Washington Redskins vs. Green Bay Packers: Full Roster Grades for Washington
The Redskins were mediocre at best in every area during their 38-20 loss. Not at all surprisingly, the biggest culprits were the offensive line and secondary. But there were also poor performances along the defensive line. And production from quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris came too late to matter.
Here are the full roster report card grades for the still-winless Redskins.
Robert Griffin III: Grade D
There wasn't much improvement from Robert Griffin III from his Week 1 performance. Last season's first-year phenom continues his slow rehabilitation from major knee surgery over the offseason.
Against the Packers, Griffin appeared hesitant to leave the pocket and use his mobility skills. Unfortunately, he once again struggled while confined to the pocket.
His passing range is currently wildly inconsistent. Griffin was wayward with too many throws in Green Bay. His delivery was high, wide and behind, and he often hesitated before releasing the ball.
The hope that is many of these issues are due to rust. But the problem is that the rust is increasing.
Despite another battling performance and a second-half turnaround, Griffin still appears a step or two behind the pace of this offense.
Of course, Griffin received little help from an offensive line that has experienced a terrible start to the new season. The front five are struggling to adjust to blitz schemes and are not consistently creating lanes in the running game.
The interior trio of center Will Montgomery and guards Kory Lichtensteiger and Chris Chester appears particularly vulnerable. Both the Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles before them have attacked this group with great success.
Head coach Mike Shanahan's zone-based blocking system usually relies on lighter linemen. But this O-line looks increasingly easy to overpower.
As with most units on the offense, it is tough to heap praise on the wide receivers, despite some fine numbers. Most of their better production came when the game was as good as lost.
Pierre Garcon: Grade B
What a difference a week made for Pierre Garcon. He was a non-factor against the Eagles on opening night, but coaches have to be encouraged by the way he rebounded in Green Bay.
Garcon hauled in eight passes for 143 yards. He made some fine catches, turning errant throws from Griffin into productive completions. He also showcased his flair for the big play by producing a 44-yard gain.
The next step must be repeating this level of performance on a consistent basis.
Santana Moss: Grade C
Santana Moss had another quietly solid game. The 34-year-old made three catches for 41 yards. He also got his first touchdown of the season after again demonstrating the threat he poses in the red zone.
Moss has reminded everyone that he can still be a big factor in the passing game.
Leonard Hankerson: Grade C
Leonard Hankerson was not as prolific as he was in Week 1, but he still showed enough to merit a bigger role in the offense. The third-year flanker made three catches for 35 yards.
Hankerson's size and speed might have caused the Packers some real problems had more passes been aimed his way.
Joshua Morgan: Grade D
Joshua Morgan was again ineffective, and his status as a starter has to be threatened. The former San Francisco 49er ran some poor routes, notably when he ran a pattern short of the first-down marker, contributing to a first-half interception.
Aldrick Robinson: Grade D
Aldrick Robinson caught just one pass all day.
Jordan Reed: Grade B
Rookie Jordan Reed showed more potential to be an intriguing weapon in this offense. The third-round pick caught three passes and recorded his first pro touchdown.
Reed is slowly working his way into the scheme, but his speed and movement skills could be dangerous if used in creative, expansive ways.
Logan Paulsen: Grade D
Natural blocker Logan Paulsen tallied a pair of receptions, but he dropped a few he should have caught. He also wasn't a factor in helping clear lanes for the run.
Fred Davis: Grade D
Where exactly was Fred Davis in Week 2? The statistics will show he actually recorded a reception, but his three-yard catch hardly stuck in the memory.
That lack of production is not even remotely acceptable for such a talented tight end. Any more outings like this and Davis will risk being supplanted by Reed.
Alfred Morris: Grade C
Alfred Morris simply took too long to get going against the Packers. It was a true feast or famine performance from the second-year running back.
He was routinely corralled in the backfield or at the line, especially during the early stages. However, some nice cutback runs over the left helped him produce a pair of gains of over 30 yards.
Those efforts padded his numbers and left Morris with his first 100-yard game of 2013.
Roy Helu Jr.: Grade D
Roy Helu Jr. did not get a single carry and caught only pass, netting just two yards. The lack of carries might have been out of his control, but he should have been more of a factor as a receiver.
It did not help his cause that he often had to assist the offensive line in blitz pickup. But if the Redskins are going to deactivate Evan Royster in favor of Helu, the third-year rusher has to do more.
For the second week in a row, a normally stout defensive line was really rather feeble. The Redskins rely on their three-man front to be force against the run, but they were far from that in Green Bay.
Barry Cofield: Grade D
Barry Cofield was at the heart of a line that could do nothing to even slow down Packers running back James Starks. The deputy runner powered his way with ease to 132 yards on 20 carries.
Cofield was in on only one stop and never appeared behind the line of scrimmage.
Stephen Bowen: Grade D
Stephen Bowen is often the most productive lineman on this defense, but he has yet to show that form this season. The 29-year-old was pushed around too easily by a Packers O-line that lacked both experience and imposing physicality.
Kedric Golston: Grade D
Kedric Golston did not make a meaningful impact against either the run or the pass. That makes the veteran no different than any of his other linemates.
