For the third week in a row the Redskins ended up with the ball late in the fourth quarter down by one score, but this time was different. It was different because those watching were left with little confidence in Billy Cundiff after he had missed three field goals earlier in the game, and it was different because this time when the Redskins moved within striking range their wasn’t a penalty that pushed them out of it. The final drive for the Redskins went a little something like this. Robert Griffin III 15 yard pass to Santana Moss, 20 yard pass to Fred Davis, pass to Evan Royster for 4 yards, 15 yard run, incomplete pass, false start, 24 yard pass to Santana Moss. All to get the Redskins in range for a last second Billy Cundiff 41 yard field goal.
There is one common thread throughout all of those plays in that last drive and that is RGIII. The Redskins are still a team without a good secondary and that still has issues along the offensive line, but once again RGIII didn’t just look like the best rookie quarterback in the NFL, he looked like one of the best. The Redskins are 2-2 in spite of the excellent play of RGIII. He can’t do it all on his own and that was also on display in this football game.
The final score was 24-22 and 21 of the Redskins points game in the first half. The Redskins entered half-time with a 21-6 lead. A lead that should be more than secure, but the Redskins secondary had a number of second half let downs as they allowed both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to go over 100 yards receiving. The Redskins secondary also had trouble stopping the big play as both Jackson and Williams had receptions of over 50 yards. Combine that with the inability of the offense to add points and it put the Redskins into a position in which they had to win it with a last minute drive.
The missed field goals by Cundiff could have been the difference in this football game. If RGIII was unable to move the Redskins down the field or if Cundiff had missed his final attempt his misses would be all people would be talking about today. Of his three missed field goals one was a 57 yarder so that can’t be counted, but he did miss two from within 50 yards which should be close to automatic for a good NFL kicker. Cundiff had a bad day kicking the football and it almost cost the Redskins, but he is still the best kicker who has played for the Redskins in the last few seasons.
As far as anyone should be concerned moving forward the Redskins will go as far as RGIII can take them. On the season he has passed for 1,070 yards with four touchdowns and one interception while rushing the football 35 times for 252 yards with four touchdowns and two fumbles (one of which was recovered for a touchdown.) RGIII is an amazing talent and in the first four weeks of the NFL season he has done something in every one of them to impress. He has shown off not just his ability to pass and run, but also his awareness.
RGIII plays with poise beyond that of a rookie and he understands who he is. His strong arm and ability to get rid of the ball quickly and with accuracy will open up running lanes on a QB draw, and his ability to run the ball and force defenders to keep an eye on him will help his receivers to get open underneath. The Redskins used him as less of a runner in this game, but they still used his running ability to open plays up. RGIII’s ability to run is one of the reasons he was able to pass for 323 yards, and his ability to pass is why he was able to score on one QB draw and almost score on another in which the ball was fumbled and recovered in the end zone by Pierre Garcon. If it wasn’t understood yet why the Redskins traded so much to get the rights to draft RGIII. It should be now. He is a special player. The type a team can be built around.