The Loser Papers 2012

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The Loser Papers 2012

Postby Deadskins » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:11 am

It's time for another season of The Loser Papers. TLP are articles from the Redskins' vanquished foe's hometown newspapers. This is where you come to hear the other side of the story. You know, how their team lost a game they most certainly should have won. In honor of our new QB, here are RGIII (really good 3) articles from The Times-Picayune:

New Orleans Saints were surprisingly flat, perhaps overconfident, in loss to Washington Redskins: First take
09/09/12 5:54PM
Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune

FIRST TAKE: Regular readers of this column know I'm going to be the last one to press the panic button after the New Orleans Saints' season-opening 40-32 loss Sunday to the Washington Redskins - a dreadful performance that wasn't nearly as competitive as the final score suggests. But the Saints don't have any time to waste if they want to make sure this season doesn't freefall into a repeat of 2007, when they started 0-4 under immensely high expectations.

Drew Brees throws under pressure, 1st quarter, at the Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday September 9, 2012.

The Saints (0-1) need to immediately put an end to the questions about whether Sean Payton's absence or the negativity of the bounty scandal had anything to do with this sloppy start - both the countless ones they'll hear from the media this week and any of those unmentioned internal doubts that might start to creep up if they start out 0-2 or worse.

For now, though, I'm still willing to chalk Sunday's game at the Merrcedes-Benz Superdome up as one of those random stinkers that we've seen once or twice every season. It felt so much like those trips to St. Louis and Tampa Bay last year, or the losses to Arizona and Cleveland the year before.

And just like in those games, the overriding issue may actually have been overconfidence and a lack of urgency.

The Saints focused so much this offseason on staying uber-confident throughout the bounty fallout. And they sure looked like a team Sunday that expected this game to play out just like all those other blowouts inside the Superdome last season when they were a perfect 9-0. As if they could just flip the "on" switch and cruise past the Redskins and their rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who wound up being much more impressive than all-world Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Indeed, the Saints were on cruise control Sunday. They came out flat, lacked focus, lacked attention to detail, played sloppy, got pushed around on the offensive and defensive lines and made dumb mistakes (did we mention the penalties). Eventually the offense and defense started playing their best football, but it was too little and too late.

Brees, who was uncharacteristically off target Sunday, was the first to admit that the Saints didn't "deserve to win" with the amount of mistakes they made. And ironically enough, Brees said the emotions that went into this season opener may have backfired on the team.

The prevailing thought was that the Saints and the Dome crowd would be ignited by the start of a new season, the chance to put the bounty negativity behind them and the chance to revel in the Friday reinstatement of suspended players Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma, who took the field to lead the crowd in a raucous pregame "Who Dat" chant.
Instead, the offense went three-and-out on its opening series and did the same four times in its first six possessions.

"I think, obviously, there was a lot of emotion going into this game because of the events of the last few days. And it's the home opener and we're all just excited to get out on the field again and start the regular season," Brees said. "So at times when the emotions are so high, you get into the game and you can have a lapse because it's almost like you expend all your energy with those emotions as opposed to just being able to focus on the game itself.

"We recognize that from a game last year, if you recall the game against the Houston Texans, when Steve Gleason comes out and does the 'Who Dat' chant and that was all emotional for so many of us. And it took us a while to get going in that game, just like it obviously took a while for us to get going in this game, even though we kept saying, 'Hey, let's take a deep breath. Take a deep breath.' And unfortunately we just weren't able to rally." ... urpri.html

Washington Redskins deliver rude wake-up call to New Orleans Saints
09/09/12 7:18PM
Jeff Duncan, The Times-Picayune

In a city famous for hand grenades and drive-through daiquiri stores, wake-up calls tend to be ruder here than other places.

Few, though, have been more alarming than the rousing the Washington Redskins delivered to the New Orleans Saints at noon Sunday. Their 40-32 upset was so complete and authoritative it effectively transformed the Saints' home opener into a four-hour cold shower at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Football was supposed to be salvation for the embattled Saints after their troubled offseason. It was supposed to be the elixir for the club's angry and frustrated fans. Instead, it only made Bountygate and its far-reaching fallout all the more difficult to stomach for everyone involved.

"We played bad ball," safety Roman Harper said. "... We are so much better than what we did today."

The Saints spent the summer telling everyone they that the bounty scandal wouldn't affect them, that they had the leadership and character to overcome the loss of Coach Sean Payton, that the distractions would not derail them from fulfilling their mission of becoming the first team to play in the Super Bowl on its home field.

