Now that is how you enter the NFL.  Week one against New Orleans is what fans were hoping for when Heath Shuler, Patrick Ramsey and Jason Campbell were drafted.  This is the combination of field stretching offense and big play defense Burgundy and Gold Nation was looking for when Mike Shanahan took over in 2010.  Are we saying 11-5 and a division title?  No, but a fifth straight last place finish in the NFC East looks a lot less likely.

RG3ver– The rookie completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions.  He was the only one of five rookie quarterbacks starting yesterday to deliver victory… and had a higher passer rating (139.9) than Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden COMBINED.  Griffin began the game by completing his first seven passes… and unlike Mark Brunell’s “record” completion streak there were actually attempts downfield.  The rookie also used his feet as well to create opportunities downfield without getting smacked around.

NFL… NFL…NFL–  Something magical about the first week of the season.  The midweek matchup involving the Super Bowl Champ… that USA Today on the first Friday… and Sunday’s pregame buffet.  FOX adds Erin Andrews, keeping Pam Oliver on the sidelines…while subbing in a new picks guy for Frank Caliendo.  He’s going to be an acquired taste.  CBS adds former Washington Post reporter Jason LaConfora as their “information guy”… as opposed to James Brown and the rest of the bunch who by contrast I guess don’t offer any information.  I’m hoping ESPN eventually has Adam Schefter dress like Bert and Chris Mortensen dress like Ernie.

Morris the Quick Cat– the incredible August of Alfred Morris evidently wasn’t a mirage.  Named the starting running back the rookie rushed for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns… as the ground game gains momentum: 63 yards on 21 carries in the first half before rolling for 90 yards on 23 tries after intermission.  Will #46 be the #1 back for the whole season?  At least the Skins have options.

Paul McCartney says reports of the Redskins Offensive Line Depth premature– so much for saying preseason injuries to Jammal Brown, Kory Lichtensteiger and Chris Chester would make the Skins’ OL swiss cheese.  Maybe swiss cheese that had sat outside for a week, but nothing like previous disastrous lines of memory.  The running game after a slow start notched 153 yards and the OL allowed just one sack.  I’m not calling these guys the Hogs II… but they’re much better than the mess many had feared.

What time is it?– the NFL moving doubleheader games to 4:25 is no big thing… although there was the excitement of  “we’re bringing in viewers from Green Bay-Minnesota” during the first fifteen minutes of most broadcasts.  I’d even be fine with making it 4:30.  Allows all the early game watchers to exhale.  I’m not ready for the Albert-Moose-Goose trio though… Tony Siragusa is one step away from a T-shirt and sweatpants while carrying a bag of chips. 

Sharing the Wealth– Pierre Garcon’s injury limited #88 to just 4 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown… but the rest of the receiving corps stepped up as RG3 completed passes to seven other receivers.  Aldrick Robinson (4-52-1TD) picked up where his productive August left off… Santana Moss (3-47) provided quality play from the slot… and four other receivers caught at least one 20+ yard pass.  Stretching the field is a good thing.

Third Up and Down– The Skins began with a bang… converting 4 of their first 6 chances to move the chains.  But somewhere in there they lost themselves… finishing 4-15 on the day.  Griffin’s line on 3rd down: 5-8-49 (converting 3) along with 2 rushes for 5 yards (no conversions).  Breaking down the third downs:  1 of 5 on 3rd and short (1-3 yards), 3 of 6 on 3rd and intermediate (4-6 yards) and 0 for 4 on 3rd and long (7+).  The fact that a big chunk of third downs are now short yardage is a good sign.

Dissecting the Division–  After one week Dallas finds itself atop the NFC East thanks to their 1-0 division record… the Redskins are in second because they’re 1-0 in the conference… and Philadelphia currently holds down third place not because the Eagles win at Cleveland was ugly (and it was uncomfortably hideous), but because the Browns are a non-conference opponent.  While the NY Giants are in last– remember they were in last place last year after one week.  And the Skins have been in first place after one week the last two years only to finish in last place after week 17.

D earns a B– Coordinator Jim Haslett’s unit wasn’t perfect:  allowing 358 total yards and more than a few times one felt that Drew Brees was about to go through the banged up secondary like a blowtorch through butter*.  But they held New Orleans to 2 of 11 on third down:  four of the Saints first six possessions were three and outs.  They held Drew Brees to under 50% passing and made the running game an afterthought (32 yards… and no carries after the third quarter).  And when it looked like New Orleans had momentum, DeJon Gomes made a game changing interception that set up what would eventually be the difference-making score.   Moving forward, an injury and suspension riddled secondary will be a primary concern.

East the Beast Again?– After one week the NFC East and North own the best records as each is 3-1…while the AFC North and South will both likely be 1-3 after Monday night (a Ravens-Cincinnati tie would be awesome and result in an 0-2-2 start).  How important is this?  Last year the AFC North finished 37-27 but 1-3 in the playoffs.  The NFC North went 36-28 and 0-2 in the postseason.  The division competition is a fun parlor game but nothing more.  Unless it means something.

No Longer Special–  I will now refer to the non-offensive and defensive units as the “kicking teams”… as a blocked punt near the end of the first half almost robbed the Redskins of whatever momentum they had built.  After last year’s blocked field goal attempts and 2010’s mishandled snaps… “Special Teams” is currently on hiatus.  On the bright side, Billy Cundiff connected on all four attempts… twice from 37 yards out while legging 41 and 45 yard makes.

Next Up– a St. Louis team that somehow over the years seems to play the Redskins rather well.

*One of my favorite lines from Goldfinger— when Connery tells Pussy Galore not to fire a gun on an airplane.

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