Ouch.  So that’s why some are wary of Robert Griffin III running the ball.  A second half collision sent #10 to the bench and locker room and with it a big chunk of the Burgundy and Gold hopes for victory.  That they were able to pull within a tie with unbeaten Atlanta was encouraging– but the fact remains this team has a way to go to begin with.

RG3ver– until the rookie was shaken up he completed 10 of 15 passes for 91 yards– not exactly stretching the field… but against a Falcons defense that ranks 7th in the league in stopping the pass.  And just as important for an inexperienced field general– no fumbles or interceptions.  If he can just stay in one piece…

Cousins!– I wish there were a more recent song to riff with Kirk Cousins… does one go Patty Duke “Identical Cousins!” or Elvis “Kissin’ Cousins”?  Both have embarrassing moments but interesting highlights– like the rookie’s play in relief.  A 77 yard touchdown pass was the team’s only 3rd down conversion of the day… while his last two passes of the day were picked off, halting bumper sticker production immediately.  If Griffin can’t play against Minnesota, do they start Cousins or the 5-time-inactive Rex Grossman?  On second thought, fire up a different set of stickers.

Alfred The Great– another big day for the rookie runningback.  Morris the Tiger rumbled for 115 yards on 18 carries… increasing his average to 98.2 yards a game.  Something about uniform numbers– I’ve always looked at guys who wear #20’s as sleek, Darrin Nelson types… with #30’s going to Greg Pruitt types who provide a little more power and players who have #’s in the 40’s are more workmanlike Mike Pruitt types with power.  Morris giving tribute to his #46.  (minor aside– I had both Pruitt’s football cards in the late 70’s and for years thought they were brothers… they’re not.  Set up the moment when I told my sister that Bon Jovi was made up of brothers: John, Ron, Sean, Don and Horace (adopted).) 

The Pain Garcon and on– #88 was a question mark again but wound up playing… this time notching 3 catches for 24 yards, but just 2 for 4 from RG3.  Somehow, they’ve got to get their big weapon (remember the TD catch in week one) the ball.  When Q branch gave 007 the Aston Martin or Lotus Esprit, you knew he’d use it’s “minor modifications”.  Break out the gadgets!*

Third and Never– the Skins went 1 for 9 in moving the chains… and this time they actually had short yardage situations.  Unfortunately on three 3rd and shorts, Alfred Morris was dropped for a 2 yard loss, a 1 yard gain (1 yd shy) and a sack of -2 where Robert Griffin III was knocked out of the game.  The other six attempts saw Griffin complete 1 of 3 for 5 yards… and Kirk Cousins 2 of 3 for 84 yards and the TD to Moss.  One reason the Falcons kept the ball for over 37 minutes was their ability to convert (9-17) on third down.

The Kerrigan Can– (cue Sammy Davis Jr)… the second year linebacker returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown… the third defensive score this year by the Skins and second pick-six of the Purdue grad’s career.  He also notched 3 tackles and 2 assists…
London Calling– but that was easily overshadowed by London Fletcher’s 8 tackle-12 assist performance… and in a weird stat situation, the veteran’s averaging 8 tackles and 8 assists in losses… but 2 solo stops and 2 helpers in wins.  Does that mean the defensive line needs to contain better?

Kicking Conundrum-– Billy Cundiff missed a 31 – yard field goal against the Falcons…his 4th miss in his last 6 attempts.  Roll out the casting call.  If you have an 8-by-11 glossy and resume with your own shoes, please drop by Redskins Park in Ashburn Tuesday morning for your chance on the Kicking Carousel.

Now that’s a Tight End– Fred Davis led the Skins in receiving with 5 catches for 54 yards.  He’s the only player on the team averaging 3 catches per contest played.  But he was overshadowed bigtime by one of the game’s all-time best:  Tony Gonzalez tallied 13 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown.  That is how it’s done

Timing and other league thoughts–  Thanks, league for having Seattle visit Carolina at 4– aka 1pm bodyclock time.  Sadly Oakland plays in Atlanta Sunday at 1… and granted the Raiders haven’t been good at any time of day this fall, and their fans bodyclocks know no reason… but can’t we let the west coast kids eat a non-rushed brunch?  In other news, Pittsburgh plays Tennessee on Thursday after both teams played Sunday.  Aren’t we in bye-week mode?  Can’t the schedulemakers rig it up so teams playing Thursday have more than 4 days to recover?  Almost as much sense as having Major League Baseball’s Divisional Playoffs begin with two games at the lower seeded team.

Dissecting the Divsion– the Eagles remain atop the NFC East… although they’re played just 2 conference games.  The NY Giants take second for the moment… with a perfect 3-0 mark outside the NFC East and 0-2 division record.  Idle Dallas waits to bounce back or implode at 2-2 and in third.  The Redskins?  Dead last… but it’s only Columbus Day, right?

West is Best and Worst– Not only does the NFC West boast the best composite record (14-6), it’s the only division where every team is allowing less than 20 points per game.  But remember, the Giants won a Super Bowl last season after allowing 25 points a game.  The AFC West is off to a 7-12 start where the teams are either undercoached (San Diego)… untalented (Kansas City)… a hot mess (Oakland) or dealing with a declining Peyton (Denver).  Another interesting early trend… the NFC leads the interconference competition 15-6.  That’s not just leading… that’s routing.

*Granted, we can’t have a Moonraker like moment when 007 uses a previously unseen trick knife to kill a boa.  The audience needs to know what tools Bond is given to work with before he goes on assignment.  And we can’t have a key whistle bomb like they had in The Living Daylights.  Almost as bad as Die Another Day‘s invisible car.

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