Alfred Morris Must Become Washington Redskins’ Workhorse Again

By Greg Bradshaw
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris took the NFL by storm as a rookie last season, rushing for 1,613 yards. However, his second year hasn’t produced the same impact. On the bright side, Morris has rushed for 296 yards, and is averaging an efficient 5.3 yards per carry.

However, many of his yards had little impact for Washington. That’s because they were mostly gained during games where the Redskins were trailing by a significant margin.

Simply put, Morris is known for his tough, downhill running style that focused on ball control and time-consuming drives. That style is rendered useless when you’re down 24-0, as Washington was in their Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers. It’s another contributing factor to the Redskins’ offensive inefficiency as well as the team’s 1-3 start.

Maybe the offensive line is to blame, as the holes that Morris darted through last year haven’t been as plentiful in 2013. Or maybe, opposing defenses are doing their due diligence by watching film on Morris and devising schemes to stop him. Whatever the case may be, Morris must become Washington’s main focus, carrying the football if the Redskins are going to salvage their season.

The Redskins will find that their upcoming schedule will be quite unforgiving. Next up for Washington is the rival Dallas Cowboys, a supremely talented offensive team. The Redskins may have to do something they haven’t done all season: score 30 points in a game, if they’re to pull off the road upset against their hated divisional rivals.

While quarterback Robert Griffin III has to be the catalyst of a Redskins offensive resurgence, he can’t do it alone. Morris is a vital part of that resurgence also. He can draw inspiration from his 200-yard rushing performance in Washington’s 2012 season finale-clinching victory over Dallas. That victory produced the franchise’s first NFC East title since 1999.

Increasing Morris’ workload bodes well against a Dallas defense that has been less than stellar, considering the unit ranks 28th in the NFL in total defense this season.

Morris must get his carries early and often. The offensive line must penetrate Dallas’ front seven in an effort to provide Morris running room to gain yardage. Then, Redskins fans can enjoy the sight of Morris celebrating a touchdown scoring run. If these things happen, the Redskins have a chance to beat the Cowboys.

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