Although the Washington Redskins will tell you there were no moral victories Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, the play of the offense and the resurgence of the running game will certainly give the team something the build off of.
While they were on the wrong end of a 29-26 final score against the Vikings on Sunday afternoon, the Redskins' offense, thanks in part to the return of quarterback Robert Griffin III, was able to get things rolling in their rushing attack, which had seen a dip in production in recent weeks as the team went for a more pass-heavy approach.
Totaling 122 yards on the ground, Alfred Morris led the way with a season-high 92 yards of his own, while Griffin III added 24 yards rushing.
"We were a little more successful today on the ground, scored some touchdowns," Morris said.
In the second quarter with the Redskins up a field goal, Morris scampered off the right edge of the Redskins' offensive line and broke several tackles on his way to a 14-yard touchdown run, putting the Redskins up 10-0.
Later in the game with the Redskins trailing 20-21 with just over nine minutes remaining in the game, they once again relied on the third-year running back to give them the advantage.
Handing Morris the ball from two yards out, the Florida Atlanta product put his head down and found the endzone for the second time.
It was the second time this year that Morris has reached the end zone twice in a game, the only other time being against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2.
As the Redskins ground game got rumbling again, Morris doesn't believe that it was a coincidence it happened on the same game that Griffin III returned to action.
"Especially having Robert back in there – who can run – you throw that back into the mix and teams have to scheme for it," he said. "If not, he can make them pay and that definitely opens up lanes for running backs."
Prior to the game, Griffin III said that he would lean on his supporting cast to make him better as he tried to shake off the rust after not playing since Week 2 with a dislocated left ankle. After the game, he talked about the luxury of having playmakers around him that contribute to the overall success of the offense, including Morris.
"It felt good to be able to come out and get the ball in Pierre's hands and DJac's and Dre and Jordan Reed," he said. "And Alfred got rolling there, so that was special."
While Griffin III admitted after the game that there are no moral victories, the Redskins did effectively move the football, adding 225 yards through the air for 347 total yards and 21 first downs.
"I thought we played okay on offense," Griffin III said. "We weren't great like we know we can be, so we can continue to build."
Now in their bye week, players will get several days off before coming back to work to prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With that time off, Morris said he'll be refreshing, recuperating and getting prepared for what he hopes can be a memorable run the second half of the season.
"There's still a lot of hope," he said. "I'd much rather be having, like you said, go in the bye week with a win. We didn't get it done, but there's still a lot of games and a lot to be played for."