Week 3: Redskins vs. Bengals

September 23, 2012

Welcome to Week 3 of the Redskins live blog where today we’ll continue to track the second half with Washington trailing the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-10. The Bengals have been moving the ball virtually at will, outgaining the Redskins 283-68 in the first half and running a handful of misdirection plays to keep the defense off-balance. Join us for the second half to see if the Redskins can rally and keep Robert Griffin III protected.

[liveblog]

Bengals at Redskins: That’s a wrap on a 38-31 loss

Well, the first home game in Robert Griffin III’s career is in the books. The Redskins played poorly in the first half, adjusted nicely in the second half but still lost, 38-31, and fell to 1-2. One of the issues going forward this week will be the injury to Trent Williams, who will have an MRI on his knee. Just how much time he’ll miss will be critical to the offensive line, which struggled after two solid outings and forced RGIII into more running plays.

Thanks for joining us and bearing with us while the comments were not open. 

RGIII: ‘I’ve never played scared in my life’

On another frustrating loss:

“It’s always frustrating, but the one thing we’re not going to ever do is to stop fighting. I think it showed a lot of heart in the team, but we’ve got to come away with those victories. We all know that, but you’ve got to continue to do the things that we’re doing to try to be successful. We think we’re doing the right thing, so what do you do after you come away with two ‘Ls’ after you feel like you had two good weeks of practice? You keep practicing hard. I know a lot of guys say ‘you’ve got 13 more games,’ but you know I’m always focused on the next one. So we’ll try to get better and we’ll go out and do that.”

On another day of punishing hits:

“As far as the hits go, it’s football. I got hit a lot. I don’t know how many [times] I got hit, but I know I got hit a lot.”

On the number of punishing hits:

“One is too many, to be honest. I’m not trying to be funny. As a quarterback, you’re a stationary target most of the time. Even though you’re a mobile QB, teams are still going to come after you even more because they feel if they like if they get a sack on a mobile quarterbacks it counts as more, but it really just counts as one. But that’s just their mindset as they go into the game. Like I say, one is too many. But the one thing I won’t do personally is quit or play scared. I’ve never played scared in my life, so it doesn’t matter how many times they hit me, I’m going to continue to get back up. Even if they have to cart me off the field, I’m going to get off the cart and walk away.” 

 

Mike Shanahan’s take on RGIII, injuries

Mike Shanahan’s postgame presser:

On the beating RGIII took:

“That’s the nature of the quarterback position in the National Football League when you get behind. I thought he did an unbelievable job coming back in the second half. We didn’t move the ball very good in the first half and we got our backs against the wall. I thought he did a great job leading the 80-, 85-yard drive. He made some big plays at the end that a lot of people can’t make. He’s going to keep on getting better and better as time goes on, but to see his competitivenes, him getting knocked down and getting back up and competing, that’s what you want to see. That’s what the great ones do. I’m really proud of the way he handled himself.” 

On Trent Williams’s injury and others:

“Trent Williams will have an MRI and we’ll have a chance to find out where he is after the MRI. We had a couple of hamstrings with Cedric Griffin and Butler.”

On the secondary:

“We’ve got to get better in that area obviously. We gave up some big plays and that’s an area we need to work on and we will.”

“We made a few adjustments, made our minds up to play a little harder and quit making so many mistakes, make some third downs. We made that first third-down-and-5, that kind of kept a drive going. I don’t think we had another third down. We had a couple of 80-, 85-yard drives. That’s what you have to do. One player here or there is the difference. We have to get better on third downs because we moved the heck out of the football and had a lot of first downs, but you’ve gotta convert those third downs to be one of the elite teams on offense. We’ll get better as time goes on.”

On the ill-fated challenge at the goal line:

“I probably saw what everybody else saw. When we went back and they showed it a little bit later on…I couldn’t tell that the ball did hit the line. It looked from my perspective of looking at the screen that it did not hit the line. I thought it was worth the challenge. Later, you could clearly see it was on the line.”

