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Griffin, Redskins run past Vikings

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Griffin, Redskins run past Vikings

Offense

Grade vs. Vikings: A

Comment: Robert Griffin III and Co. got off to a sluggish start Sunday, producing a three-and-out and an interception on the first two drives, respectively.

The next four drives, however, each resulted in points as the Redskins opened a 24-9 lead they would not relinquish.

A week after being sidelined by a concussion, Griffin responded with a performance he called the most complete of his young career. The rookie accounted for three touchdowns – one in the air and two rushing. In all, he amassed 320 yards of total offense, including an electrifying 76-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Griffin was the star, but he received plenty of help from a supporting cast that was minus injured wide receiver Pierre Garçon (right foot).

Left tackle Trent Williams did an admirable job slowing four-time Pro Bowl end Jared Allen (one sack), Santana Moss (four catches for 46 yards) helped offset Garçon’s absence and Josh Morgan threw a key block on Griffin’s victory clinching scoring sprint.

The coaching staff's game plan also derserves praise. The Redskins returned to the triple option, and that, combined with Griffin gaining chunks of yards on designed runs, kept the Vikings’ vaunted defense off balance all afternoon.

“Anytime people have to account for a quarterback you can put in a number of positions, it presents a problem for a defense,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. "If you always know where a quarterback is at, obviously you can isolate on that one position. If a quarterback is able to roll out, possibly run an option or drop back and pass, there’s some question where he’ll be.”

The only concern on the offensive side of the ball was Alfred Morris’ production. Although the rookie scored, he was limited to 47 yards on 16 carries (2.9 yards per carry.) In the season’s first five games, Morris averaged 98.2 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry.

A year ago, the Redskins' anemic offense average 18 points per game. Now, it ranks among the elite thanks, in large part, to Griffin's versatility. In fact, the unit currently is tied for third in points per game (29.7) with the Giants, next Sunday’s opponent. 

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Mic picks up Packers trainer telling Cowboys' Tony Romo 'you deserve better'

Mic picks up Packers trainer telling Cowboys' Tony Romo 'you deserve better'

When longtime Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo lost his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott, there was general consensus that Prescott won the job fair and square when Romo got injured.

Romo himself said as much. But there are still people around the NFL who feel Dallas didn't do right by their 10-year starter. 

As Romo was leaving the field after the Cowboys lost to the Packers in the playoffs, Pepper Burruss, Green Bay's director of sports medicine, approached him. A microphone picked up Burruss saying what sounds like, "You deserve better." 

Take a listen. 

It's possible Burruss could have meant something else, like Romo deserved better injury luck. Maybe. 

Also keep in mind that Romo may have been leaving the field as a Cowboy for the final time of his career. What a note to leave on...

The 36-year-old has said he still wants an opportunity to start in the NFL. That won't happen in Dallas, so it's likely he'll move on to another team this offseason. 

According to Adam Schefter on ESPN Radio, the Cowboys may be willing to trade Romo to the team of his choice. 

Speculation has linked him to the Broncos, Bears, Jets and Texans.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins interviewed internal candidate for DC

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The Final Countdown: Ranking the Redskins 10 best plays of the season

The Final Countdown: Ranking the Redskins 10 best plays of the season

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016, and at the 10 worst.

No. 10 best play of 2016

Redskins at Ravens Week 5

6:20 left in Q3, Redskins ball 2nd and 8 at their own 3, Redskins leading 13-10

Kirk Cousins pass short middle intended for Jordan Reed INTERCEPTED by C.J. Mosley at WAS 13. Mosley to WAS 1 for 12 yards (Ty Nsekhe). FUMBLES (Nsekhe), ball out of bounds in End Zone, Touchback.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Tandler: This almost feels like a play that the Redskins lucked into except for Nsekhe’s hustle to make the tackle and dislodge the ball. Instead of the Ravens taking the lead or being on the doorstep of doing so, the Redskins got a first down at the 20. A well-balanced drive of five passes and five penalties ensued and the Redskins kicked a field goal that provided them with a working margin that allowed them to hang on.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: Almost feels like a lucky play? This was absolutely a lucky play. That does not discount the great hustle by Nsekhe, who was playing for an injured Morgan Moses. Still, if Mosley doesn't fumble the odds seemed overwhelmingly like a Redskins loss. Remember, beating the Ravens accounted for the third win on a four-game win streak, and brought the Redskins record up over .500 for the first time all season. They never dropped below .500 again.