By Kevin Ross II
With the NFL being the ultimate roller coaster ride, its passengers must learn to not judge every dip and dive. But to save judgement until the seat belts are unbuckled.
This concept seems tough for the average fan or media member to grasp. Just two weeks ago Robert Griffin III took passengers on a spectacular ride as the Redskins won a shootout with Chicago. Following the win Griffin was deemed back and better than ever. But then the ride took a turn for the worst as the Broncos derailed RG3.
Now they question if Griffin has the makeup to be a franchise quarterback. And some raise the question on whether Griffin can be considered a draft day bust. Unfortunately, we live in a day-and-age where Peter King represents only 1-of-70 million Monday morning quarterbacks, and most are quick to make vast judgements based on very tiny sample sizes.
The tone of the city following the loss to Denver, points to Griffin being historically bad. But if you take a step back, and compare Griffin statistically to what other quarterbacks have done recovering from the same injury, you’ll see that Robert is not too far off of the pace.
Tom Brady was lost for the season in 2008 due to a torn ACL. If you take a look at his first seven games back, he threw for 2,032 yards, and completed 66 percent of his passes. In comparison, Griffin has thrown for only 154 less yards than Brady, while completing about 59 percent of his passes.
Griffin’s production is sub par to Brady’s, but Griffin is also a second year player, while Brady had seven years of starting quarterback experience under his belt, as he played his first season after the injury. Meaning, Griffin is right where he should be after recovering from such a gruesome injury.
With that, I caution fans of the Washington Bravehearts, to not make judgements with a nearsighted mindset, and to be cognizant of the big picture. Although things aren’t pretty, Griffin is developing as a pocket passer. And if he can produce average numbers with this offensive line, imagine Griffin’s potential with Tom Brady like protection.
And for Griffin’s sake, hopefully that Tom Brady-like protection shows up this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers or he’s due for another long day.
The Chargers will enter FedEx field riding a two-game winning streak, and fully rested following their bye week. The super Chargers seemed to have regained form from previous seasons, as their big three of Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, and Ryan Mathews are all having career years.
Rivers is leading the NFL in completion percentage, as he is connecting on 73.9 percent of his passes. Antonio Gates, at the age of 33 is finally healthy and is back to being an elite tight end. Gates leads the Chargers in receptions with 42 and that ranks second in the NFL amongst tight ends. And if you try to stop the Chargers air attack, they have proved this season that they can cut you up with the run.
The Chargers are coming off of back-to-back rushing games of over 100 yards, and Ryan Mathews has emerged as a focal point of their offense. San Diego has done an excellent job of changing pace in the backfield by inserting Danny Woodhead on passing downs. Woodhead has been a solid addition to the Chargers, and is second amongst NFL running backs with 40 receptions.
The Chargers boast a dynamic offense with a plethora of playmakers. Washington must score points, and the offense must show up on Sunday.
Griffin’s play has been unpredictable this season, but whether it’s good or bad, I challenge the fan base to see the big picture and withhold judgement, for now.
For more Redskins news and updates, visit Redskins Central.
Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.