San Diego Chargers vs. Washington Redskins: Full Roster Grades for Washington
There is also a solid grade for the offensive line. Those marks help compensate for a sketchy display from quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Defensively, the secondary receives below-average marks, but there are solid grades for a resilient group of linebackers.
Robert Griffin III overcame a shaky first-half performance to make some clutch contributions when the game was in the balance.
Griffin was initially guilty of a series of wayward throws. He had numerous passes swatted away at the line, after he telegraphed his throws by staring down primary receivers.
But his overall performance was evened out by some accurate throws under pressure. In particular, Griffin found his precision on key passes to Jordan Reed and Leonard Hankerson to convert third downs.
The offensive line kept Griffin clean in the pocket and knocked open plenty of holes in the running game. As a group, the front five gradually wore down San Diego's defensive front.
What was particularly encouraging was how the line reacted to and picked up inside blitzers. The Chargers weren't shy about sending additional pressure, but the O-line comfortably blocked extra rushers.
The group also overcame some initial struggles, clearing the way for running backs. Alfred Morris eventually had big holes and inviting cutback lanes to attack.
Alfred Morris: Grade A
The Chargers stayed stout against Alfred Morris in the early going. But the natural workhorse soon wore down San Diego's resolve.
Morris consistently ran with toughness and power, battering through would-be tacklers for extra yardage. He averaged 4.8 yards on his 25 carries.
Roy Helu Jr.: Grade C
Roy Helu Jr. was only given two carries and had one pass come his way. He did total 29 yards from his three touches.
Darrel Young has to merit an "A" grade after his three touchdowns. Young proved his skills as a ball-carrier on power plays near the goal line.
He was also a keen and bruising blocker on numerous carries for Morris.
Jordan Reed: Grade B
Jordan Reed made a fast start to the game. He made some excellent catches in the first half and also featured as a running back, taking his lone carry 18 yards.
Although Reed was quiet after the interval, he did still make one clutch grab in overtime. Reed's third-down conversion was a pivotal play on the game-winning drive.
Logan Paulsen: Grade C
Logan Paulsen only tallied nine yards from three receptions. But he did use his 6'5", 261-pound frame as a backfield blocker on both passing and running plays.
Niles Paul: Grade C
Niles Paul made one first-half reception for six yards, and like Paulsen, he did his part as a blocker.
Pierre Garcon: Grade A
Pierre Garcon played like a No. 1 receiver against the Chargers. He made a clutch of spectacular catches and finished with seven receptions for 172 yards.
Garcon gave Griffin a legitimate big-play target all game.
Leonard Hankerson: Grade B
Leonard Hankerson is not normally a natural clutch target. But that is exactly what he was in Week 9. The third-year pro made five catches for 55 yards, most of them coming on third down.
Aldrick Robinson: Grade D
Aldrick Robinson was targeted just once. A poorly ran route on third down left him short of the yards needed to convert.
Santana Moss: Grade D
Santana Moss made only one catch for two yards, and that was intended to be a pitch from an option look. When he did take a handoff, Moss scampered for an 18-yard gain.
Barry Cofield: Grade D
Barry Cofield led a defensive line that struggled to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. In particular, the group failed to put consistent pressure on Philip Rivers, although Cofield did deck the quarterback to force a key incompletion late on.
Jarvis Jenkins: Grade D
Jarvis Jenkins could not generate a regular push on the pocket or fill running lanes. Washington's front three need Jenkins to deliver on his potential and emerge as a much more consistent playmaker.
Kedric Golston: Grade F
Kedric Golston assisted on one tackle but was otherwise anonymous.
London Fletcher: Grade B
London Fletcher was at the heart of an unspectacular, but resilient, defensive effort. He made 13 combined tackles, including seven solo stops.
Perry Riley Jr.: Grade B
Perry Riley Jr. was tough and active next to Fletcher on the inside. His six solo tackles helped prevent a number of plays from turning into significant gains.
Brian Orakpo: Grade C
Brian Orakpo had another quiet statistical week, but he did play a key role on the third-down defense. Orakpo managed to apply decent pressure on Rivers whenever he was deployed as a rush end on a three-man line.
In the second half, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett moved Orakpo around some more. He used him as a standing rusher on blitzes through the middle.
Ryan Kerrigan: Grade C
Like Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan was effective creating some rush on third downs.
Rob Jackson: Grade C
Rob Jackson was not in on many tackles. He made just one stop and assisted on another. But Jackson did manage to register the game's only sack.
DeAngelo Hall: Grade C
The Chargers stayed away from DeAngelo Hall, but on the rare occasions when he was called into action, he responded well.
The most notable example came near the goal line on the final drive in regulation. Hall was matched up on premier tight end Antonio Gates in single coverage.
He pressed him at the line and denied him a clean release to meet Rivers' fade pass.
Josh Wilson: Grade C
The secondary missed Josh Wilson after he left the field injured in the fourth quarter. He had delivered a solid performance from the slot.
Wilson was no liability in coverage while also being a nuisance on the blitz.
E.J. Biggers: Grade D
E.J. Biggers snared a vital interception that masked some other weaknesses in coverage.
David Amerson: Grade F
Despite claiming the defense's second interception, David Amerson has to warrant an "F" grade. That is thanks to the way he was beaten over and over again by fellow rookie Keenan Allen.
Amerson was unable to use his size to press receivers at the line, and he was frequently beaten by the first move. His inability to cope with Allen nearly cost the Redskins the game.
Brandon Meriweather: Grade D
Brandon Meriweather just about managed to avoid hitting the headlines again for his dubious tackling. He was in on six stops, but none of them were impact plays.
Meriweather was often caught out by screens in the open field, notably on Eddie Royal's 15-yard scoring catch and run.
Reed Doughty: Grade D
Reed Doughty had a similar game to Meriweather. His angles were often wrong in run support or when stepping up to deny yards after short-range receptions.
It just keeps going wrong for coordinator Keith Burns and his special teams unit. This week, it wasn't issues in kick coverage.
This time, it was problems blocking for kicks that proved to be the real nightmare. Kai Forbath saw two attempted field goals blocked.
Meanwhile, the return game continued to produce next to nothing.
Mike Shanahan: Grade C
One week after enduring a nightmare return to Denver, Mike Shanahan enjoyed a better time in Week 9. In particular, Shanahan directed a more measured overall game on both sides of the ball.
Kyle Shanahan: Grade C
Kyle Shanahan suffered through a rough week following some dubious decisions against the Denver Broncos. But the younger Shanahan deserves some credit for modifying his approach against the Chargers.
He let the running game dominate and called some fine individual plays. He used option runs with unlikely ball-carriers like Reed and Moss to catch the Chargers cold.
Shanahan also surprised San Diego by making Young his primary runner near the goal line.
Jim Haslett: Grade C
Jim Haslett called a largely conservative game, but it succeeded in preventing the Chargers from producing too many big plays. Haslett's schemes couldn't stop Rivers from piling up 341 passing yards but did slow the overall pace of his offense.
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