Phillip Merling: Grade D
Phillip Merling was one of the rare defenders to get to Starks in the backfield. Sadly, the 28-year-old only managed it once.
Ryan Kerrigan: Grade C
Ryan Kerrigan had a dominant minute or two in the first quarter. He registered sacks on consecutive plays, but failed to build on that early promise.
Brian Orakpo: Grade C
Like Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo started well. He felled quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the first quarter, but soon faded from relevance.
Perry Riley Jr.: Grade D
Perry Riley Jr. was his usual active self. But as has often been the case for Riley, the 25-year-old missed too many plays he should have made.
He tallied just three solo stops with one assist despite being in place to make many more.
London Fletcher: Grade D
Teams are beginning to overwhelm London Fletcher too easily in the running game. The 38-year-old has never possessed elite size, but the Redskins are allowing too many blockers to put clean hits on him.
Darryl Tapp: Grade F
Darryl Tapp's fine preseason is fast becoming a distant memory that seems almost like a mirage when compared with his regular-season contributions.
Tapp made just one tackle against the Packers and was a non-factor in the pass rush.
Josh Wilson: Grade C
Josh Wilson was the only cornerback who came close to being competent against the Packers. But that only means he was not beaten in coverage quite as often as others.
Wilson's sack off a blitz from the slot also made his overall performance slightly more commendable than his fellow defensive backs.
David Amerson: Grade D
It was a very rough outing for top draft pick David Amerson. The big cornerback was routinely left trailing Green Bay receivers.
The only thing preventing Amerson from receiving an F grade is how often he was left isolated in single coverage. The Packers were certainly ruthless about targeting that weakness in the coverage scheme.
DeAngelo Hall: Grade D
DeAngelo Hall was beaten as often as Amerson. However, he did at least force a turnover, stripping the ball from wideout James Jones.
But ultimately, Hall's performance summed up another weak display from Washington's first line of coverage.
Bacarri Rambo: Grade F
The Redskins have asked a lot of sixth-round pick Bacarri Rambo, needing him to quickly become a capable starter. But Rambo has struggled mightily.
Against the Packers, he took bad angles in coverage. Run support also continues to be an issue for the former Georgia product.
Reed Doughty: Grade F
Reed Doughty was called into action early, and the Packers regularly exposed his limited range and athleticism. Doughty could not stay with the likes of Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley over the middle. He was also guilty of a series of missed or weak tackles in run support.
Brandon Meriweather: Grade F
Brandon Meriweather's return from injury was supposed to make a positive impact. Sadly, the reckless safety only made an impact via two ill-advised helmet-to-helmet hits.
The first knocked Green Bay's rookie rusher, Eddie Lacy, out of the game with a concussion. Meriweather's next act was to concuss himself after again leading with his helmet while attempting to tackle Starks.
It was an irresponsible play from an experienced defensive back who should know better.
The Redskins are currently paying a heavy price for letting the safety position become so weak.
The special teams produced a diabolical performance in Week 2. They littered the game with penalties and poor kicking.
Stand-in kicker John Potter missed an early field goal, while punter Sav Rocca routinely put the defense under pressure following weak kicks.
Meanwhile, rookie return man Chris Thompson was again mediocre. He did nothing to give Griffin and company short fields to attack. Of course, even if Thompson had produced a good return, a penalty probably would have nullified it. The coverage units could barely let a return go by without incurring a stupid penalty.
For many teams, especially productive play in the kicking and return games is a bonus. Most rely on just being solid in these areas, but the Redskins are currently far from that.
Mike Shanahan: Grade D
It was another mediocre performance from the Redskins coaching staff.
Head coach Mike Shanahan has allowed key areas of the team, particularly the secondary, to become a mess. He is also struggling to adapt to Griffin's slow return to form. Although, he made the right choice to leave his quarterback in, even once the Packers were out of sight.
Kyle Shanahan: Grade D
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is finding it particularly difficult to fashion a coherent scheme with Griffin far from his best. He seems unsure about how much of the read-option to use. The young play-caller also seems to lack a credible alternative once the zone-based ground game begins to falter.
Jim Haslett: Grade F
Jim Haslett's defense struggled to adapt to the Packers and also got all the basics wrong.
The unit started well, putting Rodgers under a lot of pressure. However, the Packers soon adjusted, as ESPN.com's John Keim notes:
They did get to Rodgers in the first quarter with three sacks, helped on one by the coverage. And then? The Packers went to more three-step drops. “Rodgers even told me himself they weren’t dropping back anymore. I was like, You gotta be kidding me,” Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo said.
Don’t be surprised if more teams go that route. If a team is struggling to tackle in the back end or missing assignments, then why not test that ability? They are not playing disciplined football. You know the Redskins can apply some pressure, but can they tackle consistently? They didn’t Sunday, that’s for sure. By the way, five different Packers had gains of at least 27 yards -- and four had gains of at least 32. That’s unbelievable. So is 480 yards passing.
Haslett rarely gets the blitz-coverage balance right, and there is little excuse for the failures in tackling.
This coaching staff has a lot of work to do before Week 3, and they should start by getting back to basics.