2013 NFL Playoffs: Mike Shanahan Made Right Decision Leaving in Robert Griffin III
In the biggest game of the season for the Washington Redskins Sunday, the worst thing of all happened. Robert Griffin III re-aggravated his right knee, which he injured against the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 9, 2012.
It was a very intriguing game as the Redskins came out on fire, with their offense looking as dominant as any team in the NFL. On their first two possessions they drove down the field, on an elite Seattle Seahawks defense, and capped them off with touchdowns. The Seahawks came into the game giving up only 15.3 points per contest, which leads the league. However, on the second scoring drive, Griffin rolled out on a bootleg and fell awkwardly. He got up limping back to the huddle, but managed to throw a touchdown pass on the very next play.
It was a 14-0 Redskins lead at this point, with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter. Griffin was noticeably hurt, but he’s looked this way for the past three weeks. Mike Shanahan stated that he asked Griffin if he could continue to play, and Griffin responded, “Give me the chance to win this football game, because I guarantee I’m not injured.” So, Shanahan decided to let him play it out. There are many people who disagree with this move, but I don’t.
If your team’s star quarterback feels as if he can continue to play, in a playoff game at that, then he should. If this were a regular season game, without playoff implications on the line, then you definitely pull him in that situation. However, this was the Redskins’ first playoff game since 2007. Fans would have had a heart attack if Griffin, who led them to this point, didn’t play for the next three quarters.
The Seahawks eventually came back to win 24-14, as the Redskins offense struggled for the remainder of the game. It was obvious Griffin wasn’t himself, but he hasn’t been since week 14. He managed to play in the Redskins two final regular season games, which were basically playoff games themselves. He limped his way around towards victory in both. The Seahawks defense is bigger, faster, and stronger than any other defense the Redskins have faced this season, but if you’re Shanahan you have to stick with your quarterback.
I do understand why the media and fans would get on him for not taking Griffin out, solely due to the fact that the Redskins lost the game. The Redskins were leading 14-13 at the half, and for the entire third quarter. It took until the fourth quarter, after a Marshawn Lynch touchdown, for the Seahawks to finally take the lead. At this point there was 7:08 left to play. So should Shanahan have pulled Griffin with just a little over seven minutes to go, and with their season on the line?
I’ve heard many analysts bring up an interesting point. In the 2010 NFC championship game Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, in a tight match up, went out with an injury and didn’t return. He was bashed all off-season for being ‘soft’ for not going back into the game with a Super Bowl trip on the line. Griffin didn’t give people a chance to do that, he refused to leave the field and you have to respect a young rookie for that.
Shanahan stated that he went with his, “gut feeling,” and I don’t blame him. It was the heat of the moment, with the entire team wanting to leave the field with a win, and I don’t think any member of the Redskins questioned Shanahan’s decision. Fans will, the media/analysts will, but there is no way you pull your captain/quarterback with your season on the line. Shanahan made the right move.
Redskins columnist/Josiah Turner
Five players on the Miami Dolphins that are worth getting in Fantasy Football
Everyone plays fantasy football. With Miami's revamped team, they have some great options for fantasy this year. These five players should be on everyone's board when drafting their team. Read More
Three forgotten WRs that could add depth to the Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals waived wide receiver James Wright, due to impending surgery on his injured knee, which will cause him to miss the entire season. This means every roster spot is consequential to the team’s overall success and should be treated as such. Considering the team’s recent injury history at the wide receiver position, some depth doesn’t hurt either. Here is a look at a handful of guys who the Bengals should look at to fill the void left by James Wright: Read More
Help Select The Top 50 Players In Miami Dolphins History
For 50 years the Miami Dolphins have been one of the better organizations in football. It is time to make a list of the top 50 players to ever put on a Dolphins uniform. Vote on who you think is most deserving here. Read More
Fantasy Preview: The top 60 RBs in 2015 (version 2.0)
Who will be workhorse backs in 2015? This list provides the answers for fantasy players. Read More
Three Cleveland Browns most likely to win NFL MVP in 2015
It's been 35 years since a Cleveland Brown won NFL MVP. Who are the most likely candidates to break that streak this season? Read More
Three Denver Broncos fighting for jobs in training camp
Three Broncos who are fighting for their jobs in training camp Read More