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 Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.
—Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.
—Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21
Injuries of note:
Out: G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report
Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles
—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.
—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.
—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.
—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.
—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.
Redskins 28, Eagles 24
Tandler on Twitter
The #Redskins had to activate Lichtensteiger. With Long out w/a concussion had nobody to back up C John Sullivan.— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) December 10, 2016
In case you missed it
The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road.
The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis.
Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.
That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR.
Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.
Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.
If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.
In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out.
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