I have watched coaches film of every offensive snap of the Washington Redskins in their last game, and their last non-divisional home game (L vs. Panthers), from two different angles, and have come up with some points that could lead to our victory.
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R.G. III is a media darling, but in what you will learn is a theme of this particular blog, media hype is the wrong thing to listen to. Film shows him to be very beatable. He is not as strong as Michael Vick, but perhaps as fast. He is fragile when hit. He has covered weaknesses in his throwing game. The list below gives my thoughts on how R.G. III can be R.G. Through when we get after him.
1.) THE PISTOL OFFENSE HAS SOME DEFINITE KEYS. DON'T LET IT INTIMIDATE YOU. When they are in the pistol it is very readable what they are going to do. Know who would be great at this? #52. We look forward to his return against Denver, God willing. Washington rarely reverses out of the pistol, although they motion the wideout often, against the grain of the play. When the WR is set behind Griffin, he is usually looking to trail on an option. When Griffin hands off to Alfred Morris, their best play is a tray sweep, which they sealed off the edge multiple times against the Giants but not in the loss to the Panthers. This is why....
2.) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO WE GIVE UP THE EDGE.
Do not pursue down the line, STAY HOME. Because turning Morris back inside is problematic for him and for the scheme. He sometimes is able to slip in the gap just inside the edge, but our pursuit of this game tends to be superlative. Stuffing the edge kills their scheme. It must be paramount. If the play is flowing the other way trust your teammates to do their job. This is because....
3.) R.G. III DOES HIS MOST DAMAGE RUNNING THE NAKED BOOTLEG. The Redskins were torching the undisciplined Giants with this play because of their stretch runs killing the edges. Griffin had a 46 yard run! That is totally unacceptable. Notice how the outside rusher was totally gunning for the RB in the picture above...sucked in. Everybody seems to think that he will automatically get this kind of yardage against us, but we historically do well against scrambling QBs; it's the pocket aces that hurt us badly. If the opposite edge keys Griffin first at all times, he will see zero success with this play, and could possibly even benefit us, in that....
4.) R.G. III IS FRAGILE AND WILL DROP THE BALL IF HIT IN SPACE. Meaning, if he is not on the ground. He is not bulked up and not a naturally stocky athlete like a Vick. He dropped the ball for a TD vs. the Giants. We should look to hit him hard and often when he has the ball tucked in. We could even put him out of the game like Atlanta did. He is a liability in this way.
5.) R.G. III IS MORE OF A RHYTHM PASSER THAN A DISSECTOR. He tends to lock in to receivers. He throws an accurate ball downfield, but his passes are based on play-action rhythm and timing. In a broken down play, he rarely makes it work (from my observation) with a pass. He is not so good at throwing on the run, surprisingly. If his rhythm can be broken from downfield coverage as well as pressure up front, his success plummets.
6.) R.G. III LOVES THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD. His #1 timing play is the play action skinny post to his left, which is a timing play, which he completed multiple times against the Giants. Lots of his passes are right down the middle. Amazingly enough, he not only shies away from throwing outside the numbers, but he is not good at it. These misfires were largely on Griffin--his fault. Now I can more appreciate when they say how well Flacco throws the sideline outs. We should shade inside and dare him to throw that post. We should jump outside routes early, because he is not much of a pump-and-go guy. He is about timing.
7.) ALFRED MORRIS IS AVERAGE. The Redskins scheme is pretty novel. It is a typical Shanahan scheme which allows average RBs to flourish. Yet, he doesn't explode into holes, he doesn't pick his way through the middle, he doesn't have awesome speed, he doesn't break ankles. The guy just runs the stretch runs to the edge, follows his block, and capitalizes. If we turn him back inside, he will not get 100 yards, easily.
8.) ALFRED MORRIS NEEDS TO BE TACKLED LOW. He is like a poor man's Ray Rice, built slightly taller but with that low center. He is hard to knock off by just hitting high. He must be tackled low. Solid tackling on him early will discourage the Redskins coaches.
9.) GIANTS' COVER-2 SHELL GOT DESTROYED. Yet, the Panthers' man looks with dedicated SS help towards the box was successful enough to win. The cover-2 was allowing the skinny post to be open all the time, since the corners were in a zone. We should bump them at the line, shade inside, and force Griffin to earn his living outside of the numbers. We should also free up Reed to trick this young QB. His low interceptions on the season are due to rhythm and not expert reading.
10.) EXPLOIT THEIR DEFENSE, ESPECIALLY FORMER RAVEN J. WILSON. They have a hobbled d-backfield, a questionable linebacking corps. Wilson could be their #1 if Hall cannot go, and at the very least they will have a rookie going against Q in the slot. Will teams never learn?!?! Q destroys these rooks routinely. I hope they do not learn. Oh, and Wilson was raving on about the Redskins being his true boyhood team when they signed him. He is a short piece of toast, waiting to be BURNED.
I love it when the media goes against us. They love the hot team and the Big News Now. We are a better team than Washington, with a better QB, better defense, better players. This game is immensely important to us. They are upstarts who don't necessarily have great confidence. Let's shatter it early with some deep bombs against that ragged backfield--thrown deep and accurately, Joe--and suffocate their edge dogged point-of-attack pursuit. Let's expose their gimmick O and keep it moving. We're that good.