Then they came out and laid an egg larger than the Superdome.

Maybe it was coincidence. Maybe the Saints just picked an inopportune time to produce their worst performance in years. Maybe Drew Brees was right when he said distractions weren't a factor.

Or maybe, just maybe, this whole ordeal is going to be tougher than anyone, even the Saints themselves, anticipated. Maybe the Saints actually are going to miss Payton, Joe Vitt and Mickey Loomis on game days in ways they failed to comprehend when this whole sordid mess began back in March.

It certainly seemed that way against the Redskins.

For most of the afternoon, the Saints looked like a team that spent the offseason worrying too much about the wrong RG. While they were filing depositions, negotiating long-term contracts and filling sandbags to ward off Isaac, the Redskins were back in suburban Washington, D.C. scheming and prepping their rookie phenom, Robert Griffin III, for the task at hand.

The Redskins were the better prepared team in all three phases and it showed in their execution.

Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he and his staff researched game film on the Saints' offense from as far back as 2007 to get a bead on their method of operation.
For three quarters, the Redskins executed the game plan to near perfection. They stuffed the Saints' rushing attack and forced three turnovers. They limited the big plays and got off the field on third down. They ditched pre-snap huddles to better keep pace with the Saints' high-tempo attack and had the audacity to defend their receivers with straight man-to-man coverage.

"We understood what was coming," Haslett said. "Now stopping them is another thing because they're so good but we played about as well as could be expected in this environment."

Oddly, it was the Saints not the Redskins who looked out of their element for most of the first half. Brees opened the game with three consecutive incomplete passes, sending stat geeks scrambling through play-by-play sheets to find the last time that occurred. They committed back-to-back false starts to kill another drive. And it didn't get much better in the second half.

The Saints did things they never do. They committed penalties and turnovers and failed to convert third downs. They threw incompletions at an alarming rate and went three-and-out more often than anyone could remember.

"That's not us," said Brees, who completed only 24 of 52 passes, his lowest completion percentage since 2006.

And defensively, they had no answer for RGIII. The Redskins surprised the Saints with an option-read rushing attack and a series of bootlegs that took advantage of the rookie quarterback's diverse skill set. All too often, Griffin had time to survey the field and pick out the matchup he wanted in coverage. He completed 11 of 13 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the first half to record the first perfect passer efficiency rating by a rookie quarterback in an opening half in league history.

"There were no indications this would happen," Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer said. "... Each one of us, starting with me, needs to go back and look at ourselves and figure out what I can do better, what each individual can do better and how close we can stay."

The Saints can start by ditching the denial and admitting the severity of the situation. If Game 1 is any indication, this season is not going to be a flawless transition at all. It's going to be one of the biggest challenges any of them have ever encountered. And it's going to take a concerted effort to get things back on track, starting with this week of practice in preparation for a road trip to NFC South Division rival Carolina on Sunday.

Yes, it's only one game and there is a lifetime of football still to be played. Yes, as Brees noted, the Saints lost their opener last season and went on to finish 13-3. But this was different. This looked nothing like that loss to the high-powered Packers at Lambeau Field. This was the Redskins, with a rookie quarterback and a patchwork secondary in the Superdome, where, as Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan noted, the Saints were coming off one of "the best (seasons) in the history of pro football."

No, this was a wake-up call, and a rude one at that. We'll see if the Saints are ready to answer it or not. ... k_col.html

Robert Griffin III has his way with New Orleans Saints defense
09/09/12 7:01PM
Peter Finney, Times-Picayune

Before Sunday's game, Drew Brees had a prediction. He said, "it's only a matter of time before Robert Griffin III takes the league by storm.''

Good prediction, Drew.

But did Brees think it would happen so quickly?

As early as the first quarter, by which time the rookie quarterback was 7-for-7 passing for 123 yards and a touchdown?

In the first half, after the youngster had thrown for 182 yards, had run for another 30, and had a hand in every point of his team's 20-14 lead?

By the end of the third quarter, at which point Griffin had thrown for 258 yards and two touchdowns, had his guys up 30-17, had the Saints' defense gasping for breath?

By the end of a 40-32 upset during which RGIII had gone 19 for 26 without a pick and had posted the highest quarterback rating - 139.9 - for a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

What about it, RGIII?

"Listen, I feel like I'm still a rookie,'' he said. "But after the game, my teammates kept telling me, you're not a rookie any more. That made me feel good.''

