Washington Redskins Week 1 Observations by the Armchair Coach
That's not to say that fans shouldn't be happy with the results, or that they should not be feeling a tad bit more secure in their hopes and dreams for their team. Robert Griffin III led the Washington Redskins to a resounding victory in a game that was not even as close as the score may suggest, and they did it on the road to the New Orleans Saints .
That's impressive by any standard.
Washington hasn't seen points scored like this in a very, very long time, and both the team and the coaches deserve the kudos they are receiving this week.
Plenty has already been shared about the incredible debut of RG3, the high score and the victory, but today, the Armchair Coach wants to look at the rest of the game, and make a few observations about specific team units.
So let's start with the offense, shall we?
The Offensive Line Did What?!?!?
The Armchair Coach has been saying all along that the Redskins will go only as far as the O-line can take them. They took them to 40 points against the Saints in New Orleans in Week 1.
Let's be honest, the line wasn't perfect on Sunday, but they did impress. The running lanes were few and far between, but the pass protection was much better than feared. RG3 took seven trips to the turf, not including his six running plays that saw him reach 41 yards on the day. Not bad, but not great.
Tyler Polumbus was the weakest link overall, as one would expect form the guy who is supposed to be a back up. However, the Redskins need to get better production out of him since he will most likely play in every game this season.
Will Montgomery was fantastic, Kory Lichtensteiger was very good considering his lack of preseason conditioning and Trent Williams was solid if not spectacular. Chis Chester was completely solid.
So while the line still needs work, remember that if you can score 40 points in the Superdome, you are doing something right.
Special Teams Are a Mixed Bag
The Armchair Coach found himself yelling at the television only once the entire game. It was right before the half, the Redskins were imposing their will upon the Saints defense, and the coach decided to get conservative and run it up the gut three plays in a row, then punt it away.
I refuse to believe that I was the only person who knew this was a stupid idea.
As a long time watcher of the Washington Redskins I knew that the Redskins were begging for a mishap. Something like...oh, I don't know...a missed assignment from a Danny Smith coached special teams play allowing a blocked punt returned for a touchdown?
Yeah, admit it; you saw it coming too, didn't you?
On the other hand, Billy Cundiff had zero field-goal attempts blocked and all four went through the uprights. How refreshing!
Bad: Brandon Banks muffed two punt returns.
Good: Billy Cundiff sent six of eight kickoffs out of the end zone for touch-backs.
Bad: Long snapper Nick Sundberg broke his arm on the first field-goal attempt.
Good: Nick Sundberg played the rest of the game with a broken arm and his snaps were perfect!
Bad: My secret rookie crush, Jordan Bernstein, apparently had his entire knee ripped apart on kick coverage.
You see what I mean by a mixed bag?
What a Crummy Secondary..Wait...What?
Alright, I admit that I was brainwashed into believing we had Pop-Warner players in our secondary. I listened to the experts, and I believed the negativity.
A few stats for you:
The Redskins Defense was plus-3 on takeaways, that's two interceptions and a touchback.
Drew Breeze had his worst completion percentage since 2006, at 46 percent.
Saints were 2-of-11 on third down, and had four 3-and-outs. Last season they had 24 total.
Sure the secondary was helped by great efforts up front, but the first sack was from DeAngelo Hall!
Cedric Griffin, the much maligned and oft-ridiculed Griffin on the Washington team, was an absolute beast. He went out breaking up passes, smashing into receivers and covering what seemed at times like the entire field by himself.
The dropped interception that is, apparently, required of the Washington Redskins in every game ever? Brian Orakpo. He's a linebacker, not a member of the secondary.
ESPN Just Lost All Credibility
Remember when ESPN predicted the Washington Redskins to go 2-14 this year? Well, they're halfway there.
The Armchair Coach is still sticking to his guns with a best case scenario of 8-8, but if the team continues to play at this level, that could be off by a win or two.
However, it is only week one and there is a whole season to go. Despite that, there is simply no way this team isn't going to go into their bye week without winning several games.
Sorry ESPN, you might need to stick to Dodgeball or something because you have nothing to say about football that I need to hear. 2-14? Really?
It will be interesting to see how fast all the talking heads go from predicting a two or 3 win season to, "I always said this RG3 kid was special and that the Redskins had a great chance at double digit wins this year!"
So to all you Washington Redskins fans out there, I tell you this: Get excited, get psyched, and get ready for a wild ride. RG3 is a rookie, and he will make the rookie mistakes this season, but it promises to be electric no matter what the final record is.
The Redskins will lose games. The Redskins will fall short sometimes, but if Week 1 is any indication of things to come, there will never be a dull moment.