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Griffin vows: 'We'll figure it out'

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Griffin vows: 'We'll figure it out'

As Yogi Berra once said, it was like déjà vu all over again.

Just like last Monday against the Eagles, Robert Griffin III had a nice game if all you did was look at his final stat line. He was 26 for 40 for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns, a passer rating of 104.2. But once again the numbers were empty as the Redskins got way behind early and piled up yards in extended garbage time.

The Redskins fell to 0-2 as they lost to the Packers 38-20 in another game that was not as close as the final score would indicate. The Eagles led 33-7 before the Redskins were able to get on the board.

After the game Griffin again waved off concerns about his surgically repaired right knee and vowed to make things better.

“We’ll make it happen,” he said. “We’ll figure it out, we’ll figure out what’s missing right now and we’ll make it happen.”

Griffin has been the team’s leader almost from the moment he set foot in the Redskins’ locker room last year. By all accounts he has been the encouraging/enthusiastic type of leader. But, at the request of some teammates, that may change.

“If those guys want me to go out there and be the stern leader then I can do that,” he said. “I got some of that from some of my teammates on the sideline asking me to do some more things. Not necessarily change who I am as a person but if they want me to be hard on them, I’ll be hard on them.”

Whether it was a change of leadership style or something else, Griffin said that the losing would stop. “We’ll be better, period,” he said. “We’ll make it happen. We’ll figure it out, we’ll figure out what’s missing right now and we’ll make it happen.”

Griffin was asked what type of leadership changes he would make.

"I just not, you know, I’m not an a-hole. I believe in positive reinforcement," he said. "If something happens, I know he’ll make it up the next time he gets that chance. And that’s just the way I lead. If they want me to do that, you know, I’m fine with doing that . . . If that’s what we need to get over this hump, to move forward and start winning games I’m definitely going to do it."

If Griffin is successful in getting the offense turned around, perhaps he or someone else can do something to help the Redskins’ defense. The loss certainly wasn’t all Griffin’s side of the ball.

Aaron Rodgers has a field day for the Packers, completing 34 of 42 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns. Even if Griffin had been razor sharp all day the Redskins would have had trouble winning this one.

Through two games the Redskins have allowed 1,023 yards of total offense. In NFL history, only the 1967 Atlanta Falcons (1,025) have allowed more through two games.

At halftime it was 24-0 and Griffin was six for 13 for 107 yards with an interception that comes to a passer rating of 42.8.

At that point the Redskins were 0-5 on third down. They failed on two more in the second half before the Packers scored to make it 31-0.

The Redskins finally converted a third down with 4:15 left in the third quarter. It came on a third-down touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon that covered six yards.

Griffin would go on to throw two more touchdown passes, one of three yards to Jordan Reed and another one to Santana Moss that covered six yards. But it was the proverbial too little, too late.

Griffin ran just four times for one yard. A year ago the dynamic threat of his legs helped the whole offense click. Many are wondering if there are reasons beyond the knee injury that Griffin is not running with the ball.

“If teams are going to give us the QB run we’ll take it,” he said. “If they’re not we can’t just run those plays.”

"I'm not just going to run to show people that I'm back. I think that’s stupid."

In the end, Griffin said that the solution is to keep on fighting.

“You can’t just totally jump ship,” he said. “It’s not that time and I don’t think this team will ever do that.”

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.