A weekly analysis of the Washington Redskins' quarterback play:
Rewind: Robert Griffin III played one of his worst games since coming to Washington, completing just 15 of 30 passes for 132 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. There were times Griffin was hurt by his receivers dropping passes and not getting open. Other times, the protection broke down, though it was better than people realized; many of the hits occurred not because the blocking was bad but the ball was held too long (for a variety of reasons). Denver took away Griffin’s zone-read runs. The Broncos used more 3-4 looks than they had all season, and the athleticism and discipline at outside linebacker prevented Griffin from getting outside. Griffin left the game late in the fourth quarter with a knee injury, but it was not severe and he could have returned had the outcome been in doubt.
Fast-forward: San Diego’s defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in the past 11 quarters (four of those against the Indianapolis Colts) and it has recorded 14 sacks in its past four games. But the secondary has struggled, with only two interceptions and 27 pass plays for 20 or more yards, the fourth-worst total in the NFL.
Downfield struggles: Griffin excelled on passes 15 or more yards downfield last season, ranking first in the NFL in Total QBR at 99.8, according to ESPN Stats & Information. This year he’s last in the NFL at 8.5. Part of that stems from an inability to maneuver defenses around courtesy of the play-action pass, like he could more often last year. But it also could stem from missing an offseason of work and still trying to find his rhythm.
Prediction: Griffin recovers with a better day than he had against Denver, but the Chargers have a solid defense, so we’re putting Griffin down for 200 yards passing and another 60 rushing the ball.