11.08.2013 / Blog Posts Redskins
Stephen Czarda, Redskins Blog
Despite appearing on track to have the first winning streak of the season, the Washington Redskins let a 13-point second half led fade away in a bitter 34-27 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings.
All season the headlines read that the offense couldn’t score in the first half.
That wasn’t the case last night.
Robert Griffin III came out guns blazing, throwing three touchdown passes in the first 30 minutes. The performance was a flashback to the second quarter of the Redskins-Cowboys game on Thanksgiving last season.
Alfred Morris once again eclipsed the century mark, rushing for a season-high 139 yards on 26 carries. The second-year back was able to burst into the second-level of the Vikings defense with massive running lanes created by the offensive line.
Fresh off a career-high 172 yards against the San Diego Chargers, wide receiver Pierre Garcon caught seven balls for 119 yards and a second quarter touchdown. With the defense overcommitting on fear of the read-option’s effectiveness, Garcon saw single coverage on the outside and continually overpowered the Minnesota secondary.
On a 32-yard catch in the second quarter, the sixth-year pro caught a ball in the middle of the field and proceeded to run over two Vikings en route to his longest catch of the game.
Defensively, the Redskins picked up right where they left off as safety Brandon Meriweather nabbed a lazy lob into the air by Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder. This came right after Brian Orakpo recorded his first sack since Week 4.
The defense’s good fortunes stopped there.
Reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson was stopped in the backfield on numerous occasions, but like all great running backs, found a way to strike. This time it was in the form of two touchdowns.
With Peterson’s refuse to go down attitude and Ponder (left the game in the third quarter with injury) and quarterback Matt Cassel connecting on 78 percent of passes, it was enough to keep the Redskins offense from replicating first half magic.
In one last comeback attempt though, the offense got the ball back with a little over two minutes left. But unlike last week’s goal-line heroics, the Redskins were on the losing end of a stand.
After Roy Helu Jr.’s first-and-goal run brought the Redskins down to the four-yard line, the Redskins had three opportunities to punch it in for a possible game-tying extra point.
Instead, they walked out of the red zone empty handed.
Griffin III’s second down pass to tight end Jordan Reed was broken up.
His third down pass to Garcon didn’t connect.
With the game on the line on fourth down, Griffin III looked for Santana Moss, the eldest member of the offense, in the corner of the end zone.
They connected, but Moss only got one foot inbounds.
[Two Feet Rule: A wide receiver must touch both feet down in order for it to be a touchdown.]
The Redskins have 10 days before heading north to take on the Philadelphia Eagles (4-5). The burgundy and gold are hoping to extract revenge after Week 1’s bitter 33-27 defeat at FedExField.
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