no. 1 and not everyone else.  It’s his job to worry about his position, his footwork, his fundamentals, his reads, his progressions, his job at the quarterback position.  It’s my job to worry about everybody else.”

Gruden apologized for the Monday comments on Wednesday (Nov. 19), but then provided these gems to NFL Media’s Albert Breer in a story posted on Friday (Nov. 21): "Since the preseason, in the games that he's played, our production from an offensive standpoint has been awful.  I think five touchdowns in all the drives he's played, for whatever reason, and that's not good.  We're still trying to figure that out...His biggest thing, he's been coddled for so long.  It's not a negative, he's just been so good, he just hasn't had a lot of negative publicity.  Everybody's loved him.  Some adversity is striking hard at him now, and how he reacts to that off the field, his mental state of mind, how it affects his confidence, hopefully it's not in a negative way...He's auditioned long enough.  Clock's ticking.  He's gotta play.  We'll see….We want Robert to excel, we really do.  But the last two games, it hasn't been very good, anywhere.”


3. Griffin wasn’t helped out enough by those around him

Griffin had an awful game and was the biggest reason for the loss, but he certainly wasn’t the only reason.

Paul bobbled the ball on the Lansanah first-and-10 pick of Griffin on the game’s first offensive play.  Paul also committed a late-fourth-quarter 10-yard holding penalty on the game’s final drive, which resulted in time running out.

Helu had two fumbles, including a late-second-quarter lost fumble after a second-and-six 13-yard reception off Griffin being in the shotgun.

Right tackle Tom Compton committed three major blunders on the early-second-quarter drive that resulted in Forbath’s missed 47-yard field-goal attempt and was ignited by Young’s fumble recovery on special teams:
     •    first-and-10 10-yard illegal-block-above-the-waist penalty

     •    first-and-goal-at-the-6 five-yard illegal-formation penalty

     •    Compton got abused by Smith on a third-and-goal-at-the-20 sack of Griffin for a nine-yard loss

Receiver Pierre Garcon committed an early-first-quarter first-and-10 five-yard false-start penalty on a drive that resulted in a punt.  He had just one reception for six yards on two targets.

Tight end Logan Paulsen had a first-quarter first-and-10 two-yard false-start penalty on the drive that resulted in Griffin’s first-quarter pick-six to Banks.  Paulsen now has six accepted penalties this season.

Receiver Leonard Hankerson committed a late-third-quarter third-and-eight five-yard false-start penalty on a drive that resulted in a punt.  He made his season debut off having been placed on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list on Aug. 30 due to season-ending surgery to repair ACL and LCL tears in his left knee on Nov. 21, 2013.

Jackson had four receptions for just 35 yards on six targets, failing to register a reception of at least 37 yards for the first time in six games.  Jackson posted the following quote on Instagram on Monday (Nov. 17): “You can’t do epic s--- with basic people.”

Left guard Shawn Lauvao committed an early-fourth-quarter second-and-16 five-yard false-start penalty on a drive that resulted in a punt.


4. For a third straight game, we saw a good amount of read-option

I counted eight read-option or at least read-option-looking plays by the Redskins.  Seven of the eight plays came in the first half.

Griffin finished the game with six carries for 41 yards, but those numbers could have been even better.  Griffin’s willingness to run appears to be an issue.
     •    The play before Griffin’s first-quarter pick-six to Banks was a second-and-eight two-yard read-option run by running back Alfred Morris out of the pistol on a play on which it appeared as if Griffin should have kept the ball.

     •    The drive that resulted in fullback Darrel Young’s early-second-quarter fumble recovery of running back Marcus Thigpen’s muffed catch of a punt included a late-first-quarter second-and-one two-yard read-option run by Morris out of the shotgun on a play on which it appeared as if Griffin should have kept the ball and a second-and-eight four-yard read-option run by Griffin out of the pistol on the first play of the second quarter.

The second-quarter drive that resulted in running back Roy Helu Jr.’s lost fumble included three read-option plays: a third-and-one one-yard read-option-looking run by Morris out of the pistol; a second-and-two eight-yard read-option run by Griffin out of the shotgun; and a first-and-10 four-yard shotgun completion by Griffin to Paul off read-option play-action.

The third-quarter drive that resulted in Forbath’s missed 50-yard field-goal attempt included a first-and-10 read-option run for no gain by Morris out of the pistol.

The first offensive play of the game, Griffin’s pick to Lansanah, came off read-option play-action out of the offset pistol.

Just two of Griffin’s six carries were read-option runs.  The other four were scrambles.
     •    The drive that resulted in Young’s early-second-quarter fumble recovery on special teams included a late-first-quarter third-and-three 10-yard shotgun scramble.

