Overall Game Grade: B-
After watching the Rams offense take the lead early in the fourth quarter, the Rams defense put up a wall against the Redskins offense, sending Griffin and company off the field on a three-and-out. Things did not go as smoothly on the Redskins second offensive opportunity. Griffin started taking over the field, running left and right, spinning away from trouble and bailing out his teammates. The Rams held serve, getting a lucky slip on a Griffin scramble to stop the Redskins on a crucial third down midway through the quarter. Janoris Jenkins leveled Fred Davis on an incomplete pass and Rocky McIntosh dropped an easy interception that could have sealed a victory against his former team. The defense kept Griffin under control, forcing a punt with four minutes left in the game. Josh Morgan's impression of Steven Jackson cost the Redskins 15 yards and forced them into attempting a 62-yard field goal that was wide right.
The Rams defense came out strong in the second half, shutting the Redskins down on a quick three-and-out. The second drive by the Redskins did not go so well. Once again, the Redskins were able to string together several big plays to march down the field, eventually leading to another Griffin run for a score. At some point in the fourth quarter, this Rams defense is going to be called on to make a stop. I'm not sure they will be able to answer the call.
Janoris Jenkins is his own best friend and worst enemy. Last week it was the great interception of Stafford at the goalline. This week, he was flat out burned by Leonard Hankerson on a 68-yard seam route that didn't end until Hankerson reached the endzone. Cortland Finnegan continued to make his mark on the Rams secondary, this time intercepting a Redskins pass in the final minute, leading to a Rams field goal. Chris Long has been impressive the entire game for the defensive front and James Laurinaitis has led the team with a very quiet four tackles.
The Rams defense didn't have to face RGIII and the Washington offense until halfway through the quarter. The well-rested D held the Redskins in check, including a fantastic sack by Robert Quinn on a bull rush of the left tackle. Things changed on Washington's second drive, as the Rams defense gave up too many big plays. And when the Redskins made it into the Rams redzone, it was too much to expect to keep RGIII away from paydirt, as evidenced by his five-yard run for a score.