- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 21, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants had few answers for Washington’s rushing game Sunday. Sprinkle in some variety with Robert Griffin III and add a heavy dose of Alfred Morris, and the Redskins racked up 248 yards.

“Having a dual-threat quarterback back in the backfield definitely helps me. They can’t just key on me alone,” Morris said. “So it’s definitely a perfect marriage between both of us. We continue to perform good from the backfield … it can make it tough on defenses to stop us.”

But after the 27-23 loss, that rushing performance was secondary to a couple of fumbles lost by the rookies. And even though Morris’ first of his NFL career didn’t lead to New York points, it stuck out as what the rookie will take from this game.

“I fumbled,” Morris said. “If I have anything to do about it, I’d never fumble again.”

Morris, who ran for a career-best 120 yards on 22 carries, lost his first fumble on his 132nd carry. Soon after he lost control, the lesson from fullback Darrel Young was simple.

“I came to him on the sideline and I said, ‘It’s got to happen sometime. You’re still doing great,’” Young said. “No one says anything when Chris Johnson ran for 2,000 yards when he fumbled. It’s the game we live.”

Morris explained that, when he coughed the ball up in Giants territory in the third quarter, he failed to secure it before trying to make a move. It’s not a mistake he wants to repeat.

“It definitely does sting. I hate fumbling,” he said. “That’s like my biggest pet peeve as a running back: fumbling and [getting] my quarterback hit. I definitely was upset about that, but I’m going to do everything in my power not to have it happen again.”

Fumbles from Morris and Griffin aside, they found numerous holes in the defense and opened up space for the passing attack. The Redskins are averaging 177.7 rushing yards a game.

“The way Alfred runs, the way RG3 makes plays, I’m not surprised at all about the running game,” Young said. “We got some talent on this team. We’ve got a lot of guys that can run.”

Fletcher hurts hamstring

London Fletcher was forced out of the game in the third quarter when he felt something pull in his right hamstring. The middle linebacker and defensive captain did not return.

“I wanted to go out there in two-minute [defense], but I couldn’t go out there and be me and play the way I was capable of playing or risk further injuring it or also put our team at a disadvantage because I couldn’t go,” Fletcher said.

Coach Mike Shanahan described Fletcher’s injury as a “slight hamstring strain,” but Fletcher was far from upbeat about it after the game. He has played in 231 consecutive games, tied for an active NFL record with Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Ronde Barber.

“We’ll see how things go; we’ll see how I feel tomorrow and the rest of the week,” Fletcher said. “It’s a long way to Sunday. I’ll get treatment, do everything I can to get back on the field.”

Williams decries ‘B.S.’ penalty

A third-quarter penalty on right tackle Tyler Polumbus for a leg whip left one of his teammates upset with the referees. The penalty sliced Morris’ 15-yard run into a 2-yard gain, and Morris fumbled on the next play.

“It was total B.S., but that’s what we’ve got to play with,” left tackle Trent Williams said. “The refs aren’t perfect. We kind of beat ourselves, in a sense.”

Williams hesitated before delivering the last three words, as if he didn’t really believe them.

Mike Pereira, the Fox analyst and former NFL vice president of officiating, tweeted his belief the call was correct.

Forbath confident

Kai Forbath insisted he wanted to stay around a long time even given the Redskins’ recent revolving door of kickers. Through two games, he has shown few signs to the contrary.

Despite being short on a couple of kickoffs, Forbath went 3 for 3 on field goal attempts Sunday, making from 20, 43 and 45 yards. He looked confident on every one.

“That’s the only way to make them. When you start thinking about misses, that’s when you’re going to miss,” Forbath said. “I tell myself before every kick, ‘I’ve made this kick a thousand times. There’s no difference in doing them out there than it is in practice.’ “

• Nathan Fenno can be reached at nfenno@washingtontimes.com.

• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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