COMMENTARY | The 2013 Washington Redskins have finally won a football game.
Here are five lessons learned from the Redskins' thrilling Week 4 comeback victory over the Raiders.
Slowly but surely, Robert Griffin III is coming around
Operation Patience is finally starting to pay dividends for Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
RG3 played efficiently and effectively as he completed 18 of his 31 passing attempts for 227 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Griffin's Week 4 effort was his most complete performance of the season as he appeared comfortable inside and outside of the pocket for the majority of the contest.
After suffering from the expected roller coaster of ups and downs associated with coming back from a torn ACL during the team's first three games, Griffin's most recent showing consisted of a lot more positives than negatives for a change.
With the team somehow still in prime position to contend for the NFC East division title, it's imperative that RG3 builds upon this solid performance as the season moves forward.
Roy Helu Jr. needs more touches
An injury to starting running back Alfred Morris provided Roy Helu Jr. with an opportunity to step up and he did anything but disappoint.
Totaling 84 yards combined rushing and receiving while also scoring a touchdown, Helu's playmaking abilities played a pivotal role in the Redskins' first win of the season.
Even when Morris gets healthy, Helu deserves his share of opportunities running and catching the football. His speed provides the offense with an added dimension and he's more than capable of serving as a viable change-of-pace back while giving Morris a breather.
Getting Helu the football on a more frequent basis should be one of the offense's top priorities in the weeks to come.
Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan can be a deadly pass-rushing duo
Orakpo and Kerrigan provided several glimpses of their scary potential to wreak havoc on the helpless opposition against the Raiders.
Stepping up with two sacks each, Orapko and Kerrigan were defensive playmaking forces as they combined to make life miserable for quarterback Matt Flynn and the rest of the Raiders' offense.
For the Redskins' much-maligned defense to continue to improve, Orapko's athletic ability and Kerrigan's non-stop motor must continue to serve as abundant sources of difference-making plays.
David Amerson's redemption
After suffering from the numerous struggles associated with on-the-job training as a rookie NFL cornerback, David Amerson is finally starting to make plays instead of giving them up . Amerson's 45-yard interception return for a touchdown was a turning point in the Redskins' comeback victory over the Raiders.
After getting beat constantly by Green Bay receiver James Jones in the Redskins' Week 2 loss to the Packers, Amerson has stepped up with solid play. His growing pains have given way to signs of the potential that earned him the distinction as the team's second-round selection in last April's NFL draft.
Unlike fellow rookie defensive back Bacarri Rambo, Amerson is starting to prove that he belongs in the NFL.
Pierre Garcon is becoming one of the game's best receivers
Garcon delivered another stellar performance in Week 4, catching 6 passes for 59 yards while being the recipient of RG3's go-ahead touchdown pass in the third quarter.
With 29 receptions for 339 yards through the season's first four games, Garcon is poised to eclipse his career highs in both statistical categories; he totaled 70 catches for 947 yards in 2011 as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
After playing in Reggie Wayne's shadow as a Colt during his formative years, Garcon has become the Redskins' undisputed No. 1 receiving threat in his sixth NFL season. The sky's certainly the limit for Garcon as he continues to emerge as one of the league's best wide receivers.
Drexel Perry's a freelance writer who recently moved back to the Washington D.C. area. For additional football talk, follow him on Twitter @DrexelPerry.
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