NFL Playoffs: Shanahan Foolish for Keeping Robert Griffin III in Wild Card Game

Matt SchreiberAnalyst IIIJanuary 6, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 29:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins walks past head coach Mike Shanahan before the start of the Redskins game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on August 29, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It was a great run for the Washington Redskins. Seven wins in a row after a 3-6 start helped seal up the NFC East for the first time since 1999. Unfortunately, on Sunday, Mike Shanahan and his Redskins' season ended on their home turf to the hands of the Seattle Seahawks

After jumping out to a 14-0 lead with two touchdown passes from Robert Griffin III on his first two drives, everything seemed to be looking up for the Skins. On the play before Griffin III's second touchdown pass, he appeared to re-injure his already hobbled knee.

From that moment on, he would not look the same. There were multiple occasions throughout the game where we saw RGIII limping around and not looking like himself.

Kirk Cousins was ready to go all along on the sideline, but Mike Shanahan decided to keep Griffin III in the game.

It proved costly.

After racking up 134 yards of offense on the first two drives, the Redskins would only gain 41 more yards with Griffin III in the game. Much of that was due to Griffin III's knee injury. He had trouble making plays and often over-threw or under-threw his receivers.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Redskins had the ball trailing by a touchdown. After Griffin III was sacked for a loss of 12 yards, more misery was waiting to occur.

Redskins center Will Montgomery botched a snap that was too low for Griffin III to retrieve. As he went down to pick up the ball, his knee gave up on him.

That would be the end of the game for RGIII, but why not earlier?

It was clear that Griffin's injury was compromising the team. 

I am not discrediting Russell Wilson at all. He played a tremendous game, but the Redskins would have had a better chance at winning had they let Griffin III rest his knee.

It was hard to watch, especially for Redskins fans. Robert Griffin III is the most exciting player in the NFL in my opinion and all we can pray is that he is okay and recovers from the injury. The sky is the limit for him and the Redskins.

The Redskins have a lot to build on with Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, but poor decision-making to risk your star's health isn't the smartest decision. I applaud Griffin III for trying to fight it out, but he is their franchise quarterback.

As head coach, Mike Shanahan should have known better than to risk the future of his best player. If he had pulled Griffin III out earlier in the game and they had still lost, then so be it. But keeping him in proved more detrimental.

When Griffin III went down, his knee bent inwards at a scene that makes you scream "Eeeeeeek!"

It was not pretty. I really hope he is okay and we should all pray for a speedy recovery in the offseason, but Mike Shanahan was foolish to keep him in the game and risk further injury for RGIII.

Shanahan did a great job leading the Redskins back from doom early on in the year, but when the time came to make the biggest decision of the year, he made the wrong one.