Quick Links

Grading the Redskins: Offense aces test

morris-vs.-dal.png

Grading the Redskins: Offense aces test

Offense

Grade vs. Cowboys: A

Comment: Playing in his home state in front of more friends, family members and former coaches than he could count, Robert Griffin III put on a show.

He became the first quarterback in franchise history to throw four touchdown passes in back-to-back games and propelled the unit to 31 or more points for the fifth time this season. (The unit scored 31 or more points a total of six times from 2006-’11).

The fourth quarter interception Griffin threw was only his fourth of the season (against 16 touchdowns) and was the first turnover for the offense in four games.

After a sluggish start, the unit struck four times in the second quarter, marking the first time the team scored 28 points in a quarter since 1999, a span of 214 games.

For the second straight week, Griffin’s four touchdown passes went to different receivers, including Niles Paul’s first career score. Pierre Garçon’s 59-yarder, meantime, showed the team’s No. 1 wide out still can be effective despite his injured right foot. 

“I’m sure he was sore, but a lot players are sore and are going to work through it,” Shanahan said of Garçon on Friday. “Very proud of the way he handled himself.”

Behind a 113-yard rushing performance from running back Alfred Morris, the offense racked up 142 yards on the ground.  The unit leads the league with 1,792 yards and is tied for second in yards per carry (5.2). San Francisco leads the NFL at 5.5.

The offense also converted 50-percent of its third downs (6 of 12). Some of that was Morris’ gritty running on first down. Some of it was a reduction of drive-stalling penalties. A week after being flagged seven times, including five false starts, the unit was penalized only three times (two false starts and an intentional grounding) against the Cowboys.

Scoring up and penalties down seems to be a good formula for igniting a second-half run, doesn’t it? 

Quick Links

Kirk Cousins sounded optimistic about contract talks with Redskins

Kirk Cousins sounded optimistic about contract talks with Redskins

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins repeatedly sounded optimistic about his ongoing contract negotations with the organization, though he acknowledged the talks will probably go until the last minute.

"Deadlines do deals," Cousins said.

Speaking Wednesday to the media after an OTA session, Cousins explained that talks with the Redskins have been positive and ongoing. He also admitted that he doesn't expect a deal to get finished before the July 15th franchise tag deadline.

In 2016, conversations between the Redskins and Cousins largely broke down before the tag deadline. That seems to be a different story in 2017, and while it may only be a glimmer of hope, it's an encouraging development for Washington fans that want to keep their passer. 

"It's been very positive," he said. Of July 15th, Cousins said, "it will be a telling date, as it was last summer."

Over the last two seasons as starter, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards, twice breaking the franchise single-season passing record. In 2015, Cousins emerged in the second half of the year to play some terrific football and lead the Redskins to a division title. In 2016, Cousins never quite hit the same highs as 2015, but was much more consistent and piled up passing yards. 

Redskins team president Bruce Allen said earlier this week he remains positive about a long-term deal for Cousins. Allen maintained that talks are ongoing with Cousins' representatives, and similarly to Cousins, expects the bulk of the talks closer to July 15th.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Quick Links

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program.

But Thompson says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club.

“For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS