Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Preview: RG3 Return Set To Lift 'Skins Closer To The Playoffs
The potential return of Robert Griffin III, can lift the Washington Redskins closer to the playoffs. NFL.com's Dan Hanzus reports that Griffin is "probable" to return to face the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday.
As well as backup Kirk Cousins performed against the Cleveland Browns in Week 15, Griffin is the dominant force for the Redskins.
Having to contain him is the last thing the Eagles need, as they attempt to rescue some pride from a disastrous season. Andy Reid is likely coaching his final two games in Philadelphia, with the Eagles at 4-10.
While Reid may want to finish on a high, Griffin and the Redskins have a greater incentive. A win would put them 9-6 and near playoff qualification.
Crucially, it would give the Redskins a 4-1 mark in the NFC East. That could prove vital in a congested division race.
As they've done all season, Griffin and the offense will again have to carry Washington. They could enjoy huge success against an Eagles defense ranked 26th in points allowed.
Washington Redskins Commentary: Why Workhorse Running Back Alfred Morris Is The Offensive Rookie Of The Year Darkhorse
Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris is the best darkhorse candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The workhorse runner has helped transformed the Redskins offense into one of the league's best.
In fact, the Redskins do own the top-ranked rushing attack in the NFL. They average 164.8 yards per game and much of that is due to the 1,322 yards posted by Morris.
His vital contribution has been one of the pleasant surprises of the 2012 NFL season. That's because Morris has travelled a long and unlikely path to a starting job in the NFL.
It's that very road that makes Morris a deserving sleeper candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. After all, not many sixth-round picks become instant starters and surpass 1300 rushing yards with two games still to go.
It becomes more unlikely when you consider Morris was plucked from little-known Florida Atlantic. That team went 1-11 in Morris's final season at the collegiate level.
It was a hard fight in Dallas on Sunday as two of the most successful teams in NFL history battled it out for a sliver of hope in making the playoffs.
Both teams entered the contest with a record of 7-6, and for the majority of the first half it was a slugging match on defense as both teams had trouble getting the ball into the end zone. The Cowboys drove the ball 56 yards on their first possession but had to settle for a field goal after a dropped pass by Dez Bryant. Consequently, Rob Ryan’s defensive unit kept the always-explosive Pittsburgh offense from dropping the hammer.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was playing only his second game since recovering from a shoulder injury, often times had to evade the oncoming blitz (which is arguably his strongest attribute, avoiding the sack) and toss it up, as he so often likes to do in the wake of a failed blitz. Sometimes, he was even forced to run it himself. As a result, the Steelers accumulated only 58 yards on their first three possessions combined. On their fourth drive they managed to get the ball within range for kicker Shaun Suisham to punch it in for 3 points.
When the Washington Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III second overall, and went on to show his talent on the field, the Redskins knew they had found the future of their franchise. The bigger puzzler was why the Redskins decided to draft former Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round, when many had him pegged as early as the second round, and who had starter potential. And in his limited time on the field, he has driven the offense down the field and kept the Redskins offense alive.
And while the offense doesn't have the same kind of flair that it has with RG3 under center, Cousins has gained attention with his game winning drives and in his first start against the Cleveland Browns, he went 26 of 37 for 329 yards, throwing for two touchdowns and one interception in a 38-21 victory. Cousins is now 1-0 as a starter in this league.
Yes, it was against the Cleveland Browns. But the Browns actually have a decent enough defense to give quarterbacks trouble. And the Redskins still aren't too complete on offense quite yet. Yet Cousins guided this offense to score 38 poin
Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns Preview, Where To Watch Online: Robert Griffin III Won't Play, But 'Skins Can Still Win With Kirk Cousins
The Washington Redskins will have to beat the Cleveland Browns without sensational rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. That puts the spotlight on another rookie passer, fourth-round pick Kirk Cousins.
NFL.com has reported that Griffin has failed to recover from the injury he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens last week. Cousins entered that game and tied the score by firing a touchdown pass and running in a 2-point conversion.
The Redskins can still win with Cousins, but they will need to lean on their top-ranked running game. That should mean a heavy workload for rookie rusher Alfred Morris.
Washington's zone-based ground game can attack Cleveland's 4-3 defensive front. Morris is prolific when running the zone-stretch and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan should give him 25 carries in this game.
That will apply the pressure to yet another first-year quarterback, Browns starter Brandon Weeden. The 29-year-old rookie has struggled at times this season, but has established a rapport with young wideout Josh Gordon.