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Redskins offense still gets high marks


Redskins offense still gets high marks

Grade vs. Bengals: B
Comment: Aftera second consecutive loss, youve really got to squint in order to see a silver lining. But if you do, youll realize that the Redskins possess one of the leagues most explosive offenses.

And that, at the very least, makes Sunday afternoons in Washington much more bearable.

Robert Griffin III and the offense got off to a slow start against the suspect Bengals' defense. But after a number of astute adjustments at halftime, the unit managed to overcome a 14-point deficit on back-to-back possessions to start the third quarter, methodically covering 80 and 86 yards, respectively.

Unfortunately for the home team, Griffin was unable to author a comeback on the teams final possession, which began at the Washington 2-yard line and ended with a third-and-50-to-go after a sack, a false start and Kyle Shanahans meltdown on the sideline.

But the loss shouldnt obscure this fact: After years of mediocrity (and worse) on offense, the Redskins finally have a potent unit capable of producing points almost on demand. And, at the moment, theyre doing it without the services of the teams second most dangerous weapon behind Griffin wide receiver Pierre Garon, who's sidelined with a foot injury.

Despite Garon's absence, the Redskins lead the NFL in points scored with 99 and the offense ranks sixth in yards per game with 404.3. Last season, they surpassed 400 yards only three times and did not reach 99 points until their sixth contest.

On Sunday, Griffin led the team in rushing with 85 yards and fellow rookie Alfred Morris had 78, making him the first Redskins running back since Stephen Davis in 1999 to open the season with three straight 75-yard or better rushing performances.

The coaching staff also showed some creativity by using Brandon Banks on the option. Twice in the third quarter, Banks was on the receiving end of pitches from Griffin, the first of which he carried for 21 yards.

The 213 yards they racked up on the ground were the most in 77 regular season games.

But there are a couple of concerns going forward. After initially saying he did not believe Griffin was absorbing too many hits, Coach Mike Shanahan reversed course Monday and acknowledged as much, saying, You dont want a quarterback taking as many shots as he did Sunday, thats for sure.

Some of the shots Griffin received Sunday were the result of him carrying the ball 12 times. Others were the result of poor blocking from an offensive line that could be without both starting tackles in Tampa.

Which brings us to the other concern. Jammal Brown has been sidelined all season and its possible the Redskins could also be without Trent Williams against the Buccaneers. Williams suffered a knee injury against the Bengals and if he cant suit up, his replacement will be Jordan Black, a journeyman who was not in the NFL last season.

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Stephen A. Smith mocks Redskins again after loss to Lions

Stephen A. Smith mocks Redskins again after loss to Lions

By Jason Dobkin (@jasondobkin)

Stephen A. Smith mocked the Redskins on ESPN First Take on Monday after their loss to the Lions Sunday, continuing the back-and-forth between the team and the television personality.

He told the Redskins "bravo again" for losing the close game that apparently was enough to prove the point he made last week on the show that the Redskins had a loser's mentality and were "inept" and "nonexistent." Smith loudly took issue with Chris Baker's and Ricky-Jean Francois' declaration that the Redskins "run the East," saying they need to be focusing on the big picture.

Baker tweeted at him the next day, demanding respect, and Smith stuck to his guns the next day on First Take. 

On Monday, Smith mocked Jay Gruden for defending his team at a press conference, where he said Smith was "out of line" for his comments and that he didn't know anything about who the Redskins were or the work they put in.

"And of course there’s the great Jay Gruden, because we know he’s great just by his name alone," Smith said. "Let’s be clear about that. We know that he’s great, [because he] takes time out of his busy schedule to comment about me."

"Who gives a damn about hard work?" he went on to say. "It's about results."

Baker held back from engaging with Smith on Twitter this time.

MORE REDSKINS: Consussion protocol for Josh Norman could be complicated

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Redskins injury report: Team will monitor Williams, Scherff

Redskins injury report: Team will monitor Williams, Scherff

While the Redskins are not yet out of the woods regarding Trent Williams’ knee injury, the news sounds better than Williams looked after the game on Sunday.

Jay Gruden confirmed an earlier report that an MRI revealed no structural damage to the left knee of the Pro Bowl left tackle. He went down near the end of the Redskins’ 20-17 loss to the Lions and he needed assistance to get back to the locker room. After talking to the press, he had a decided limp as he walked to the team bus.

“That’s [the MRI results] good news, but we have to still monitor him during the week and see how he does,” said Gruden.

Guard Brandon Scherff left the game briefly after suffering a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. “He’s sore,” said Gruden. “He’s a tough sucker, but he’s sore.”

Scherff will be monitored in practice as well.

Gruden also said that cornerback Bashaud Breeland is sore after suffering a sprained ankle. He missed two games with a right ankle injury earlier this season but Gruden said that his injury is to his left ankle.