 

Feeling the frustration

Redskins come up just short, 38-31

The Washington Redskins fell to 1-2 after Robert Griffin III led a drive that began at the 2 and reached the Bengals 19 on his 19-yard scramble. But on the next play, Griffin was sacked for a 15-yard loss, and an ensuing offside by Fred Davis coupled with an unsportsmanlike conduct call left Washington facing third and 45 with seven seconds to play. Griffin’s Hail Mary pass was tipped and fell incomplete to end the game.

Robert Griffin III moves Redskins within 38-31

Robert Griffin III scored on a two-yard run to cut the lead to 38-31 with 3:35 to play in regulation, but it remains to be seen if the Redskins can stop the Bengals. They haven’t been able to almost the entire game. Stay tuned.

Perhaps Jordan Crawford COULD help

From the stands comes this offer of help for Robert Griffin III:

Richard Crawford beaten for 59-yard touchdown

Andy Dalton threw his third touchdown pass of the game, this time covering 59 yards to wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, who had beaten rookie cornerback Richard Crawford in single coverage. Hawkins caught the ball on a slant and took it the rest of the way to give the Bengals a 38-14 lead with 7:08 to play in regulation.

Bengals reclaim lead, 31-24

The Bengals marched 80 yards primarily on the arm of Andy Dalton, who repeatedly found A.J. Green matched up in single coverage on cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Green even drew a facemask penalty against Hall, and tight end Jermaine Gresham followed with a six-yard touchdown reception for a 31-24 lead with 11: 24 to play.

Redskins lose last timeout on failed challenge

The Redskins will be without any timeouts after Coach Mike Shanahan challenged a call early in the fourth quarter. Just as important, they won’t be able to challenge any more calls the rest of the way.

Third quarter takeaway: Cincinnati offense has disappeared as Redskins roar back


Rob Jackson (50) celebrates touchdown in the first quarter. (Tony L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Redskins have scored 17 straight points to tie the game at 24.

They had two solid touchdown drives in the third quarter while the Cincinnati offense has simply disappeared.

The Bengals had three possessions in the third quarter and their offense managed to stay on the field for a total of eight plays. The Redskins clearly cannot cover A.J. Green but the Bengals are not showing enough commitment at the moment to getting the ball to him.

 

Josh Wilson forces rare fumble

Josh Wilson made a huge play in run support, stripping the ball loose from BenJarvus Green-Ellis and forcing the first fumble by the running back in 590 touches. The Redskins have scored 14 straight points to move into a tie.

RGIII must stop impersonating Gio Gonzalez

Besides the fact that he needs to slide, Robert Griffin III must learn to jump back up quickly after being tackled…otherwise this is going to adversely affect the lifespan of Redskins fans. Leave lying face-first on the field to Gio Gonzalez.

Option clicking for Redskins

The Redskins tied the game at 24 when Robert Griffin III completed a three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santana Moss, but the drive feature plenty of the option rushing attack to keep the Bengals guessing. Griffin got Alfred Morris and Brandon Banks involved as well as carried himself before throwing to Moss cutting across the front of the end zone with 3:29 left in the quarter.

Redskins defense rises up

A nice defensive stand there from the Redskins, who benefited from Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham having a pass from Andy Dalton go right through his hands and bounce off his helmet nearly into the hands of linebacker London Fletcher. On third down and two, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran into a wall of defenders, including DE Jarvis Jenkins and CB DeAngelo Hall for a yard gain, forcing a punt.

Redskins get run game into gear


Robert Griffin III helps direct a touchdown drive to start the second half for the Redskins, who cut the lead to 24-17. (Associated Press)

The Redskins opened the second half with a heavy dose of the running game. Out of nine plays, seven were runs, including a seven-yard touchdown burst by rookie running back Alfred Morris to draw Washington to 24-17 with 10:23 left in the third quarter.  Looks like the Redskins have found a way to keep Robert Griffin III from getting hit.

