While yesterday did not go according to plan by any stretch of the imagination, there are still 15 regular season games left to be played and as we saw last year, unpredictability runs rampant in the National Football League.
Robert Griffin III, who saw his first game action exactly eight months to the day after knee surgery to repair torn ligaments in his knee, symbolized the ebb and flow the Redskins encountered on the evening. In the first half, Griffin III threw two interceptions—the first multi interception game of his young NFL career. The second half was a completely different outcome though, as he found Leonard Hankerson all alone in the end zone for a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.
The second-year pro, who was voted an offensive captain by his teammates, admitted that the game was disappointing but refused to formulate excuses as the reasoning for the loss. Instead, he reflected on the fact that a lot of events that the Redskins usually don’t get involved in happened.
“We had a serious case of the ‘can’t-get-rights,’ just penalties, hurting ourselves – you know, I don’t throw picks, [running back] Alfred [Morris] doesn’t fumble and [kicker] Kai [Forbath] doesn’t miss field goals and all three of those happened tonight. So we’ll get better, no doubt.”
He also refuted the belief that rust played a factor in his performance stating that that’s just an excuse to hid behind and that he’s responsible for his play.
Having said all of this, there were a few individual performance of note yesterday:
–Despite being listed as the fourth tight end on the depth chart, rookie tight end Jordan Reed repeatedly found himself wide open in the second half. In his first NFL game, Reed finished with five catches for 38 yards.
–Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, who had perhaps the best preseason of any Redskin, had his second career two touchdown game (2012 vs. Browns). He led the team in receiving yards (80) and didn’t have any trouble securing the football—an area that has been problematic for him in the past.
–Longest tenured Redskin Santana Moss had his fifth 50-plus yards receiving season opening game since being acquired in 2005.
–Running back Roy Helu Jr. did not see any action in the first half, but recorded his first carry since Week 3 of the 2012 season in the third quarter. The five-yard run was his longest since 2011.
–Speaking of Griffin III, he set career highs in completions (30), pass attempts (49) and passing yards (329).
–Alfred Morris scored a touchdown for the fifth straight regular season game. It’s the longest streak since 2000 when Stephen Davis did it six straight times.
–DeAngelo Hall once again had the first touchdown of the season on a 75-yard fumble return for a touchdown early in the first quarter. In head coach Mike Shanahan’s Redskins debut, Hall returned a 32-yard fumble against the Cowboys on the last play of the first half.
–Inside linebacker Perry Riley Jr. tied a career high with 15 tackles. He notched his fourth career fumble recovery in the fourth quarter and recorded the first sack of the season on Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. It was the fifth straight year that a different player recorded the first sack of the season. The last player to opening up a campaign with a sack in back-to-back season openers was Andre Carter in 2008-09.
–On back-to-back plays in the first quarter, rookies Bacarri Rambo and David Amerson recorded their first career NFL tackles.
–For Amerson, he became the first rookie cornerback to start Week 1 since Fred Smoot who did it exactly 12 years earlier in 2001.
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