Redskins 41, Jaguars 10: Ten observations

LANDOVER, Md. -- Thoughts and observations after the Washington Redskins' 41-10 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars:

  1. I don’t know if Robert Griffin III will return this season. I do know he’s waiting until his MRI Monday before he counts himself out. It didn’t look good, of course, but he really doesn’t want to speculate on any timetable. If he’s somehow able to return this season, there will be a lot of what-if scenarios discussed: as in, what if Kirk Cousins plays well (that’s what you want your backup to do, of course)? What if the Redskins are winning (also what you want, it’s about the team, not one guy)? Would you then put Griffin back in (not if the above two scenarios exist)? How will this impact his game? But there’s plenty of time to worry about the future later.

  2. The tough part for Griffin is that he needed a game like he felt he was going to have Sunday. It’s not as if he had lost confidence, but it could have been a springboard game, or at least one where he could remind everyone of his ability. Instead, people will focus on his durability -- a second major leg injury in three seasons. Injuries happen in football and this was a freak one. But Griffin did what anyone would want him to do: extend a play and make a throw. And he still got hurt. The old Griffin was emerging; now he must wonder what the future holds, though that really depends on what the MRI reveals.

  3. Kudos to Cousins for how he handled the situation. The Redskins never seriously considered trading him, nor should they have for this very reason. Having a quality backup means the Redskins can at least look at the next 14 weeks, if that’s how long he plays, and still feel they can accomplish something. Cousins, too, will get a better chance than at the end of a 2013 season in which the coaches knew they would be fired.

  4. I liked how Cousins handled most of his throws. I’ll get more into some of those Monday and Tuesday, but he does a good job getting off his first read and finding the open target. That’s what happened on his first touchdown pass to fullback Darrell Young. Cousins looked left, then came back right and Young was wide open. Cousins was able to go deep in his progression -- and did so while staying clean in the pocket.

  5. Also liked how Cousins reacted to negative situations. He turned the corner on a boot with a defender coming at him. Because he knows he can’t outrun anyone, he planted and threw to Niles Paul for 23 yards. Decisive reactions. I don’t know what Cousins will do going forward -- he’s decisive, but sometimes that gets him in trouble, too. He’s comfortable in the pocket and running this offense. Going forward he’ll need to be consistently accurate, but this is the opportunity he desired.

  6. In the last week, the Redskins had to replace a nose tackle, starting tight end, deep threat receiver and quarterback. Each player who entered for the injured player did well Sunday. That’s impressive. Chris Baker is a good nose tackle and Paul had his best receiving game as a tight end. The Redskins’ receivers were not dynamic; they were effective. Call it what you want -- good coaching, depth, whatever. It bailed out Washington Sunday. Doesn’t always go that way, especially here.

  7. Jacksonville is really bad. But the Redskins did more than what they should. It was the best they’ve looked since the 2012 season. They were dominant in every phase -- not sure last year they were ever dominant, or even good, in more than one in a game.

  8. I will get into this more Monday morning and Tuesday, but Jason Hatcher is better than I anticipated. Hatcher can be dominant inside and the trickle down impact is legitimate. Lines can’t slide to the outside like they could in the past -- and if they do, then he’s one-on-one inside. That’s a total mismatch.

  9. Brian Orakpo, for example, was being blocked by the backs a couple times. He won those battles, too -- he didn’t get many such rushes in the past. Credit to Hatcher. What surprises me about Hatcher is how quick he is; his game is not just about strength.

  10. Ryan Kerrigan had a record day and I gave him a game ball, but that was more symbolic because of what the defense did as a group. Ten sacks -- Jacksonville only had eight first downs and 148 yards total. The Jags were in John Beck territory. The Redskins knew Jacksonville’s line was weak and once they got the Jaguars into passing situations it was all over.