On Sunday the Washington Redskins suffered another close game loss at the hands of the undefeated Atlanta Falcons. To make matters worse, the franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered a mild concussion in the third quarter. Griffin rolled out of the pocket on a third and goal play and took a vicious hit from Falcon’s linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. After staying on the ground momentarily, Griffin was able to walk off the field on his own and head to the locker room.
The running game was effective again this week with Alfred Morris having 18 carries for 115 yards. Morris has had a solid season thus far and has made general manager Bruce Allen look like a genius for selecting him in the sixth round.
The defense was able to score another touchdown at home this season. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan tipped and picked off a Matt Ryan pass and returned the interception for a touchdown. That score gave the Redskins the lead but after that the defense returned to playing like its 31st ranking in the NFL. Even though the defense was able to record three turnovers, the Falcons were able to move the ball at will. The lack of pass rush allowed Matt Ryan to pass for 345 yards and two touchdowns. The bulk of the targets were to Tony Gonzalez who caught 13 passes for 133 yards and a score.
With Kirk Cousins stepping in for Griffin, he was able to connect on a 77-yard touchdown pass with Santana Moss. The Falcons blown coverage allowed Moss to run down the middle of the field wide open and to score easily. This gave Washington the lead, 17-14, but it was short lived. Atlanta marched down the field to tie the game up with a field goal and Cousin’s next possession ended with an interception. The Falcons disguised the coverage well and baited the rookie into forcing the ball into coverage. Atlanta took the lead with a 13-yard touchdown run by Michael Turner. The Redskins had one more opportunity to score a touchdown and possibly send the game into overtime, however his attempt would lead to an interception and give the Falcons the win. Atlanta moved to 5-0 with the victory while Washington moved to 2-3. The loss returned Washington to a familiar spot, last in the division.
The combination of the Redskins being 1-9 on third down and 0-2 in the red zone played a huge role in the game. With another loss at FedEx Field, the Redskins have lost their last eight home games with the last victory being in week two against the Arizona Cardinals, last season. Kicker Billy Cundiff continued his struggles, missing a 31-yard field goal attempt. Cundiff is now 7-12 this season, 2-6 in the past two games. Washington signed free agent, Kai Forbath today and reports have came in that the Redskins will release Cundiff soon.
On Griffin and his concussion, Griffin spent the whole off day today fulfilling the NFL requirement of players who had concussions to pass a series of tests before being eligible to practice, let alone play in the next game. Coach Mike Shanahan said “Griffin said that he was fine as he walked off the field” but had a glassy look in his eyes.
Washington’s defense has bought the teams once high expectations back to reality. The Redskins have yet to hold a team under 20 points with the lowest total coming week 4 when they held Tampa Bay to 22 points. While injuries have played a major role in the Redskins defense not being as good as it was last year, certain players like Deangelo Hall and Jarvis Jenkins have to step up.