Wednesday, October 16, 2013
QB Watch: Redskins' Robert Griffin III
By John Keim
A weekly examination of the Redskins’ quarterback play.
Rewind: Robert Griffin III continues to show more of his old self in the running game, carrying the ball nine times for 77 yards against Dallas. He did make one bad decision on the zone read, keeping the ball around the end and losing a couple of yards when a handoff looked like the stronger choice. But overall he looked spry. He even showed, as he has in other games this season, that he’ll keep his eyes downfield as he moves up in the pocket. He did not do this often enough last season; it’s leading to gains and fewer hits on Griffin. But his throwing was mostly bad versus Dallas. Griffin too often sailed his throws and missed open targets. He did not always throw with anticipation, so the Cowboys' tight man coverage had a better chance to win. There were missed opportunities in the passing game. And Griffin needs to be more careful with the ball when he starts scrambling in the pocket. The ball was poked free in one such case.
Fast-forward: Chicago’s pass defense ranks 23rd in the NFL and has had some problems, starting with the inability to pressure the passer. The Bears' defensive tackles have been banged up, and their defensive ends, Julius Peppers and Shea McClellin, have rarely made quarterbacks uncomfortable. Chicago has allowed 29 pass plays of 20 yards or more, second in the NFL.
First-half troubles: Griffin continues to have issues in the opening two quarters. In the first five games, he has thrown no touchdown passes and three interceptions in the first half. His passer rating in the first half of games is 58.86. Last season, his first-half passer rating was 113.4.
Prediction: Like everyone else, I keep waiting for Griffin to have “that game,” one that puts him back on track. I thought he was going to have that against Dallas, although I felt it would stem from the Redskins' ability to run, setting him up for play-action looks. Griffin’s running ability will help create more opportunities, but he remains an inconsistent passer. I do think he’ll have success with Jordan Reed. I also think the Bears will put up points, forcing Washington to keep pace. Griffin will throw for 250 yards and run for 50.