- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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In the past two seasons, Robinson has caught touchdown passes in four games and the Redskins have won them all. He added another Sunday, a 45-yard grab early in the fourth quarter of a 45-41 win against the Chicago Bears.
When the Redskins are running the ball well, and can hurt teams with play-action throws, it sets up nicely for Robinson’s deep speed. Look at the games he’s caught a touchdown pass: Against New Orleans in the 2012 opener (40 points); against Philadelphia and Dallas in Weeks 11 and 12 last season (31 and 38 points, respectively) and again Sunday. There was a dropped pass in the end zone against Detroit, the difference between a 20-point game (and loss) and forcing overtime with 27 points.
“Since that game I’ve been waiting to get my chance and I got a couple chances and I made a couple good plays,” Robinson said.
Yes he did. He ran an underneath cross, sprinting away from Charles Tillman from the start en route to a 30-yard gain.
“He was trailing the whole time and couldn’t keep up with me,” Robinson said.
But Robinson is a one-dimensional target and that’s the problem. The reason why Tillman broke off him in the opening quarter for an interception? Because he knew Robinson was serving as a decoy on the play and surprised the Redskins, and quarterback Robert Griffin III in particular. Later in the game, Tillman broke coverage again, only this time it was because he saw the route being run by Robinson. Thing is, Robinson was not the primary target on the play; Josh Morgan was -- and he was open. But Griffin saw a mismatch with Robinson and the safety and Tillman responded in a way he didn’t expect (though if Morgan was the No. 1 read, then perhaps that is what the coaches anticipated). It was not a good decision; it worked out.
But for Robinson to become a more consistent part of the offense, he needs to show he can be more than a decoy and occasional deep weapon. Some of that stems because he’s still getting used to running routes at the right speed and depth. It hasn’t been difficult to break up slant passes to him, for example.
However, when the offense is clicking like it was Sunday then Robinson can help with a big play. He's not about to bump Pierre Garcon from his starting job, but Robinson must be capable of more so it's not so easy to tell when he's a decoy or the target.
When Aldrick Robinson scores a touchdown, the Washington Redskins win. It’s a coincidence, sure, but it’s also an indication the offense is playing well.