The Washington Redskins‘ offense has been anchored by two rookies in 2012, quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris. Each has contributed greatly to the resurgent Redskins, who are riding a four game winning streak to boost their record to 7-6. Although Griffin III gets the lion’s share of publicity for providing hope to a struggling Washington franchise that needed some, Morris’ contributions must also be considered. His 1,228 rushing yards rank fourth among NFL running backs.
However, Morris has lost fumbles in consecutive weeks against the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens. To make matters worse, those two fumbles lead directly to points for Washington’s opponents on their ensuing drives. While the Redskins have been playing well of late, they are not talented enough to overcome such miscues and continue to win.
Griffin III suffered a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his right knee Week 14 against the Ravens. He did not return. If Griffin III can’t play Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns, rookie backup quarterback Kirk Cousins will get the start. Griffin III is the undisputed leader of the Redskins’ offense. It’s asking a lot to expect Cousins to shoulder most of the offensive load in Griffin III’s absence.
This means that Morris will become the focal point of the offense. With Griffin III under center, the Redskins’ offense focused on their franchise quarterback. Without him, Morris becomes Washington’s most consistent offensive player. Washington would have to lean heavily on their number one ranked rushing offense to support Cousins, a rookie making his first NFL start.
The NFL season is now in its winter months, when the cold weather limits the passing game. Therefore, ball security will be extremely important for Morris. His last two lost fumbles gave Washington’s opponents a short field to work with. Considering Washington’s 31st ranked pass defense, the Redskins can’t afford to limit their potent offense, while enabling the opposing team’s offense to score, because of turnovers.
Despite his recent fumbles, Morris has continued to be productive, recording his sixth 100 yard rushing game of 2012 when he ran for 122 yards against the Ravens. The continuation of his stellar running, as well as elimination of fumbles, will help the Washington offense regardless of the quarterback under center.