Victory Mondays are the best, especially when it follows the Redskins’ first home victory in 9 games. Before Sunday’s victory, the Redskins had not won at FedEx field since last season’s week-2 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Before a raucous crowd, the Redskins were able to hold off the then 4-1 Minnesota Vikings 38-26. After falling behind 9-0 in the 1st quarter, the Redskins scored on their next four possessions and stormed out to a 24-9 lead.
After a early-4th quarter interception return for a touchdown by Free Safety Madieu Williams, the Redskins seemed to be in full control of the game with a 31-12 lead. However, the Vikings would not let it happen so easily, as they marched up and down the field to score on two straight possessions to narrow the gap to 31-26.
The Redskins would then get the ball with a little over 3 and a half minutes remaining in the game with a chance to secure a couple of 1st downs and a victory. After a tackle for loss on 1st down and a nominal 8-yard gain on 2nd down, the Redskins were faced with a deciding 3rd and 6 from the 24-yard line with just under 3 minutes to play.
It was on that crucial 3rd down play that Robert Griffin III dropped back, quickly read a “double-A gap” blitz, got through the line, made a move to the sideline and darted downfield for an electric 76-yard touchdown run. The play would all be cement the Redskins’ victory and sent the 78,000-plus home crowd into a frenzy with loud chants of “R-G-3” that could be heard from the stadium’s parking lots.
Let’s take a quick look at a few players who helped the Redskins capture their 3rd victory of the season.
Robert Griffin III: Arguably the most dynamic player the Redskins franchise has ever had, Griffin III has proven that he is worth the offseason draft trade that brought him to the Nation’s Capital. Leading the Redskins to the 2nd highest scoring team in the NFL, Griffin III has already set franchise records for the longest single rush by a quarterback, rushing yards by a quarterback, and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. His 138-yard, 2 rushing td performance would have been good enough for any of the NFL’s elite running backs. Add that 17-22 passing, 185 yards and another touchdown, and Griffin III has proven that as long as he can stay healthy, the Redskins are capable of winning any game they play.
Trent Williams: The former 1st-round pick has used the 2012 season as an opportunity to establish himself as one of the most dominant left tackles in the entire NFL. He anchors an underrated, but cohesive offensive-line that allowed only one sack to a Vikings team ranked in the top-10 in the League in quarterback sacks. The only sack allowed was to All-Pro Jared Allen late in the 3rd-quarter for a mere 4-yards. Williams continually corralled Allen, creating plenty of room for Griffin III to step-up in the pocket and deliver decisive, accurate passes.
Lorenzo Alexander: “The One Man Gang” again proved how he is the example of Versatility. After being asked to move to inside linebacker in the offseason, Alexander was asked to line-up at outside linebacker against the Vikings. With the absence of the injured Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker, the coaching staff turned to Alexander to give them a pass-rushing boost. For the game, Alexander was credited with 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 quarterback pressures and a fumble recovery. His performance will force the coaches to give him an increased workload.
Madieu Williams: Going against his former team, Williams did all he could to show why he still has some quality football left in his career. Along with his diving interception that he returned 24-yards for a touchdown, Williams racked up 12 total tackles and had his best overall game as a Washington Redskin.
Kai Forbath: In his Redskins’ debut, Forbath drilled his 1st and only field goal attempt from 50 yards out. After his signing, there was some concern surrounding the length of his kick-offs. Forbath seemed to handle the duty by kicking touchbacks on 4 of his 7 kick-offs, limiting the Vikings’ dangerous kick returner, Percy Harvin, to only three returns. Maybe the most important aspect of Forbath was the confidence he showed prior to kicking the 50-yard field goal. Hopefully, the Redskins have resolved their early-season kicking woes.