Monday, September 17, 2012

Redskins fall to Rams

Robert Griffin III, above, had another good game that included two rushing touchdowns. (Photo: wjla.com)
In what can only be labeled as a classic Redskins game, the Redskins lost today to the St. Louis Rams 31-28.

It was a game littered with poor officiating, dirty play from their opponents, but yet it was the same two players that kept the Washington Redskins in contention the entire game.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford absolutely had a field day against the Redskins secondary. Bradford was 26-35 with 310 yards passing and three touchdowns. He threw just one interception and that was to London Fletcher in the endzone mid-way through the fourth quarter.

Bradford's main target was receiver Danny Amendola. Following Amendola's game opening fumble that resulted in a touchdown for the Redskins, he had 14 more catches (to create 15 catches) for 150 yards and 1 touchdown. Amendola fell just three receptions short of tying the Rams single game receptions record.

Bradford picked apart the Redskins zone defense the entire game. They Rams receivers simply found the holes in the zone and sat in them. The Redskins pass rush was also hampered early when defensive end Brian Orakpo was injured. Orakpo my have re-torn his pectoral muscle.

You commonly hear the phrase "they're just letting them play" used when referring to basketball. However, the same could be said for yesterday's game.

Both teams were guilty, but the Rams got away with multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The only one that was called against them was when running back Stephen Jackson spiked the ball in the endzone following being denied what looked liked a touchdown.

The killer penalty of the game, however, was not a blown call by the officials. Follow a catch in the final two minutes of the game, Redskins receiver Josh Morgan proceeded to throw the football at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan. Upon further review, Finnegan did bump into the helmet of Morgan and then Morgan threw the football. No matter who is officiating the game, the one that retaliates is always the one that gets in trouble. That is exactly what happened here.

That penalty moved the Redskins back 15 yards and gave Billy Cundiff a (nearly) impossible 62 yard field goal attempt to tie it. Cundiff's field was wide left and no good (as expected) and the Rams left the victors 31-28.

The two bright spots for the Redskins were Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. For the second consecutive week they displayed why they are the center points of the offense.

Griffin scored the Redskins first offensive touchdown when scampered in from five yards away. He finished with another rushing score and a 68 yard touchdown pass to Leonard Hankerson. The former offensive player of the week was 20-29 206 yards and a touchdown pass. He also threw his first interception of the season with on awkward pass play.

Alfred Morris was the games leading rusher. He had 16 carries for 89 yards. Morris got a majority of his yards in the second half. The Redskins relied on him heavily then and also had he and Griffin team up for a few option plays. Griffin had 82 rushing on 11 carries with two touchdowns.

The Redskins played a sloppy game overall today. The offense was inconsistent and had to rely on RG3 to put his body on the line to often today. They made plays, but it will need to improve if they want to win more games this season.

The defensive secondary is going to have to figure out how to play zone. They left too many holes and good quarterback picked them apart. Hopefully Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo can return soon as they'll be able to help take the pressure off of the secondary. Next week, I'd like to see them run more man-to-man coverage as I believe they have the athletes to do that.

Speaking of next week, the Redskins come home for the regular season home opener against the Bengals. The Bengals have a pretty good offense behind Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and Benjarvus Green Ellis. The Redskins will have their hands full again. The offense should be able to play well, but the secondary will once again be tested.

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