Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III is playing at a high level. He has rejuvenated a Redskins’ franchise in desperate need of excitement. His pocket presence, as well as his strong right throwing and quick feet, have transformed Washington’s offense into a prolific unit. That couldn’t be said of the 2011 Washington Redskins, led by quarterbacks Rex Grossman and John Beck.
Lost in the excitement of Griffin III’s play is the fact that he is currently the NFL’s third rated passer. That rating is supported mostly in part by my favorite statistic: despite his run and gun style of play that entails a lot of risk, Griffin III has turned the ball over only three times in six games (two interceptions, one fumble lost). That is a testament to him making good decisions with the football. Griffin III is playing at a level that transcends his rookie status.
But is he playing at a level that warrants consideration for the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player Award? Currently, I don’t think so. Six games into an NFL career is too small a sample size to bestow such consideration onto anyone. Some fans have to wonder when the man nicknamed “RG3” is going to hit the rookie wall. When will Griffin III have that horrible game when he throws four interceptions, and Washington gets blown out?
Pessimistic Washington Redskins’ fans have to believe that game is coming soon. Washington’s schedule gets progressively tougher, with consecutive road games against the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers within the next two weeks. Both of those teams feature rough and tumble defenses that love to pressure the quarterback. Later in the season, the Redskins will face the Giants once again, as well as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles two times each within the NFC East. The Cowboys and Eagles are also both known for getting pressure on the quarterback.
How Griffin III fares against the aforementioned teams will determine Washington’s fortunes. If he can play well, and maybe even win a few games against those teams, maybe the MVP talk will be warranted. Right now, it’s too early to put Griffin III and MVP in the same sentence. Right now, Redskins’ fans will have to settle for continued improvement from their rookie quarterback. Considering Washington’s quarterback play in recent years before Griffin III, continued improvement towards possible MVP consideration is all that can be asked for.