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Griffin vows: 'We'll figure it out'

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Griffin vows: 'We'll figure it out'

As Yogi Berra once said, it was like déjà vu all over again.

Just like last Monday against the Eagles, Robert Griffin III had a nice game if all you did was look at his final stat line. He was 26 for 40 for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns, a passer rating of 104.2. But once again the numbers were empty as the Redskins got way behind early and piled up yards in extended garbage time.

The Redskins fell to 0-2 as they lost to the Packers 38-20 in another game that was not as close as the final score would indicate. The Eagles led 33-7 before the Redskins were able to get on the board.

After the game Griffin again waved off concerns about his surgically repaired right knee and vowed to make things better.

“We’ll make it happen,” he said. “We’ll figure it out, we’ll figure out what’s missing right now and we’ll make it happen.”

Griffin has been the team’s leader almost from the moment he set foot in the Redskins’ locker room last year. By all accounts he has been the encouraging/enthusiastic type of leader. But, at the request of some teammates, that may change.

“If those guys want me to go out there and be the stern leader then I can do that,” he said. “I got some of that from some of my teammates on the sideline asking me to do some more things. Not necessarily change who I am as a person but if they want me to be hard on them, I’ll be hard on them.”

Whether it was a change of leadership style or something else, Griffin said that the losing would stop. “We’ll be better, period,” he said. “We’ll make it happen. We’ll figure it out, we’ll figure out what’s missing right now and we’ll make it happen.”

Griffin was asked what type of leadership changes he would make.

"I just not, you know, I’m not an a-hole. I believe in positive reinforcement," he said. "If something happens, I know he’ll make it up the next time he gets that chance. And that’s just the way I lead. If they want me to do that, you know, I’m fine with doing that . . . If that’s what we need to get over this hump, to move forward and start winning games I’m definitely going to do it."

If Griffin is successful in getting the offense turned around, perhaps he or someone else can do something to help the Redskins’ defense. The loss certainly wasn’t all Griffin’s side of the ball.

Aaron Rodgers has a field day for the Packers, completing 34 of 42 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns. Even if Griffin had been razor sharp all day the Redskins would have had trouble winning this one.

Through two games the Redskins have allowed 1,023 yards of total offense. In NFL history, only the 1967 Atlanta Falcons (1,025) have allowed more through two games.

At halftime it was 24-0 and Griffin was six for 13 for 107 yards with an interception that comes to a passer rating of 42.8.

At that point the Redskins were 0-5 on third down. They failed on two more in the second half before the Packers scored to make it 31-0.

The Redskins finally converted a third down with 4:15 left in the third quarter. It came on a third-down touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon that covered six yards.

Griffin would go on to throw two more touchdown passes, one of three yards to Jordan Reed and another one to Santana Moss that covered six yards. But it was the proverbial too little, too late.

Griffin ran just four times for one yard. A year ago the dynamic threat of his legs helped the whole offense click. Many are wondering if there are reasons beyond the knee injury that Griffin is not running with the ball.

“If teams are going to give us the QB run we’ll take it,” he said. “If they’re not we can’t just run those plays.”

"I'm not just going to run to show people that I'm back. I think that’s stupid."

In the end, Griffin said that the solution is to keep on fighting.

“You can’t just totally jump ship,” he said. “It’s not that time and I don’t think this team will ever do that.”

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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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