What made him feel even better were the post-game words of the losing quarterback.

"Drew Brees came up to me and said, 'I'm proud of you.' That's big of him to say. To get to the NFL, the pinnacle of it all, and win your first game playing against a Hall of Famer like Drew Brees, that's big of him to say after they had just lost a game," Griffin said. "I respect him for that and it's definitely No. 1 on my list. Shows you what kind of person he is.''

The final score showed you something else. Mike Shanahan, who won back-to-back Super Bowls in Denver, came up with an offensive plan for his quarterback that seemed to put Griffin at ease.

"It was a lot of fun out there,'' he said. "I think everyone was comfortable with the plan. The stuff we used made it easier for me to get into a rhythm, to settle down, early in the game. I think it's great for any quarterback to get a couple of easy passes at the beginning of a game so you can go out there and get into a rhythm."

Instead of chunking it deep every time Griffin merely kept throwing the high-percentage pass and completing them.

"Along the way,'' he said, "we were able to adjust to the adjustments. When I hit that long one for the first touchdown (an 88-yard hookup with Pierre Garcon) it was like storybook time. Makes you feel like you can do no wrong. Gives you a great confidence boost.''

Said Garcon of that play: "It's one we work on all the time and we got lucky. The Saints got caught out of position and Robert threw a great ball. I just caught it and ran. It was a game-changer. Great call by the coach. Gave us momentum.''

Obviously, the overall picture was an illustration of Griffin helping his cause with a steady arm and world-class speed. His mere presence, his elusiveness, made the Saints rush him with caution, sometimes giving him all the time he needed to find an open target.

"I thought Robert did an unbelievable job to play the way he did in his first game,'' Shanahan said. "The poise he played with and some of the throws he made were great. Just to execute the offense in this environment was impressive. He kind of bumped into the running back a number of times. The Saints threw a lot at us, a lot of blitzes. To come away with a win was a big plus for our guys.''

Keeping the Saints' offense from exploding was definitely a big plus for former Saints head coach Jim Haslett, now in charge of the Redskins' defense.

Haslett pointed to one stat: Limiting the Saints to 32 yards on the ground.

"When you stop the run, it puts you in position to put more pressure on the quarterback,'' he said. "And you've got to do that going against someone as great as Drew Brees.''

The Washington rush kept a quarterback who completed an NFL record 71 percent of his passes last season under 50 percent (24-for-52) for the first time since 2006.

"It's amazing some of the plays he makes,'' Shanahan said of Brees. "Playing from behind, his ability to stay poised, his footwork, looking at the field, and being able to avoid the rush are just some of his skills. You've got to get some turnovers.''

On Sunday, the Redskins got enough to defeat a team favored by a touchdown.

By Sunday evening, the losing quarterback was saying what you'd expect.

"We'll regroup like we always have,'' Brees said. "We lost the first game last season and finished 13-3. We have the mentality and the guys to do it.''

We shall see. ... s_way.html
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Postby cleg » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:58 am

I woke up this morning and checked the paper just to make sure what I saw was real. I still expect there to be many ups and downs this season but I sure hope we see lots of posts in this thread each week. Hail to the Redskins.
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Postby KazooSkinsFan » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:05 am

From what I heard of the Saints, they played it with class. They said they knew what the Skins would do with Griffin and couldn't stop him.
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Postby Scottskins » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:17 am

from the 30-17 poin t people kept congratulating me, I don't know how many times I said, that's drew brees, it aint over yet lol. I still cant believe griffin got us 40 pts!, and the defense played so well. such a bright future!
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Postby SouthLondonRedskin » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:49 am

cleg wrote:I woke up this morning and checked the paper just to make sure what I saw was real.

Lol. Yeah, I know what you mean!

Luckily the Skins managed to give a TD away with a blocked punt and dropped a definite interception in the game, that reassured me it was real cos we don't do that in my dreams.....

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Postby TimSkin » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:02 am

Jeez the way these papers talk well the first two anyways you would think we went 0-16 last year and that we had RGIIInt QBing instead of RG3... Oh well I hope we can make quite a few more papers whine about there teams this year

Next week will show us really how good we will be since we've always played either up or down to our competition....Go Skins!!!!!

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Postby rskin72 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:19 am

Hopefully we will be reading more loser papers this season. I think that they absolutely miss the creativity of Peyton on the sidelines....but they have certainly had plenty of time to make adjustments as those penalities were not just handed out. Also, the Brees holdout may have been more problematic than the papers are letting onto, at least with the timing of the offense and accuracy in passing game.

