Redskins’ report card: No honor roll


Robert Griffin III was a star last year. But he has struggled so far this season. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

It’s report card time for lots of KidsPost readers and . . . the Washington Redskins.

Washington is halfway through its National Football League (NFL) season. The team has a record of 3-5 (three wins and five losses). So don’t expect many A’s.

Remember, Mr. Bowen is a tough grader. I give a C to any player who is an average NFL starter at his position.

Quarterback: C

Last season, Robert Griffin III was an A student. This season he has struggled. He ranks in the bottom half of NFL quarterbacks for quarterback rating, touchdown passes and percentage of passes completed. I know Griffin has an excuse: He is still recovering from a serious knee injury. But so far this season, the Redskins’ star quarterback has been only average.

Running backs and receivers: B

Alfred Morris has backed up his sensational rookie season with a solid second year, averaging more than 85 yards a game. I give him an A-minus. The Redskins should give him the ball more.

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon and rookie tight end Jordan Reed are becoming Griffin’s favorite passing targets. They both deserve B’s. The other receivers have been below average.

Offensive line: C

The team’s offensive linesmen have done a good job of opening holes for Morris and running back Roy Helu Jr. They have had more trouble protecting Griffin when he fades back to pass. They’ll have to do a better job of that.

Defensive line and
linebackers: D-plus

The Washington defensive front seven are supposed to put pressure on the other team’s quarterback so he doesn’t have time to find his receivers. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has done his part, with 61 / 2 sacks. But most of the time, quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers have had plenty of time to pick Washington’s defense apart.

Defensive backs: D-minus

The Redskins have struggled to stop any team’s passing attack. Washington’s defense ranks 30th out of 32 teams for yards given up per game. Their weak secondary is a big reason for that.

Special teams: F

The Redskins’ special teams have not been special. They have allowed blocked punts and field goals as well as two punt returns for touchdowns. Washington also ranks near the bottom of the NFL for yards gained on both kickoff and punt returns.

Placekicker Kai Forbath, who was almost perfect last year, has made only five of nine field goal attempts this season.

The outlook: No team in Washington’s division, the NFC East, is very good. So if the Redskins play better and beat the Minnesota Vikings (record 1-7) on Thursday and the Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) next week, they will still have a chance to make the playoffs.

The Redskins’ grades may not be very good, but they may be good enough.

Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He is the author of 19 sports books for kids, including two football books: “Touchdown Trouble” and “Quarterback Season.”

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