By Kevin Ross II
Chip Kelly introduced himself to the National Football League in dazzling fashion last night, as he handed Washington its first loss of the regular season. His offense was electrifying and the Redskins defense quickly learned what it truly means to play fast.
For large chunks of the game, the Redskins offense was inept, the defense couldn’t tackle, and the Skins seemed largely unprepared as a whole. And that will bring us to the good, the bad, and the ugly of last night’s competition as we grade the performance of the Washington Redskins.
The Good: To say that the Eagles came out of the gates fast is obviously an understatement. Philly greeted the Redskins with the fastest tempo that has ever been seen in the NFL. The Redskins defense seemed lost, confused and very tired after only a few minutes into the game. Even after a controversial touchdown by DeAngelo Hall, the defense still found themselves being burnt alive by a relentless attack from Chip Kelly.
Haslett’s group was able to escape the first half, only giving up 26 points, but it could’ve been much worse. The good comes into play, as Jim Haslett was able to make real time adjustments, and was able to slow Chip Kelly down. The defense was able to force Philly into field goals in a few key situations that helped the Redskins stay in the game. After an embarrassing first half of football, the Redskins defense held the Eagles to only seven second half points.
The defense played well considering that they had no idea what to expect from Philly, and the fact that their offense was destroyed in the time of possession battle. Overall, the defense deserves a “B” for their efforts.
Defense : B
The Bad: The vaunted rushing attack for the Redskins was simply non-existent. We all knew that RG3 would not do much running, but the problem was that the Eagles knew that as well. The Redskins rushing attack is predicated on Griffin being a threat to run. Griffin had several opportunities on the read option to keep the ball for big chunks of yards, but he was hesitant to do so.
Griffin’s inability to pose a threat to Philly muted the entire rushing attack. Alfred Morris uncharacteristically put the ball on the ground twice, and seemed to be a shell of the power back that he was a season ago. It’s only one game, but Morris seems a bit leaner and quicker this season, and with that he has lost the great power that he put on film last season. Morris didn’t over-power any defenders and resembled a finesse back instead of one with power.
Out of the gate so far, Roy Helu looks to be bigger, stronger and faster than Morris. It’ll be interesting to see, how the carries are divided amongst the two backs going forward. Overall the Redskins rush attack was abysmal, and deserves a “D”.
Rush Attack : D
The Ugly took place in the first half, where all of your worst nightmares about RG3 came true. To start the game, he looked as if he hadn’t recovered and was still injured. He couldn’t throw with proper velocity and his passes were sailing like a Frisbee. He couldn’t evade the rush and appeared to be a sitting duck in the pocket. Griffin looked timid, and it seemed as if the Redskins made the wrong decision by starting him over Kirk Cousins. It was his worst half of football as a professional, and it was tough to watch.
But the second half was a different story, and surprisingly, RG3 set a few career highs, as he lead the team to score 20 unanswered points. Griffin set career highs in completions with 30 and passing yards with 329. The passing mechanics were much improved in the second half, and the jitters had faded away as RG3 lead a fiery comeback that fell just short.
Griffin restored hope that he is fully recovered, and once again showed the ability to dominate a game with precision passing. Overall Griffin’s efforts warrant him the grade of a “C”.
Robert Griffin III: C
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Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.