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Robert Griffin III: Big Game in St. Louis Will Prove Impressive Debut Legitimate

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 09:    Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins celebrates a 40-32 win against the New Orleans Saints during the season opener at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2012

Robert Griffin III can prove that his impressive debut was no fluke with another great road game performance against the St. Louis Rams.

Fans expecting RGIII to breathe instant life into the Washington Redskins organization didn't come away disappointed when the rookie quarterback led his team to a shocking upset victory in New Orleans over the defending NFC South champion Saints. Even without head coach Sean Payton, the Saints were favored to hand the Redskins a loss in the rookie quarterback's debut.

Griffin displayed everything you could hope to see in a debut. He made great decisions, he made plays and led the team to a victory, all without making many mistakes along the way.

Griffin's numbers weren't quite the same as Cam Newton's 422-yard debut, but the argument could be made that it was more impressive because Griffin's 320-yard performance had no interceptions and his team ultimately won.

As great as Griffin's performance was, questions still remain.

Because the Saints are without Payton, and to a lesser extent, without coach Joe Vitt, we really don't know how good this Saints team is. They were one of the league's premier teams last season, but the suspension of the head coach, interim coach and general manager can have a devastating effect on a team.

After Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams, the picture will become a bit more clear.

This is an underrated Rams team that looked improved from the 2011 version of the team that went 2-14 and traded the second overall pick in the draft to the Redskins, which they ultimately used to draft Griffin. The Rams' defense intercepted one of the league's premier young passers in Matthew Stafford three times and nearly pulled off a huge upset before giving up the go-ahead touchdown with 10 seconds remaining in the game.

The Rams may have been one of the league's worst teams last season, but much like the Redskins, they look like a different team this season.

Griffin's debut was great. He took the Redskins into hostile territory and won a game that no one expected them to win. A repeat performance against the Rams will really set the tone for a Rookie of the Year campaign that may result in a landslide.

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