Riding high on a seven-game win streak that started against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 18th, 2012, the Washington Redskins felt confident and unstoppable. It’s safe to say that was the right mindset considering it is not easy to win seven games in a row in the NFL. With that being said, every team has to lose at some point and yesterday it was the Redskins' turn.
In the majority of losses, there is usually a critical point in the game where the tide turns for one team or the other. Rarely is that critical point in the first quarter. The game of football is geared towards creating momentum or getting into a rhythm. That’s why sustaining long drives or scoring is so important.
The Washington Redskins managed to do just that on their first two drives of the game Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, going 80 yards for a score and taking 5:03 off the clock on their first drive, going 54 yards for a touchdown using almost six minutes on the next drive.
When a team is able to put together two back-to-back unanswered scoring drives, that usually bodes well for getting into a rhythm. However, it was on that second drive where the Redskins' momentum stopped.
Not because of what the Seahawks defense was doing, but because Robert Griffin III reinjured his sprained right LCL.
Should Robert Griffin III have been pulled at half time in an effort to give Kirk Cousins a chance to win the game?
When the injury occurred, Dr. Andrews wasn’t needed to see that Griffin was hurting and should have been seriously evaluated. Instead, because of the length of the next Seattle Seahawks drive, RG3 was back on the field with the offense for the next series which yielded just eight yards. You could see on that drive Griffin wasn’t comfortable planting and looked gimpy even in his dropbacks.
It was on the next series RG3 threw an interception because of not being able to effectively plant on his right leg. The ball just fluttered out of his hand and was easily picked off by Seattle’s safety Earl Thomas.
Griffin not only threw away the half, as it allowed Seattle to run off the rest of the quarter, but he also threw away any momentum the Redskins could have carried with them into the second half.
The reason why the Washington Redskins lost their playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks was because they didn’t make the necessary change at halftime. They should have gone with Kirk Cousins for the rest of the game.
When a quarterback is ready to make a throw, if he is right-handed, he will in most cases use his right leg to plant for the throw and use the torque from his torso and left leg to drive the ball to his target.
Robert Griffin III was unable to do that throughout the second half as his injury seemed to get worse. Because he couldn’t plant and drive the ball, many of his passes sailed too high for his receivers. Keep in mind the score was 13-14 all the way through the beginning of fourth quarter with the chance to win the game still in reach.
Robert Griffin III has been acknowledged for his leadership, talent, poise and never-say-die attitude so far throughout his short career.
But it was that courageous attitude that quite possibly cost his team the opportunity to advance in the playoffs.
Washington Redskins fans know that Kirk Cousins could have managed the game well enough to get the win. However, in the end when neither the coach nor the player wants to make the decision that everyone else knows should be made, then they will have to live with the result of that game and think about how it could have gone differently all offseason.