The Redskins look like a bottom-rung team that won’t climb much higher. Fortunately for the Redskins, the NFC East has nothing but bottom-rung teams.
Even with their record, the Redskins still are in the hunt in a division the Dallas Cowboys lead with a 4-4 mark.
In order for the Redskins to remain relevant in the division and potentially salvage their season, they must build on what little has worked.
Now that Alfred Morris has regained his groove, the Redskins could benefit by sticking with the running game. The presence of gifted rookie tight end Jordan Reed finally provides hope for consistency in the passing game.
On defense, cornerback DeAngelo Hall and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan have emerged as playmakers. The Redskins need other defensive players to follow their lead. Of course, what the team needs most is for Robert Griffin III to play well, which he didn’t against Denver.
After consecutive encouraging performances, Griffin suffered a setback. Let’s start with what went wrong for the Redskins’ most important player.
Off the mark again
Griffin had a bunch of bad numbers against the Broncos. Here’s the worst: 45.4. That was his passer rating after many of his passes sailed.
Griffin completed only 15 of 30 passes for 132 yards. He had one touchdown, two interceptions and lost one of his two fumbles.
Often, it seems Griffin lacks confidence to cycle through his progressions behind Washington’s offensive line, which has struggled in protection. Frequently, Griffin has locked in on one target.
In the NFL, it’s nearly impossible for a one-read quarterback to be effective. Most defenses are so good that quarterbacks must spread the ball around to keep the offense moving. Right now, that’s not happening nearly enough.
Garcon, Reed take lead
Reed was targeted 14 times and had eight receptions. Top wideout Pierre Garcon finished with 11 targets and seven catches — including a spectacular one-handed grab on a high pass in the first half. The rest of Washington’s wide receiver corps totaled 14 targets and only five catches.
Although Leonard Hankerson caught a touchdown pass, Reed and Garcon are the only receivers who consistently win battles against defensive backs. Usually, Reed and Garcon get separation, which gives Griffin confidence in them. The decline of slot receiver Santana Moss has hurt the offense.
Last season, Moss led the Redskins with eight touchdown receptions. Because of the emergence of Reed, Moss has been targeted less in the mid-range passing game.