Washington Redskins' Defense Remains Achilles' Heel In Defeat On Thursday Night Football

By Chris Machin
Washington Redskins
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

One half of the Redskins’ football machine is working effectively while the other is letting that side down. Such was the case on Thursday Night Football to open Week 10 of the NFL regular season. No matter what the Redskins conjured on offense, it was undone on the other side of the ball.

The Redskins’ offensive line will face some criticism after allowing multiple sacks on their already beat-up quarterback Robert Griffin III, yet their blushes are somewhat spared thanks to their part in another successful outing while running the ball. Second-year pro Alfred Morris continues to draw the plaudits after another 100-plus rushing yard performance, his second in as many weeks.

The down-to-earth Morris lined up on the same field as Adrian Peterson, who is considered to be the pinnacle in their respective class, and the similarities between the two in terms of perseverance and versatility were there for all to see. Morris’ final rushing totals were his best of the season so far.

RG3 continued his resurgence with arguably his most complete performance of the season under center, as he went interception-free for only the second time in 2013 on his way to final figures of 281 passing yards and three touchdowns. This was only the second game in 2013 that Griffin has not turned the ball over in some capacity, as he showed glimpses of the form that made him the NFL Rookie of the Year in 2012.

The continuing success of Pierre Garcon goes hand-in-hand with that of his quarterback. The wide receiver followed up his season-best 172 receiving yard outing in Week 9 with another ton on Thursday night. Garcon led all receivers in the game with 119 yards and a touchdown, and was another in the famous burgundy attire with every reason to feel hard done to after playing his part on the evening.

Unless you happen to be the Denver Broncos, you will find that success comes with a considerable amount of balance between offense and defense. The Redskins’ defense ranked 30th in the NFL coming into Week 10, and their flaws were evident once more in their sixth defeat of the season on Thursday night.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has much to ponder after his troops allowed 30-plus points for the sixth time in nine games this season; their average of 31.6 points-allowed to the opposition is second only to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst in football. The harsh reality of the situation is that if you find yourselves just above the lowly Jaguars in any category, it is a major cause for concern.

The Redskins cannot put a decent run together and have followed up another win with a defeat as they have done with all three victories so far this season. Luckily for Mike Shanahan’s men, they are among three teams with similar problems in the NFC East. Their latest defeat, which handed the Minnesota Vikings only their second win of the season, further exposed their obvious weaknesses which are preventing this team from being a serious contender.

Chris Machin is a New York Giants correspondent at Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter, add him to your circles on Google or as a friend on Facebook

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