We'd like to welcome the Washington Redskins' defense to the 2013 season. Robert Griffin III missed you.
The Redskinswon 24-14 Sunday over the Raiders, a result that puts both teams at 1-3 for the season. The difference is in their divisions.
Washington very much is alive in the watered down NFC East, only one game behind the first place Dallas Cowboys. The Raiders are stuck in the AFC West behind two unbeaten teams. Griffin, who was solid for the second straight week, is going to be fine. The Redskins' staying power this season will depend more on a defense that was historically bad in the first three weeks. They proved Sunday they can stop a low-level starting quarterback like Matt Flynn. It's a start.
Here's what else we learned in this game:
- It's amazing how much the Raiders missed Terrelle Pryor. With running back Darren McFadden (hamstring) and fullback Marcel Reece (knee) hurt early in the game, Oakland needed to throw plenty. Flynn got poor protection overall, and he couldn't create plays out of the pocket. He threw a crippling interception returned for a touchdown. The Raiders' offensive line requires a quarterback like Pryor who can make his own magic.
- The Raiders scored early on a punt returned for a touchdown, so the Redskins' defense just gave up seven points on the day. Ryan Kerrigan continued his nasty season. He had two sacks, as did Brian Orakpo and Barry Cofield. After a historically bad first three games, this was much needed.
- The Redskins lost running back Alfred Morristo a rib injury in the fourth quarter. Roy Helu did a solid job closing out the game. After the game, coach Mike Shanahan announced that Morris didn't break any ribs.
- The key to Griffin's game was his decision making. He just ran for 10 yards, but he connected a lot of nice third-down throws and avoided the big mistake. He's thrown the ball well the last two weeks.