     •    The third-quarter drive that resulted in Forbath’s missed 50-yard field-goal attempt included a first-and-10 six-yard I-formation scramble.

     •    A third-quarter drive that resulted in a punt included a third-and-13 five-yard shotgun scramble.

     •    An early-fourth-quarter drive that resulted in a punt included a fourth-and-four eight-yard shotgun scramble.


5. Five Redskins starters got injured

Left tackle Trent Williams left the game in the first quarter due to sprains of the MCL and ankle of his right leg.

Tight end Jordan Reed suffered a hamstring strain.

Lavauo suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter.

Defensive lineman Chris Baker suffered a moderate SC joint sprain early in the third quarter.

Rookie linebacker Trent Murphy suffered a partial tear of his PCL.


6. The Redskins’ defense got scorched by rookie receiver Mike Evans and again gave the team very little in the play-making department

Evans, the seventh overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, had seven receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets.  He became the fifth rookie in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to have 200 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a game.  Among Evans’ big plays:
     •    early-fourth-quarter second-and-16 56-yard touchdown reception on which he beat linebacker Perry Riley Jr., who botched an A-gap blitz (he was supposed to blitz but didn’t; linebacker Keenan Robinson was supposed to be in coverage).  Corner David Amerson appeared to be at fault as well.  Also on this drive was a late-third-quarter third-and-14 34-yard reception.

     •    third-quarter second-and-nine 36-yard touchdown reception on which safety Ryan Clark blew the coverage.  The Redskins were in Cover-2, Evans ran past rookie corner Bashaud Breeland, but Clark failed to come over to help.

     •    second-quarter second-and-20 51-yard reception on the drive that resulted in Patrick Murray’s 38-yard field goal

The Redskins totaled just one takeaway (which came on special teams) and two sacks.  The Redskins exited Week 11 just 29th out of 32 NFL teams with nine takeaways and tied for 10th in the NFL with 25 sacks (though 15 of the sacks have come in two games: the Week 2 blowout of Jacksonville and the Week 8 win at Dallas.


7. All of that said, the Redskins held the Bucs to a number of respectable totals

The Redskins held the Bucs to 12 first downs, 3-for-10 on third downs, 329 total net yards of offense and an average of 2.3 yards on 21 carries.  Those numbers are more than good enough to win.


8. Morris was a bright spot

Morris had 20 carries for 96 yards and two receptions for 36 yards on three targets.  Morris now has 52 carries for 250 yards and three touchdowns since halftime of the win at the Cowboys.

Morris did an incredible job of breaking tackles and turning nothing into something on an early-second-quarter 13-yard I-formation-toss run that also included a six-yard facemask-penalty on linebacker Lavonte David.  The drive, though, resulted in Forbath’s missed 47-yard field-goal attempt.

Morris and Helu produced all 79 of the yards on the Redskins’ lone touchdown drive, which resulted in Helu’s late-second-quarter second-and-six 30-yard touchdown reception off a shotgun screen pass by Griffin in the face of pressure. Morris had a second-and-eight 19-yard shotgun-handoff draw-play run and a first-and-10 24-yard reception off a shotgun screen pass from Griffin on the next play.  


9. Redskins special teams produced a takeaway but overall performed poorly

Young’s early-second-quarter fumble recovery of Thigpen’s muffed catch of a punt was nice but basically a gift from the Bucs.  


Young committed a 10-yard holding penalty on a first-quarter 17-yard kickoff return by Roberts.

Roberts muffed the catch of an early-third-quarter punt, producing a mere one-yard return.  His only other punt return was a six-yarder late in the second quarter.

Forbath went 0-for-2 on field goals, missing a 47-yard attempt early in the second quarter and a 50-yard attempt in the third quarter.

Tress Way averaged just 34.3 net yards on four punts thanks in large part to two touchbacks..


10. Miscellaneous Notes:

This loss clinched the Redskins not winning at least 10 games this season.  The Redskins now have registered a double-digit win season just three times (1999, 2005 and 2012) over the last 23 seasons.

Nose tackle Barry Cofield, like Hankerson, returned in this game.  Cofield came off the bench and played pretty well on 58 percent of the Redskins’ defensive snaps.  He was placed on the reserve/injured list (designated to return) on Sept. 9 due to a high-ankle sprain suffered in the Week 1 loss at Houston.

So much for being inspired: former Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill, the man who says his bullet killed Osama Bin Laden, spoke to the Redskins during a team meeting on Saturday night (Nov. 15).

