For the second time this season, the Washington Redskins enjoy a backup quarterback having to step in, giving themselves enough of a weak opposition to win for, surprisingly, the second time this season. However, Josh McCown actually looked better than Jay Cutler did, while Robert Griffin III needed some big help from Roy Helu to walk off with a smile on his face.
It’s happening against to the Chicago Bears, who have been through this before, only now without a good enough defense to cope. They’ve lost Jay Cutler to a groin injury, and even though Josh McCown was quite effective in stepping up for him (14-0f-20, 1 touchdown pass), the Chicago Bears have a banged up defense that allowed the Redskins 209 yards on the ground, and couldn’t create more than one turnover, which has been essential for their success this season.
The Redskins also created one turnover – intercepting Jay Cutler, who was hounded all day by Brian Orakpo, feeling a lot of pressure especially from the middle, and returning it for a touchdown. Robert Griffin III did throw two touchdown passes but he was also intercepted once, and most of the work was done by the ground crew of Alfred Morris, running for 95 yards, Griffin himself with 84 and Helu, scoring three touchdowns.
Whatever the Bears managed to do after McCown came on didn’t seem to matter, as the Redskins scored at will when they began running the ball. The Bears held a 41-38 lead after McCown found Martellus Bennett for a late touchdown with less than four minutes in the game. Some big plays from Griffin, especially a 26-yard pass to Jordan Reed to get the entire late drive going, and Helu got his third touchdown of the game from only three yards out for the 45-41 win.
When we go watch the film, we won’t watch it with smiles on our face. … But I think we made enough plays today to win the game, and that’s all matters. Every game is big, but we sure needed it after being 1-4. You don’t want to dig yourself a bigger hole.
The Redskins find themselves still in contention in the NFC East, that has the Eagles at 3-4, and the Cowboys leading with a 4-3 record. Washington shouldn’t be able to see themselves in the picture with such a bad defense, allowing 140 rushing yards and a very good game from backup McCown, but it seems to be with enough self belief in their offense and an aggressive (yet inefficient) defense that it can get the job done.
Griffin is getting better, which makes for a big reason they have so much faith all of a sudden. The most noticeable aspect is his running game, which was non-existent in the early losses this season. He had a 96.0 QBR on designed rushes and scrambles over his past 2 games, after recording a 0.4 QBR on such plays in his first 4 games. He ran for 70 of their 79 rushing yards on zone-reads and attempted as many zone-read rushes against the Bears as in the Redskins’ first five games this season. There’s also his developing relationship with Jordan Reed and Aldrick Robinson, completing all 11 passing attempts to the two, each catching one pass for a touchdown.