But, we did not back into this win. For the majority of the game, we were the better team on the field. Whatever the reason for the Aint's, our O and D made plays more often than not. We do have playmakers on our offense, and we were without our #1 rcvr for most of the game.

Good win against a good time in their home.....hope this bodes well for the rest of the season.
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Postby Bob 0119 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:09 pm

The Washington rush kept a quarterback who completed an NFL record 71 percent of his passes last season under 50 percent (24-for-52) for the first time since 2006.

Wow, I missed that stat last night. I knew he had completed less than 50%, but didn't realize it had been that long since he'd last done that.
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Postby Deadskins » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:49 am

After two weeks off, we come back with two from the Tampa Bay Times:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fall to Washington Redskins 24-22 on last-second field goal
By Rick Stroud, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Monday, October 1, 2012

Robert Griffin III cuts away from corner Brandon McDonald during a 15-yard run to the Bucs 26 on the final drive, setting up the Redskins’ winning field goal.

TAMPA — Robert Griffin III's helmet transmitter went out in the final drive Sunday, a situation the Redskins practice each week where he is forced to call his own plays. So he was prepared to improvise when it happened Sunday against the Buccaneers.

Trailing by a point with 1:42 remaining in the game, Washington's remarkable rookie quarterback calmly drove his team 56 yards to set up Billy Cundiff's 41-yard field goal that went just inside the left upright with three seconds remaining, giving the Redskins a 24-22 win over Tampa Bay.

Afterward, RG3 quoted a football movie called The Replacements.

"Great players want the ball in their hands when it's crunch time," Griffin said. "It's funny that I just quoted that movie … but that's how it really is."

Unfortunately for the Bucs, they keep following the same losing script.

For the third time in as many weeks, Tampa Bay lost a close game against an NFC East team that they could have won.

After hearing boos when it fell behind, Tampa Bay rallied from a 21-3 deficit behind a second-half surge from quarterback Josh Freeman and took the lead on Connor Barth's third field goal — a 47-yarder — to give the Bucs a 22-21 lead with 1:42 to play, electrifying an announced crowd of 58,191 at Raymond James Stadium.

Having already blown a lead against the Giants in the Meadow­lands to lose by seven, and another at Dallas last week to fall by six, it looked as if the Bucs might finally break through under first-year coach Greg Schiano.

"The fact of the matter is we've got to finish it," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "It doesn't matter if we lose by 100 or we lose by two. We need to win, and we've got to finish in the end. It's as simple as that."

History will show that the Bucs were 102 seconds from going 2-2 with one of the more thrilling come-from-behind wins in franchise history heading into the bye week.

Instead, Tampa Bay's defense collapsed under pressure and allowed Griffin — the Heisman Trophy winner out of Baylor, second overall pick in the draft and product pitchman — to pad his resume.

The loss dropped the Bucs to 1-3 and into a second-place tie with Carolina in the NFC South, already three games behind first-place Atlanta.

It also provided some redemption for Cundiff — who had missed field goals of 41, 57 and 31 yards — by kicking the winner.

"Because you lose at the end, you fail to finish," Schiano said. "But we really didn't do a bunch of stuff before that that put us in a position. I mean, we didn't play what I envision as Buccaneer football, smart football."

The Bucs, who had 10 penalties for 107 yards, lost because in critical situations they played it safe on offense and perhaps too aggressively on defense.

Quarterback Josh Freeman, who was out of synch in the first half, finished with 299 yards passing with a touchdown and interception.

He had a 65-yard bomb to Mike Williams (four catches for 115 yards) and a 54-yarder to Vincent Jackson (six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown), the longest offensive plays of the year.

But trailing 21-19 and facing third and 9 from the Redskins 33, Freeman hit a short pass to Tiquan Underwood underneath for 5 yards, which seemed more designed to get Barth closer for a field-goal attempt than to get a first down and use up more of the game clock.

"We were going to kick the field goal to go ahead," Schiano said. "That's what we were doing. I don't know if you can interpret it further than that."

Griffin, who passed for 323 yards, demonstrated poise and precision on the final drive. Taking over at the Redskins 20, he completed passes of 15 yards to Santana Moss and 20 yards to Fred Davis, then added a 15-yard scramble to the Bucs 26.

After a spike to stop the clock, a false start and a 7-yard completion, Cundiff hit the winner.

