The thanksgiving day game against the Cowboys was perhaps the most satisfying turkey day in quite some time for fans of the Washington Redskins. The Redskins traveled to the stadium known as ‘Jerry World’ to take on their hated rivals, the Cowboys and preceded to take it to the home team 38-31. A game that wasn’t exactly as close as the score would suggest too place with the Redskins delivering a serious blow in a 28 point second quarter.
It would appear as if coach Mike Shanahan took the foot off the peddle a little bit after halftime, which allowed the Cowboys to get back into the game. In a moment when it seemed like Shanahan realized that his offense would have to pick the pace back up, Robert Griffin III threw his first interception in weeks and Dallas was able to score again a few plays later.
Griffin remained poised when he returned to the field after Dallas closed to 7 points and led the Redskins on a nice long sustained drive that ended with a 47 yard Kai Forbath kick that put the Redskins up 38-28. Forbath is now 10-10 on the season and has been the teams most consistent player since being signed early this year. Here are five things we can take from this game.
- Robert Griffin III is the truth - No more need for analyst and haters alike to question if this kid can do more than just run the ball, 4 passing touchdown games back to back prove that Griffin is indeed a true franchise qb who can run if he needs to. The most common mistake teams have made against RG3 is they believe that if they can contain his rushing game that they can beat the Redskins, when in fact, Griffin would much rather have the opportunity to throw it deep every play. Griffin’s overall play has him being included in the short list of NFL qb’s both statistically and in leadership categories as well as he was named captain after only nine games and is the clear cut leader in DC. RG3 is 54/71 (76%) 769 yards, ten touchdowns, two interceptions, 27 carries for 202 yards in 3 NFC East games with point totals of 23, 31, and 38.
- The Redskins offense has big-play ability – After the Dallas game, the offense now has 10 touchdown plays of 30 yards or more and they also have eight touchdown plays of 59 yards or more. In years past the Redskin simply put didn’t have the play-makers to be capable of this. Robert Griffin III has proven to have unreal play fake ability which has lead to the defenses getting sucked in on plays. The addition of players like Garcon and Aldrick Robinson who clearly are upgrades over last years system have helped as well. Coach Kyle Shanahan has also been on point this year with his play-calling ability in crunch time. This offense is quickly becoming a well oiled machine that is carrying the entire team.
- Kai Forbath is clutch – Early this season when former Redskins kicker Billy Cundiff was struggling through his short time with the team, the question was asked over and over again, would the Redskins ever find a quality kicker? Forbath has answered that question quite effectively by going out after getting his shot with the Redskins and being successful on all ten of his attempts this year. Having a kicker who just goes out and kicks and is successful gives the Redskins a reliable piece of the offense that hasn’t been seen in DC since Chip Lohmiller retired.
- Santana Moss has become RGIII’s main target – Many thought coming into this season that Santana Moss was going to be an after thought in an offense that signed Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon in the off-season. Moss, who lost 15 pounds in the off-season, has responded with the most touchdown catches he has had since 2005 and is averaging 14.3 yards per catch, the best he has been at that since 2007. Even though he only had 42 yards on 4 catches against the Cowboys, the yards and catches Moss has been involved with have been in clutch situations. Against Philly, Moss caught a 61 yard bomb that for all intended purposes probably should never have been thrown. Moss responded by jumping over two defenders while making the catch and then dove into the end-zone for the score. The play reminded many of the other Moss, Randy that is, who of course is of no relation to Tanaman.
- Playoffs are not out of the question – Now that the Redskins have won two straight games against NFC East opponents, they find themselves in an interesting position. If the New York Giants lose their game this week on Sunday night to the Green Bay Packers it will setup a battle for first place next Monday night at FedEx Field. That’s right fans, a meaningful game that will decide first place in December in the nations capitol is very possible. That Monday night game is the must win of the season because there is little chance that the Redskins could recover if they lose since they would be two games back of NY and the Giants would hold the tie breaker. This is still something that will not come easy to the Redskins but it’s miles away from where the team was just three weeks ago after losing to lowly Carolina and heading into the bye.