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RG3 nearly perfect vs. Eagles


RG3 nearly perfect vs. Eagles

Robert Griffin III added another “is he really a rookie?” performance to his already impressive resume in leading the Redskins to a 31-6 win over the Eagles.

Griffin completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards and four, count ‘em four, touchdowns. You could say he wasn’t perfect due to the one incompletion, which came late in the second quarter on a short throw over the middle intended for Josh Morgan.

But the NFL said that he was perfect on the day, at least according to its quarterback rating system. If you plug the numbers into the calculator it spits out a rating of 158.3. You can’t get any higher than that.

Griffin is the first rookie since at least 1960 to get a perfect QB rating in a game with at least 15 pass attempts.

He also set a record for the best completion percentage by a rookie in a game with at least 15 pass attempts. In fact, he shattered it by completing 93.3 percent of his throws. Charlie Batch of the Lions held the previous record with a 16 for 19 (84.2 percent) performance in a game in 1998.

Griffin got things going early. His first pass of the game went to Darrel Young for six yards and a touchdown. That score was set up by DeAngelo Hall’s interception and return to the Philly nine on the Eagles’ third play from scrimmage.

Griffin’s next two TD passes were highlight reel material. In the second quarter he dropped back and had plenty of time to find Aldrick Robinson, who was open by at least 10 yards, in the end zone from 49 yards out. That got the Redskins out to a 14-3 lead and they never looked back.

That doesn’t mean that the rest of the game was not worth watching. In the third quarter Griffin scrambled and launched one deep to Santana Moss at around the five yard line.

“It was an ‘Oh, no . . . oh, yes!’” moment, said Mike Shanahan. The “oh, no” part came from the fact that Moss was bracketed between to defenders. But all was well as Moss snagged the ball and then ran through an attempted tackle by rookie Brandon Boykin and fell into the end zone.

There was a flag on the play that was in the area where we usually see offensive holding called so the stadium was largely quiet after the play. Eagles defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins was so sure it was a holding flag that the mocked RG3’s touchdown celebration.

But it turned out that the penalty was against the Eagles so Griffin got to do his celebration all over again and the Redskins had a 24-6 lead.

His final touchdown came in the fourth quarter when he found Logan Paulsen near the five. Safety Kurt Coleman made a couple of feeble attempts to bring the big tight end down but he powered his way to the end zone to make it 31-6.

Griffin’s day throwing the ball overshadowed some pretty nifty runs he had. On one third quarter play he took off around left end, raced up the sideline for a first down and then executed a spin move that resulted in a would-be tackler grasping at air as he stumbled out of bounds.

Griffin ended up with 84 yards rushing on 12 carries.

Oh, about that one incompletion. A couple of hours after the game ended, he replied to a tweet from ESPN’s Trey Wingo poking fun at him:

“So @RGIII goes 14/15 for 200 yds and 4 TDs. What the hell happened on that one incompletion? unacceptable”

Griffin’s response:

“Looking at film now”

He may have been kidding, but not many would bet against it.

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Redskins vs Giants Preview: 5 things you need to know as 'Skins get desperate

Redskins vs Giants Preview: 5 things you need to know as 'Skins get desperate

The Redskins travel to take on the Giants, and despite recent history holding them down in New York, at 0-2 Washington is desperate for a win. Not only are the Redskins winless and the Giants undefeated at 2-0, New York already has a NFC East division win, pushing Jay Gruden's bunch further down the standings. Here are five things to know for Sunday's action, which kicks off at 1 p.m. from The Meadowlands. Weather looks good for the game, and all the coverage starts at noon on CSN.

