Washington Redskins: Honeymoon Is Over For Robert Griffin III

By Greg Bradshaw
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

At the risk of sounding redundant, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is not playing up to his capabilities. The Redskins’ Week 6 game with the Dallas Cowboys provided the perfect backdrop for Griffin and his teammates to begin a winning streak against their hated rivals.

Instead, Washington left Texas with a 31-16 defeat. Griffin looked like a shell of himself, once again missing wide-open receivers. In addition, he lost a fumble and threw an interception, setting things up nicely for the Cowboys. Griffin’s lost fumble was turned into a short touchdown drive by Dallas, and his interception deep in Cowboys’ territory thwarted a potential Redskins’ scoring drive.

Griffin has already equaled his interception total from last season in the Redskins’ first five games of 2013. Their offense has regressed in 2013, averaging slightly more than 21 points per game. That’s down from their 27 points per game average from last season. However, there is some encouraging news: Griffin is starting to run a little more. He rushed for 77 yards on only nine carries against the Cowboys. Nevertheless, the Redskins’ 1-4 record is cause for concern in D.C.

Griffin needs to play better if the Redskins are going to somehow turn their season around. He’s not totally to blame for the Redskins’ failures. The play of his offensive line, untimely penalties, a porous defense and a suddenly incompetent special teams unit has contributed considerably to the team’s poor season, so far.

However, Griffin is the team’s most highly-profiled player. He gave Redskins fans hope that he could change the losing culture that has permeated this once-proud franchise for years. Fans remember the ESPN special touting Griffin’s highly-anticipated return to the NFL after recovering from a torn right ACL. The network made it seem that Griffin would step right in and resume his path to NFL greatness in 2013.

Unfortunately, that path has been riddled with potholes of failure stemming from a 1-4 record. Griffin’s recovery can’t be used as an excuse anymore. He was cleared to play long ago. It’s time for him to step up and regain the form that earned him the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

It would help Griffin if some of his teammates would learn the fundamentals of football because, news flash, things like blocking, tackling, catching the football and scoring touchdowns instead of kicking field goals are conducive to winning football games. But I’m getting ahead of myself. If Griffin can regain even part of his rookie form, it would go a long way toward the Redskins’ road back to respectability.

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