Redskins vs Rams: Biggest Winners and Losers from NFL Week 2
Well, that was a disappointment.
There were some cringe-worthy moments today, but there's a lot of good to take away from the game as well. You see, we all have to be patient. We knew the Redskins weren't going to go 16-0 this season but some bricks were laid on a nice road to the future. Even in a frustrating road loss against a team that hasn't found success in a long time.
It's complicated to find the good parts of a loss, especially when it's still fresh in your mind, but allow me to jog your memory as we look at the good, bad and hideous of today's game.
Winner: Robert Griffin III
All right, take a deep breath. The Redskins lost, but at least the franchise quarterback looked good. He wasn't asked to throw the ball much going 20-29 with one touchdown and one interception. What he did show is that he can get it done with his legs.
We didn't see that a whole lot last week, so it was a nice reminder that our quarterback can still escape pressure and make big plays with his feet when he needs to.
He totaled 82 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground. If Rex Grossman was still in the backfield, you better believe the Redskins would have been pummeled today. The interception was a bit unnerving, but he had to throw one at some point, and it certainly was bound to happen with the pressure he was facing all day.
Griffin didn't really regress this week, and for that fact, he is a winner. And that makes all of us Redskins fans winners, too.
Loser: Josh Morgan
There's only been 120 minutes of football, and we've probably already seen the biggest bone-headed move by a Redskin in 2012.
There's no excuse for throwing the ball at a player with the game on the line to take your team out of field-goal range (especially in a three-point game with less than a minute left). Don't forget that on that play if Morgan had turned to the inside instead of towards the sideline, he could have had a first down and left the Redskins with a chance to score the go-ahead touchdown.
You can't really fault him for that though, since his back was turned. Still, I just wanted to point it out.
When Pierre Garcon comes back from injury, we know who the first receiver to return to the bench will be. Morgan may have cost the Redskins the game at the end of the day, and he will certainly find himself in the dog house for this next week.
Winner: London Fletcher
The coverage skills he showed today may not have been the best in the world, but the veteran showed he can still bring it.
Fletcher caused two very clutch turnovers on an interception in the end zone and a forced fumble when it appeared the Redskins had already lost the game. Unfortunately, the Redskins couldn't capitalize on either one thanks to Josh Morgan and the punting unit (spoiler alert, we'll get to them later).
It's apparent that Fletcher is still at the top of his game despite his age, and he'll need to show his leadership skills as well as the fighting that the defense took part in started to get out of hand early.
Loser: Brian Orakpo
He's not a loser because of poor play, but for the fact that he was forced the leave the contest early due to an injury. As a matter of fact, the entire defense loses without Orakpo.
He tallied a sack before leaving this afternoon and after that, it seemed like the Redskins were certainly having an issue getting into the backfield to put pressure on Sam Bradford. I don't really think it was a coincedence.
We've learned Brian Orakpo now has a torn pectoral, according to The Washington Post. Right now, I can't tell who's in more pain between him and the entire Redskins fanbase.
Winner: Alfred Morris
So far, the kid hasn't disappointed. He looked good again today while averaging 5.6 yards a clip, but didn't really get much of a chance in the fourth quarter since the Redskins were trying to play catchup.
For the second straight week, he got all but two carries since Evan Royster and Roy Helu each just got one. For the moment, he is still in good graces with Mike Shanahan and has proven himself to be the back to beat on the depth chart.
When the offensive line actually gave Morris a whole to run through, he gashed the Rams for a couple of big carries, including a 29-yard scamper that set up a touchdown on the first drive of the second half.
We should see plenty more of Morris, and for you fantasy nerds, that's a very good thing.
Loser: Punting Unit
While the Redskins may not win every game this season, they are at least on pace to have a punt blocked in each game. So, there's that.
It's unbelievable how this can happen twice in a row. Last week, the blocked punt was returned for a touchdown and this week, it set up the go-ahead (and ultimately, game-winning) touchdown. It was a back-breaker that the Redskins couldn't recover from.
The punter himself, Sav Rocca, hasn't been bad as he has been booming the ball down the field. Sometimes, he has outkicked the coverage, though, and it backfired today.
In the fourth quarter, Rocca planted one deep and the only player back to cover it was Lorenzo Alexander who made a nice stop at the Rams' 17-yard line, but it came as a result of a horse collar tackle and the Rams instantly moved in to a decent field position.
It seems like something that should be simple, but the Redskins are trying to make it look hard.
Loser: The Secondary
Honestly, could it have been much worse? The Redskins played a zone package for most of the game and got burned repeatedly by someone who I think was named Toyota Corolla. All I know is that he wears No. 16 and he was all over the field.
The short coverage was awful, the intermediate coverage was awful, and the deep coverage was awful. My neck hurts from how many times I shook my head this afternoon/evening.
Imagine a world where the Redskins could somehow still have Champ Bailey, Carlos Rogers and Sean Taylor in the secondary. That would be a world I think we can all live in happily.
Unfortunately, we're saddled with a secondary that got torched by the St. Louis Rams. You read that right.