Wednesday, October 23, 2013
QB Watch: Redskins' Robert Griffin III
By John Keim
A weekly analysis of the Washington Redskins’ quarterback play.
Rewind: Robert Griffin III was not perfect with his passes and, yes, he was intercepted once and got away with a decision to throw deep to Aldrick Robinson, who was double-covered when another receiver was wide-open. But life worked out for Griffin. People seem to think he was always perfect last year. He wasn’t. He missed numerous open receivers and made life tough on himself at times. But Griffin had a massive impact on the game because of his legs and, yes, his arm. Just like last year. And the trickle-down impact on his teammates is tremendous. He consistently found tight end Jordan Reed, throwing a nice fade to him for a touchdown. And Griffin’s ability to elude the rush on a third-and-5 pass late in the game to Pierre Garcon led to the winning touchdown. Griffin has a ways to go to be an accomplished passer, but he showed Sunday that he is, once again, a dynamic threat.
Fast-forward: Denver’s defense has struggled and will be without corner Champ Bailey, which clearly will not help the coverage. The Broncos are susceptible on passes down the middle, which is where Griffin typically throws the best, particularly to tight end Jordan Reed. Griffin targeted Reed nine times versus the Bears; the rookie caught them all.
Zone-read runs: Griffin rushed for a season-best 70 yards on zone-read options Sunday, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Redskins gained only 79 total, as Chicago focused heavily on stopping running back Alfred Morris. Before Sunday, Griffin had rushed for only 41 yards on zone-read plays.
Prediction: In the past three games, Griffin has continued to restore the dynamic elements to his game, particularly in the past two against Dallas and Chicago. This will continue, though if Denver pays better attention to Griffin on the zone-read runs, Morris could have a big game. Griffin will throw an interception -- teams have a decent read on what he does as a passer. But Griffin will still accumulate 300 yards of total offense.