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RG3: 'The mojo was definitely working today'

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RG3: 'The mojo was definitely working today'

OK, now we can say it.

RG3 is back.

This time, it wasn’t for just a stretch of a game or a mixed bag or some nice stats in a loss. Robert Griffin III ran and passed from beginning to end and led the Washington Redskins to a 45-41 win over the Chicago Bears.

“We had to win a shootout and we did,” said Griffin.

The Redskins were able to fire the last shot of the shootout thanks to a 12-play, 80-yard drive that started after the Bears had scored a touchdown to take a 41-38 lead with just under four minutes left to play. It took one play for the Redskins to get into Bears territory as Griffin found Jordan Reed over the middle and the rookie tight end rolled for 26 yards to the Chicago 49. In all, Griffin completed 5 of 7 passes on the drive for 58 yards. The last pass was for 10 yards to Jordan Reed to the three yard line, converting a third and four, the third third-down conversion of the drive. Roy Helu Jr. capped off the drive by smashing it into the end zone from there. The Redskins held off a desperation Chicago drive and walked off with the win.

“Very confident,” said Griffin when he was asked what the mood was in the huddle at the start of the winning drive. “Told the guys we have to have positive plays. Get positive yards on each play and if we don't, make up for it on the next play. Just take it one play at a time and when you have those crucial third-down situations, we had guys step up and make plays for us.”

It was the third fourth-quarter, game-winning drive of Griffin’s career.

Griffin passed for two touchdowns on the day. His first one went to Reed just before halftime. On third and goal at the three, Griffin dropped a couple of steps and lofted the ball to the corner of the end zone.

“It was a fade and the safety was playing inside leverage on me,” said Reed. “I just gave him a little jab step inside and Rob threw a perfect, easily catchable ball.”

That gave the Redskins a 24-17 halftime lead. Early in the fourth quarter the Bears scored on one of Matt Forte’s three rushing touchdowns. The Redskins retook the lead with a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a play that reminded Griffin of some of the plays the team made during it’s seven-game winning streak that got them into the playoffs last year.

Griffin wasn’t specific but it appears that he went off script during the play.

“I just had a feeling in that situation,” he said. “You can talk to [offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan] about the play call, I don't know if I went about it the right way. He called the play. I had a thought, I went with my instincts and gave [wide receiver Aldrick Robinson] a chance to make a play for me.”

What he did was drop back to pass from the Chicago 45-yard line. He launched the ball to Robinson, who was in the end zone surrounded by defensive backs Charles Tillman and Chris Conte. It looked like either one of them could make the play but Conte ran into Robinson and fell to the ground and Tillman couldn’t quite get to the ball as it descended into Robinson’s arms for the TD.

“Al made a great play, when I saw him catch it, it was a feeling of last year,” he said.

“The mojo was definitely working today.”

Griffin finished the day completing 18 of 28 passes for 298 yards and the two TD’s. He did throw one interception to Tillman and ended up with a passer rating of 105.2. Griffin ran for a season-high 84 yards on 11 attempts.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

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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.