The good news is the Redskins have scored 40, 28, and 31 points over their first three games. The bad news is the defense has allowed 32, 31, and 38 points over the Redskins first three games. The Redskins have gone from a team with a middle of the road defense and a terrible offense to a team with a dynamic offense and a terrible defense. The truly good news for Redskins fans is that RGIII looks like everything he was hyped up to be. Through three games Griffin has a 67.4% completion percentage, 747 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. Robert Griffin III has been everything he was thought to be and more.
Breaking down these games and looking at the way the two losses ended even with poor defense and bad offensive-line play RGIII has put the Redskins in situations to tie both of these games late. This past Sunday against the Bengals RGIII was first able to get the Redskins within a touchdown with under ten minutes left and then he drove them all the way down within the 20 before a sack and penalties pushed them into a 3rd and 50 situation with seven seconds left on the clock.
This game exposed the Redskins biggest weaknesses as Carlos Dunlap was consistently beating the Redskins offensive-line and was in RGIII’s face all afternoon. Once the Redskins made the adjustment to the aggressive pass rush and started running more and moving the pocket the offense was able to get going. The other problem the Redskins had would be their true undoing. On the very first play from scrimmage the Bengals lined up Mohamed Sanu at quaterback and broke Dalton out to the receiver position. It ended up with DeAngelo Hall on Dalton and DeJon Gomes covering AJ Green. With the match-up the Bengals wanted pre-snap and Hall unable to get anyone’s attention and switch to Green the Redskins were burned for a quick and early touchdown.
That is where a true number one shutdown corner would have saved the Redskins. Someone they can put on a team’s number one receiver and have him line-up opposite all day. Without that player the Redskins are trying to cheat with zone coverage and sending extra men on the blitz, but during this play the Redskins simply looked confused, and it wasn’t the only quick strike long passing touchdown the Redskins allowed on the day.
One of the strengths of the Redskins defense in 2011 was avoiding the big play, but last season they had safeties in Atogwe and LaRon Landry. Neither of those players are the best at their position, but they are both better than anything the Redskins have put on the field thus far in 2012. Brandon Meriweather was out once again this week and his arrival can only help the Redskins defense. It is doubtful that he would have had an impact in either of the Redskins two losses, but with both contest being decided by one score any little bit could have been the difference.
The Redskins have played different that people had expected. It was expected that the defense would once again be solid, but that RGIII would struggle with rookie mistakes and adjusting to the league. That hasn’t happened. RGIII has stepped in and looked better than anyone expected. He looks like the player people were hoping for him to mature into. He was mature when he arrived and there isn’t much holding him back from stardom. This season was never about wins and loses for the Redskins. It was about watching the development of Robert Griffin III, and in that regard the Redskins are at least giving their fans something to watch this season.