New wrinkles in the Redskins' offense

New wrinkles in the Redskins' offense
November 4, 2013, 5:15 pm
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Redskins gain confidence from win over Chargers

(Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Things looked a little bit different for the Redskins’ offense starting with their very first possession.

On first down from the Washington 13, Robert Griffin III took off to the right with Jordan Reed trailing. You have to think that the San Diego defense was somewhat surprised when the 6-feet-3, 236-pound rookie tight end got the pitch from Griffin and rolled up the right sideline for 18 yards. It was the first rushing attempt of Reed’s brief career.

Santana Moss has run the ball before. The option pitch he took from Griffin in the third quarter was the 50th rushing attempt of his career. But not since 2008 has he gained more yards on one carry than the 18 he picked up on that one.

The Redskins didn’t totally revamp their offense yesterday but they did add some new wrinkles we haven’t seen before, like the option pitches to Reed and Moss, and changed up a few other things. Griffin went to Pierre Garçon deep more often than usual, resulting in three receptions good for 30 yards or more. Going into this game, Garçon had just one reception for over 30 yards and that was a 44-yard play against the Packers on a bubble screen. There were considerably more air yards on the plays on Sunday.

The ground game was different, too, and not just because Alfred Morris finally got more than 19 carries in a game. Coming into this game, Darrel Young had carried the ball twice. Against the Chargers he had five carries. He only gained 12 yards but he had three TD’s including the game winner in overtime. All three TD’s came on the same quick-hitting play, something we’ve seen before but not very frequently this year.

“I don’t want to go out there and have people know what you’re doing all the time, so as an offense, you have to switch things up, keep the defense off-balance and that’s what we did as an offense,” said Griffin. “The one thing you don’t want to do is become predictable. Whenever we’ve been on throughout the whole season, we’ve done a better job of just mixing things up – run/pass, giving them different looks. Give them something to think about.”

The Redskins may have had the Chargers thinking a bit more and reacting less on Sunday. The result was 500 yards of total offense, the most in a game since December of 1999.