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In debut, RG3 exceeds great expectations


In debut, RG3 exceeds great expectations

Expectations in Washington were sky high for Robert Griffin III from the moment the Redskins traded away a boatload of picks to get the right to draft him with the second overall pick in Aprils draft.

What did Griffin do with those expectations in his first game with the team? He went out and exceeded them.

By a lot.

Griffin became the first NFL quarterback since 1950 to quarterback a team to 40 points in the season opener as the Redskins stunned the Saints in New Orleans by a score of 40-32.

The numbers tell part of the story. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. If you crunch those numbers in the QB rating calculator you get a 139.9.

A perfect rating is 158.3 and that is what Griffin had in the first half. No quarterback has ever posted a perfect rating in a half in his NFL debut.

And per the Elias Sports Bureau, no quarterback has ever passed for at least 300 yards with at least two touchdowns and no interceptions in his debut.

When you start reading stats with things like first time in 62 years and first time ever attached to them, you start to get the idea that this was a pretty special performance.

As noted, the numbers only tell part of the story. The moment was not nearly too big for him. Griffin was not at all rattled by the notorious noise at the Superdome, a place where the Saints went undefeated last year. He was poised and he made excellent decisions.

And he put the ball where it needed to be. After the Saints scored a touchdown to take a 7-3 lead, a penalty backed the Redskins up to their own 12. On first down, Griffin threw a dart to Pierre Garon, who was streaking over the middle. The receiver caught the pass in stride and rolled 88 yards for a touchdown. Yes, most of the yardage was after the catch but if Griffin doesnt throw a perfect pass, allowing Garon to keep running at top speed, its a nice play but not a touchdown.

The score put the Redskins up 10-7 and they didnt trail the rest of the game.
Griffin had a lot of help. The defense held the Saints to 32 yards on the ground, allowed the Saints to convert just two of 11 third downs and and let Drew Brees complete fewer than half of his passes. Rookie Alfred Morris, who came in with considerably lower expectations as a sixth-round pick out of Florida-Atlantic, rushed for 96 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns. The offensive line was solid, paving the way for 153 rushing yards overall and giving up just one sack of Griffin.

But the Redskins have had nice rushing games before and they have played good defense before. The difference, for this one game at least, was the rookie behind center.

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Rex and Rob Ryan seen hanging out in Nationals jerseys

Rex and Rob Ryan seen hanging out in Nationals jerseys

If you're a football fan, chances are you already know that Rex and Rob Ryan are a bit nuts. With the Buffalo Bills in town to play the Redskins in a preseason matchup Friday, it appears the Ryans are doing their best to try and fit in with the locals.

Check out this picture a sharp-eyed fan took Friday afternoon:

Those two guys sure look an awful lot like Rex and Rob Ryan.

According to the Tweet they were at the restaurant MXDC Cocina Mexicana located in Northwest D.C. That would make sense since the Redskins are hosting Buffalo on Friday night and Rex is the head coach of the Bills and Rob is an assistant coach. Plus, if we know anything about the Ryans, it's that they like to eat.

So what's with the Nationals jerseys? Here's my theory:

They're weird.

From appearing in an Adam Sandler movie, to dressing up like each other, to...whatever the heck this is, the Ryan brothers are fun to follow just because you never know what they're going to do next. This is just the latest example.

The Ryans will be on the sidelines tonight, presumably wearing Buffalo gear, as the Redskins host the Bills in their third preseason game. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.


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Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott spotted at marijuana dispensary in Seattle

Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott spotted at marijuana dispensary in Seattle

Football players are expected to scout opponents before a game, but Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott scouted much more than that on the team's strip to Seattle.

The Cowboys played the Seattle Seahawks in a preseason game on Thursday in Seattle and Elliott took in a bit of the local scenary. TMZ reported Thursday that Elliott was seen at a Seattle marijuana dispensary hilariously named "Herban Legends" earlier in the day. Elliott was seen on video and even posed for a picture with a fan. He did not appear to buy any items.

Marijuana is legal in Washington state and it is not unusual for tourists to visit local dispensaries even if they do not intend to buy anything. Marijuana is still banned in the NFL, however, and the Cowboys were not thrilled with Elliott's day trip.

"It's just not good," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "That's a part of just really getting the big picture here."

That's the same Jerry Jones who tirelessly defended Greg Hardy last season.

On the field, Elliott looked great. He received high marks (pun intended) for his performance against the Seahawks, rushing for 48 yards on seven carries. He even ran over safety Kam Chancellor on one play, bouncing off the bruising safety with relative ease.

Now he just has to be a bit more careful for how he spends his time off the field.


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Redskins will find out if Stork is an upgrade at center

Redskins will find out if Stork is an upgrade at center

Don’t look for newly-acquired Redskins center Bryan Stork to appear in tonight’s preseason game against the Bills. But look for him to move into the picture on the Washington offensive line sooner rather than later.

The Redskins gave up a conditional seventh-round draft pick in order to bring in Stork. After a reported brief flirtation with retirement the 2014 fourth-round pick of the Patriots is set to report to the Redskins, probably sometime this weekend.

The Redskins have been looking to improve the center position all year. They likely would have drafted Alabama center Ryan Kelly in the first round last spring had the Colts not scooped him up a few picks before the Redskins went on the clock. They have tried to convert Spencer Long from guard to center but that seems to be more of a long-term project than immediate help.

They would have been content to go into the season with Kory Lichtensteiger at center, although wary that the 31-year-old could have more health issues after he missed 11 games last year with a neck/shoulder injury. But when Stork became available the Redskins at a low price they jumped at the chance. Even if he isn’t not an upgrade over the incumbent starter—and until the coaches see him working some in the Washington offense they don’t really know—he is at worst a better option as a backup than Long, 2015 seventh-round pick Austin Reiter, or Josh LeRibeus, who was shaky filling in when Lichtensteiger last year.

Again, the price was right for Stork. A seventh-round pick and salaries of $600,000 this year and $690,000 next year, and no guaranteed money for a player who has been the primary starter for a very good team for two years is the very definition of a low-risk move.

But it should be noted that low risk does not mean no risk. Stork has suffered multiple concussions in his first two years in the league. The nightmare scenario would be for Stork to become a starter the team relies on and then suffer from concussions or other injuries.

To be sure, any player can suffer an injury at any time. Sometimes player have issues with concussions or other injuries and learn how to avoid them and stay healthy. Stork’s injury risk may be higher than that of an average player but it’s something the Redskins are willing to live with.

Even if Stork does prove to be a better option at center than Lichtensteiger don’t look for an immediate change to be made. It will take some time for the competition to sort itself out and for Stork to become familiar enough with the offense, protections, line calls, etc. They probably would like to wait four weeks before playing him although an emergency could push him to be ready sooner.