The Redskins offense is a lot of things this season but good on third and long is not one of them. Third and long is typically where rookie Quarterbacks make the most mistakes and those mistakes are often costly. There is a small percentage of people who think ” Robert Griffin III is not good on third downs” and well that is just not the case. After reviewing the film I think it is clear the coaches are not putting him in risky situations and RG3 is making very good decisions with the football.
3rd & 10 at the Buccaneers 26 yard line the Redskins come out with 3 wide Receivers and 2 Tight Ends. Redskins are going to run a 5 route spread concept anticipating Tampa 2 coverage from the defense. Fred Davis and Santana Moss will be running 12 yard posts towards the middle of the field, Niless Paul a 7 yard out, Pierre Garcon on a fly, and Hankerson on a 5 yard slant.
Davis and Moss will be away by the Lbs correctly dropping into their zone coverage. Robert now has two options in Hankerson and paul on the out route. The Coverage appears to be pealing from Moss and attacking Paul on his break so from this shot that looks like a risky pass.
Here is what the Quarterback was seeing on this play. In this view it seems that Davis is slightly coming open over the middle of the field but to me that looks like a risky throw. Could you make the case that ball would be completed, of course but to me that is a low percentage pass. The ball would have to be perfect imo to clear the Lbs and arrive before the safety.
Hankerson has catches the ball and gets tackled short of the first down marker. Redskins did not get the first but some good decision-making by Robert Griffin III.
3rd & 13 on the Buccaneers 38 yard line the Redskins come out with 3 Wrs,1 Te, and 1 Rb. Redskins show bunch left with Fred Davis as the far inside slot Wide Receiver. You can see by the play art that 1 out of 5 routes are designed to go past the first down marker.
Post snap you can see the defense drops into zone coverage which means Robert Griffin III first reads will be to the near side of the field. Against zone Hankersons and Davis route combination is a test for the Cornerback. Does he get sucked up by Davis route which would allow Hankerson to uncover behind him or stay in his drop and allow Davis to be open. The Corner chooses to play his drop allowing Davis to come free as you can see.
Davis catches the pass with some room to work. Roberts pass was a little late and high making it a tough transition for Davis to secure the catch and turn up field.
3rd and 17 on the 50 yard line Redskins come out in 3wr/1te/1rb. You can see by the play art 1 out of 3 routes are an option for a first down based on play design. Hankerson and Garcon will be running go routes, Santana will run to the first down and curl, Royster and Davis will run out routes from the backfield.
Tampa drops back into zone coverage with their underneath players (5) on the first down marker. Facing pressure from his right and the deep routes covered up Robert Griffin III begins to run. Evan Royster is open on the dump off but not a realistic shot at going for a first down. The scramble gains 8 yards and not enough for the first down.
3rd and long on the Redskins 1 yard line with 1wr/2te/2rbs. Design of this PA run is aimed at trying to get the Cornerback standing on the far hash to bite on the run action and attack the line of scrimmage.
Buccaneers get pressure on Robert Griffin III and his only option is Young on the flare route. The cornerback stayed home so even if this ball is complete it goes for minimal gain. Redskins received a first down on this play after Robert Griffin III was hit late.
3rd and 20 on the Redskins 31 yard line the formation is 3wr/2te. The play art shows 3 deep posts by Garcon,Moss,Paul, Davis on-screen/pick, Hankerson on a slant.
This play looked to be designed to go to Hankerson all the way unless the pre-snap read indicated the deep routes could be open. Davis comes out of his stance and heads right to the Linebacker and tries to shield him inside while Hankerson clears underneath. Robert Griffin III gets pressure from his right and hits Hankerson for a short gain.
3rd and 10 and Redskins are in 3 wide bunch left. Niles Paul motioned from the backfield to split out after a Robert Griffin III audible.
Robert Griffin III choose to run a QB draw against Tampa Bay because of the wide split by the defensive tackles.
Redskins executed the blocking scheme perfectly and have taken out 9 of Tampa Bays defenders. Tampa Bays safeties are the only players on the field who can now make the play on Robert Griffin III who is on a sprint to the end zone.
Watch the FS vs the strides of Robert Griffin III on this play. In this shot the FS breaks down down thinking he has the angle to make the tackle.
One stride by Robert Griffin III and he has out ran the angle taken by the FS.
Two strides later Robert griffin III already closed the gap before the defender could really adjust. RG3 would have scored on this play himself if the backside diving safety did not make first contact and take his legs out. The speed of Griffin III is jut unreal at the QB position.
Robert Griffin III leads the NFL in completion percentage (77.3%), Yards per attempt (14.7), and total Quarterback rating ( 97.3) when facing 5 or more pass rushers this season. Third and long situations will not bring the pressure from defenses it will bring heavy zones instead. Redskins will improve their third down percentage when they stop putting themselves into third and long situation.