A lot was made of Robert Griffin III saying he had an a-ha moment during OTAs last week. Here is what he said during his press conference on Thursday:As far as the offense and knowing what Im doing, I think I had that a-ha moment yesterday. The defense was getting after us a little bit. We came into the last session of the day, and we just tore them up so we continued that toward the beginning of practice, today and then it evened out as practice went on. It felt good to know that as long as you know where youre going with the ball, as long as youre aggressive and confident in what youre doing, you can complete any pass and do anything.You have to love the confidence there, a rookie quarterback talking about being aggressive and being able to complete any pass. The media was not present for that Wednesday OTA and from what we could see on Thursday, RG3 was mostly confident and aggressive. But he didnt complete every pass nor did he do anything he wanted. That is to be expected from any quarterback learning a new offense, especially a rookie.There are many more a-ha moments to come for RG3. He will have one in late July when they they are practicing a near full speed in pads against the first team defense. Another one will come in the preseason opener when the yellow no contact jersey goes away and opposing pass rushers who would love to get a piece of the hyped Heisman Trophy winner will be after him. At some point hell turn on the jets and find that there are guys out there who are just as fast as he is. When he goes for four quarters against the Saints starting defense with the intensity turned up several notches when the games start to count there will be more revelations to the rookie.For Griffin, its so far, so good. But there is a long way to go.
There are no big surprises on the Redskins’ inactive list Monday before the Eagles matchup:
- CB Josh Norman
- OL Tyler Catalina
- OL Ty Nsekhe
- DL A.J. Francis
- TE Jeremy Sprinkle
- OLB Josh Harvey-Clemons
- S Deshazor Everett
Cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who suffered a knee injury last Sunday against the 49ers, is active. With Norman out, that is very good news for the Redskins’ chances.
Norman was declared out on the final injury report. He reportedly wanted to play with a broken rib that he sustained on October 3 against the Chiefs. But the medical staff would not clear him to play and Norman will miss his second consecutive game. Quinton Dunbar will start in his place.
Reserve offensive linemen Catalina (concussion) and Nsekhe (core muscle) also were declared out on Saturday.
Starting RB Rob Kelley returns after missing the 49ers game with an ankle injury.
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 23, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.
Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles, 8:30 pm, ESPN
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 13
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 31
Final report on injures of note:
Out: CB Josh Norman (rib),
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee)CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
See the full injury report and analysis here
Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles
—The first time these teams met, both scored defensive touchdowns. Ryan Kerrigan got the first Redskins points on the board with a pick six of Carson Wentz in the second quarter. With a minute and a half left, Fletcher Cox wrapped up the game for his team with a 20-yard return of a very controversial fumble. The difference tonight could well be a defensive or special teams score.
—In that game, the Redskins never let the Eagles get any sort of running game going. The Eagles rushed for 54 yards, the second-lowest total for a Washington opponent this year. And they had 24 attempts (2.4 yards per) so it wasn’t as though they didn’t try. The Redskins could use another strong effort against the run this time as well.
—I examined third downs in the first look at this game a few days ago. Since then, this was bought to my attention.
Third downs could be a fatal flaw for the Redskins. The Eagles’ ability to convert third and long situations was a key to them being able to survive without much of a running game in the opener. The Redskins need to hold the Eagles to 40 percent or less on all third downs and to 25 percent or less on third and long. And they will have to do it without Josh Norman, their best defensive back.
—In the first meeting, the matchup of the Redskins’ offensive line and the Eagles’ defensive front went decidedly in Philly’s direction. Washington rushed for just 64 yards and Kirk Cousins was sacked four times. There were plenty of concerns about the line, especially RT Morgan Moses, who gave up two sacks, and RG Brandon Scherff, who gave up four total pressures. Those two and the unit as a whole have been better since that game. The Redskins’ front will need to win that battle this time around.
Prediction: A Week 7 game is not really a must-win when you have a winning record. There is a lot of season left to be played. But if the Redskins are going to take the next step and stay in the thick of things for the ideal playoff seeding, they need to take this one. This year in the NFL, just when everyone thinks they have things figured out something happens to flip the script. Everyone now figures that the Eagles are the best team in the NFC and perhaps the best in the NFL. They are ripe for an upset.
Redskins 24, Eagles 20
Season prediction record: 2-3
In case you missed it
- No Norman Against Eagles
- Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles
- Plenty of factors weigh on Trent Williams' knee
- Week 7 Redskins-Eagles Preview: Monday night madness