John Thornton to RGIII

Last week, Robert Griffin III complained about the treatment he received at the hands of the Rams defense. He took a bit of grief for that from the Rams, who reminded him that the NFL is not the Big 12, and on the pregame shows today. Former Titan and Bengal John Thornton just piled on:

Halftime takeaway: The Bengals have been ready for what the Redskins are doing with Griffin

The Redskins are down, 24-10, at halftime and the game actually might be even more lopsided than that. The Bengals have outgained the Redskins, 283 yards to 68.

p>— The Insider (@Insider) September 23, 2012

The Cincinnati defense appears to be fully prepared for what the Redskins are doing offensively with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

He’s taking a lot of hits and the Redskins aren’t getting yards in exchange for the hits that Griffin is absorbing. An errant pitch on an option play on which Griffin was hit led to a turnover and a Bengals’ touchdown.

 The league has adjusted to what the Redskins are doing with Griffin, it appears. It might be the Redskins’ turn to adjust.

 

Redskins trim margin to 24-10

After apparently considering to go for it on fourth down and short, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan elected to try for a field goal, and Billy Cundiff was good from 36 yards to get Washington within 24-10 with 31 seconds to play until halftime. Washington obviously has a lot of work to do in the second half, especially with regard to protecting Robert Griffin III.

Trent Williams returned…

At roughly the same time as the comments were once again visible, Trent Williams limped back onto the field for the Redskins after suffering a knee injury earlier in the game.

Bengals continue to punish Redskins defense


Robert Griffin III holds onto ball as a Bengals defender leaps over the rookie quarterback. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Another crisp touchdown drive for the Bengals, who used an end around to A.J. Green to reach the Redskins 1-yard line and BenJarvus Green-Ellis on a wildcat direct snap for the touchdown to extend the lead to 24-7 with 3:13 to go until halftime. Clearly the Redskins defense is diminished without Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker, but regardless it’s looked far too easy for Cincinnati.

Looking at one replacement referee

This from Mike Wise on one of the replacement officials:

Comments back on

So please join in the fun as we continue to break down today’s Redskins-Bengals game.

Bengals tack on three points for 17-7 lead

The Bengals continue to be able to move the ball efficiently against the Redskins, and even though they didn’t get into the end zone on the last drive, place kicker Mike Nugent’s 47-yard field goal gives Cincinnati a 17-7 lead with 4:36 to play until halftime.

Golston goes back in

Kedric Golston is back in for the Redskins. Feel free to continue to wonder why Marvin Lewis had to get so cute on that last drive.

Redskins don’t get fooled on fake field goal

Madieu Williams helps the Redskins keep Cincinnati off the scoreboard by making a tackle on a fake field goal attempt. Kevin Huber took the direct snap and tried to run around the right side, but Williams was there for the tackle, and the Redskins remained within 14-7 midway through the second quarter.

Golston comes out, holding his arm

Kedric Golston leaves the game after hurting his arm, an injury that prompted some skepticism from Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis.

First quarter takeaway: Mistakes in the secondary have the Redskins behind


Fred Davis catches a pass in the first quarter for the Redskins. (Ricky A. Carioti/The Washington Post)

Two misplays in the secondary have the Redskins trailing after the first quarter, 14-7.

The Bengals came out in a wildcat formation on the game’s opening play. The Redskins over-reacted to playing the run and left the Bengals’ best receiver, A.J. Green, virtually uncovered for a 73-yard touchdown thrown by fellow wideout Mohamed Sanu.

Cincinnati’s second touchdown came on a missed tackle by Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson.

The Redskins haven’t really missed injured linebacker Brian Orakpo so far. Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson are splitting playing time in his absence, and both are making big plays. Jackson had an interception for a touchdown. Wilson had a half-sack. Ryan Kerrigan has picked up the slack as well, hitting Andy Dalton on the throw that led to Jackson’s interception and adding a half-sack.

The worst news, by far, for the Redskins, though, was left tackle Trent Williams heading to the locker room with an injured right knee. He’s a player the Redskins cannot afford to lose.

