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Greg Cosell’s Look Ahead; Robert Griffin III starting to look like his old self

Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Going into this week's game against Oakland, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III should have more confidence.

In Week 3, Griffin looked far better than he had in his first two games off of ACL surgery, and the Redskins' passing game looked like it did in 2012.

Early in last Sunday's game against the Lions there were good signs. From the pistol formation, Griffin showed good burst on a read option run. Then on his first third down, he had a quick dash to the outside. It looked like the Redskins' normal offense for first time this season, both by design and improvisation with Griffin moving better and more often.

Griffin also was planting on his back foot (right leg) when he threw the ball, which was a clear improvement from the first two weeks.

Overall, I think the Redskins need to get back to running the ball. To me, RG3 is a fascinating guy to watch this year and the near future, because he can throw the ball extremely well but I wouldn’t call him an accomplished pocket passer at this point. They’ll have to keep developing him in that regard.

The Redskins didn't have a good run-pass balance against Detroit, and that surprised me because the game was close throughout. I’ll be interested to see what they do this week against Oakland. I think they’ll run the ball more. Alfred Morris has looked very, very good this season but he hasn’t had enough carries.

Play of the week

Eli Manning has eight interceptions going into this week's game against Kansas City, and in the third quarter last week Panthers baited him into one.

Carolina had been running "man under, two deep" defense most of the game against the Giants. Then they used "cover two trap" to fool Manning. Cornerback Melvin White made it look like man coverage at the snap, which he had been playing most of the game, then peeled back into a zone coverage.

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Manning threw to slot receiver Victor Cruz as if Carolina was in man coverage, but White was there for the interception. I guarantee Manning didn’t expect that, or he wouldn’t have thrown the ball.

Offensive wrinkles for Cowboys and Chargers

The Cowboys ran the ball well and often last week against St. Louis, and I think that’s the way they want to play. They brought offensive coordinator Bill Callahan in for a reason. They were balanced – and their big lead allowed them to be – and they were more diverse with their run game. I thought their offensive line played extremely well, and that’s a good Rams defensive line they went against. In the passing game, Dallas has three tight ends they can mix and match. Jason Witten is Jason Witten. James Hanna is very athletic, like a big wideout. And Gavin Escobar to me is similar to Jimmy Graham in size and movement. I would not say Escobar is Graham, but they're similar type players.

Dallas' opponent this week, San Diego, has a different offense under Mike McCoy. There are quicker drops for Philip Rivers, he's getting the ball out faster, and he's doing more pre-snap adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Last year, he played like he expected to get hit every time he dropped back. In this new offense, Rivers has played three excellent games so far this season.

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