Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 15, 2012, six days before the Redskins open up their division schedule in New York against the Giants.
Getting on a third-down roll
Usually when a team is performing horribly in a statistical category things will eventually turn around, especially when the particular unit generating the bad stat is performing well in other areas.
Such was the case with the Redskins’ third-down conversions. They went into the Vikings game converting just 23 percent on third down, worst in the league despite having an offense ranked in the top 10 in the league. And against Minnesota they missed on their first four third-down tries. That made them three for their previous 24 on third downs.
They may have gained some momentum after their third failed conversion attempt of the game. Robert Griffin III went to Santana Moss for five yards on third and eight. Mike Shanahan left the offense on the field on fourth and three at the Vikings 35. Griffin went to Moss again, this time for six yards, to convert the fourth down. That drive stalled with another failed third down try but they did end up with points on Kai Forbath’s 50-yard field goal.
On their next possession the Redskins finally broke the third-down ice on a five-yard Griffin to Moss pass on third and four. That was one of two conversions during a 90-yard touchdown drive. The second one was Alfred Morris’ one-yard touchdown blast that put the Redskins ahead to stay.
The Redskins finished the game 6 of 12 on third down so they were good on six of their last eight attempts. Sometimes success breeds success when it comes to things like this so we’ll see if they can carry it over to the next game.
More plays, not more points
After the game was over it was somewhat surprising to see that the Vikings had run 25 more offensive plays than the Redskins did. Minnesota ran 80 plays on the day, the Redskins ran 55.
But the numbers are deceiving. All of the Vikings’ advantage in plays came in the fourth quarter, when they ran 38 plays to seven for the Redskins. But Washington got just as much out of its plays as the Vikings did out of theirs.
On the Vikings’ fourth offensive play of the fourth, the Redskins scored on Madieu Williams’ 24-yard interception return for a touchdown. That gave the Redskins a 31-12 lead.
The Vikings came back with touchdown drives of eight and 10 plays sandwiched around a Redskins three and out. Washington responded with a three-play touchdown drive, the one that ended with RG3’s stunning 76-yard run.
Minnesota got off 17 plays in 2:21 of clock time on their desperation drive after the Griffin TD put them down by 12. That drive died at the Washington three with DeAngelo Hall’s interception in the end zone.
The Redskins’ last play was every team’s favorite, a kneel down in victory formation.
For the first time this year, Shanahan called for a Victory Monday, meaning that the players will be off.
3:00—Mike Shanahan news conference
I will live blog the presser from Redskins Park and it will be televised live from Comcast SportsNet.
In case you missed it
Griffin was the star but he got plenty of help.
Days until: Redskins @ Giants 6; RG3 vs. Cam @ FedEx Field 20; Thanksgiving @ Cowboys 38; Monday night Giants @FedEx Field 49; Ravens @ Redskins 55