Inactives for the Redskins were:
     •    quarterback Kirk Cousins for a second straight game

     •    defensive end Stephen Bowen, who had been underwhelming over his three games this season.  He missed the first six games of the season due to being on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list, which he was placed on this past Aug. 30 due to microfracture surgery on his right knee last Dec. 3.

     •    receiver Santana Moss for the sixth time this season.  He was inactive for each of the first five games.

     •    receiver Aldrick Robinson for a fifth straight game

     •    right tackle Tyler Polumbus for a third straight game

     •    rookie guard Spencer Long for the eighth time in 10 games this season

     •    corner Greg Ducre, who was signed off San Diego’s practice squad on Oct. 8

The Redskins also played this game without:    
     •    linebacker Brian Orakpo, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 21 due to a torn right pectoral muscle suffered in the Week 7 win over Tennessee

     •    corner DeAngelo Hall, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a torn left Achilles injury suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia.  We learned on Oct. 31 that he had torn the Achilles again.

     •    safety Duke Ihenacho, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a fractured heal bone suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia

     •    linebacker Akeem Jordan, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 18 due to a sprained left MCL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28 and then re-aggravated in the Week 6 loss at Arizona

     •    nose tackle Chris Neild, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Aug. 30 due to a torn right ACL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28


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How It Should Be Remembered: The Redskins' Loss At Minnesota In Week 9
by Al Galdi
Nov 06, 2014 -- 3:09pm
ESPN 980

The Redskins fell to 3-6 with a 29-26 loss at Minnesota on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 2, 2014).  Here were the 10 most important items from the game:
ESPN 980 Galleries

1. Déjà vu all over again


For the second consecutive season, the Redskins improved to 3-5 with an overtime win (San Diego at FedEx Field in 2013; at Dallas in 2014).  And for the second consecutive season, the Redskins fell to 3-6 with a tough-to-take loss at a sub-.500 Vikings team (34-27 on Thursday Night Football in 2013; 29-26 in 2014).

The Redskins now find themselves 3-6 for a fourth straight season.


2. Quarterback Robert Griffin III played well in his return from a six-game absence

Griffin went 18-of-28 for 251 yards, a touchdown and a pick.  He had seven carries for 24 yards.  Griffin registered a Total QBR of 57.8 and a passer rating of 90.0.

The most encouraging aspect of Griffin performance was that he was a play-maker.  Among the examples:
     •    first-quarter third-and-seven 24-yard shotgun completion to running back Roy Helu Jr. on a play on which Griffin escaped potential sacks by linebacker Chad Greenway and defensive end Everson Griffin.  The drive resulted in Kai Forbath’s first-quarter 36-yard field goal.

     •    first-quarter first-and-10 45-yard under-center play-action completion to receiver DeSean Jackson.  The drive resulted in running back Alfred Morris’ early-second-quarter first-and-10 14-yard read-option touchdown run out of the shotgun.

     •    third-quarter first-and-10 13-yard under-center touchdown pass to Jackson, as Griffin fired a bullet into a tight window.  Also on the drive was a third-and-four 17-yard shotgun completion to tight end Jordan Reed.

     •    the drive that resulted in Morris’ fourth-quarter first-and-goal two-yard under-center-handoff touchdown run included an early-fourth-quarter second-and-seven 56-yard shotgun completion to Jackson and a third-and-five eight-yard shotgun completion to Helu off great jobs by Griffin and Helu of working off-schedule.

Griffin went 6-for-6 for 103 yards in the first quarter.  I was not in favor of him starting this game, having preferred McCoy for another game and then Griffin getting the bye week and returning for the Week 11 welcome of Tampa Bay.  But the notion that Griffin wasn’t ready to play well was wrong, as is the idea that McCoy would have been appreciably better.  

The negatives for Grffin:
     •    making a low throw to receiver Pierre Garcon on a late-fourth-quarter fourth-and-six shotgun incompletion on the Redskins’ final truly meaningful offensive play of the game.  The worst part of this play was that Griffin had a lot of room with which to run on his left side.  One official play before this one was a third-and-20 14-yard shotgun scramble on which Griffin slid in the vicinity of three Vikings defenders as opposed to trying to make a move for the first down.  No Redskins fan wants Griffin to get injured again, but there are risks worth taking, and this play may have qualified as that.  It is worth noting that Griffin had gotten banged-up on the previous play (a second-and-16 shotgun sack for a four-yard loss). 

     •    throwing a late-second-quarter first-and-10 shotgun pick to corner Captain Munnerlyn on the first play of a Redskins drive following a turnover on downs.  The ball did not come out of Griffin’s hand well at all, and head coach Jay Gruden said during his postgame press conference that Griffin “can’t throw a pick there.”

