Grade vs. Cowboys: A
Comment: Playing in his home state in front of more friends, family members and former coaches than he could count, Robert Griffin III put on a show.
He became the first quarterback in franchise history to throw four touchdown passes in back-to-back games and propelled the unit to 31 or more points for the fifth time this season. (The unit scored 31 or more points a total of six times from 2006-’11).
The fourth quarter interception Griffin threw was only his fourth of the season (against 16 touchdowns) and was the first turnover for the offense in four games.
After a sluggish start, the unit struck four times in the second quarter, marking the first time the team scored 28 points in a quarter since 1999, a span of 214 games.
For the second straight week, Griffin’s four touchdown passes went to different receivers, including Niles Paul’s first career score. Pierre Garçon’s 59-yarder, meantime, showed the team’s No. 1 wide out still can be effective despite his injured right foot.
“I’m sure he was sore, but a lot players are sore and are going to work through it,” Shanahan said of Garçon on Friday. “Very proud of the way he handled himself.”
Behind a 113-yard rushing performance from running back Alfred Morris, the offense racked up 142 yards on the ground. The unit leads the league with 1,792 yards and is tied for second in yards per carry (5.2). San Francisco leads the NFL at 5.5.
The offense also converted 50-percent of its third downs (6 of 12). Some of that was Morris’ gritty running on first down. Some of it was a reduction of drive-stalling penalties. A week after being flagged seven times, including five false starts, the unit was penalized only three times (two false starts and an intentional grounding) against the Cowboys.
Scoring up and penalties down seems to be a good formula for igniting a second-half run, doesn’t it?