Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
1. Robert Griffin III bad early, cannot settle in with constant harassment.
Griffin started the game off with a roll out from pressure and a dump off to Niles Paul. Paul neither caught nor dropped the pass but double tapped it up in the air where it was picked off. Then after getting the ball backed up on their own end of the field, Griffin was late getting the ball through a small window to Pierre Garcon. The ball was then tipped again by a defender, picked off, and taken back for a touchdown. Although Griffin started to make better plays for the rest of the game including sliding, he was under constant harassment from a terrible offensive line protection scheme. Griffin took countless hits and sacks which he could have avoided by getting rid of the ball sooner, one most hope this is still rust and he will adjust to what he has around him soon.
2. Miscues are costly as usual.
The Redskins were a mess offensively with eight penalties, many being of the offensive pre-snap procedural type. Griffin was sacked six times constantly taking them out of scoring opportunities. This does not help when your previously reliable kicker misses two long and capable field goals both wide right from the same hash. This game could have truly been much closer if Griffin had better chemistry with his receivers, specifically DeSean Jackson. On two deep shots Griffin overthrew Jackson. If each of the balls were thrown with just a little bit more air underneath them, Jackson would have had two touchdowns without a doubt. All of this results in a game that should have been won if it were not for execution mistakes.
3. Defense plays well against those not names Mike Evans.
Mike Evans was the only player on the Buccaneers that played well offensively as he burned the Redskins defense on a handful of occasions. First, Evans beat the hand fighting Porter on a long catch and run that went for 52 yards in the first half leading to a Tampa Bay field goal. Then in the second half, Evans got past CB Bashuad Breeland who was expecting help over the top from Ryan Clark to concede a touchdown. In a key play that needed to be made to give the offense a chance, Evans gets inside leverage on Breeland to convert on a 3rd and 13. The final dagger came when Perry Riley was mismatched on Evans who caught a bomb from McCown for another touchdown.
4. Running game and Alfred Morris benefactors of Griffin’s legs.
The lone bright spot in this game is Alfred Morris who played hard behind a devastated offensive line. Morris finished with just less than 100 yards while gaining 4.8 yards a pop on 20 carries. This is a noticeable improvement over the running game with Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy under center because of defenses leaving one man to account for Griffin’s legs.
5. Tough task ahead going west to San Francisco, possibly without a key player.
Next week will be a challenge without Trent Williams who suffered a sprained knee and ankle early in the game. San Francisco has a good defense and will definitely pressure Griffin who has struggled to get rid of the ball at times. If fans think this was bad today they might not want to watch what is in store for next week. At some point players need to be evaluated for the future and hope that Jay Gruden has a plan for the future. All in all it is becoming more and more frustrating to watch this team and things do not look to be any better for the remainder of the season.