"You run a blitz and it was just wide open," defensive end Michael Bennett said of RG3's run. "I knew myself. I was like, 'I don't know if I should run this play or not, but I did my job.' I knew he was going to get outside. That's what he does. The edge was too short. The whole defensive line slanted."

In the end, Griffin had the starring role, and the Bucs were left with another bad film to critique.

"None of that matters," Schiano said. "It's what it is. What could be, what was, what isn't, really doesn't matter. We need to get better. I need to coach better. It starts with me and it goes down through the organization. We just need to get better.

"You want to win? You're close. Get better. You'll win." ... 254211.ece

Flashes of the Josh Freeman everyone wants
By Gary Shelton, Times Sports Columnist
In Print: Monday, October 1, 2012

By now, he had stopped the booing, and he had erased the deficit, and he had staked his claim to the fourth quarter.

For a couple of minutes there, at least, Josh Freeman had earned another look. Finally, it seemed as if a new coaching staff and its quarterback were speaking the same language, as if they finally trusted each other. Just like in the old days, Freeman seemed to be good enough to overcome the shortcomings around him.

The game was in the final seconds now, and Freeman had been turned into a spectator. He sat helplessly, looking on as Washington's brilliant rookie, Robert Griffin III, turned Sunday into his story, his comeback. When the Redskins' winning field goal was just straight enough to count, Freeman's head sagged.

Perhaps yours did, too.

The Bucs squandered a great many things in Sunday's 24-22 fall-from-ahead loss, but none of those seemed as important as Freeman's wasted performance. He had come back from an 18-point deficit, and from the fans' disfavor, and from the coach's distrust.

This was the Freeman that Tampa Bay had been awaiting. Finally, he was unleashed from the ultraconservative game plan that Greg Schiano had copied from Amos Alonzo Stagg, and he nearly made it pay off. In 18 minutes, he was terrific again, hitting 9 of 12 passes for 184 yards in that span, including a 65-yarder to Mike Williams and a 54-yarder to Vincent Jackson.

If that lead had held up, it would have been Freeman's first fourth-quarterback comeback since the Minnesota game on Sept. 18, 2011. It would have guaranteed that you would have watched Freeman highlights through next weekend's bye week and into the Kansas City game.

That would have been a nice change for Freeman, who has been more of a question than an answer lately. It could have been a nice turnaround moment. Instead, it is part of the latest disappointment in a 1-3 start.

"Losing is not acceptable," Freeman said. "There are no moral victories. I'm unhappy we lost. You can go back and you can point at any number of things."

For most of the season, it has been difficult to defend Freeman. He has played stiff and has thrown wild, and scrambling with the ball seemed to be a forbidden concept. For three weeks, the game plan seemed to be constructed with Freeman throwing only when absolutely necessary.

Worst of all, there seemed to be a disconnect between a quarterback and his coaches. Both Schiano and Freeman speak well of the other, but for much of the season, it has seemed as if they were into each other's heads. Freeman seemed to be trying too hard to play it safe, and the result was a robotic, mechanical look. Schiano seemed so concerned about Freeman's penchant for throwing the ball to the wrong jersey that he seemed to plan around his quarterback.

"He had some big shots to our receivers, made some big plays in the passing game," Schiano said. "That's what he's capable of."

Sunday, the Bucs came in determined to see it. For three weeks, they have stubbornly treated first down as if it were a run-only blueprint (even though many of those runs were for 2 yards or fewer).

This was different. The Redskins have struggled against the pass this year, so the Bucs came out throwing. On the day, their running backs got 15 carries; Freeman threw it 39 times.

Oh, it wasn't always pretty. There in the second quarter, the fans were displeased with Freeman. He threw a third-and-5 pass behind Williams. Boos. He threw an interception. Boos. Freeman held the ball too long on a sack on third and 9. Boos. He threw too short to Doug Martin. Boos. After a while, even those of us who want to believe in Freeman's future were struggling to do so.

Then came the final five minutes of the third quarter and the first 13 of the fourth, when the ball was in Freeman's hands, when he was almost good enough to overcome the missed tackles and the silly penalties and the soft middle of the Bucs secondary and everything else.

Was it promising? Of course it was. There is something to be said for a quarterback playing well in the big moments.

Was it convincing? Of course not. If you remember, Freeman was pretty good in the fourth quarter against the Giants, too. Then came the Dallas game when Freeman's passes wobbled as if he were throwing pingpong balls into a tornado.

