RGIII. What else needs to be said about him or this game. Every game he does something new to amaze. After throwing four touchdown passes against the Eagles Sunday he throws four touchdown passes against the Cowboys on Thursday. Every touchdown pass was beautiful in its own way. The first one to Aldrick Robinson had the flare of Dallas being flat out run by a speed demon and Robert Griffin finding him down field. Being able to hit a wide open receiver streaking down the field seems like a small thing for a quarterback, but arm strength doesn’t always mean accuracy. RGIII isn’t just about to make the long throws. He is able to make them accurately whereas Redskins quarterbacks of the past would consistently overthrow wide open targets.
The second touchdown pass was not as great a job by RGIII, but he did float it high enough to tempt the Dallas defender to go for it and take a tackler out of the play when Pierre Garcon was able to leap, twist, come down with the ball, and then turn and run it in for a 59 yard touchdown. While Garcon did make the play happen RGIII deserves credit for taking care of the football. Later in the game he would throw a costly interception, but it was his fourth of the season. Even with that interception RGIII has done a ridiculously good job of taking care of the football. The only quarterback with less interceptions is Tom Brady with three.
For the third touchdown pass the Redskins made it into the red zone and had first and goal from the Dallas six yard line. RGIII would find Santana Moss who got inside the defender as RGIII delivered a perfectly placed pass that only Moss could catch. It was again the type of play that can only happen with a quarterback as accurate as RGIII. It was with this touchdown that the Redskins took a 28-3 lead into half-time. things were about to get a little tense for Redskins fans passing out from turkey on the coach.
The third quarter started with the Cowboys driving down the field to the Redskins 15 yard line and having to settle for a field goal. After that the Redskins offense went into a lull with three straight drives ending in punts. Dallas would get a second touchdown with 1:38 left in the third quarter when Dez Bryant caught a short pass from Tony Romo and took it 85 yards for the score. Josh Wilson whiffed on his attempt to pick off Romo and Bryant was able to take advantage of his blocking to run the ball in for a quick score.
The Redskins would answer quickly with a seven play drive ending in RGIII’s fourth passing touchdown of the day. This one a 29 yard strike to Nile Paul that at the time looked to ice the game, but the Cowboys were not done yet. Romo would take advantage of the Redskins secondary with medium pass after medium pass. Marching down the field in just over two minutes and finishing the drive off with a 10 yard touchdown pass to Felix Jones. The Cowboys would convert for two and now found themselves down by 14 with 10 minutes left to play.
It was at this moment that RGIII would make an uncommon mistake. With no receivers open and the Cowboys doing their best to close off his running lanes he would try and force a pass to Josh Morgan that ended up intercepted and taken to the Redskins 11. Tony Romo wouldn’t need long to punch this one in and get the Cowboys within seven with 8 minutes left on the clock. RGIII unfazed by the interception he had just thrown led the Redskins within field goal range and Kia Forbath was able to remain perfect nailing a 48 yard field goal.
Just as important as ending the drive with a score the Redskins were able to run time off the clock and Dallas didn’t get the ball back until there were only three minutes remaining in the game. The Cowboys would mount a moderately successful drive and needing a touchdown and a field goal to tie the game they decided to go for the field goal with around 30 seconds left in the game. On the subsequent onsides kick DeAngelo Hall would recover and run the ball down to the one yard line. From there it was the victory formation for RGIII and the Redskins.
At 5-6 the Redskins aren’t out of the playoff hunt, but they aren’t in the thick of it either. If the Giants lose to Green Bay on Sunday and the Redskins can beat them next Monday night then they will be tied for the division lead, but that is a lot that has to happen in order for the Redskins to be in the thick of it. It is possible, but RGIII won’t throw four touchdowns every game, and if the Redskins secondary continues to play as poorly as the have all season and in the second half against the Cowboys the Redskins will have struggles like they did earlier this season.
However the remaining Redskins schedule is the NFC East, the Ravens, and Browns. The only game the Redskins should lose out of those is the Ravens. The Redskins are inching back into playoff consideration, and as long as they have RGIII they aren’t out of anything, but that secondary is not playoff caliber. One final thought on the Redskins secondary. It allows the big play too often, and it struggles to stop any receiver, but it does create turnovers. The Redskins 14 interception are tied for fourth in the NFL. The secondary does deserve some credit for that.