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RG3: 'The mojo was definitely working today'

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RG3: 'The mojo was definitely working today'

OK, now we can say it.

RG3 is back.

This time, it wasn’t for just a stretch of a game or a mixed bag or some nice stats in a loss. Robert Griffin III ran and passed from beginning to end and led the Washington Redskins to a 45-41 win over the Chicago Bears.

“We had to win a shootout and we did,” said Griffin.

The Redskins were able to fire the last shot of the shootout thanks to a 12-play, 80-yard drive that started after the Bears had scored a touchdown to take a 41-38 lead with just under four minutes left to play. It took one play for the Redskins to get into Bears territory as Griffin found Jordan Reed over the middle and the rookie tight end rolled for 26 yards to the Chicago 49. In all, Griffin completed 5 of 7 passes on the drive for 58 yards. The last pass was for 10 yards to Jordan Reed to the three yard line, converting a third and four, the third third-down conversion of the drive. Roy Helu Jr. capped off the drive by smashing it into the end zone from there. The Redskins held off a desperation Chicago drive and walked off with the win.

“Very confident,” said Griffin when he was asked what the mood was in the huddle at the start of the winning drive. “Told the guys we have to have positive plays. Get positive yards on each play and if we don't, make up for it on the next play. Just take it one play at a time and when you have those crucial third-down situations, we had guys step up and make plays for us.”

It was the third fourth-quarter, game-winning drive of Griffin’s career.

Griffin passed for two touchdowns on the day. His first one went to Reed just before halftime. On third and goal at the three, Griffin dropped a couple of steps and lofted the ball to the corner of the end zone.

“It was a fade and the safety was playing inside leverage on me,” said Reed. “I just gave him a little jab step inside and Rob threw a perfect, easily catchable ball.”

That gave the Redskins a 24-17 halftime lead. Early in the fourth quarter the Bears scored on one of Matt Forte’s three rushing touchdowns. The Redskins retook the lead with a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a play that reminded Griffin of some of the plays the team made during it’s seven-game winning streak that got them into the playoffs last year.

Griffin wasn’t specific but it appears that he went off script during the play.

“I just had a feeling in that situation,” he said. “You can talk to [offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan] about the play call, I don't know if I went about it the right way. He called the play. I had a thought, I went with my instincts and gave [wide receiver Aldrick Robinson] a chance to make a play for me.”

What he did was drop back to pass from the Chicago 45-yard line. He launched the ball to Robinson, who was in the end zone surrounded by defensive backs Charles Tillman and Chris Conte. It looked like either one of them could make the play but Conte ran into Robinson and fell to the ground and Tillman couldn’t quite get to the ball as it descended into Robinson’s arms for the TD.

“Al made a great play, when I saw him catch it, it was a feeling of last year,” he said.

“The mojo was definitely working today.”

Griffin finished the day completing 18 of 28 passes for 298 yards and the two TD’s. He did throw one interception to Tillman and ended up with a passer rating of 105.2. Griffin ran for a season-high 84 yards on 11 attempts.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 21, 96 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 39
NFL free agency starts 47
First Sunday of 2017 season 232

The Redskins week that was

A look back at the week with some of the top posts on RealRedskins.com and on CSNmidatlantic.com.  

An early look at 1st-round draft possibilities for the Redskins—This post marked 100 days until the draft and now were a few days closer. It’s very early but the preliminary big boards make it look like the Redskins are likely to have a defensive lineman such as Solomon Thomas of Stanford or Mailk McDowell of Michigan State wind up as the best available player so that both the fans a Scot McCloughan can be happy.

Cap room a dilemma for Redskins McCloughan?—There is plenty of talk about how expensive Kirk Cousins’ contract or franchise tag will be and how the expense could affect the ability to spend in other positions. But the team has $62 million in cap space. If they don’t spend a good chunk of it on Cousins what will they do with it? They could bring back Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker and make new deals for eligible 2014 draft picks like Bashaud Breeland and Morgan Moses and still have a lot left over. If they don’t spend it a quarterback, what will they do with it? I do know that if they have, say, $20 million in cap space left and they are around .500 again, the fans and media will not be happy.

Projecting the Redskins 2017 roster—Offense—The changes on this side of the ball will feel more like reloading than rebuilding. I’m assuming Cousins will be back one way (long-term deal) or another (tag). At least four out of the five O-linemen are set and the tight ends will get set if McCloughan can lure Vernon Davis back. We’ll see if the running back corps gets shaken up in the draft or in free agency. The one area that could be wide open is receiver and even that could remain relatively stable if Garçon returns.

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend—I think fans generally have become much more apathetic about Pro Bowl selections compared to, say, seven or eight years ago. Playing in the exhibition game is an “honor” that so many choose not to accept or, as was the case with Brandon Scherff, Ryan Kerrigan, and Jordan Reed, they are too injured after a 16-game season to take part. Meanwhile, alternates Cousins, Josh Norman, and Jamison Crowder (as a kick returner) have not yet heard their phones ring. Why does the NFL even bother with the Pro Bowl? People still watch it. Ratings for the last edition (4.5) were about a point lower than the MLB All-Star game (5.4) and a tick above the NBA All-Star game (4.3). Those are not huge ratings but big enough to turn a profit.  

The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins—I think that the first offer that both sides make here is going to be critical. If the Redskins lowball Cousins again it will set a bad tone. If Cousins’ offer is too high the Redskins could think that Cousins is determined to leave. And both sides need to be willing to negotiate. If any of that took place last year there was very little. With no give and take the talks will go nowhere. 

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

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

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Report: One more potential defensive coordinator is off the market for the Redskins

Report: One more potential defensive coordinator is off the market for the Redskins

Well it looks like the name many considered to be the Redskins top choice at defensive coordinator is off the market. Adam Schefter broke the news of Gus Bradley to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Redskins interviewed Bradley early in their process of selecting a new defensive coordinator. His latest gig ended poorly after he was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Bradley's best success came as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks.

When he served in that role with Seattle, Bradley worked with Scot McCloughan. And prior to his coaching stint in Seattle, Bradley coached in Tampa, where he worked with both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden.

Those connections, and his success in Seattle, had many fans hoping Bradley would take over for Joe Barry, who Washington dismissed more than two weeks ago.

The connection between Bradley and the Chargers comes as no surprise, and it leaves Washington still in need of a defensive boss.

Mike Pettine probably jumps to the top of the ranks of other coaches the Redskins have interviewed, but it still seems internal candidate Greg Manusky could be in position to move up to coordinator. Manusky spent the 2016 season as outside linebackers coach and has prior coordinator experience.

The Skins have also interviewed Dennis Thurman, last of Buffalo, Jason Tarver, last of San Francisco, Rob Ryan, also last in Buffalo, and John Pagano, last with the Chargers.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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