 

Jordan Black gets beat for sack

Bengals DE Michael Johnson went right around LT Jordan Black for a sack of Robert Griffin III. Black, who was out of football last year, is in the game after starter Trent Williams left and remains questionable to return.

Watch for the Redskins moving a tight end to Black’s side to help protect Griffin.

Replacing Trent Williams …

Josh Wilson beaten on long touchdown

None other than Armon Binns beats Redskins CB Josh Wilson an takes Andy Dalton’s pass 48 yards for a touchdown to give the Bengals a 14-7 lead with 3:28 left in the first quarter. Looks like winner of this game could be the last team to have possession in the fourth quarter.

Rob Jackson steps up; secondary stumbles

Perhaps now it’s time to turn attention to the secondary.

Cedric Griffin questionable to return

Cedric Griffin hurt his hamstring on the last drive and, the Redskins say, is questionable to return. The hits, they just keep coming.

Chris Wilson making impact

Chris Wilson was in a on sack of QB Andy Dalton and just made a fantastic one-on-one tackle of Adam Jones on that last punt return. Looks like the Redskins may have found a contributor even when Brian Orakpo comes back next season.


Redskins players get together before kickoff against the Bengals. (Ray K. Saunders/The Washington Post)

Trent Williams questionable to return

Left tackle Trent Williams has a right knee injury and is questionable to return, the Redskins have announced. Williams, who just left the sideline for the locker room, has come in for his share of criticism from fans, but an offensive-line loss would be tough.

Rob Jackson gets into act right away

Starting in place of Brian Orakpo, LB Rob Jackson dives to intercept QB Andy Dalton’s pass in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game at 7.


Again, hang on for a track meet. For #fantasy owners (like yours truly) starting Dalton, he has minus-2 points. Good times.

Comments on hold due to technical glitch

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Replacement refs appear to miss another call

Alfred Morris had his helmet pop off and continued to participate in the play. Didn’t the NFL issue a new rule that players without helmets are forbidden to continue to play? Seems there should have been a flag thrown there.

About that Bengals TD…

Really, there’s only one thing you can say about that Bengals touchdown:

 

Well that’s an exciting start

The Bengals shock the home faithful at FedEx Field with a 73-yard flea flicker pass to A.J. Green from Mohamed Sanu for a 7-0 lead right off the bat. Hang on for what could be a wild ride. Fantasy owners (like me) who started Andy Dalton, meantime, are simmering just a little.

Redskins fans getting lathered up

Looks like tailgating is going strong at FedEx Field before kickoff of the Bengals-Redskins game. The first home game of the season is always pretty special in these parts, but with Robert Griffin III making his debut at FedEx too, there’s extra excitement for certain.


Redskins fans get in some pregame tailgating at FedEx Field. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Hankerson to start with Garcon out

@Postsports Mark Maske confirms Leonard Hankerson will start in place of Pierre Garcon.

Fantasy focus: Redskins vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III is becoming a must-start regardless of matchup, and today is no exception. With a depleted defense, the Redskins probably are going to need to score in the neighborhood of 30 points to win, so look for Griffin to have a major impact for fantasy owners. Andy Dalton owners should expect big things too against a defense that is diminished without LB Brian Orakpo and DE Adam Carriker. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a nice play too based on all the attention the Redskins will place on containing WR A.J. Green. WR Andrew Hawkins also is a sneaky play with nice upside this week and moving forward.

Find more fantasy football musings here for your pregame reading pleasure.

Expecting offensive fireworks

The Washington Redskins lead the NFL in points per game and are fourth in total offense. The Cincinnati Bengals, meantime, come to FedEx Field to face a defense that is without two of its best pass rushers in LB Brian Orakpo and starting DE Adam Carriker, meaning QB Andy Dalton figures to have time to find big-play WR A.J. Green. Look for plenty of points in this one.

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.
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Mike Jones · September 23, 2012

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