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Griffin starts hot but Redskins can’t score on final drive

Nov 8, 2013, 12:23 AM EDT


Robert Griffin III and the Redskins started hot and finished hot. But in between they didn’t have enough offense or defense to keep the Minnesota Vikings from getting their second win of the season.

Trailing by 34-27 with 3:30 to play, the Redskins embarked on a desperation drive that got them a first and goal at the eight and a Roy Helu Jr. run got them to second down at the four. But Griffin threw three straight incompletions, including a fourth-down fade pattern to Santana Moss that was just out of bounds in the left corner of the end zone.

“This loss hurts, but we have to pick ourselves up and get back to work after the weekend,” said Griffin. “We have to keep pushing forward”

Griffin ended up with one of his better statistical days of the season, completing 24 of 37 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns.

But the numbers are somewhat deceptive. Griffin was on fire in the first half, completing 16 of 21 for 179 yards and all three touchdowns. But he completed just half of his passes in the second half, going 8 for 16 for 102 yards. After driving for a field goal in their first possession of the second half, making it five scores in five possessions and giving them a 27-14 lead, they did not score again.

Griffin didn’t get much help from his line. He was hit frequently in the first half but not sacked. In the final 30 minutes those hits got home as Griffin was sacked a season-high four times.

“I got hit a lot, but it’s football,” said Griffin.

As noted, the offense started off well. The Redskins had the ball four times in the first half. The results were 11 plays, 43 yards, field goal, 7-78-TD, 13-85-TD, 11-82-TD. Griffin was playing as well has he had all year, thanks in large part to Alfred Morris. He had 17 carries for 88 yards.

But after a 12-play, 59-yard drive to a field goal to open the second half the Redskins next three drives went three plays, five plays, and three plays. They wound up punt, punt, and punt while the Vikings were taking the lead.

As noted, Griffin was under pressure more in the second half. Even when he had time on occasion he was off target. And it didn’t help that after getting those 17 carries in the first half, Morris got just seven in the second.

The key series was the middle one. The Vikings had scored to take a 28-27 lead. Starting quarterback Christian Ponder was out of the game with an injury and this was the Redskins’ chance to blunt Minnesota’s momentum. They overcome a first and 20 to get one first down. But back-to-back sacks on third and fourth down—on both occasions Griffin had defenders in his face—killed the drive and the Redskins had to punt.

The Vikings got two field goals in their final two possessions, leaving the Redskins the ball with three and a half minutes to go and needing a touchdown to force overtime. Griffin was 4-4 for 34 yards as the Redskins got down to the four. But his pass to Jordan Reed was off target, his third-down pass to bounced off of Pierre Garçon’s hands and Moss caught his fourth-down pass but he couldn’t get two feet inbounds.

  1. EarlGunner - Nov 8, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    I don’t think Griffin can keep taking this kind of a beating. Hopefully we get some much needed help on the offensive line and defense during the off season.

  2. Christopher - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Lets not continue to sugar coat our words when it comes to the washington redskins. Dan Snyder needs to fire the head coach and his son. Also the defensive coach too. Why would you throw the ball 3 times when your 2nd & 4. Your rushing average is above 4 yds a carry and your team ran the ball great the entire game. RG3 needs to be taught. Nothing is being done in the organization and this needs to be addressed. Skins fans deserve better. Remember we pay the bills and we make the NFL what it is.

  3. Diehard 89 - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Our team is full of gutless heartless dumb undisciplined players. Look at DY, Perry Riley, Jerome Murphy penalties. Niles Paul is not covered but someone got to tell him its a fake on. I mean really. That’s a no brainer. We don’t have cerebral players. Look at Matt Stanford from Detroit on that play on Dallas at the goalline. That’s wasn’t a planned play but he saw he could make that play. Thats heads up football. Shanahan has been a loser since he been here. Its time for him to go but he can’t pick players or coach them.

    • Diehard 89 - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:30 AM

      We drafted linemen who can’t get on the field. A wasted 3 round pick on Leribus who can’t get on the field. A 5th round pick in Gettis who can’t get on the field. A 6th round pick who cant get on the field in Compton except on short yardage plays.You mean to tell me pitiful as our interior line pass block ,we don’t have noone better? We only 1 starter and thats Trent .Pathetic.

      • Rich Tandler - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:31 AM

        They hoped that LeRibeus could challenge Steiger this year but he showed up out of shape. He’ll get next year to get it right. Gettis and Compton were drafted to develop over a few years. Unfortunately, backup OL generally don’t get on the field except on special teams or in special units like the goal line.

        Bottom line, Gettis/Compton are both on schedule. LeRibeus is on the road to be a bust and if he doesn’t take things seriously in 2014 he’ll be gone.

        Redskins, BTW, have given up 18 sacks, seventh-best in NFL. They lead the league in rushing yards/carry. Not the marks of a “pathetic” offensive line.

        • scott - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM

          Sack stats dont show the big picture rich . griffin getting rocked after every single throw is unacceptable. Does peyton get beat around like that? Wilson?rogers?brady? Etc. As soon as the ball is snapped they are all over him. EVERYONE sees it. We cloud and hide it with the read option, but if you havent noticed if its not a pa rollout, he gets hammered completed pass or not. And we are all sick of looking at it and tired of sugar coating it

        • Rich Tandler - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:49 PM

          Yes, but usually pressures, hits, sacks go together. From Pro Football Focus, I pulled up QB hit and hurry data for the NFC East and a few other random but pretty good teams.
          Team-pressures (hits+hurries)-sacks


          So the Redskins are second-best in the division and about in the middle of the pack here. Only the Packers, who also have nobody that anyone else would want on their line, stand out.

          It football, QB’s get hit and the entire DC are notices and cringes when Griffin gets hit. Thus the impression that the OL is “pathetic”.

          They’ve had some bad games; Minnesota and Dallas come to mind. But their body of work on the season is at least average and, when it comes to run blocking, above average.

  4. scott - Nov 10, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Good stuff rich, well i have a off topic question that i have been wondering your opinion on…alot of fans are already clamoring for a head coach change. Lets say snyder decides to go a different way after this year, who as of now do you think would be possible candidates?

    • Rich Tandler - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:45 AM

      Scott, kind of early for that and it’s more the subject for a post than a comment. But my initial thought is that it would have to be someone strong enough to stand up to Snyder (I’m assuming Bruce Allen would be staying as a buffer). They would also have to figure out what to do with a GM part of the job. So I’m thinking someone along the lines of Gruden or Cowher. Archives

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