By Mark Pierce
It’s taken me a few hours to digest what I saw transpire in front of me during yesterday’s opening day joust between the Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints. I’ve had many, many thoughts concerning the Redskins since the game, but the word I keep coming back to is savior. It’s a heavy moniker to lay on anyone, much less a 22 year old kid. But that’s what Robert Griffin III is for the Washington Redskins. Emancipator. Liberator. Deliverer.
Of course, it wasn’t just RGIII that delivered during the Skins 40-32 masterpiece of an opener, it was the whole team playing lights out. The much maligned offensive line kept Griffin clean all day, and the defensive secondary played above expectations, with Haslett calling an excellent defensive game.
The Redskins defense set the tone emphatically as they held the heralded Saints offense to a three and out on their first possession. Haslett’s squad would harass Brees and the Saints all day, forcing an outing which included an uncharacteristic 12 penalties. The Saints were held to 32 yards rushing on the day.
Griffin was nearly flawless, garnering a perfect quarterback rating in the first half in a game that was literally one for the books. On the day he was 19-26 for 320 yards and two touchdowns, no interceptions. No rookie has ever had a performance on opening day that good. He also rushed for 42 yards on 10 carries. Pierre Garcon led the way in receiving yards with four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown before injuring his foot. Starting running back Alfred Morris was also stellar in his NFL debut, charging for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Redskins fans are in their glory today, and that’s alright. We deserve it. Not for long though, St. Louis is next week, another away game. This time against a team that lost week one, but is improved this year with Jeff Fisher as coach.