November 4, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins cheerleaders dance on the field during a stoppage in play against the Carolina Panthers at FedEx Field. The Panthers won 21-13. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
The Washington Redskins may have finally got Cam Netwon and the Carolina Panthers back on track after losing 6 out of their first 7 games of the season. The game was hyped up as a matchup between two quarterbacks from the same mold, being dynamic, strong armed signal-callers that can run the ball as well as they can throw it. Both showed off their running abilities, combining for 90 yards on 19 rushing attempts. However, the pair only combine from 416 yards through the air, with only 1 touchdown pass.
Robert Griffin III clearly lost the battle of the quarterbacks, despite a monster performance by Alfred Morris on the ground. Griffin completed 23 of his 39 attempts, but only tallied 215 yards and did not throw a touchdown. The Redskins converted only 3 of 15 3rd down attempts, and turned the ball over on downs on two separate occasions. Griffin did not get the ball out of his hands quickly enough, taking 4 sacks throughout the game, and did not connect down the field with his receivers, never completing a pass over 25 yards. Cam Netwon wasn’t spectacular, but did average 15.5 yards per completion, and managed to connect with Steve Smith for the lone touchdown pass of the game.
The Washington Redsksins now fall to 3-6 this season, after a promising 3-3 start with wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings. However, much of the recent troubles could stem from the “star” rookie’s decline in play over the last 5 games. In the first four games of the season, Griffin was 86 of 124 passing for 1,070 yards. He was averaging one touchdown pass per game, and threw only one interception, which came against the St. Louis Rams in Week 2. Since the Atlanta Falcons game, which saw RGIII leave with a concussion, he has been 86 of 138 for 923 yards (184.6 yards per game),with only 4 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions while leading the team to a 1-4 record. Worse, he has completed only 53.4% of his passes in the last two games, after averaging a 69.55% completion percentage in the first four games of the season.
In the big picture of the NFL, the pains of the Washington Redskins are gains for the St. Louis Rams. With each loss the Redskins take, the 2013 draft spot given up from the Skin’s in their trade for RGIII creeps higher and higher up the order. If the season were to end right now, the Rams would picking in the 6th and 8th spots. The Skins’ still have tough games against the Eagles, Giants, and Ravens, and will have to play against a quickly improving Cleveland Browns teams that has won 2 of their last 4 games, and held Joe Flacco to 153 yards passing and Ray Rice to 3.9 yards per carry in their 25-15 loss to the Baltimore Ravens today. Next week, the Redskins are on their bye…