By SEAN KINSLOW
The home crowd fell silent at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland as the Washington Redskins’ star quarterback laid face-down on the ground only five minutes into the team’s home opener. Robert Griffin III was injured, a sight all too familiar to Redskins fans. While rolling out of the pocket on a passing play, Griffin’s foot landed awkwardly on the grass. The team later announced that the third year quarterback had dislocated his ankle, an injury that will hold Griffin out for at least five weeks, possibly more. The fans in attendance showed their support by chanting “RG3” as Griffin, unable to walk, was carted off the field.
“When I landed, I wanted to look at my ankle because I felt something, and when I looked at it, it didn’t look in a great position,” Griffin said in the post-game press conference. “I knew something was wrong then. In moments like this you just have to keep the faith and stay with it and believe that everything happens for a reason and God has a plan.”
Griffin’s backup, Kirk Cousins, replaced him and played well. On Cousins’s first play he threw a perfect pass to wide open fullback Darrell Young for a touchdown. Cousins went on to complete 22 of 33 attempts for 250 yards, while throwing two touchdowns and no interceptions.
“I believe Kirk is going to go out there and play extremely well,” Griffin said. “This team is going to win games because we have a very good team that’s on that field. One guy doesn’t define this team – and that includes me.”
The injuries kept adding up for the Redskins as the game went on. Wide receiver Desean Jackson sprained the AC joint in his shoulder, backup running back Roy Helu Jr. strained his left quad and starting left guard Shawn Lauvao sprained his right knee late in the game.
Through all of this though, the Redskins were still able to win the game 41-10. They beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in all phases of the game. The defense was able to sack Jacksonville’s quarterback, Chad Henne, 10 times, tying a franchise record for sacks in a single game, and held the Jaguars to only 10 points and eight first downs. It was one of the best performances by the Redskins’ defense in years. The defense held the Jaguars to only 148 yards of total offense, the lowest total allowed by the team since 2007.
Off-season free agent pick-up Jason Hatcher, a defensive end, had a dominant game to go along with the defense.
“I don’t feel like we’ve done nothing. This is the second game of the season. It was a hell of a game played, but at the end of the day, we haven’t done nothing,” Hatcher said. “Once we do it consistently, do it week in and week out, then we can say, ‘Hey, we had a good game.’”
The offense also performed well. Running back Alfred Morris rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Niles Paul also had a breakout performance, catching eight passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Washington also did not turn the ball over at all in their win, something that plagued them just one week earlier against Houston.
What the Redskins did in Sunday’s game was impressive, winning by 31 points always is. In fact, the Redskins had not won a game by that big of a margin since 2007. Despite key injuries, the Redskins showed that they can score points in great multitude, while playing solid defense. The Redskins’ next game will be a divisional showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. Kickoff will happen at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21.