PFF's Refocused: Redskins @ Rams
Re-Fo: Redskins @ Rams, Week 2
Nathaniel Peters-Kroll | 2012/09/18
In this matchup of upstart teams from Week 1, we all wondered what Robert Griffin III would do as an encore to his demolition of the Saints defense in Week 1. Would the Rams be able to apply enough pressure to force the wonderkid into any mistakes? How would RGIII fare without Pierre Garcon?
On the flipside, how would Sam Bradford fare against a stout Redskins pass rush after a solid, if unspectacular opener against the Lions? With the loss of Scott Wells, the Rams already shaky offensive line would have to find a way to limit the pressure on their quarterback.
Although this game was nearly hijacked by some questionable officiating, it proved to be an exciting game, so let’s find out how the game was decided.
Washington – Three Performances of Note
Carriker and Orakpo Go Down Early
On just the second play from scrimmage, Adam Carriker had his leg rolled up on and looked to suffer a major leg injury. Just a few minutes later, after recording a sack, Brian Orakpo appeared to have reinjured the pectoral muscle that he tore in Week 17 of last season. On Monday, the Redskins confirmed that both Carriker and Orakpo would be out for the remainder of the season. Orakpo’s presence had already been felt, abusing Rodger Saffold to the tune of a +1.6 pass rushing grade in just 13 snaps. He attempted to come back, but after five more snaps he had to call it quits. Saffold reinjured his neck on the same play Orakpo injured his pectoral, so the left tackle/right outside linebacker positional battle became a second team affair. Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson could only muster one quarterback hurry and one holding penalty on Wayne Hunter (+2.1 pass blocking) over the rest of the game.
While Carriker’s run defense had fallen off a bit (-9.0 in 2011), his and Orakpo’s presence will be sorely missed with Orakpo’s +17 overall grade in 2011 being incredibly difficult to replace. Opposing teams will be able to double-team Ryan Kerrigan on the opposite side without having to worry about Orakpo’s presence. The Redskins defense now looks to be a liability.
In Week 1, Robert Griffin III was 8-for-12 in throws over 10 yards, netting 240 yards and a score. This week, RGIII (+3.1) went 4-for-5 in that same category, passing for 122 yards and a touchdown. So, the Shanahans decided to take a more conservative approach this week, perhaps due to Garcon’s absence. He still looked very solid throwing the ball, launching a missile 61 yards in the air for the touchdown strike to Leonard Hankerson and throwing another perfect strike that Aldrick Robinson should have caught for another 60+ yard pass. Still the Redskins were able to showcase another dimension of RGIII’s skill-set. Although he was forced to scramble from pressure four times for 28 yards, the Redskins had seven designed runs for Griffin, resulting in 54 yards and two scores. The two scores were especially impressive, as on the first he ran around left end, cutting back into the endzone, while on the second, he took a draw up the middle, scampering in untouched from seven yards out. There are still a few throws that remind us that Griffin is only a rookie, particularly the interception he threw right into CB Cortland Finnegan’s hands. Overall, it’s been a great start for Griffin and he’s only going to get better. Scary.
Beyond Leonard Hankerson’s 68 yard touchdown catch, which he almost dropped, the Redskins receiver’s were largely heard from the entire afternoon. With Hankerson the only receiver posting a positive grade above +0.4, RGIII was longing for Garcon, who in just 10 snaps in Week 1, caught all four of his targets, including an 88 yard catch and run. Although Josh Morgan caught all five of his targets, and helped out blocking in the screen game (+0.5), his unsportsmanlike penalty ultimately cost the Redskins a shot to tie the game in the dying seconds.
St. Louis – Three Performances of Note
Chris Long, Hurry Machine
On the field for 50 snaps, of which 29 were pass plays when he rushed the quarterback, Chris Long (+4.0) undressed Redskins right tackle Tyler Polumbus to notch eight hurries. Coming off the left edge and beating his man, Long was a menace and surely would have picked up a few sacks if not for the rest of the Redskins offensive line holding up well and not allowing the pocket to collapse once Long had penetrated. Two weeks into the season, Long is now tied with Elvis Dumervil for the league lead in quarterback hurries and looks poised for a huge year. He should be licking his lips especially for two games against the Cardinals porous front.