  1. No more talky talky - All week, it seemed New York players were taking shots at the Redskins. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins had choice words for DeSean Jackson, and former Washington linebacker Keenand Robinson sounded off about the 'Skins a few different times. That doesn't even bring into account the mountain of trash talk exchanged between Odell Beckham and Josh Norman since last year's heated matchup between the two. Finally, on Sunday, the talk will end and the gmae will start. 
  2. Got to get over the hump - The Redskins struggles this season can be attributed to multiple factors, but a big one is the offense's inability to score touchdowns. Kirk Cousins has passed for nearly 700 yards in just two games, the Washington offense has moved the ball well until they get in the Red Zone. "We’ve got to be ready to execute," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said of scoring TDs. "We did put a little extra emphasis specifically on some of those things."
  3. Giving up ground - Look at the box scores from Week 1 and 2 and it's clear the Redskins do not run the ball enough. Matt Jones has 20 carries in two games; ideally a running back would get close to 20 carries per game. Repeatedly Gruden and McVay have said they strive for a run/pass balance, but don't expect that to come this week. "We want to run the ball, we want to be balanced there’s no question about that, I think every team does. But, really at the end of the day, the best way we think to attack will be shown on Sunday," Gruden said. The Giants are giving up about 70 yards per game on the ground, and while the 'Skins absolutely need to commit to the run, this might not be the week it starts.
  4.  Man on Manning - For the second time in three weeks, the Redskins face a potential Hall of Fame quarterback in Eli Manning. Manning has had an impressive start to the season, completing nearly 74 percent of his passes with 3 TDs and just one interception. If Manning has a weakness, like any quarterback, it's when he gets rushed and hit consitently, and the Giants offensive line is not a strength. The Redskins pass rush has not been particulary effective yet this season, but team sources suggested some changes could be coming, particularly on third downs. Trent Murphy showed good burst last week against Dallas, and if he can maintain that pace and Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith play at their top level, the pressure could mount on Manning. 
  5. Playing slots - With Beckham, Cruz and Shepard, wide receiver is obviously a strength for the Giants. That said, cornerback should be a strength for the Redskins as well. Much has been made of the potential Norman-Beckham matchup, but look for the Redskins to show new looks in nickel coverage, perhaps even bringing Bashaud Breeland into the slot to combat Cruz and/or Shepard. 

Numbers & Notes:

  • The Redskins have not won in New York since 2011.
  • If Kirk Cousins throws one TD pass he will tie Gus Frerotte (48) for eighth-most career touchdown passes in Redskins history.
  • Pierre Garçon is nine catches away from 500 career receptions.
  • Ryan Kerrigan is one sack away from 50 career sacks.

Want more - listen to #RedskinsTalk Podcast below for Giants preview with Ralph Vacchiano.

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Redskins Gruden on rookie Kendall Fuller: He's just the odd man out, for now

Redskins Gruden on rookie Kendall Fuller: He's just the odd man out, for now

When the Redskins drafted Kendall Fuller out of Virginia Tech, many considered it a steal. Widely considered one of the top corners in the country going into the 2015 college football season, Fuller's draft stock fell after a knee injury, allowing the Redskins to poach the Hokie in the third round. 

The good news for Fuller and Washington is that his knee has not been an issue. Fuller played throughout training camp and the preseason, showing the rookie learning curve at times while making plays and strong tackles in other spots. Through two games, however, Fuller has not made the 'Skins active roster.

"Right now he’s just the odd man out, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be forever," coach Jay Gruden said of Fuller. 

In losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas, the Redskins pass defense has struggled in spots. Josh Norman has been stout, but the rest of the defense has looked confused in assignments and missed some coverages at times. A rookie like Fuller is unlikely to be the solution, but it is possible he could help, especially facing a Giants offense with Eli Manning throwing to Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard.

Gruden did not rule out Fuller playing this week, but it didn't sound like a ringing endorsement either.

"It could be just for this week, might be next week," Gruden said, "he’ll be up and ready to roll."

The coach explained that Fuller is getting good work on the scout team and working on his readiness.

"He’s mentally getting himself there. Physically, I think he’s starting to feel really, really good. I think it’s just a matter of time before he gets up.”

On game days, the 'Skins have dressed Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Dashaun Phillips, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler at corner and then DeAngelo Hall, David Bruton, Deshazor Everett and Will Blackmon at safety. Duke Ihenacho dressed for the second game but was inactive Week 1. What hurts Fuller is that some of the safeties can also play corner as needed, certainly Hall and Blackmon, and Everett is a special teams star while Blackmon works as kick returner.

Versatility is a key that for now is slowing down Fuller's progress. Coming off a knee injury, and with potential of being a top-tier corner, the Redskins are unlikely to ask much of Fuller on specials. 

Whether Fuller plays Week 3 in New York, or doesn't make the active roster until later in the season, the Redskins brass still views their rookie as a long-term asset. Impatient fans tired of watching the Washington defense give up pass completions may want to see Fuller sooner.