Robert Griffin III continued his maturation process in the NFL last Sunday, throwing for 221 yards with 85 yards rushing and two touchdowns (one rushing one throwing). But with all those impressive numbers, the most decisive one, he was not able to achieve for the second consecutive week. Griffin was electrifying at times during the Redskins loss to the Bengals 38-31, but he was relied on too much by its dismal defense to win the game by himself. As well, Griffin could not stay in the pocket and was hurried throughout the game by Bengal defenders. In all, RG3 was sacked a total of six times and the hits kept coming.
That should now be Mike Shanahan’s number one concern on the offensive side of the ball. Griffin’s flash and special skill set creates problems for every defensive team in the league, but the problem with his style of play is it will only be a matter of time until its too much. The similarities between a veteran like Michael Vick and Griffin are as accurate as can be, which is why it cannot be a shock that if the Redskins continue to play Griffin in such a way that he will eventually get hurt. That’s not to say that Griffin is Michael Vick. His on field intelligence as a passer may be more equipped than Vick, but teams aren’t intimidated by his presence in the pocket. To go along with that fact that the Redskins offense is being told by its defense that it will have to muster thirty plus points a game Griffin’s reliance by its team is far too high.
That first week victory of the New Orleans Saints does not look so impressive anymore either. Sitting at 1-2 and relying on a rookie quarterback to will the team down the field and win each game is a recipe for disaster. With Griffin, the Redskins will remain competitive, but just think of what this team would be without him. Their defense has lost Brian Orakpo for the year and has yielded more than thirty points in every one of their games.
Beside the point, if Mike Shanahan expects his quarterback to be a do everything all-purpose type of athlete he must have him protected. Griffin was knocked to the ground 28 times in the loss Sunday. It’s a lot easier said than done though considering that the reason for an excessive amount of hits is because Griffin is constantly moving and evading the pocket. Right now all we can do as viewers is watch and hope each hit is only a minor blow, because one vicious blow to the ribs could mean the season. It’s a high-risk high-reward type of situation and it’s still too early to question whether Griffin is scrambling too much, but it is a concern. A very, very big concern.