Robert Griffin III: Realistic Expectations for RG3 and Redskins Down the Stretch

Nicholas GossCorrespondent INovember 18, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 21:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins  in action during their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins are 3-6, and their playoff hopes don't look good at the moment. But since they play five division opponents in the final seven weeks of the NFL season, they still have a chance to win the NFC East.

The Redskins still have to play the Philadelphia Eagles twice, including a Week 11 matchup on Sunday. They also play the Dallas Cowboys twice, and they have a second game with the New York Giants.

Here is Washington's remaining schedule:

Week Opponent Record
11 Eagles 3-6
12 Cowboys 4-5
13 Giants 6-4
14 Ravens 7-2
15 Browns 2-7
16 Eagles 3-6
17 Cowboys 4-5

The combined record of the Redskins' remaining opponents is 29-35, and other than the Ravens and Giants, all of the team's remaining games are against opponents with losing records.

Washington has a favorable schedule, and if it can win six of its last seven games, the team would have a chance to win the division and earn a playoff berth at 9-7. The Giants lead the NFC East at 6-4, but have lost two in a row and could lose again on Sunday to the Green Bay Packers.

Griffin will not be expected to lead the Redskins to the playoffs—that would be unrealistic for a rookie quarterback whose team is 3-6 after 10 weeks—but he should be able to keep them in the race and also ruin other team's chances.

He's been impressive this season even though the Redskins have looked average at best for much of the year. Griffin has thrown for 1,993 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He's also been a strong performer in the running game with six touchdowns.

The expectation for Griffin will be to keep playing smart and put pressure on defenses with his big-play ability in both the passing and running games.

If the Redskins can defend the pass better in the final weeks of the season, they will have a chance to win all of their remaining division games.

Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles will start against Griffin on Sunday. Not only is he inexperienced, but he's prone to mistakes such as interceptions. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has made plenty of costly mistakes this year, and he's thrown 13 interceptions thus far, including five in the last three games.

Eli Manning, meanwhile, is an elite quarterback. But as we saw last week in the Giants' loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, he is also capable of having a terrible performance.

The Redskins should be able to contend for a playoff spot if they play solid defense and don't make foolish mistakes. Fans should expect Washington to be competitive for the rest of the season.

Even if they don't make the playoffs, though, the Redskins should still be a tough team to beat if they give 100 percent effort each week. Any team with a quarterback of Griffin's caliber and a running game that averages over 150 yards per game will be tough to beat.