Sunday, September 9, 2012

Redskins "Upset" Saints

RG3, above, celebrates his touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon.(Photo: sbnation.com)
While most of the football world predicted an angry Saints team to demolish the Redskins, there was a select group of 53 people that thought otherwise. Those 53 people, plus a few more, expressed their concern for everyone else's negativity.

Those 53 men defeated one of the best teams in the NFL today 40-32 and this is how they did it.

While most of us will wake up tomorrow morning and see articles headlined Redskins Upset Saints (much like this one), Redskins players will take it as an insult above all else. The team that the Redskins put on the field today was a team that Redskins fans have been waiting a long time for.

To start off, the Redskins scored 30 or more points for the first time since the 2010 season. This offense just exploded behind one crucial spark plug: Robert Griffin III.

Many experts predicted Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck to have the best season in the NFL, but the best debut goes to Washington's very own Robert Griffin III. RG3 looked like a regular everyday field general out there yesterday as he lead the Redskins on four straight scoring drives (field goal, touchdown, touchdown, field goal) in their first four offensive possessions.

Griffin III out performed one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Drew Brees and even finished the first half with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. He finished with a 73% completion percentage and 320 yards with two touchdowns including an 88 yarder to Pierre Garcon in the first quarter. Griffin also had 10 carries for 42 yards. But, most of all, no turnovers.

He took care of the ball. The one pass that he forced came in the first half and, thankfully, slipped right through the hands of a Saints defender. He ran when he couldn't pass and threw the ball away when there were no good options. Simply put, he played like a season veteran.

But believe it or not, it wasn't all Robert Griffin III yesterday. Another rookie emerged (even though he was already a stud) in the running game. Sixth round draft pick Alfred Morris took the hand off 28 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his touchdowns came in the second half where the Redskins relied on him heavily to run down the clock.

One of the last receivers to make the team, Aldrick Robinson was believed to be used in four to five receiver sets. When Pierre Garcon went down in the middle of the game with a foot injury (x-rays negative), Robinson took that as he chance to shine.

And shine he did. Robinson caught four passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. Robinson's five yard touchdown reception capped off a successful second quarter touchdown drive. In my opinion, with his effort today, Robinson moved himself up on the depth chart.

Defensively, the Redskins played one of their best games under Jim Haslett. Of the 52 passes that Drew Brees attempted, 13 of them were deflected and most of them were at the line. Stephen Bowen, Brian Orakpo, and Ryan Kerrigan did a good job at getting their hands up in the passing lanes and knocking down balls. The Redskins front seven held the Saints offense under 40 yards rushing.

Dejon Gomes and Cedric Griffin answered the call at cornerback. Last season, cornerback was a constant weakness in the Redskins secondary and many feared that that would be the demise of them yesterday. Gomes had an interception and multiple deflections and Griffin forced a fumble on a would-be Marques Colston touchdown run and catch. The fumble went out of the back of the endzone and the Redskins took over at the 20 yard line.

London Fletcher was a quarterback of the defense today and shifted them into multiple different looks in one single pre-snap read. He checkmated Drew Brees in the chess match between the middle linebacker and the quarterback. The 15-year veteran showed no age as he was flying all over the field and getting in on every play.

The Redskins played a complete game today. Simple as that. They didn't turn the ball over and controlled the ball for most of the game. The Redskins offense was on the field 19 minutes longer than the Saints offense. It just goes to show that the old saying the best defense is a good offense still has some truth to it.

Next week, the Redskins head to another dome. This time, they'll take on the upset minded St Louis Rams and will be looking to improve to 2-0 on the season before the head home for their home opener.