     •    getting sacked five times.  Head coach Jay Gruden on Inside The Locker Room on ESPN 980 on Nov. 14: "I think three of four 'em were possible plays we coulda got the ball out of our hands."  The protection certainly deserved some of the blame, as Helu and left guard Shawn Lauvao struggled.  But Griffin was at fault at times as well, including on an early-third-quarter third-and-eight sack by Greenway for a 10-yard loss.  Reed was open running across the field on that play but wasn’t thrown to.  Griffin now has been sacked 77 times in 31 career regular-season games.  Quarterback Kirk Cousins, for comparison’s sake, has been sacked 16 times in 14 career regular-season games.

Griffin had been inactive the previous six games due to the dislocated left ankle he suffered in the Week 2 blowout of Jacksonville.  He wore a modified shoe on his left foot.


3. For a second straight game, we saw more read-option from the Redskins than in any other game so far this season

I counted 11 read-option or at least read-option-style plays by the Redskins in this game.  The Redskins ran 62 offensive plays, so read-option, even at its peak for the season so far, comprised just 17.8 percent of the offense (and I counted read-option play-action as a read-option play, even though it technically isn’t).  

Five of Griffin’s seven runs were read-option runs.
     •    first-quarter second-and-seven three-yard read-option run out of the shotgun on the drive that resulted in Forbath’s first-quarter 36-yard field goal

     •    second-quarter third-and-one four-yard read-option run out of the pistol on a drive that resulted in a punt

     •    third-quarter third-and-one minus-two-yard read-option pistol run that resulted in a 13-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty on safety Harrison Smith for an alleged shot to Griffin’s head, even though Smith at most grazed Griffin’s helmet.  The next play was Griffin’s first-and-10 13-yard under-center touchdown pass to Jackson.

     •    third-quarter first-and-10 nine-yard read-option run out of the shotgun on the drive that resulted in Forbath’s third-quarter 26-yard field goal

     •    fourth-quarter first-and-goal shotgun read-option run for minus-three yards.  The drive, though, resulted in Morris’ fourth-quarter first-and-goal two-yard under-center-handoff touchdown run.


4. The Redskins’ defense fell on its face in the second half

The Redskins held the Vikings to just seven points, 4-for-9 on third downs and 146 total net yards of offense in the first half.  But the Redskins then allowed the Vikings to score 22 points, go 4-for-6 on third downs and total 206 total net yards of offense in the second half.  

The Redskins held the Vikings to 3.7 yards per carry on 27 rushing attempts but gave up three second-half touchdown runs to running back Matt Asiata, including an early-fourth-quarter first-and-goal seven-yard shotgun read-option touchdown run on which defensive end Stephen Bowen got pushed laterally so badly he collided with safety Ryan Clark, who was coming in for an attempted tackle.

The Redskins totaled just two sacks and five quarterback hits, including zero sacks in the second half.  The Redskins exited Week 9 tied for ninth in the NFL with 23 sacks.

The Redskins had zero takeaways and exited Week 9 29th out of 32 NFL teams with just eight takeaways this season.


5. Morris picked up where he left off after halftime of the Week 8 win at Dallas

Morris had 19 carries for a season-high 92 yards and two touchdowns, benefiting greatly from Griffin’s presence and the presence of the read-option.  Morris now has 32 carries for 154 yards and three touchdowns since halftime of the win at the Cowboys.

Morris had two 14-yard shotgun read-option runs on the six-play, 91-yard drive that resulted in his early-second-quarter first-and-10 14-yard read-option touchdown run out of the shotgun.  Morris totaled four carries for 41 yards and the touchdown on that drive.

Morris’ fourth-quarter first-and-goal two-yard under-center-handoff touchdown run concluded a drive that also included a first-and-15 under-center-toss run.

Morris also had a first-quarter second-and-11 15-yard reception on a shotgun screen pass on the drive that resulted in Forbath’s first-quarter 36-yard field goal.

Morris did have a drop on a second-quarter first-and-10 I-formation play-action incompletion.  The drive resulted in a three-and-out.


6. Jackson continued his excellent season

Jackson had four receptions for 120 yards and the touchdown on seven targets.    
     •    Jackson’s first-quarter first-and-10 45-yard under-center play-action reception saw him hold onto the ball despite a stiff shot from safety Harrison Smith.  The drive resulted in Morris’ early-second-quarter first-and-10 14-yard read-option touchdown run out of the shotgun.

     •    Jackson made an impressive catch in tight space on his third-quarter first-and-10 13-yard under-center touchdown reception.

