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Can RG3 do it again in St. Louis?

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Can RG3 do it again in St. Louis?

If the Redskins are going to go on the road and win in a hostile dome again, it would help if Robert Griffin III can come close to duplicating what he was able to do last Sunday in New Orleans. But history shows that it difficult for a rookie to repeat a stellar stat line such as the one Griffin posted against the Saints. In fact, its hard to even come close.In his NFL debut Griffin passed for 320 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Since 1990, just five other rookie quarterbacks have passed for 300 yards or more in a game (any game during their rookie seasons) with at least one touchdown and no interceptions. And none of them came close to duplicating that performance the following week.Here are the quarterbacks, dates, opponents, and yards-touchdowns-interceptions for their statistical gems and then what they did the following week.Andy Dalton91811@DEN332-2-0
Andy Dalton92511SF157-0-2Sam Bradford112810@DEN308-3-0
Sam Bradford12510@ARI187-0-1Matt Ryan101208CHI301-1-0
Matt Ryan102608@PHI277-2-2Byron Leftwich10503SD336-2-0
Byron Leftwich101203MIA256-0-3Chris Weinke122301STL312-1-0
Chris Weinke123001ARI223-1-1In those first weeks, the five rookie quarterbacks averaged 318 yards passing and 1.8 touchdowns. The week after the average was almost a hundred yards less at 220 with only Ryan (2) and Weinke (1) throwing touchdown passes. All five threw at least one interception with the average coming in at 1.8.This doesnt mean that Griffin will automatically throw an interception or will fail to throw a touchdown against the Rams. Thats a fairly small sample size there so anything could happen. But based on the evidence we have, the other teams defense is likely to have something ready for him.A good day by Griffin would help the Redskins beat the Rams but he shouldnt have to pull the freight by himself. He could be a little off from his historic debut and the Redskins could still pull out a win.St. Louis has upgraded its pass defense by signing veteran Courtland Finnegan to a free agent contract and by drafting Janoris Jenkins with the second-round pick they got from the Redskins in the trade for the Griffin draft pick. But their rushing defense, 31stlast year in terms of yards allowed, remains suspect.That could mean good opportunities for Alfred Morris with perhaps Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr. against the Rams. And even Griffin might get in on the act and kick in 40 or 50 yards on the ground.Defensively, the Redskins have to do what they did to the Rams last yearkeep the pressure on Sam Bradford. They sacked him seven times last year with Brian Orakpo getting credited with 2.5.Despite that, the Redskins had a difficult time putting away the Rams a year ago because they couldnt score points and Rex Grossman threw two interceptions. This offense seems to have some more life in it even if the new triggerman isnt quite as efficient as he was a week ago.Redskins 30, Rams 17

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Can the Redskins sustain the success they had vs. the Raiders?

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Can the Redskins sustain the success they had vs. the Raiders?

The Redskins and their fans thoroughly enjoyed the team’s domination of the Raiders on Sunday night football. As spectators’ voices return to normal and the team’s high settles into the routine of getting ready for the next game, it will be time to wonder what’s next? Is what the Redskins did last night sustainable? Or will it end up being one of a few pleasant memories during another frustrating campaign?

There is no crystal ball that can give us the answer here. The NFL is a week-to-week league and we often see a team show up for one game that bears little resemblance to the one who puts on the uniform the following week.

But there were some common traits from the Redskins’ last two games, both wins, that will help them going forward. Among them are:

Speed on defense—In particular, the additions of linebacker Zach Brown and rookie safety Montae Nicholson have given the Redskins a dimension they have lacked in the last several seasons. They say that speed doesn’t take a game off; it’s always there. If Nicholson and Brown show up for every game this year the defense has a chance to be great on a given day.

MORE REDSKINS: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE BIG WIN

Pass rush—The Redskins have at least one sack in their last 27 games and they have at least two sacks in every game this year. Pass defense starts with pass pressure and while the rush hasn’t been dominant throughout those 27 games, often they at least get some hurries and hits on the quarterback and over time those are nearly as effective as sacks. In that 27-game sack streak, the Redskins are 16-10-1, a .611 winning percentage.

Quality cornerback play—Per Pro Football Focus, in three games Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland have played a combined 116 snaps in pass coverage and have allowed a total of 10 receptions for 117 yards. Throw in nickel corner Kendall Fuller, who has an interception and a forced fumble on his ledger, and you have a group that can limit the damage done by opposing wide receivers. That often forces teams out of their comfort zones.

Pass protection—Kirk Cousins has been the starting quarterback since the start of the 2015 season. In those 35 regular season games, he has been sacked zero or one time in 19 of those contests. If your quarterback has time, you have a chance.

RELATED: SOME AMAZING NUMBERS FROM THE REDSKINS’ WIN

A good running game—For right now, this is the most problematic element of their recent success. Running the ball depends on, well, running the ball. If Jay Gruden sticks with it, the running game can help the team dominate time of possession and help the defense by keeping them off the field. Their ability to keep the ball on the ground is dependent on Cousins picking up third downs when necessary by throwing the ball and on the defense keeping the score close enough to allow for rushing to be a sound strategy.

The Redskins are unlikely to bring all five of these elements with them every week. But if they have three or four of them working they can expect to be competitive. And on the occasions when they have all five you can get games like the one last night.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Sunday was the Redskins' best defensive performance since 1991

Sunday was the Redskins' best defensive performance since 1991

The Redskins were dominant defensively on Sunday night during their 27-10 beatdown of the Oakland Raiders.

Historically dominant.

The Raiders gained just 128 yards in four quarters of football.

That didn’t set a team record or anything but it was the most dominant the Redskins have been against a quality team in at least the last 57 years.

MORE REDSKINS: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE BIG WIN

Since the 1970 merger, the Redskins have held their opponent to fewer than 130 yards in a game five times. Here is a quick look at the other four teams:

1972 Eagles (120 yards) — They finished 2-11-1 and averaged 10.4 points per game, dead last among the 26 teams in the league.

1974 Bears (126 yards) — Under Abe Gibron the bears were 4-10 and had an average of 10.9 points per game, 25th of 26 NFL teams.

1991 Eagles (89 yards) — Thanks to a dominant defense this team finished 10-6. Rich Kotite’s boys were OK offensively (18th of 28 in scoring) but not on the day they played at RFK Stadium.

1991 Broncos (128 yards) — Dan Reeves’ team finished 8-8 on the year but they ranked 22nd of 28 teams in scoring.

Of course, we don’t yet know how the Raiders will finish the season in terms of scoring but it’s likely that they will finish in the top half of the NFL in scoring, perhaps even in the top 10. None of those teams had a quintet on offense the equal to Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree, and Jared Cook.

This was as dominant a performance against a quality offense as the Redskins have had in at least 50 years.

RELATED: SOME AMAZING NUMBERS FROM THE REDSKINS’ WIN

PHOTO GALLERY: Best photos from NFL Week 3, Redskins 27 Raiders 10