So far this 2013 football season for the Washington Redskins (0-2), the first half has been a real struggle. Their franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin who did not play during the preseason to give his surgically repaired knee more time to heal, has looked like a guy who has not played football for seven months.
The first half of both of the Redskins’ losses, a 33-27 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, was not as close as the final score, and a 38-20 butt-whipping at the hands of the Green Bay Packers was just downright embarrassing. Each opposing team jumped to a big first half lead and coasted to victory.
The first half Redskin offense of each game was just a bunch of RG three and out. According to the Washington Post, the Redskins have converted only one of eight first half third down tries in both games for a measly 12.5 percent success rate. The Redskins have only eight first half first downs in two games. The sore spot is that the Redskins have been outscored a whopping 50-7 in the first half of their first two games.
The Eagles and Packers combined for a total of 96 offensive plays in the first half of each game compared to 45 for the Skins. However, the real damage has been done in the yardage department. Philadelphia and Green Bay combined for 695 total first half yards against the Redskin defense, compared to only 230 for Washington.
While their opponents have gone to a no-huddle offense, the Redskins have gone to a no-tackle defense. They gave up 184 yards rushing to LeSean McCoy of the Eagles in game one, and a record-tying 480 yards passing to Green Bay’s Aaron Rogers. Green Bay also boasted its first 100-yard rusher in 45 games, when the back up, James Starks finished the game with 132 yards on 20 carries. It was also the first time in franchise history that Green Bay has had a 400-yard passer and a 100-yard runner in the same game.
Washington is starting two rookies in the secondary on defense, and were intially boosted by the return of safety Brandon Meriweather, who is a force in the game when he is healthy. Unfortunately for the Skins, Meriweather knocked himself out of the game with a leading-with-the-head tackle and ended up suffering a concussion. How ironic, because Washington knocked themselves out of their first two games with inconsistent offense and poor defense.
Their next opponent, the Detroit Lions, will be at FedEx Field where the Redskins hope to be able to play some basic football. The game plan is simple: convert on third down and tackle on defense. Play for 60 minutes. RGIII has had two games to get his timing back, and has looked good in the second half of each game. Unfortunately, the reality is that each game was over by halftime.
Redskin fans are anxious to see their team play a full 60 minutes of smash mouth football, and to see the real RGIII again leading the team to victory. They want to see a team converting on third down and bringing opponents to the ground. A good first half is a must. No more RG three and out.