     •    Jackson had an early-fourth-quarter second-and-seven 56-yard shotgun reception on the drive that resulted in Morris’ fourth-quarter first-and-goal two-yard under-center-handoff touchdown run.

Jackson now has nine receptions of 40 yards or more this season and five receptions of 50 yards or more this season.


7. Garcon and Reed totaled just six targets.

Garcon had three receptions for 15 yards on five targets.

Reed was targeted just once, producing the third-and-four 17-yard shotgun reception on the drive that resulted in Jackson’s third-quarter first-and-10 13-yard under-center touchdown reception.


8. Redskins special teams snapped their streak of two straight net-positive games

Receiver Andre Roberts totaled just one yard on three punt returns, including a first-quarter muff.  He also had just a 19-yard kickoff return on the opening kickoff of the second half, taking the ball out of the end zone to just the 18-yard line.  Roberts exited Week 9 tied for 12th in the NFL in yards per punt return (9.1).  

Roberts did have a third-quarter 45-yard kickoff return, giving the Redskins good field position for the drive that resulted in Jackson’s third-quarter first-and-10 13-yard under-center touchdown reception.  Roberts exited Week 9 averaging 23.5 yards on 11 kickoff returns this season.

The Redskins had just six accepted penalties, but two of them were on special teams: the first-quarter 15-yard illegal-blindside-block penalty on Young and an early-third-quarter five-yard player-out-of-bounds penalty on safety Akeem Davis.

Tress Way averaged just 45.3 yards and just 42.7 net yards on three punts.  Still, he exited Week 9 first in the NFL in yards per punt (49.4) and seventh in the NFL in net yards per punt (41.5).

The biggest bright spot: Forbath went 2-for-2 on field goals, connecting on a first-quarter 36-yarder and a late-third-quarter 26-yarder.  He now is 15-for-16 on field goals this season and 50-for-56 on field goals over his three seasons with the Redskins.


9. We had perhaps the newsiest pregame in Redskins history

First, Redskins team buses were involved in a wreck on their way to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.  No major injuries were suffered, though rookie running back Silas Redd did end up being inactive due to back spasms suffered in the accident.

We also had two major reports from ESPN:
     •    Adam Schefter reported that multiple members of the Redskins organization told him that they believe the decision to go back to Griffin and away from Colt McCoy, who had led the team to two straight wins, was an owner- and general manager-driven decision.

     •    Britt McHenry reported that Griffin has alienated himself from the Redskins locker room.  But a key part of that report was teammates shouting as Griffin was talking to reporters on Oct. 31, and as was noted by multiple Redskins insiders (including our own Chris Russell), the shouting was directed as a joke at reporters and Redskins media relations.  I and many others have been told of at least some teammates not liking Griffin, but the shouting was not an example of that.

Finally, there was a large protest against the Redskins name outside of TCF Bank Stadium before the game.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that 3,000 people attended.


10. Miscellaneous Notes:

Roberts had yet another drop, failing to catch a second-and-six shotgun read-option play-action throw that in fairness was behind him on the first play of the second quarter.  The drive did result in Morris’ his early-second-quarter first-and-10 14-yard read-option touchdown run out of the shotgun.

Inactives for the Redskins were:
     •    Cousins

     •    Redd due to back spasms suffered in the accident involving team buses on their way to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis

     •    right tackle Tyler Polumbus for a second straight game

     •    receiver Aldrick Robinson for a fourth straight game

     •    rookie guard Spencer Long

     •    linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat, who was signed off the practice squad on Oct. 8

     •    corner Greg Ducre, who was signed off San Diego’s practice squad on Oct. 8

The Redskins also played this game without:    
     •    linebacker Brian Orakpo, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 21 due to a torn right pectoral muscle suffered in the Week 7 win over Tennessee

     •    corner DeAngelo Hall, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a torn left Achilles injury suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia.  We learned on Oct. 31 that he had torn the Achilles again.

     •    nose tackle Barry Cofield, who was placed on the reserve/injured list (designated to return) on Sept. 9 due to a high-ankle sprain suffered in the Week 1 loss at Houston

     •    safety Duke Ihenacho, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 22 due to a fractured heal bone suffered in the Week 3 loss at Philadelphia

     •    receiver Leonard Hankerson, who was placed on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list on Aug. 30 due to season-ending surgery to repair ACL and LCL tears in his left knee last Nov. 21

     •    linebacker Akeem Jordan, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Oct. 18 due to a sprained left MCL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28 and then re-aggravated in the Week 6 loss at Arizona

     •    nose tackle Chris Neild, who was placed on the reserve/injured list on Aug. 30 due to a torn right ACL suffered in the preseason-ending win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 28


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