Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III (above, left) receives most of the publicity for the Redskins’ success, and rightly so. With a 9-6 record, Washington is in first place in the NFC East, with a chance to win the NFC East title with a Week 17 home victory against the Dallas Cowboys. If not for Griffin III, as well as the contributions of running back Alfred Morris, the Redskins would probably occupy the NFC East basement.
The rushing and passing exploits of Griffin III have been well documented. To a lesser degree, Morris’ rushing exploits have been documented as well. However, as with any similar unit, Griffin III and Morris would not be as effective without the blocking of the Redskins’ offensive line. The unit of Trent Williams (above, right), Chris Chester, Will Montgomery, Kory Lichtensteiger, and Tyler Polumbus must be credited with the job they have done in 2012.
Washington’s offensive line has been below average in recent years, contributing to the team’s offensive futility. That’s changed in 2012. The Redskins have the fifth ranked offense in the NFL, as well as the fourth ranked scoring offense in the NFL. That means the Redskins’ offensive line has given Griffin III the time to find receivers downfield. Defeating teams that have dominant pass rushing defenses like the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens solidifies the strong play of the Washington offensive line.
The Redskins’ offensive line is also responsible for paving the way for Washington’s top ranked rushing offense. That statistic is a little skewed, considering that Griffin III has over 700 rushing yards by himself at the quarterback position. While the NFL is a league trending towards offensive passing excellence, the importance of an efficient rushing attack can’t be ignored. Besides, the Redskins haven’t constructed their 9-6 record because of their stellar defensive unit, which ranks 28th in the NFL in yardage allowed.
The Redskins’ offensive line will have to contain Cowboys’ stalwart outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware if they are to defeat the Cowboys Week 17. Ware leads Dallas with 11.5 sacks, and has been a perennial thorn in the side of opposing offensive tackles since his entry into the NFL in 2005. Ware will most likely be matched up against Williams, the Redskins’ best offensive lineman who was also selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl. If Williams can contain Ware most of the game, and if Washington’s offensive line can continue to open up holes for Morris to run through, they have a chance to achieve victory against Dallas.