Step aside, RG3, Alfred Morris is in the building. QB Robert Griffin III isn’t the only rookie sensation getting recognition for a break-out performance this season. RB Alfred Morris has proved he has the potential to be a top contender among the NFL’s running backs. With his athletic ability and his competitive upbringing, Morris’s humble attitude has caused him to neglect any individual accolades and focus on what’s important: winning!
Following last Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Morris tallied a career best 135 yards, including 115 rushing yards. Following the game, he made a statement that wasn’t expected after his stellar performance, “I really don’t care for individual accolades. We didn’t win today, so nothing I did really matters.” Although, he’s still proud of his accomplishment and the fact that after just five games, he ranks fourth in the league with 491 rushing yards and is tied for second in the NFL with four rushing touchdowns, he continues to remain humble.
Offensively, Morris has made an immediate impact on the team and after being drafted in the 6th round as the 12th running back overall, I don’t think anyone expected him to be one of the top players on this team. Especially after the strong performances last year by running backs Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr., Morris was unsure if he would even make the final cut. However, Coach Mike Shanahan has always had a knack for finding successful players who were free agents or late round picks. Morris says he is thankful to be drafted by Coach Shanahan and made it clear that the Redskins were his dream team and has proved the underdog can come out on top. I believe I can speak for all Redskins fans when I say we’re thankful Coach Shanahan drafted him, as well.
In other news, the Redskins have continued to remain busy this week with the release of veteran K Billy Cundiff and signing of free agent K Kai Forbath, as well as, LB Mario Addison from the Indianapolis Colts practice squad. The signing of Forbath came as no surprise as, yet again, Cundiff missed another set of field goals in Sundays loss after missing three of four field goals the previous Sunday vs. Tampa Bay. However, he nailed the game winning field goal against the Buccaneers, which had potentially saved his job. Unfortunately, his job was short lived after Sunday’s loss.
Forbath previously signed as a college free agent with rivals the Dallas Cowboys where he spent the season on injury reserve before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he went 5/5 in the preseason before being released in late August. He still holds the NCAA record for most games with two or more field goals and is tied for the record for most games with at least three field goals made. The All-American product from UCLA claims his strongest quality is his accuracy and his ability to kick from long distances. If he’s as impressive as his resume says, I think the Redskins have finally acquired a consistent kicker.
With RG3 coming off a concussion and finally able to go full-speed at practice, it’s evident the biggest concern right now is keeping him healthy. As of now, he is expected to start Sunday; however, Coach Shanahan has stated confidence in both his backups in Rex Grossman and Kirk Cousins. Cousins came into the game last Sunday in relief of Griffin III and threw for 111 yards with one TD pass and two INT. Despite the interceptions, Cousins is a solid backup which is why the Redskins chose to draft him even after acquiring Griffin III.
Upon entering Sunday’s game, the Redskins face several challenges in order to defeat the 4-1 Minnesota Vikings who have won two of the last three match-ups with the Skins. With the uncertainty of Griffin III’s return, his absence may cause chaos amongst the offense, whereas the play book revolves around him as a player. Offensively, the Redskins need to stop the pass rush up the center, seeing that the Vikings have one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. It’s also safe to say that RB Adrian Peterson is their work horse and plays a major key role in the Vikings offense. Defensive Coordinator, Jim Haslett has expressed the importance of stopping their run game. If they can hold Peterson, they can get the win. Finally, can we please convert on third downs? Last week’s inexcusable one for nine attempts on third down inevitably costs us the game. Expect better play calling and better execution this week.
For those of you sitting at home and watching the game, I’ll be in the stands at FedEx Field cheering on the boys in burgundy and gold continuing to do my nervous dance and hoping for win number three on the season. Hail!