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Instant analysis: Redskins 38, Vikings 26

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Instant analysis: Redskins 38, Vikings 26

If there was any doubt about Robert Griffin III’s health, the Redskins’ rookie put those concerns to rest Sunday at FedEx Field.

Griffin, who suffered a concussion last week, returned to the lineup and engineered a 38-26 victory over the Vikings that snapped Washington’s NFL worst eight-game losing streak in Landover, a drought that stretched back more 13 months.

The quarterback also recorded the top highlight of his young career late in the fourth quarter of a game that had suddenly drawn close. With the Redskins’ 19-point second half lead whittled to 31-26, Griffin took a quarterback draw 76 yards for touchdown, his second of the day. The scintillating score not only brought fans out of their seats, it put the game out of the visitors’ reach.
 
More important than the electrifying run, though, Griffin appears to have returned to the Redskins’ lineup a more mature player.

Griffin elicited smart-alecky cheers in the first quarter when he scooted out of bounds on a scramble. Seven days ago, he might have attempted to turn up the field and, perhaps, left himself open to the type of big hit that knocked him from last week’s loss to the Falcons.

In the second quarter, Griffin tossed the ball away as he scrambled toward the sideline. He took a shot from Minnesota linebacker Erin Henderson anyway, then complained to a nearby official. A second later, the official threw a flag.

Lesson learned? Time will tell, but Griffin certainly exhibited a new wrinkle in his game: concern for his own well being without appearing overly cautious.

Griffin finished the game 17 of 22 for 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for a career-high 139 yards and a pair of scores. The two rushing touchdowns were his fifth and sixth, which gives him the most in a single season by Redskins’ quarterback – just six games into the campaign.

Early on, it appeared that they might be in for a long afternoon after yielding Vikings’ field goals on the visitors’ first three possessions of the game.

But they closed the first half on 17-0 run thanks to Griffin and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who recovered a Christian Ponder fumble at the Minnesota 6-yard line with 2:14 left in the second quarter. One play later, Griffin connected with fullback Darrel Young for a touchdown.
 
Griffin stretched the lead to 24-9 on the first drive of the third quarter with a 7-yard touchdown run. Then, early in the fourth quarter, safety Madieu Williams returned an interception 24 yards for a score that put the Redskins ahead 31-12. Williams’ touchdown was the fourth of the season for the Redskins, the unit’s most since 1999. The team also has 49 points on turnovers through six games – six more points than they accumulated all last season.

The Redskins’ new kicker, Kai Forbath, also got off to a promising start, booting a 50-yard field goal. It was the first of the 25-year-old’s career.

The victory was the Redskins’ first at FedEx Field since a 22-21 victory over the Cardinals on Sept. 18, 2011.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Ever wonder how B-Mitch became a Redskin?

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Real Clear Sports

New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Ever wonder how B-Mitch became a Redskin?

The SportsTalk Live crew of Rob Carlin and Brian Mitchell joined JP Finlay to talk Redskins football, the defensive coordinator search and the constract situation of Kirk Cousins on the latest edition of #RedskinsTalk the Podcast. The talk begins, however, with B-Mitch telling the story of how he ended up with the Redskins after not getting an invitation to the Senior Bowl or the East-West Shrine Game. It's a must listen. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins D-lineman says team has 'no idea' what'll happen with Kirk Cousins

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@Francis_Sports/USA TODAY

Redskins D-lineman says team has 'no idea' what'll happen with Kirk Cousins

All around the DMV, people are searching for clues as to what the Redskins are going to do with Kirk Cousins.

Lines are being read between. Conclusions are being jumped to. Yet still, no one truly sees how the situation is going to play out — and that includes Cousins' teammates.

"No one outside of the front office knows what they're going to do at any time," defensive lineman A.J. Francis, who has a reserve/futures contract with Washington, told Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay in a recent #RedskinsTalk podcast. 

"I've learned that through all the teams I've been on, crazy moves I've seen, whether it be who they let go, or who they sign back for how much, or who they drafted. You never know. And to say you think you have an idea about what's going to happen is wrong."

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

There are only a few finite ways the Cousins dilemma can play out (this isn't an M. Night Shyamalan movie, after all). The Redskins can put the franchise tag on him again, they can look to hammer out an extension, they can let him walk or they can try and trade him. 

But, for those hoping to get the scoop from someone who shared the locker room with the quarterback for parts of the last season, sorry to say, but he's got nothin'.

"It's all up to the two or three people that really have a say in the decision making process and they're going to come up with a decision whenever they want to and not a second before," Francis said.

Guess it's time to get back to playing interviews with Cousins in reverse to hear if a secret message is being glossed over, as the wait continues for some news to break between the two sides.

For more from this episode of #RedskinsTalk, including Francis' thoughts on the team's defensive coordinator search and his opinion on Finlay's faltering athletic ability, click below. And don't forget to subscribe, either.