- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The score for the musical “Spamalot” includes a catchy tune called Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. The men are lost deep in the forest. All hope appears to be gone. There has to be a little something good, right?

Of course.

So while humming the soundtrack to “Spamalot,” let’s dig through the rubble of the Redskins’ 0-3 start and find some bright sides. There has to be something, right?

RG3 is not taking unnecessary hits.

So what if he didn’t hold onto the ball as he face-planted at the end of a long run in the fourth quarter in the 27-20 loss to the Lions on Sunday? That he went down, on his own, is encouraging. He has a twice-repaired knee to protect and one of the themes of the offseason was whether RG3 could overcome his instincts and realize when it is time to go down.

Several times earlier in the game, he went out of bounds before taking a hit. That’s a good thing.

On the run in question, RG3 looked briefly like the RG3 of 2012 and not like the RG0-3 we’ve seen much of this season.

He recognized an opening and took off. The play started at midfield and RG3 picked up 21 yards. He realized the end was near and went down. The tumble was a little ungraceful and the ball came loose. Some of the Nationals need to head to Redskins Park and teach him a good, reliable feet-first slide.

The rules say you can’t stop the play going face-first. RG3 hadn’t been touched. He could have gotten up and continued running. Maybe the rules ought to allow for what RG3 did, but they don’t and you can’t change the rules in the fourth quarter of a game in the third week of the season.

The ball came out, the Lions recovered and they zipped down the field and tacked on a field goal.

But this isn’t about those negative types of things like fumbles and bad defense.

This is all about the bright side.

RG3 didn’t take an unnecessary hit.

Did you see the ball RG3 threw that Aldrick Robinson did not catch for a 57-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown?

Robinson thought he had a touchdown and so did the official on the scene. There was a brief celebration before realization set in that it probably was not going to stand.

Sure enough, the review correctly determined Robinson didn’t maintain control and the pass was therefore incomplete. Even Redskins coach Mike Shanahan agreed. Lions coach Jim Schwartz said he might have had a “conniption, whatever that is” had the original call stood. A quick check of Google shows a conniption is “a sudden fit of rage or hysterics,” and Schwartz would have been well within his rights to throw one. If you’re still holding to the thought that the original call was correct, you’re into the Skins a little too deep.

Robinson used his considerable speed and did a nice job getting a couple of steps behind the defense. RG3 hung in the pocket, recognized Robinson was streaking clear of the Lions and tossed a magnificient ball exactly where it needed to be.

It was pretty much a perfect pass that Robinson did not catch. Santana Moss would have caught it. Pierre Garcon would have caught it. Joshua Morgan would have caught it. We’re not so sure on Leonard Hankerson. We are sure Robinson did not catch it.

But, again, we’re bringing up way too many negatives and that’s not the point.

This is all about the bright side.

RG3 threw a brilliant deep pass.

Perhaps the biggest bright side is that of all the people who will be giving Redskins fans grief, none will be coming from fans of the New York Giants. That should be the Skins’ motto for the week: Hey, at least we’re not the Giants. New York is also 0-3 and is the only team in the NFL that has given up more points than Washington. The Giants have surrendered 115 points, the Skins 98. The Giants have scored just 54, the Redskins 67. While the Redskins were at least keeping it close in the loss to the Lions, the Giants were getting whipped 38-0 by the Carolina Panthers. The Carolina Panthers.

So keep that in mind as you mope all week. Things are very bad. They could be worse. You could be the Giants.

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