What will the Chiefs get? We'll see. Sometimes, good football and bad football seem to be fighting for Freeman's soul.

For a while Sunday, the good football won. For a while, it was possible to hope again.

On a lost afternoon, maybe that is something. ... 254253.ece
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Postby Deadskins » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:11 am

"You run a blitz and it was just wide open," defensive end Michael Bennett said of RG3's run. "I knew myself. I was like, 'I don't know if I should run this play or not, but I did my job.' I knew he was going to get outside. That's what he does. The edge was too short. The whole defensive line slanted."

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Postby Deadskins » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:56 am

From this morning's Star Tribune:

Griffin III's late runaway overwhelms Vikings
The rookie quarterback capped off a Redskins victory with a sensational scoring run.
Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune

ImageAdrian Peterson picks up a big first down in the 1st quarter. Photo: Brian Peterson - Star Tribune

LANDOVER, Md. -- Twenty minutes after Sunday's magic show ended, a jubilant crowd bounced out of FedEx Field, still feeling compelled to praise the afternoon's headliner.

The chants were loud. They were impassioned. And they left the visiting Vikings with a pounding headache.

"RG3! RG3! RG3!"

Indeed, Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III stole the show in his team's 38-26 victory, boosting his already sky-high popularity across the D.C. area.

For three hours, Griffin had all eyes on him yet showed extraordinary poise.

He was sharp with his throws and electric with his runs.

Most of all, he seemed to create an energy within his team and among the boisterous crowd. So much so, in fact, that Vikings star Adrian Peterson congratulated the 22-year-old quarterback after the game and walked away a believer.

"Looking into his eyes, he's got the heart of a champion," Peterson said of Griffin. "It's easy to see he's a great player. He's been blessed."

Like any grand finale at a David Copperfield show, Griffin's final trick Sunday appeared as effortless as it was breathtaking.

With 2 minutes, 56 seconds left, the Redskins clung to a five-point lead and faced a critical third-and-6 at their own 24-yard line.

And then came the snap and an aggressive Vikings blitz that never got home.

Linebackers Chad Greenway and Jasper Brinkley were knocked off course. Griffin saw an opening and darted through.

"We were putting a little pressure on him," Greenway said. "And he escaped. Really nothing more to say."

Cornerback Chris Cook, in coverage on Josh Morgan, was sealed by a block.

Safeties Harrison Smith and Jamarca Sanford were each a degree or two off in the angles they took in pursuit.

Suddenly Griffin sliced to the left sideline and seemed to hit a moving walkway.

The final 65 yards of his sprint created a celebratory mosh pit across the stadium.

"There aren't a lot of guys who play that position who can break a 76-yard run and not get caught," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "That creates some issues for any defense. [He's] a heck of a young player."

Griffin had a hand in 36 of the Redskins' 55 plays. He ran 13 times for 138 yards and two scores. He also completed 17 of 22 passes for 182 yards, including a TD toss of 6 yards to fullback Darrel Young.

Early on, Griffin continually pinpointed passes to open receivers cutting toward the middle of the field, a vulnerability in the Vikings defense that the Redskins exploited time after time on four consecutive scoring drives.

Washington also addled the Vikings with heavy doses of play-action and a multitude of zone read looks.

"Sometimes it can be tough," Greenway said. "It's a little bit of smoke and mirrors with all their fakes and stuff. ... When they're carrying out the fakes, you've got to play the run. And as a linebacker, it's tough to do both. You've got to read your keys and play ball. You're not going to get them all obviously. So credit them for a good scheme."

Still, for as electrifying as Griffin's performance was, the Vikings also left Washington kicking themselves for a flood of squandered opportunities.

The offense marched into the red zone on its first three possessions and, after 13 minutes, held an eye-popping 146-7 advantage in total yards. Yet all three of those drives stalled, resulting in field goals.

"If you go back in time, I've said it after at least four games," Peterson said. "We have to turn those threes into seven. Today it finally came back and bit us."

The Vikings were also bitten badly by a pair of Christian Ponder turnovers. Ponder's final stats (35-for-52, 352 yards, two TDs) might look nice in the boxscore. But the fumble he lost deep in Vikings territory in the second quarter positioned Washington for a gimme TD drive: one play, 6 yards.

Worse, Ponder's interception early in the fourth was returned 24 yards to the end zone by former Vikings safety Madieu Williams on what the quarterback called "a fluke play."

