Let me start with the offensive line. I have been critical in the past about Trent Williams, mostly because I know he’s capable of becoming a premier left tackle.
The former fourth overall pick sucked it up after spending the week with a lingering injury and played in obvious pain. Just goes to show you that a 50 percent Trent Williams is better than a 100 percent Jordan Black any day of the week.
Tyler Polumbus had a better game, not great, but was able to use his 6’8" frame to prevent pressures on RGIII.
Alfred Morris does it again. The Tampa Buccaneers had the best rush defense in the NFL going into the game, and Morris grinded his way to another 100-yard game.
What was even more impressive was that he was able to break one loose for a touchdown. I’ve been concerned with his inability to do so. That quickly changed on his 39-yard touchdown run.
With another impressive performance, I have to give props to Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan for their downfield blocking.
Little things like that make coaches giddy. There’s been a few plays this season where Josh Morgan and Hankerson both created big plays for their teammates due to their blocking.
To expand on Josh Morgan, he had his best game as a Redskin. He’s clearly out of the “doghouse” after his penalty against the Rams.
He was effective running slant routes, which is a pass Griffin is very comfortable throwing.
I’m a big Hankerson fan. A lot has to do with the fact that we really don’t know what he’s capable of.
I love his potential and size. He’s never going to flash with big highlight plays, but Hankerson does the dirty work as a wide receiver. With that said, Hankerson is best used underneath. I know that he had a long touchdown reception against St. Louis, but he’s struggled to create separation on deep routes since then.
To me, that’s fine. That is not conducive to his skill set. Leave the downfield routes to Garcon.
He’ll take underneath routes with ease, he’s been gaining yards after the catch, and his drops seem to be in the past.
On the other hand, Pierre Garcon struggled, which I guess is OK, considering he’s been out for 2.5 games. What bothered me wasn’t his lack of involvement in the offense, it was his two penalties. One was the offensive pass interference in which he blatantly ripped Ronde Barber to the ground and his unnecessary roughness, which was inexcusable.
Fred Davis had a good game, not great, but has been getting the job done. Again, I know he is Pro Bowl material if given the opportunity. I will compliment him on his much-improved blocking, however.
Glad to see Niles Paul finally getting involved in the offense. He’s obviously going to need a year to develop to play a new position. Considering we are aware of Shanahan’s infatuation with Paul, I’d like to see more of him.
Logan Paulsen has blocked his way onto the roster three years in a row. Paulsen is your old-school, traditional tight end. He’s a good complement to the pass catches of Davis and Paul.
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget to write about RGIII. You know what I thought were the two most impressive throws? His two checkdowns to fullback Darrel Young.
Both were off play-action passes. Griffin had time to throw, examined the field and took what the defense gave him.
To me, that is what separates good quarterbacks from great ones. The great ones always know the right decision to make and remain cerebral in an adrenaline-fueled game.
I know Young should be given credit for his run after the catch on both plays, however, I’m still incredibly impressed with Griffin’s maturation. He wouldn’t have made that throw in week one.
Of course, I have to talk about his two-minute drill. Have you ever seen a Redskin quarterback execute it with such ease?
I’m not even exaggerating, it looked so natural to him; he was intelligent, urgent and fearless. That game would have been lost if Rex Grossman was behind center.
Now, onto Kyle Shanahan. He continues to impress me this season until the fourth quarter. Let’s start with the good. Despite Tampa’s stout run defense, Shanahan had an excellent combination of rushing and passing attempts.
He kept Griffin out of harm’s way and didn’t go into the dangerous option formation one time. Excluding a couple hard hits, it was a definite improvement from the Bengals game.
So with all that being said, the Redskins had the lead in the fourth quarter. The time management was awful. The play-calling was terrible, and the execution too.
Don’t get me wrong, Shanahan is a bright football mind. At times, he gets a little too “cute." What I mean by that is that he’s overanalyzing. He needs to stick to the game plan and bleed the clock out. Alfred Morris was running all over the Bucs. Keep giving him the ball. Every incompletion is at least 35 seconds wasted off the clock.