Robert Griffin III Will Be Sharp in Washington Redskins' Season Opener
On Monday, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan told The Washington Post's Mike Jones that Robert Griffin III would be the team's starting quarterback in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
With that news, Redskins fans can expect another stellar season-opening performance from the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Griffin is just months removed from a devastating knee injury suffered back in January in the NFC Wild Card Game against the Seattle Seahawks, but Shanahan sounded awfully confident when handing him the keys to the offense for opening weekend.
I feel very good about where Robert’s at, and he’ll be our starter on Monday night unless there’s some crazy setback that we don’t anticipate.
I don’t know why it’s a surprise that Robert is our starter.
Shanahan certainly isn't wrong to have faith in his second-year signal-caller. After all, Griffin was sensational as a rookie in 2012—especially in his two starts against Philadelphia, completing 30 of 39 pass attempts for 398 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception in two Redskins victories.
He also rushed 14 times for 88 yards in those two matchups.
Griffin was nearly flawless in the first meeting in Landover, tossing just one incompletion while connecting on touchdown passes from six, 49, 61 and 17 yards out.
While Griffin's legs were a huge factor in that blowout win, they went unnoticed in the second meeting in Philadelphia. There, Griffin's arm was enough to power the Redskins, as his two timely touchdown passes kept Washington in control.
Look for a similar situation to unfold on Monday Night Football in Week 1.
It won't matter how effective Griffin is as a runner on Monday night. Remember, this is a guy who ranked fourth in the NFL in completion percentage in 2012, connecting on 65.6 percent of his throws.
Against Philadelphia in 2012, Griffin completed nearly 77 percent of his passes, with 20 percent of those completions resulting in touchdowns.
The Eagles have added talent to their secondary since last season, signing former Baltimore Ravens corner Cary Williams, but that unit will still be at a disadvantage on the road against a quarterback who has had a year to familiarize himself with the offense and his targets.
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Griffin also has the league's No. 1-ranked running game to lean on.
Washington averaged nearly 170 yards per game on the ground a season ago, and although Griffin's rushing production was a huge reason for that, the Redskins still boast 2012's second-leading rusher in Alfred Morris.
Morris rushed for more than 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns as a rookie and could be even better in 2013.
Planting and changing directions is something Griffin will have to get comfortable doing at full speed in a game. However, the former Heisman Trophy winner is still one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL and fans can expect him to be razor-sharp through the air in Week 1.
It may be asking too much for another 14-for-15, 200-yard and four-touchdown performance, but Griffin doesn't need to be perfect for Washington to start 1-0—just sharp.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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