It was certainly Ponder's worst and most costly throw, a good 5 feet over Michael Jenkins' head.

"The ball just slipped out of my hands, just sailed," Ponder said.

With that, the hopes of a fourth consecutive victory for the Vikings slipped away as well, the evening ultimately punctuated by that Griffin dash and the chants that might still be echoing through FedEx Field.

"RG3! RG3! RG3!" ... 12931.html

D.C.'s newest hero is a breath -- no, a blast -- of fresh air
Robert Griffin III wowed the victory-starved home crowd with his arm and his feet.
Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune

ImageWashington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) dashed for a 76 yard fourth quarter touchdown over Vikings saftery Harrison Smith. Photo: Jerry Holt - Star Tribune

LANDOVER, MD. — Robert Griffin III doesn't understand the game. The kid's inexperience showed on Sunday.

Long after leaving the Vikings wind-burned and dizzy, Griffin strolled through the underground corridors of FedEx Field. Escalades and Suburbans rolled by, filled with self-described VIPs. Griffin, wearing baggy gray sweatpants, carrying a backpack and pulling a rolling bag, had to step out of their way, like a fan who had swiped a sideline pass.

Most NFL quarterbacks with Griffin's ability are followed by an entourage. Griffin almost got run over by someone else's.

"I just talked to him and told him, 'You have the heart of a champion,'" Vikings star Adrian Peterson said.

And the legs of an Olympian.

There have been running quarterbacks in the NFL who could do what Griffin did on Sunday, ending the Redskins' 38-26 victory with a 76-yard touchdown run during which he looked as if he were riding a souped-up Segway. There have been few who could run so well and pass so accurately while displaying such poise.

"He's unbelievable," Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder said.

After Griffin ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns and completed 17 for 22 passes for 182 yards and another score, the Vikings were left to wonder where to place the blame.

On Joe Webb, for leading the Vikings to victory last December and costing them a chance to draft Griffin?

On Leslie Frazier, for even trying to win that game?

Or on the doctors who cleared Griffin to play on Sunday, seven days after he suffered a "mild" concussion?

The concussion did not teach Griffin to avoid running, only to avoid running into other people's helmets. He rushed 13 times on Sunday, often on designed plays, but seemed more eager to find the sideline when he ran out of open field.

Early in the game, the Vikings easily corralled him. But when rookie running back Albert Morris started gaining ground, Griffin's play-action fakes and quick passes over the middle riddled a Vikings defense that before Sunday had smothered more experienced quarterbacks this season.

"He was the second pick in the draft for a reason," Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams said.

The Vikings' three-game winning streak ended for a variety of reasons. Their play-calling near the goal line in the first quarter was inept. Running plays in the red zone without Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin on the field, at least as decoys, is silly. Jerome Simpson's back injury kept him out of the game and once again left Ponder unable to throw downfield.

It was Griffin who changed the direction of the game, and it was Griffin who finished the competitive portion of the festivities.

Before Sunday, there were two quarterback runs against the Vikings that belonged in the archives: Steve Young's stumbling, pinballing romp that ended with him wearing Joey Browner, and Michael Vick's Usain Bolt impersonation in overtime at the Metrodome.

Griffin earned his own display in the fourth quarter. The Vikings had cut the deficit to 31-26 on Ponder's TD pass to Kyle Rudolph. There was 3:36 left when Griffin took over at his own 20.

Jared Allen enveloped him for a 4-yard sack. Morris rushed for 8 yards, and the Vikings took their first timeout with 2:56 remaining.

The Vikings rushed six. Griffin sprinted up the middle. Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford angled toward him as if Griffin possessed average athletic ability. Griffin veered, beat Harrison Smith to the sideline and engaged cruise control as the fans chanted "R-G-3."

It was the longest touchdown run by a quarterback since Kordell Stewart went 80 yards on Dec. 22, 1996, and it gave him the fifth-best rushing total in a game by a quarterback in NFL history. He and Vick are the only quarterbacks since 1970 to rush for at least 130 yards and two touchdowns in a game.

"I got to enjoy the moment a little bit," Griffin said, before rolling his bag down the hall, and stepping out of the way of the Escalades. ... 28171.html

Ponder's blunders equal 14 points for Washington
In his worst game of the season, a fumble and an interception turned into Washington touchdowns.
Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune

ImageVikings quarterback Christian Ponder was sacked four times on Sunday, including this double whammy late in the fourth quarter. Photo: Brian Peterson - Star Tribune

LANDOVER, MD. - The Vikings' red-zone offense was awful, but Sunday's game at FedEx Field was lost on critical mistakes the Vikings made inside their own 20-yard line.

