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Griffin says offense ‘close’ but ‘close doesn’t do it’

Oct 14, 2013, 12:49 AM EDT


The Robert Griffin III of 2012 was back for some of the game on Sunday night in Dallas. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there consistently enough or for long enough to keep the Washington Redskins from falling to the Cowboys 31-16 and dropping to 1-4 on the season.

The Redskins now trail the Cowboys and Eagles, both 3-3, in the NFC East. Griffin said that the team would keep fighting.

“There’s no quit in this team, period,” he said. “You’ll never see us go out there an quit. I tell it to the guys every single time we’re out there, ‘If you don’t want to be out here to win, don’t come.’”

Maybe it would have helped if Griffin could have played special teams. The Redskins allowed an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 90-yard kickoff return that set up a 15-yard touchdown drive. Dwayne Harris made both of the killer returns. That kept the Cowboys in control of the game at a time when their offense was struggling.

Griffin started off well. On the Redskins’ first possession he completed four of five passes for 42 yards and ran twice for 22 yards. He was confident throwing the ball and cutting upfield on his running attempts. However, in what would become a familiar theme for the night, the drive stalled and the Redskins had to settle for a field goal.

But after that first drive Griffin was up and down. He finished the night with 19 completions on 39 attempts, a completion percentage of 48.7. In his 19 previous career games he had completed fewer than half of his passes just once (vs. Steelers last year). Griffin threw for 246 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

“We’re close on offense but close doesn’t do it in this league,” said Griffin.

As noted, Griffin did look much better running the ball. He ran nine times for 77 yards and on top of that he drew two 15-yard penalties when he was hit late scampering out of bounds.

In the Redskins’ first four games, Griffin ran for a total of 72 yards. In 2012 he ran for 820 yards (an average of 55 yards in his 15 games).

“I just think we had the opportunity [to run] and I took advantage of it,” said Griffin.

“You could see that he moved better, you could see that some of that speed was back,” said Mike Shanahan. “He made some big plays running the football.”

Despite the special teams problems, the Redskins and Griffin still had a chance to take the lead after Alfred Morris scampered 45 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to pull Washington within five at 21-16. The much-maligned Redskins defense, which played pretty well all night, forced a three and out.

A 17-yard pass from Griffin to Leonard Hankerson got the Redskins into Dallas territory. Griffin ran for five yards to set up a first and 10 at the 30. But after a run for a loss of one and two incompletions, Kai Forbath missed a 49-yard field goal and that was the beginning of the end.

The Dallas offense came alive and drove to a field goal to put the home team up by eight.

Then, on second and 19 from the Washington 11, Griffin went back to pass. He looked through his progression but backup defensive end Kyle Wilber came up behind him and knocked the ball out of his hands. Wilber recovered the fumble at the three and Joseph Randle put the game out of reach with a one-yard touchdown run.

Griffin held the ball for a long time, too long according to Shanahan. “Once you get back there you have to get rid of that ball very quickly,” he said.

“I went through my reads, the pocket collapsed, got hit,” said Griffin. I tried to hold onto the ball and they just got it.”

  1. polofourme - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    Four reason why this team is playing so poorly, One an overmatched OL. Last year I said the weakness of the OL was being covered up by Griffins ability to run and create uncertainty or hesitation of the D side of the ball. Now the OL is getting beat like an old rug…they simply ignore Griffins threat to run and that hurts the running game. Two, STs aint so special and the penalty against the ST coach along the sideline..what the heck was he doing standing in the white area along the sideline. Time to fire him. I said we would miss Danny Smith and we do. Three, penalties and TOs. This team had two weeks to prepare to play DAL and committed what 12 penalties for 104 yards…that’s simply an undisciplined team. And finally the not so great Griffin. His accuracy is a problem, he turns the ball over and he is taking a beating behind a pathetic OL. Its a total team failure D, O and ST. I said you don’t fix a bad team in two weeks….I stand by that view. I will say this, Griffin was moving better. But teams still don’t consider him a risk nor does the plays he makes with his feet have a real impact on the outcome of the game. He is simply not the player he was last year and IMO its time to start to realize, this is permanent. And he when he does hit his recievers, those guys are dropping a lot of balls…that throw to Hankerson near the end of the game…hit him right in the hands and he dropped it. I have long said we have at best a weak group of WRs on the team. All this against a DAL team without two of it best players, one on D, Ware and the other on the O, Bryant…even with them off the field, WAS was beaten soundly. Its going to be a long season….and we have just started the most difficult part of the year.

    • ccrmcpd - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Although I’m a huge Redskins, I’m going to call it how it is. I agree, Polo, to an extent. I think the ST loss this game for us, practically giving up 2 TDs. The defense was great and was able to limit the Cowboys’ offense. If the ST didn’t mess up, the outcome of the game would have favored Washington. Maybe RGIII wouldn’t have fumbled or thrown that INT.

      The penalties, turnovers, and ST play ultimately loss this game for us. Penalties are unacceptable and show nondisciplinary. Embarrassing to see how this team is unable to build on their success from last year. I still stand by this team and believe in them.

  2. rickjamesinfo - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Washington suffers year after year from the same things. Their coaches seem incapable of getting things fixes. Even when they are winning their special teams are horrible. Why is it they other teams can block Redskins punts yet the Skins NEVER block a punt. Why do other teams return punts and kickoffs for touchdowns and the Redskins NEVER return them for TD’s. Why is it the offensive line is weak or injured year after year after year and yet the Skins are always drafting safeties and cornerbacks year after year. Looking back it is a management problem Russell Wilson was available in the 3rd round and RG3 wass taken for 3 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick. those 4 picks right now look like they could have been used to create an all pro offensive line so right now the Redskins are dead in the water with no line and a QB who is at least 2 years away from developing because RG3 really does look like a rookie who cannot read NFL defenses and is confused, not to mention his accuracy problem

  3. santino5903 - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM


  4. James - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    The difference in RGIII 2012 vs 2013 isn’t just physical ability. Sitting and pouting on the sideline instead of exhorting and rallying your team is a failure of leadership. Pull him, and let Cousins try to lead. Put whatever spin you want on it, but don’t let this turn into another Jason Campbell era. Archives

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