Statistically speaking, the Washington Redskins ‘ running game isn’t as potent in 2013 as it was last season. Quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris (above) took the NFL by storm last season, combining for over 2,300 rushing yards as rookies. It’s no wonder why Washington led the league in rushing last season.
As of this writing, the Redskins’ rushing offense has been quite ordinary, ranking 17th in the NFL. However, Washington’s running game might be better than last year’s top ranked unit. Morris has been steady, if not spectacular, as the Redskins’ main ball carrier. Griffin is starting to come along as a runner again, rushing for 84 yards Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. This is encouraging news for Redskins’ fans.
The running game became much better with the return of running back Roy Helu Jr. (pictured), who is a shifty runner and also an efficient pass receiver. Helu is also an efficient ball carrier between the tackles, which enables the Redskins to take Morris out for a rest without a drop off in production. Helu was Washington’s leading rusher in 2011, which was also the season that he recorded 49 receptions. Those statistics offer proof positive of Helu’s value out of the backfield.
Making Morris and Helu interchangeable parts of the offense paid off against the Bears. Morris moved the chains with his tough running, but it was Helu who benefited most. He scored three rushing touchdowns, including the game clincher, in Washington’s wild 45-41 victory over Chicago.
Redskins’ fans should take comfort in knowing that the offense doesn’t lose much when Helu comes in for Morris. Washington will need all the offensive depth they can get when they face the Denver Broncos on the road Week 8. If Morris and Helu can continue to be efficient carrying the ball, as well as RG3 when the moment presents itself, the Redskins will have the chance to capitalize on their new-found momentum.