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Offense Cooking With 'Recipe For Winning'

Posted Nov 28, 2012

After a mid-season slump, the Redskins offense is on a roll with nine touchdowns in the last two games. Can they keep things rolling against the Giants?

The Redskins' Week 7 loss to the Giants on the road kicked off a three-game tailspin that nearly ended the team's season prematurely.

After bouncing back with consecutive division wins in which the offense averaged 34.5 points, the Redskins are ready to carry that momentum into a Giants' rematch on Monday Night Football.

"We've been able to hit the big plays more so than we were earlier in the year," quarterback Robert Griffin III said after a Thanksgiving Day victory. "You get more comfortable with the system, more comfortable with the guys around you and trusting the guys around you whether it’s offensive line, the running backs or the receivers."

Griffin III set three franchise marks last Thursday, including the single-season passing yards by a rookie (Norm Snead’s 2,337 in 1961) and passing touchdowns by a rookie (Eddie LeBaron’s 14 in 1952).

He also became the first quarterback in eight decades of Redskins' football to pass for four touchdowns in consecutive games. For the season, Griffin III is now 206-for-305 (67.5 percent) for 2,504 yards with 16 touchdowns.

"Everybody’s clicking at this point and we’re clicking at the right time," he said.  "This is what we have to do. Every game is important. Every game could be like the last game of our season."

Two of the biggest areas of improvement through the first 11 games are improving on third-down conversions and red zone efficiency.

After missing on the first third-down opportunity against the Cowboys, the Redskins' offense converted six-of-12 for the rest of the game.

"Every team has tried to play us different on third down, which can make it difficult," Griffin III said after the game. "Once you figure out what they are doing to you, you run the plays to attack those coverages. You just get to the guys that are open and trust that they will make the play instead of trying to make the play on your own.

"Early in the game on our first third [down], I made the mistake of not getting to my check downs. I made sure I didn’t make those mistakes the rest of the game."

Center Will Montgomery is pleased with the team's production in the red zone the last two weeks (four touchdowns, seven trips), an area where the team struggled against the Giants in Week 7 (zero touchdowns, two trips).

"This is the recipe for winning: scoring in the red zone," he explained.  "As you can see, we would settle for field goals earlier [this season] and would lose. We were working on it and this is something that we need to do to win."

Part of that success can be attributed to a plethora of weapons in the passing game. Griffin III has spread the ball to 15 different receivers this season, including seven different targets for touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter of last Thurdsday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, tight end Niles Paul became the latest Redskin to score his first career touchdown this year, the sixth player this season.

"We practiced it, I sold it and was very patient and it was just wide open," he said with a grin. "It's an awesome feeling. We're in Dallas--our enemies, our rivals. To score a touchdown in this game feels so good."

Paul discussed the difficulty in resting up physically for a game on a short week. With 10 days between Thanksgiving and Monday Night Football, the Redskins are tasked with keeping their mental edge and focus.

"We just ride the momentum until we play the Giants," Paul said. "We've got a little momentum going; two-game winning streak right now. We need to just keep playing, and keep playing at the level that we've been playing at."

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