"We spotted them 14 points," quarterback Christian Ponder said. "It's tough to win that way."

Impossible was more like it in the Redskins' 12-point (38-26) romp.

Playing his worst game of the season, Ponder turned the ball over three times. Two of them came with the line of scrimmage at the Vikings 20- and 17-yard lines.

A fumble late in the second quarter led to a Redskins touchdown and a 17-9 deficit one play later, while an early fourth-quarter interception by former Vikings safety Madieu Williams was returned 24 yards for a touchdown and a 31-12 deficit.

Ponder completed 35 of 52 passes (67.3) for 352 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. But 199 of the yards and 20 of the completions came after Williams' pick-six put the Vikings down by 19 points with less than 13 minutes left in the game.

On the pick-six, Ponder was supposed to throw a fairly simple check-down pass to receiver Michael Jenkins.

"I have protection in the backfield and I kind of act like a running back and release for a check-down," Jenkins said.

"It's a little wrinkle we have. I ran to my spot, but I think the ball just kind of slipped out of Christian's hand."

Ponder said that's exactly what happened, which explains why the ball was thrown 5 or 6 feet over Jenkins' head.

It was such a bad throw that even the league's 31st-ranked pass defense could make the play.

"The ball just sailed on me," Ponder said. "I just had a couple misses. I didn't play as well as I should have."

Williams was asked if it felt any better coming against a team that released him before the 2011 season.

"Not necessarily," he said. "It was business as usual for me. It was nothing personal. I was there for three years, and I enjoyed my stay. I just wanted to come out and play well for the guys in this locker room. Give us a chance to win."

On the fumble, the Redskins blitzed both outside linebackers on first-and-10 from the Vikings 20. Running back Adrian Peterson was shoved backward in pass protection by Perry Riley coming off the right side. Riley stripped the ball and inside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander grabbed it at the 8 and advanced it 2 yards.

"Wish I could have scored," Alexander said. "But I had [Vikings left tackle Matt] Kalil all over my back.

"It was just being at the right place at the right time. Perry did a good job pushing the back into the quarterback."

Although it was Ponder's worst performance this year, he appears ready to move on because, quite frankly, even he wasn't expecting 16 winning performances.

"You just have to forget about it," Ponder said. "We do a good job of forgetting about it and moving on and just keep playing.

"I think for how young this team is, we show a lot of maturity. We've been here before. We lost the second game of the first quarter [of the season] and now we lost the second game of the second quarter. So we can learn from it." ... 29111.html
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Postby chiefhog44 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:24 pm

I can't stand when the other team says crap like, "we spotted them 14 points." No, you turned the ball over and we turned it into 14 points. The Skins turned the ball over as well IN Redskins territory but it only led to 3 points. Ponder is a joke. He also said the pick 6 was a "fluke play." How about being a standup guy and taking the blame for your crappy performance against a defense that forced you into errors. FU
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Postby rskin72 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:39 pm

Well, the papers were a lot better than some of the comments I read on the Vikings websites. Hey, it impresses me when folks like AP, and Frazier, both compliment RGIII....thought AP had some strong complimentary words that I hope turn out to be true for a long, long time.
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Postby langleyparkjoe » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:52 am

There was a Vikings fan sitting behind me and the wife and after we all chanted RG3, she was like "F*%$ RG3!". I turned around and stared at her for easily about a good minute... she was like, "what?".. I said, do you really want that problem right here, right now? Wife just grabbed me and gave me "the look".. so I shutup and stood for the rest of the game to make it difficult for the chick behind me to see. :lol:

.. and yes.. "the look".. every wife/girlfriend has "the look". :lol:
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Postby rskin72 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:09 pm

langleyparkjoe wrote:There was a Vikings fan sitting behind me and the wife and after we all chanted RG3, she was like "F*%$ RG3!". I turned around and stared at her for easily about a good minute... she was like, "what?".. I said, do you really want that problem right here, right now? Wife just grabbed me and gave me "the look".. so I shutup and stood for the rest of the game to make it difficult for the chick behind me to see. :lol:

.. and yes.. "the look".. every wife/girlfriend has "the look". :lol:

Just another jealous fanbase who are realizing that their second year QB couldn't hold RGIII's jock....
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Failures are expected by losers, ignored by winners.

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