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Can RG3's stock go any higher?


Can RG3's stock go any higher?

Here is a look at who is up and who is down after the Redskins’ 27-23 loss to the Giants:

Up: I’m not sure if the stock of Robert Griffin III can go much higher but I wouldn’t even think about selling it. Yes, he had the two turnovers but the clutch drive that gave the Redskins the lead in the game’s final minutes, featuring the jaw-dropping fourth-down conversion, more than negated his miscues.

Down: The one job that free safety Madieu Williams has in the last two minutes of a game when his team has the lead is to serve as the last line of defense on a long pass. That is especially true pertaining to the receiver he is assigned to cover. Victor Cruz should never have gotten past him.

Up: Although Fred Davis’ injury led to the Redskins bringing back Chris Cooley the immediate beneficiary was Logan Paulsen. He had career highs of four receptions for 76 yards including the catch on RG3’s fourth-down scramble.

Down: London Fletcher had six tackles, one for a loss, but he did miss a tackle and was not in at the end of the game due to a hamstring injury.

Up: Like RG3, Alfred Morris’ stock just continues to rise. Yesterday he had 22 carries for 120 yards. He now has an NFC-best 658 rushing yards on the season, putting him on pace to rush for just over 1500 yards.

DownNiles Paul’s day got off to a bad start when he couldn’t hang on to a short pass in the end zone on the Redskins’ first possession. Yes, the defender got a hand in there but it looks like Paul could have shielded him from the ball. Later, he couldn’t get between Jason Pierre-Paul and Griffin, causing a sack. After Davis went out of the game, Paul did not get targeted at all.

UpSantana Moss showed that he still has it with two touchdown catches, including one on a nifty run after taking a bubble screen.

Down: At first it appeared that Brian Orakpo’s absence would not hurt Ryan Kerrigan’s production all that much. But he has struggled in the past two games and yesterday he didn’t post a sack and had only one tackle.

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Statistic Surprise - Redskins used Su'a Cravens sparingly against Detroit

Statistic Surprise - Redskins used Su'a Cravens sparingly against Detroit

The Redskins got a boost Sunday when rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens returned to the field after missing two games with a concussion. Interestingly, however, Cravens did not provide the spark many expected as he played just 11 of 53 defensive snaps.

Certainly it's possible the 'Skins coaches decided to ease their rookie back in after suffering a head injury. But that logic seems flawed - Cravens was cleared by the NFL concussion protocol, and once a player is cleared, it's for full-game action. 

Another thought might be that the Washington defense excelled while Cravens was out. He missed Redskins' wins in Baltimore and home against the Eagles, two games where Joe Barry's group shut down the opposing offenses. It's definitely possible coaches elected to stick with a combination of Will Compton and Mason Foster on the field at the inside linebacker positions.

Looking at snap counts from Compton and Foster, it appears that's what the coaches decided. Compton played every defensive snap, and Foster was on the field for 40 of the defenses 53 snaps. 

What, if any, role change that means for Cravens will be interesting. Before his injury, Cravens' playing time was trending up, as he had 29 snaps against the Giants and 27 snaps against the Browns before being injured in the 3rd quarter. Cravens was on the field as the nickel and dime linebacker in most situations.

Sunday, that wasn't the case, as the team played a lot of nickel. Slot corner Kendall Fuller, another rookie, was on the field for 40 snaps. 

Easing Cravens back in slowly was likely by design, and for a second-round pick with a mountain of promise, a prudent course for the Redskins coaches. That said, as CSN's Rich Tandler likes to point out, in the NFL, cleared is cleared. 

Cravens has playmaking ability, he's displayed that already this young season. In fact, he nearly pulled down Lions QB Matt Stafford for a sack on Sunday despite what looked like an obvious hold. 

Scot McCloughan drafted Cravens just for that - despite being a positional hyrbid, the rookie is a 'football player,' just like McCloughan wants. This Sunday against the Bengals, with two weeks of practice after the concussion, it will be interesting to see how many chances Cravens gets.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Barstool Nate professes love for Kirk Cousins & London football

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Barstool Nate professes love for Kirk Cousins & London football

JP Finlay catches up with  Barstool Nate as he professes love for Kirk Cousins and preview the Redskins game in London. Bonus: JP debuts a terrible British accent.

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates