Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, playing in front of the fans at FedEx Field for the first time, was as good as he had to be to stake his team to a 14-7 halftime lead on the way to a 30-17 preseason win over the Colts.Griffin didnt quite match the stats of the quarterback on the other side of the field in the hyped matchup with the top two picks of this years draft but his team did outscore Andrew Lucks while the two were in the game.Griffin completed 11 of 17 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown to Santana Moss. Luck was 14 of 23 for 151 yards and a nice TD strike to T. Y. Hilton.This was the third preseason game and it is supposed to serve as a dress rehearsal and final tuneup for the regular season. If that is the case, then Mike Shanahan has plenty to be pleased with.I thought Robert did a good job, he said. He keeps on getting better and better, more comfortable with the system and what were trying to do.Griffin had plenty of help, too. Much of it was in the form of 107 rushing yards by fellow rookie Alfred Morris.He makes my job easy. I told him that on the sideline and his comeback to me was you make my job easy as well, said Griffin. Gaining 107 yards in a preseason game is a pretty big deal.Griffin said that he thought his timing with his receivers was better this week than it was in the previous two preseason games. I just feel more comfortable, just getting into the flow of the game, being able to play a little bit.The first touchdown the Redskins scored came on a two-yard Morris run. That capped a 66-yard drive that saw Griffin go 3 for 3 including an 18-yard strike to Pierre Garon. That moved them to the Colts 19. Morris took it in from there with runs of 17 and then two yards. That put the Redskins up 7-0.The Colts and Luck answered with an 80-yard drive to tie the game. Washington answered with an 80-yard drive of its own. Griffin was 5 of 6 on the drive and capped it with the TD toss to Moss. From a shotgun formation, Griffin sprinted to his right and hit Moss in the front corner of the end zone.Tana did a good job getting open, Griffin said. Its my job to hit him in stride and I hit him in stride and the rest is history. The offensive line did a great job of sealing off the edge, along with the running back because you cant have any penetration on a play like that.Everything was clicking and we got a touchdown.Three of Griffins four incompletions came on deep passes. He missed connections with Garon twice, once on the first play from scrimmage, and once with Leonard Hankerson.Itll come, said Griffin of success on the long balls. Those type of things, those situations, you have to get used to a guys game speed.Once were in the season and we get a few more reps at those deep routes well hit those like theres no tomorrow and well get a lot of touchdowns and a lot of people celebrating.The celebrations will come if Griffin keeps on making progress. He did not get sacked after taking three sacks in the first quarter against the Bears last week. After turning the ball over once in each of the first two preseason games he did not turn it over at all.This will be Griffin's last game action until the season opener on New Orleans on Sept. 9. Both he and Shanahan confirmed that the first team, including Griffin, will not play in Wednesday's preseason finale against the Bucs.
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 16, 52 days before NFL free agency starts.
—NFL franchise tag deadline 44
—NFL draft 101
—First Sunday of 2017 season 237
A six pack of thoughts to start out the week
1. I think that by the end of the week the Redskins will have two new coordinators. It looks like Matt Cavanaugh will be the offensive coordinator. Haven’t heard why Bill Callahan isn’t getting the nod; it’s possible that he likes what he’s doing now and he’s getting paid as well as many coordinators.
2. For a quick game with the $100 in imaginary casino chips on the defensive coordinator candidates, I’ll make Greg Manusky the favorite at $40 with Mike Pettine right behind him at $35. I’ll put $10 of the rest on Gus Bradley—we’ve heard of an interview with the Chargers but not anything like a hiring—and $15 on the field. The situation is fluid but that's the way it looks right now.
3. On November 21, after the results of Week 11, the Redskins were 2.5 games ahead of the Packers. They were also a half-game better than of the Falcons. Those two teams are now playing for the NFC title. It’s not how you start, or even how you do in the middle of the season. It’s how you finish.
4. I’m not much of a hockey guy but I think I’ve got to get down to the Verizon Center to see the Caps. They are blazing hot and you can tell it’s a great atmosphere at the VC.
5. I have a feeling that an announcement about a new stadium for the Redskins is going to happen sometime in the next few months. Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe can’t run again; he is out of office about a year from today. He’s going to want a legacy item and a state of the art stadium in the commonwealth would fill the bill. The process of approval, financing, and construction will take up most or all of the 10 years that remains on the FedEx Field lease.
More Redskins: The Redskins week that was
6. Normally having a lot of cap space to work with is a good thing but it may not be for Scot McCloughan this year. If the Redskins trim some veterans from the payroll they could go into free agency with around $70 million to spend. McCloughan would prefer to build through the draft. But the current situation almost forces the Redskins to spend. McCloughan took some heat for going into the 2016 season with $15 million in cap space and some unfilled needs on the defensive line and at safety. If they have issues again in 2017 and there is, say, $30 million just sitting there the noise will get louder. And it won’t just be coming from fans and the media; plenty of it will come from the offices of Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder.
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In case you missed it
- Scouting the playoffs: Free agent targets in Cowboys-Packers
- Possible Redskins free agent targets in Steelers-Chiefs
- The Redskins week that was—Who's going to run the defense?
- Redskins players live tweet wild Cowboys-Packers game
Sunday was a bad day for the Cowboys. They lost their divisional playoff game to the Packers, on a last-second field goal, no less. But then after the game, players and fans couldn't just pack up and go home.
Instead, they got stuck inside AT&T Stadium due to severe weather in the area. Weather forecasts showed potential tornadoes and dangerous flash flooding.
Offseason program started 272 days ago. Training camp started 171 days ago.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) January 16, 2017
Now, tornado warning in the wake of a heartbreaker. What a year pic.twitter.com/b0yz5HZtqT
Dismantling the goal posts 2 hours after game ended. Yes, that is same goal post for Mason Crosby's game winner. pic.twitter.com/yyc6e1W2kF— KristiCowboySideline (@KristiCowboy) January 16, 2017
Dak and Zeke chilling like the rest of us while tornado threat continues pic.twitter.com/vbAK3tYEpK— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) January 16, 2017
There was some silver lining for fans who got stuck, though. They got to see some of their favorite players one more time this season.
Zeke and Dak on field 2 hrs after game. Fans who are sheltering here during storm are chanting "we are proud" pic.twitter.com/JM0lvvV168— KristiCowboySideline (@KristiCowboy) January 16, 2017