2012 Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III for President
Election season is upon us. We have had to listen to numerous debates and there are still plenty of voters out there still undecided. In case you missed it (you must be blind), there is one clear cut candidate that is making an impression all over the country.
Seven games into his career, RG3 is re-inventing the quarterback position and single-handedly making the Redskins must-see TV every Sunday.
We thought last year we saw it all with Cam Newton.
He came out of the gates with back-to-back 400 yard passing games to start his career, en route to setting a rookie record for passing yards in one season—a record previously held by Peyton Manning.
Newton would finish with an NFL-record 14 rushing touchdowns for a quarterback, to go along with his 21 passing touchdowns. He did throw 17 interceptions, but that’s fairly common for a rookie quarterback going through the ups-and-downs of his first NFL season.
The consensus was that while Newton didn’t win a lot of games, he carried the team and made his mark on the NFL in his rookie season (and for fantasy purposes, was nothing short of sensational).
RG3 is on pace to match or even best that season from Newton that most of us couldn’t fathom back in the summer.
Griffin is a better "pure passer" than Newton, or Michael Vick, or any other comparable QBs that have a running dynamic to their game.
RG3 is turning the ball over far less than Newton did, as he only has three interceptions through seven games (in comparison, Vick had more than that in week one).
He is on pace to go over 1,000 rushing yards and challenge both Vick’s rushing yardage record and Newton’s rushing touchdowns record for quarterbacks. All this in year one of his campaign career.
There is one person that people will constantly compare Griffin throughout the course of his career. That’s the one person that was taken before him in the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck. By all accounts, Luck is having a tremendous rookie season as well.
Luck is averaging 279 passing yards per game, slightly more than RG3, but he has more interceptions. We are really grasping at straws here, so to speak, but these comparisons are inevitable and they are unavoidable.
I give the slight edge to Griffin in reality (both have three wins with mediocre supporting casts and have shown clutch ability late in games) and a huge edge in fantasy (Griffin currently ranks third in points for quarterbacks while Luck ranks 12th).
Not all votes have been accounted for, as they are both only seven weeks into their rookie season.
From Week 1, Griffin has been nothing short of incredible, but the last two games have been perhaps the most impressive to me.
Two weeks ago, with the 4-1 Vikings rolling into FedEx Field, Griffin absolutely took over the game in the fourth quarter. With the Vikings making a push, RG3 made "THE" signature play of his young career.
On a third and six, Griffin broke out of the pocket and took off down the left sideline and left a cloud of dust and Vikings defenders behind him.
If it wasn’t for the end zone, he would still be running. He even looked back three times as if to tell the chasing defender, “you know you can’t catch me, right?”
The game was a slugfest and with the clock ticking and less than two minutes remaining, Griffin connected on a touchdown pass to Santana Moss to take the lead in the New Meadowlands.
It was pure euphoria on the Washington sidelines until they fell victim to a cold-blooded Eli Manning game-winning drive that we’ve all seen too often in recent years.
Regardless of the loss, Griffin did his part and played with poise in a hostile environment and we saw another level of his clutch ability that we’ve started to see glimpses of each week.
From a fantasy perspective, RG3 is a top-five quarterback play going forward, barring injury.
The biggest downfall with him, as it is with Vick and any other “running” quarterback that isn’t built like Cam Newton, is the beating that they take over the course of the year. We've already seen Griffin take a gruesome hit against Atlanta that knocked him out of the game.
He’s averaging nine rushing attempts per game and defensive players are taking great pleasure in getting any shots on Griffin they can when he takes off.
Assuming he plays every game going forward, he is the ultimate dual threat in the NFL this year and he is doing a great job of keeping his turnovers down. He doesn’t play with a great defense so he will always need to put up points, and much like Newton last year, in the red zone, Griffin is the primary ball carrier.
To shut up any “he’s a run-first quarterback," “he’s not accurate” criticisms he heard coming out of college, Griffin is completing 70 percent of his passes so far this year, which ranks number one in the NFL. He has the third highest QB rating in the league at 101.8.
In my preseason rookie quarterback preview I conservatively predicted around 2,800 passing yards and 25 total touchdowns.
He should easily eclipse those numbers and approach around 3,200 yards passing (especially if Pierre Garcon ever gets healthy again), not to mention the rushing records he will probably set.
No doubt about it, Robert Griffin III is the guy for Washington in 2012 and beyond.
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