Robert Griffin III cracked a smile and then expressed surprise Wednesday afternoon when asked about Griffining, the latest gesture to sweep the NFL.Who would have thought getting knocked on your butt and throwing a touchdown would start a phenomenon like that? he said during his weekly news conference. Griffining and RGIII and whatever they want to call it, Im not opposed to it. Its pretty funny to me.Since Sunday, fans have been imitating Griffins spontaneous celebration to his first career touchdown. The Redskins rookie quarterback struck the pose seated on the turf, arms raised and fingers pointing toward the Superdome ceiling as Pierre Garon raced into the end zone in the first quarter.Last season, Tim Tebow and Tebowing took the sporting world by storm. It remains to be seen if Griffining will have the same staying power, but a search on Tweetreach.com of the hashtag Griffining at lunchtime said the term reached 137,000 accounts.I havent seen anyone do it, Griffin said. But some of my teammates have made fun of me for it. Like I started it on purpose.
Redskins receiver Ryan Grant played 20 snaps against the Lions on Sunday. He was targeted twice and had one reception for five yards. But people were still talking about him after the game because of a couple of errors he made that could have been very costly.
The worst mistake came in the fourth quarter with the Redskins trailing 13-10. When Grant lined up for the play, he was on the line of scrimmage, covering up Ty Nsekhe, who had reported as an eligible receiver. According to the rules, an eligible receiver has to be line up either at one end of the line or in the backfield. Grant should have lined up off the line of scrimmage. The penalty negated a 27-yard completion to Vernon Davis.
Fortunately, the Redskins did go on to score a touchdown. But it was still a major gaffe for a third-year player.
“Yeah, that was tough when he covered up,” said Jay Gruden. “Nsekhe was in the game and I think he thought Nsekhe was a lineman—he didn’t realize he had reported as a tackle—so he saw the other tight end was off the ball so he got on. That’s a mistake that obviously is frustrating and we can’t have, but I can see where that could’ve messed him up a little bit. The referee was trying to get him back and he just didn’t see it.”
That’s the thing. The referee will tell you if you’re lined up properly or if you need to get off the line. If you’re a part-time player who doesn’t take many practice snaps with the starters you should check with the official 100 percent of the time.
Earlier the Redskins’ previous touchdown drive was almost derailed when Grant missed a hand signal from Kirk Cousins and ran the wrong route, almost causing an interception.
“The other one was a quick hand signal and he didn’t get it,” said Gruden. “It’s just something we have to work on—our communication—the ball was snapped quickly. But, yeah, you’re right. I think Ryan wishes he has those two back.”
It remains to be seen if another receiver will be activated in Grant’s place. But he has always seemed to be one of Gruden’s favorite players and, indeed, the coach finished the discussion of his mistakes by praising him.
“There’s nobody in this building that works harder than Ryan,” said Gruden. “He does a lot of the dirty work for us. He gets in there and digs out safeties for us in the running game. He’s a very important part of this offense and he’ll still get better.”
Sure doesn’t sound like a guy who is headed for the bench. And, to be fair, Grant will probably learn from his mistakes and not repeat them. We will see how this unfolds.
The Beast is back - The NFC East is the only division in the NFL where every team has a winning record. And that could mean tough trails for the Redskins as both the Giants and Eagles won on Sunday while Washington lost a heartbreaker in Detroit. An update across the division:
- The Dallas Cowboys (5-1,1-1) gave up no ground last week while they took their bye week. The Redskins had a big chance to equal Dallas with a fifth win, but Washington's last-second loss in Detroit is well documented at this point. The Cowboys should be getting healthier too; receiver Dez Bryant might return soon, though the elephant in Jerry Jones' room remains what happens when Tony Romo can come back.
- Even without their best game from rookie QB Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-2, 0-1) bounced back in a big way with a good home win over previously undefeated Minnesota. The win showed off the best of the Eagles defense against their former QB Sam Bradford, and sets up a huge matchup this week against the Cowboys. Don't forget, the Eagles win over the Vikings could prove important in an NFC Wild Card tiebreak scenario, though something like that is still months away.
- It just feels like the Washington Redskins (4-3, 2-1) loss in Detroit will prove costly in January. There's a huge difference between 5-2 and 4-3, and now the 'Skins travel to London to take on a tough Bengals team. It will be a tough pill for this team to enter the bye at 4-4 after reeling off a four-game win streak, putting extra importance on this Sunday's game against Cincinatti. And much like the Eagles helped themselves out with the NFC win over the Vikes, the 'Skins doubly dug a hole with the NFC loss to the Lions, a team now with the same record as Washington.
- If it seems hard to get a read on the New York Giants (4-3, 1-1) that's because it is. Eli Manning is not playing particularly well, but the wild ability of Odell Beckham has allowed the Giants offense just enough to make plays in the passing game. The Giants rank 20th in the NFL in yards gained-per-game, and our 19th in yards given up-per-game. That recipe doesn't sound great, and yet, the Giants are winning. Eli and the G-Men tend to get hot late in the year, and so far, they are treading enough water to still make a late-season run.
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