Jan 6, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon (88) is introduced before NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The Redskins have been known to make ridiculous statements over the last decade, if not more. Anywhere from guaranteed playoffs, to certain mediocre players being the best the NFL will ever seen.
That apparently hasn’t changed under Mike Shanahan, who had the luxury of wide receiver Pierre Garcon claiming that this offense could be the best the NFL has ever seen. Assuming a bunch of tiny, small, very important things go their way.
"“We have a lot of great players on our team to help us be one of the best ever – it’s the potential to be the best. I think every offense for every team lining up this year [thinks], ‘We could be the best ever.”"
While that’s a huge statement for someone to make, could he be correct?
The San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins all run one unique offense in the NFL that has proven so far it can work. All three of these teams, first year in that system made the playoffs for the first time with their QB’s.
Washington fell to a Seattle team due to an injured Robert Griffin III, who if healthy, you assume would have been able to finish off the Seahawks, as they took a 14-0 lead early, and didn’t give it up until roughly seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
December 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs after scoring a touchdown at the Washington Redskins game against Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Griffin III, while missing one game, and being extremely limited during the remaining two games, still managed to throw for more yards (3,200) than both Kaepernick (1,849) and Wilson (3,118), all season long. Kaepernick didn’t officially start until Week 6, but saw playing time in two games prior.
He (Griffin) also led the Redskins on a 7-0 winning streak to make the playoffs, had better completion percentages, among the numerous other stats which shattered rookie records. The only category Griffin did not win on, was touchdowns thrown, where he threw for six less than Wilson (26).
The one important note, is that Robert Griffin III had two of his biggest wide receivers limited the majority of the season. Joshua Morgan who was expected to be full-go, was instead still limited due to his injured leg, which he pins taken out of at the end of the season. Pierre Garcon missed six games, while being put on the field as a decoy during three games, and not being 100% until the New York Giants game Week 13.
One of the biggest missing pieces was Fred Davis, the approaching elite-level tight end who tore his Achilles. A tight end is a rookie quarterbacks ideal target during their first season in the NFL, but he was left with a struggling Niles Paul, and Logan Paulsen, who is better suited for blocking than receiving.
Every team has to deal with injuries and struggles, but Robert Griffin III and the Redskins had a lot more placed on their plate than the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks did. Yet somehow they managed to come together, win seven games in a row, and make the playoffs for the first time since 2007, not to mention winning the division for the first time since 1999.
Could Washington have one of the best offenses today? Absolutely. The only question is whether or not this Redskins team is different from the teams of old. Who instead of going out on the field and performing each week to ensure this happens, sit around and believe they’re better than everyone and have 4-12 seasons.