Montgomery climbed to block MLB Curtis Lofton on third-and-1 on the Redskins‘ first touchdown drive, and Morris gained four yards. He got to Lofton again on the stretch run on the last play of the third quarter on which Morris gained 11.
RB ALFRED MORRIS:Morris had to bang and grind his way to 96 yards in his NFL debut because clean running lanes were rare. What that indicates about the Redskins‘ and Saints‘ lines, we won’t know until we can compare performances in other games. But 20 of Morris‘ 28 carries went for 3 yards or less, and that’s not particularly good.
I suspect Morris wishes he was more patient at times and even regrets some of the cutback lanes he chose. However, he made some defenders miss, sometimes with speed that surprised me. On his 18-yard run, he bounced it to the outside after running into LT Trent Williams‘ back, and he outran FS Malcolm Jenkins to the edge. On a 10-yard draw early in the fourth quarter, he juked a defensive back on the second level.
Morris was physical, which we’ve gotten used to seeing early in his career. On his second touchdown, he kept his shoulders square and — body-lean alert — churned through LB David Hawthorne. Morris even used his off hand, his right in this instance, to help shed Hawthorne and surge across the goal line.
WR PIERRE GARCON:Garcon’s ability to gain yards after the catch was one of the traits that most attracted the Redskins‘ coaching staff during free agency, and he came through with 72 yards after the catch on his 88-yard touchdown. Garcon exploited SS Roman Harper’s poor angle and then made sure CB Patrick Robinson, who was covering WR Joshua Morgan on the play, didn’t catch him from behind.
Garcon set up LT Trent Williams for a block with a jab step inside on the 12-yard gain he had on an opening-drive screen pass. It was reminiscent of how he set up Williams on the screen pass for a touchdown against Buffalo in the preseason.
As Garcon works his way back from the right foot injury that sidelined him for most of the game, let’s note that he and WR Aldrick Robinson combined for 161 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets. That shows the potential of the X receiver in this scheme.
K BILLY CUNDIFF: He was perfect on four field goals, including kicks from 41 and 45 yards. After missing from beyond 40 in his preseason debut with the Redskins, he needed a strong game.
RT TYLER POLUMBUS: Each lineman had difficulty in the run game at times, but Polumbus struggled the most. DE Cameron Jordan troubled him throughout the game. Jordan’s strength was overpowering at times, and Polumbus’ hand placement was an issue. Polumbus sometimes failed to finish blocks when he had Jordan engaged. Several times Polumbus’ defender shed his block or peeled off to make the tackle. He was too slow in getting to LB David Hawthorne on one second-half run, and Hawthorne tackled RB Alfred Morris for a loss of 1.
Polumbus missed blocking a defensive back in space on a designed sprint around the right edge by QB Robert Griffin III on a third-and-6. Polumbus, at 6-8, 305, doesn’t excel in space as well as some of the Redskins‘ other linemen do, so asking him to kick-out lead for Griffin might not be putting him in the best position to succeed.
Polumbus was fine in pass protection, and so was the line, as a whole. On RB Roy Helu Jr.’s 21-yard reception in the left flat, Polumbus moved his feet well and kept his chest squared to DE Junior Galette when Galette tried a spin move inside, and then Polumbus kicked out to block Jordan stunting around the outside.
The bootleg pass was designed for FB Darrel Young, who, out of the I-formation, faked left as a lead blocker before changing direction and releasing to the right flat. Young, however, was impeded by DE Cameron Jordan, who cut Young off on the way to the quarterback. Robert Griffin III moved off of Young and onto WR Aldrick Robinson, who ran a go route against what he diagnosed was Cover-2 on his side of the field. When Robinson made a play on the ball, S Roman Harper held his arm just enough to earn a pass interference penalty.