Robert Griffin III – C
Today’s grade isn’t exactly fair, considering Robert Griffin III re-injured his knee in the first quarter and was never really the same following it.
To start the game, Griffin was accurate, moved well in the pocket and showed command on two powerful drives down the field that resulted in touchdowns to Evan Royster (1) and Logan Paulsen (2).
Following the injury, and because coaches decided to keep him in the game, Griffin’s performance suffered. His early accuracy went out the window, his ability to scramble became obsolete ( easily noted during scramble in 3Q ) and he never felt comfortable.
Griffin finished his playoff debut with 84 yards on 10-of-19 passing, two touchdowns and one interception.
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FOURTH QUARTER – D
This grade doesn’t necessarily come by way of the performance of either quarterback, but more from the fact that neither Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins had any chance to show anything.
Griffin went down late in the quarter after attempting to chase a low and ugly snap. Watching him fall to the ground after a vicious knee twist was sickening.
Kirk Cousins came into the game trailing ten and was able to complete a couple passes under immense pressure. He was also operating from a collapsing and violent pocket in each of his six drop backs.
THIRD QUARTER – C+
Trust me, I hate giving the savior any form of bad grade, but Griffin's placement and decision making hasn’t been the same since tweaking his knee ( or so we think ) in the first quarter.
After receiving a gift from the defense via a goal line fumble, the Redskins were able to make some space and even convert a third down. But on the drive’s second third down, Griffin completely missed on a wide-open Joshua Morgan on a crossing pattern to the left.
That said, I don’t doubt RG3 to close this game.
SECOND QUARTER – B
The “tweak” that Griffin suffered in the first quarter showed itself in the second quarter. Griffin didn’t receive any run plays, he looked shaky when moving in the pocket and he didn’t appear comfortable when attempting to plant and fire.
Griffin did have his knee checked out on the sidelines and he didn’t miss any time, but all eyes are certainly on the rookie’s stability moving forward.
On a play with about four minutes to go in the half, Griffin held onto the ball just a bit too long and was baited well by Seattle safety Earl Thomas. Although Pierre Garcon appeared to have Brandon Browner beat, Thomas played center field very well and was able to come up with the interception. Not a great decision by RG3.
For the half, Griffin has 68 yards on 6-of-11 passing, two touchdowns and one interception.
FIRST QUARTER – A
The Redskins’ opening drive hopefully sets the tone for this game moving forward. Success on the ground helped Robert Griffin III and his passing game, as he was able to get time and throw from good pockets.
Also, an important note, Griffin looks very accurate to start the game. As we’ve seen in past weeks, we can usually guess the rookie’s accuracy/placement for the remainder of the game by observing his opening drive.
Late in the quarter, during the Redskins’ second scoring drive, Griffin was pressured to the right and fell off his back foot. He would get up ailing, what appeared to be, his knee. No word yet, but I don’t like it.
For the quarter, Griffin threw for 68 yards on 6-of-9 passing and two touchdowns.
No need to hold out hope. Head coach Mike Shanahan announced during a presser last week that Robert Griffin III will continue to wear a knee brace Sunday.
He didn't, however, mention if it would be the same lumpy brace we're used to. Over the past two weeks, Griffin has worn a bulky brace on his knee that is known to be restrictive. Perhaps Griffin comes out with something more flexible?
Regardless, it's foolish to think that Griffin won't be a dynamic player if he's still wearing the brace. Although he may not be 100 percent as a runner, Griffin still has an effective arm, he can still move when he needs to and he protects the football.
In Sunday's game, Griffin will face one of the toughest pairs of cornerbacks in the league in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. For guys that are physical with opposing receivers and can disrupt timing routes, Griffin will need to make quick decisions and remain accurate.
Not only is this the biggest game of the rookie's young career, but I also believe it to be his toughest. Aside from the pressure and spotlight that naturally comes with a playoff game, the Seahawks defense can rush the passer with multiple looks and their secondary can make you pay.