Although Robert Quinn (-2.0) came away with the lone sack for the Rams defense, he was about as unimpressive as he was in Week 1. Squaring off against Trent Williams is no walk in the park, but the Rams have to be expecting more out of the 2011 first rounder. If he meets the Rams high expectations, he and Long could form one of the league’s better pass rushing duos.
Danny Amendola = Wes Welker?
On the first play of the game, Danny Amendola (+3.2) caught a short 13 yard pass, fumbled upon being tackled, and Wilson picked up the loose ball and walked into endzone for an early 7-0 Redskin lead. Not to be discouraged, Sam Bradford (+1.4) threw 6-of-7 passes to Amendola to open up on offense, completing all of them, gaining confidence and keeping the Rams in the game after the Redskins got up 21-6 early in the second quarter. Amendola offers something that Bradford didn’t have in 2011, when he struggled mightily: a safety valve quick trigger option that was reliable and could move the chains. Although Bradford was loose with a couple of throws (he didn’t see London Fletcher in the back of the endzone on his interception), for much of the game he got the ball out quickly, accurately, and didn’t look afraid in the pocket.
Amendola made the Redskins secondary pay for using a soft zone, getting open at will against every defensive back or linebacker who was marking him at the line of scrimmage. In particular, Bradford threw at Amendola four times when DeJon Gomes was marking him, completing them all for 89 yards.
Free Agent Signing of the Year?
Jeff Fisher signed one his former players, Cortland Finnegan (+3.1) to shore up a secondary that had been picked apart in 2011. Against Griffin on Sunday, Finnegan was that player and more. Playing both in the slot and on the outside, RGIII only attempted three passes at Finnegan. Although he completed two of them, they only netted seven yards. Finnegan intercepted the third beautifully, as he undercut a route in the middle of the field, and set up the Rams for a field goal before the half, which cut into the Redskins lead. Known most for his on field fight with Andre Johnson and his physical nature, Finnegan made possibly the biggest play of the game, baiting Morgan into pegging the ball at him, resulting in a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty that put Washington out of field goal position with minutes to play.
- Tyler Polumbus allowed seven hurries, tying Jermon Bushrod for the second most allowed in Week 2.
- Danny Amendola’s 16 targets and 83 yards after the catch were the most by any receiver in Week 2.
- Matthew Mulligan only ran nine passing routes of the 33 snaps he played, but caught both targets he saw, one going for a touchdown.
PFF Game ball
As much as Finnegan deserves it for his pass coverage and irritation tactics, the connection of Bradford to Danny Amendola hooked up 12 times in the first half, when the Redskins were threatening to run away with the game. Amendola finished with 15 catches and he was able to control the short part of the field throughout the game.
Re: PFF's Refocused: Redskins @ Rams
Pffff Danny Amendola is still like our 5th best receiver ;)
Re: PFF's Refocused: Redskins @ Rams
I think it's weird that when I see writers/bloggers/pundits go into a deeper analysis of RGIII they leave something out.
And that where the 2 throws he made that would have gone for interceptions if we had someone who could catch.
I think the first was in the 2nd quarter (not completely sure) where he threw into 3 man coverage and Brandon Fletcher should have caught it, maybe even for a pick 6.
Second was in the 4th quarter where he doesn't see Rocky McIntosh and throws a bad dump off that should have been cradled and been an interception.
I can understand that if you do a recap of a game or overview that you leave these kinds of things out. But to me you aren't worth a lot as a 'writer' when you leave it out in a deep analysis or a position/players analysis.
Re: PFF's Refocused: Redskins @ Rams
As I saw it Fletcher was on his way to undercut the receiver, to make a play on the ball, but Griffins throw was so bad that it went way off his target - and behind Fletcher. I Don't blame Fletcher for not hanging on, as he got his fingertips on it trying to catch a ball while running the opposite way
Originally Posted by Rammed