He was told to slide… but instead leading with his feet, Robert Griffin III dove head-first. And the semantics of the slide when it comes to a quarterback in the NFL is that feet first means the play is dead immediately while head-first the play plays out. And a fumble is definitely a fumble. And a slide is definitely underway at 0-3 and last in the NFC (we did the quickie math on the tiebreakers). Is there that big of a difference between 0-2 and 0-3? Looking at the NFL stats: 8.8 percent of 0-2 teams reach the postseason while 2.6 percent of 0-3 teams eventually get to the playoffs. While 0-2’s make it more than three times as much as 0-3’s… you’re still under 10%. Great time for a cross-country flight to a stadium with a nasty fan base and nastier plumbing.

Turnovers new to the RG3 menu– yes, the face of the franchise threw for 326 yards (his third 300+ yard effort to open the season)…but a red zone interception pulled at least 3 points off the board. You could argue the semi-slide fumble cost them 3 more. And he recovered two more of his own fumbles: while they only had time for one more play at the end of the first half….his fumble in the fourth quarter that turned a 2nd and 10 to 3rd and 20 was disastrous. He had 5 interceptions all last year– and now RG3 2.0 has 4 picks after three weeks.

Mr. Morris needs to fill up at the Max– It’s an effect and not a cause of the Skins averaging a 15 point halftime deficit. After three games the Zak Attack on the ground has just 40 attempts. Alfred’s 30-yard scamper for a touchdown was the team’s first TD in the first half this year…and they need more early opportunities and production from #46 if they’re to turn things around. Otherwise it’s like dining out on a caesar salad at the Max.

Receiving and Giving– while Pierre Garcon (8-73) averaged less than 10 yards a catch, #88 provided RG3 with his money outlet on third down– three of the six converted third down passes went to Garcon. Santana Moss (7-77) is turning into a moving-the-chains machine this fall; 12 of his 15 grabs have moved the markers. If only Aldrick Robinson had held onto that deep shot in the fourth quarter…

In a Tight Spot– with Fred Davis sidelined due to injury, Logan Paulsen and Jordan Reed combined for 9 catches and 101 yards. As the final member of the legendary triumvirate (Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly continue to provide late-era Vinny memories)…one wonders if with his injury and suspension issues over the years if Davis is done.

Third and…what happened?– After not converting a third down in the first half over the first two weeks…the Skins moved the chains 4 of 6 times before intermission Sunday. After halftime, a different story: 2 for 7. RG3 threw 12 passes (completing ) while scrambling once. The yardage breakdown: 2-4 on 3rd & short (1-3 yards needed), 3-4 on 3rd & midrange (4-6) and 1-5 on 3rd & long (7+).

D earns a C– you could say they’re getting better…allowing less than 30 points and 450 yards for the first time all season is nice, but those are not standards you want to shoot for. DeAngelo Hall’s pick six was nice… but it was the team’s first interception-period-of the season. One sack for the defense on an afternoon where Matthew Stafford threw 42 passes. And let the record show that although the defense is ranked last overall, they’re 30th against the run and the pass. Fuzzy math, indeed.

Safety Concerns– Brandon Merriweather played! The silver bullet after dealing with post-concussion and league-fine syndrome notched 7 tackles and 2 assists. Shame he can’t play more than one position in the secondary.

Tracking the Triumvirate II– Good thing Merriweather was able to play a full four quarters…because Bacarri Rambo’s day ended in the first quarter due to cramping up. David Amerson tallied 2 tackles and an assist whle defending a pair of passes. Chase Minnifield remains on track to earn the Malcolm Kelly award as he was inactive again. I’ll set my alarm clock…

Cobra Kai– John Potter filled in again this week at kicker as Kai Forbath’s groin injury resembles Zabka’s cramp during the Great Lakes University’s big diving meet in “Back to School”. While kicking 21 and 43 yarders is far from the Triple Lindy… the longer Forbath’s on the shelf the more the easier it becomes for Murray to pass the one-question test (in 27 parts).

Flying Flags– only 6 penalties for 45 yards this time…but it’s the quality of as opposed to the quantity of infractions that hurt this team. Both defensive penalties resulted in first downs for the Lions… while two offensive flags wiped out first downs made by the Skins and another (Chester False Start) turned a 3rd and 6 into 3rd an 11. With a team that needs every break, every flag hurts all the more…

Dissecting the Division– Dallas takes the lead at 2-1 thanks to a 31-7 rout of St. Louis while Philadelphia holds down second place despite looking like a mess the last two weeks. The Giants (0-2 in the NFC) have a marginal tiebreaker over the Skins (0-3) for third place in the division. But this is the same team that was a weak fourth place after nine weeks last year.

NFC Least– when is it no longer too early to look at the division’s composite record? I’d even say three weeks is too soon…but the NFC East is 3-9…1-7 against the rest of the league. The AFC East (9-3) owns the early lead… but let’s wait a little longer for the Bills and Jets to prove they aren’t blatant dumpster fires before we turn them into the SEC.

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