Robert Griffin III: Where Redskins QB Will Shine Brightest vs. Falcons in Week 5

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2012

September 23, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs through the Cincinnati Bengals defense during the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Bengals defeated the Redskins 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has been a pleasant surprise for lucky fantasy owners across the nation this season.

Griffin has more fantasy points after the first four weeks of the season than any other NFL quarterback in ESPN leagues. His versatility and consistency has made him a star performer and will have him shining bright once again on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Although Griffin can get it done with his big right arm, which is responsible for more than 1,000 passing yards this season, his biggest advantage will come via his legs in Week 5 vs. Atlanta. 

Griffin has rushed for more yards (252) than any other quarterback in the league this season, even more than Michael Vick and Cam Newton. His four rushing touchdowns are also tops in the league among quarterbacks.

When you consider that only six NFL teams have surrendered as many or more rushing touchdowns than the Atlanta Falcons this season, it becomes clear that Griffin will shine brightest on the ground in Week 5. Atlanta has given up six rushing touchdowns in four games compared to just four through the air.

If and when Griffin scores on Sunday, it will come on the ground. He is extremely skilled at knowing when to keep it and breaking down defenders once he gets into the open field. 

Not only is Griffin a brilliant talent with the ball in his hands, but Atlanta's run-stoppers rank just 29th in the NFL this season and are allowing more than 146 yards on the ground per week. Only Jacksonville, the New York Jets and New Orleans have allowed more yards this season.

Another important statistic to keep in mind heading into this weekend: Griffin is running the football 24 percent of the time when he drops back this season. His 39 attempts in four games may seem like a lot, but its important to remember how vital the rushing threat is to his game. 

As long as Griffin can average 6.5 yards per rush from under center, defenses will have to stay honest and open up passing lanes for the rookie. 

Expect the Falcons' defense to have problems defending Robert Griffin III this weekend in D.C. Although the rookie will continue to show patience and potential in the passing game, his brightest moments will come as a rusher in the open field. 


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