Week three of the NFL Season will see The Roar zero in on impressive rookie Robert Griffin III’s much anticipated home debut at FedEx Field. Join us live from 3am AEST as we bring you all the play-by-play action.
Awaiting RG3 and the Washington Redkins will be Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals. Will the Redskins make RG3’s first appearance on home turf a winning one or can the Bengals spoil the party?
The Washington Redskins were a Josh Morgan brain-snap away from starting their home campaign with an undefeated record.
With the Redkins trailing St. Louis 31-28 with under a minute remaining, Morgan decided to throw the football at the Rams Cortland Finnigan which resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and forced kicker Billy Cundiff into missing a game-tying 62-yard field goal attempt.
Instead, the Redskins will return to familiar surroundings with a 1-1 record and the motivation to snap a six game home losing streak which dates back to October 16th of last year.
In the NFL Rookie Quarterbacks are often overhyped or take time to adjust, but Griffin has taken an unfamiliar route and bypassed these problems.
The former Baylor standout and second overall pick has looked like a seasoned pro from the get go and ranks among the NFL’s top five for Quarterbacks in passer rating, completion percentage, yards per pass attempt, net yards per attempt, rushing yards, yards per rush attempt and rushing yards per game.
I don’t care that we’re only two games into the season, Robert Griffin III is the real deal.
Unfortunately Washington will be without RG3’s favorite wide receiver target Pierre Garcon who is likely to be sidelined for a second week with a foot injury.
Also missing for the Redkins will be two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker who both suffered injuries in the loss to the Rams.
For the Cincinnati Bengals to register their first road win of the season they’ll need to find improvements on the defensive end. The Bengals gave up just 22 points per game away from home last season, good enough for a respectable top fifteen ranking. In their opening two games this year Cincinnati have given up over 35 points per game, good enough for fourth worst in the NFL.
On the offensive side of the field Quarterback Andy Dalton will need to be at his surgical best in order to exploit the Redkins injury problems and weak secondary. To date, Washington have allowed the second most opponent passing yards per game (313.5) and most opponent passing touchdowns per game (3).
Despite an impressive start to the year Bengals Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis may have his work cut out when coming up against the Redkins top ten run defense.
Given both teams have mediocre defenses which have struggled to contain pass heavy Quarterbacks, It’s hard to imagine anything but a high scoring encounter. Washington currently possess the league’s number one offense and the Bengals haven’t looked like being able to stop a division three high school squad let alone a pro football team. This is a defense who just last weekend gave up over 400 total yards to Brandon Weeden and the Cleveland Browns. Once you throw in a motivated RG3 looking to impress and a manic home crowd who haven’t had anything to cheer since, ummm, well, you get the point, It looks more and more likely that the Redskins will continue their five game home opener winning streak.
For Washington fans the result itself will more than likely rank behind the performance of their Quarterback in terms of order of importance. The Redskins fan base has endured 26 Quarterbacks in 26 years. The seven Quarterbacks with the most starts in that period were Mark Rypien, Jason Campbell, Gus Frerotte, Mark Brunell and Brad Johson, with a little bit of Sexy Rexy (Grossman) and six chins McNabb (Donovan) thrown in to top things off.
Please, for the love of God, somebody save the Washington Redskins.
Robert Griffin III will save the Washington Redskins.
Tip: Washington 34, Cincinnati 31.
Kick Off: 3am AEST
Betting: Washington $1.58, Cincinnati $2.45
Line: 3 points