For Robert Griffin III, or RGIII because Federal law now mandates you must always refer to him as RGIII and only RGIII, and the Washington NFL team, the first three weeks have been a nightmare. An 0-3 start, and a horrific defense that got shredded by Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions yesterday. Stafford, who put up nearly four bills passing on them, isn’t the only one exploiting Washington’s D.
Last year’s NFC East champions have given up at least 27 points in every game this year. So cut some RGIII some slack, it’s not all his fault, and remember he doesn’t have control over the side of the ball.
Tom Jackson of ESPN: “Everybody has to pick up the slack when your star is injured. That’s what is happening to RGIIi now. How would he benefit if you had a solid run-game? He would be better protected … The football team is to blame. In particular, the defensive side of the ball which is putting so much pressure on him to have to do so much so early after this injury.”
Given the nature of the injury to RGIII, and what happened to the Vikings Adrian Peterson, it’s only natural to compare the two NFL franchise cornerstone players.
Jackson added: “Adrian Peterson, first six weeks – 499 yards … it took him six weeks to get right. Last 10 weeks, he was 1, 598 yards on the field. This dude needs to get right while he’s playing.”
Perhaps the time for RGIII and company to ‘get right’ is this week- they have lowly Oakland. The Raiders are considered to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. Then again, the Lions and Eagles are not exactly world-beaters, and Washington still couldn’t beat them. The New York Giants, also 0-3 and looking much worse than D.C. right now, would be the perfect team to have on the schedule right now. However, they don’t come calling until week 13 and week 17. This team will have to build confidence versus Oakland.
Mike Ditka: “Smells good, tastes bad. The only reason they were a good football team last year, excuse me, is RGIII. Now, he’s not playing the way he did last year, but the defense stinks.”
RGIII put up decent numbers versus the Lions yesterday, throwing for over 300, and completing over 60% of his passes. His numbers on the young season aren’t terrible, but they’re not All-Pro either: 5:4 TD:INT, 63% pct passing, 84.1 passer rating. And RGIII is averaging over four yards a carry on the ground.
Of course, the NFL punditocracy still questions whether he’s 100% healthy or not yet. And maybe they’re right.
ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson: “You can’t win football games in this league without a healthy quarterback. Until RGIII gets healthy or they find some solution for that position, they are going to struggle.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and FacebookPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks