The Washington Redskins fell to 0-2 on Sunday, losing in alarming fashion to the Packers in Green Bay and creating far more questions than it answered.
On a positive note, Redskins coaches put their faith back in running back Alfred Morris and were rewarded with one of his best performances ever, rushing 13 times for 107 yards, a career high of 8.2 yard per clip.
He added two catches for 15 yards, giving him 15 touches and 120 yards from scrimmage.
Statistically speaking, quarterback Robert Griffin III also had a superb day, throwing 26-for-40 for 320 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
This was Griffin III's fifth career 300-yard passing day and the first time he passed for 300 yards in consecutive weeks, but the circumstances of the success were no cause for celebration.
“This is not an individual sport so we lost the game,” he said after the game. “Stats don’t matter. It’s just you’ve got to go win.”
But winning has been elusive for the Redskins out of the gate, as they have been outpaced 71-47 in the first two games, not scoring on offense before the waning minutes of the third quarter in either game.
No matter the team’s struggles on defense, Griffin III said the responsibility is his on offense.
“I’m not going to point the finger at anybody. If we’re not starting fast, then it’s my fault,” he said. “I’m not afraid to sit here and say put that on my shoulders. I’ll take that. We didn’t start fast because of me.”
But the struggles early on offense have been frequent and wide-ranging.
Drops, sacks, interceptions, fumbles and penalties have all played their role early, with the Redskins finding every pitfall possible.
Proving that the difference between success and failure in the NFL is minute, Griffin III said the reason the team is struggling right now is hard to identify.
“It’s really frustrating and I think there’s a clear difference between this week’s first half and last week’s first half,” Griffin III explained. “We hurt ourselves a lot with turnovers last week and this week it wasn’t necessarily turnovers [this week].
“Talking to the guys in the locker room, you can’t really put our finger on what it is, and that’s the really frustrating part. We know this isn’t who we are as a team, definitely these last two games.
“What we’ve shown is not acceptable to us.”
The Redskins will have a full week of preparation before hosting the Detroit Lions in a game that has quickly become a proverbial 'must-win.'
Griffin III believes the team can get back on track during practice this week, but they have to continue trusting one another and the coaching staff’s gameplan.
“You’ve got to trust your preparation. I think that we do that,” he said. “We trusted our preparation for the first game, it didn’t work. We trusted our preparation for the second game, it didn’t work. You can’t just totally jump ship. It’s not that time and I don’t think this team will ever do that.
“You’ve got to prepare the same way you do every week and I think the sense of urgency this week was higher than it was the first week. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t high the first week, but I think it was higher this week and I think it will increase even more.”
Some of the specific issues Griffin III cited were situational concentration and fundamental execution.
“I think we’ve had sloppy execution these first two games in general and we picked it up in the second half, and that’s a good sign. But you have to play that way the whole game,” Griffin III said. “We have to convert third downs of course, but aside from that we just have to make plays.
“It’s not on the coaches, it’s not on anybody else; it’s on us. I think the guys understand that and we’ll be better moving forward. We’ll figure this out.”
One of the hallmarks of Griffin III’s success last season was his ability to stay loose with teammates in the huddle while executing on offense.
With the Redskins experiencing a team-wide funk, Griffin III suggested he may have to change his huddle presence and be more of a stoic leader for his teammates.
“If the guys want me to go out there and be the stern leader, then I’m willing to do that,” he said. “I got that from some of my teammates on the sideline asking me to do some more things. Not necessarily change who I am as a person, but if they want me to be hard on them then I’ll be hard on them.
“I’m hard on my teammates. You want to be the best; you want to make the plays. When you start 0-2 it’s a little bit hard to go about that, but I think it’s what we need.
“If I’ve got to do a little bit more to clean up that sloppiness then I’ll definitely do it.”
No matter what happens out on the field, Griffin III understands that he is the captain of this ship and his teammates need more of him.
Standing in front of the media after the game, Griffin III made his vow to steer Redskins to safety.
“I’m responsible for that. I’m the quarterback, everyone’s going to look at me and that’s what I do,” he said. “You have to take that. You have to be willing to take that and we’ll be better, period.
“It’s all on me, and no matter what happens this next game, it will still be all on me. I will make it happen. We’ll figure out whatever it is we’re missing right now and we’ll make it happen.”