Robert Griffin III Will Bounce Back to Lead Redskins to Win vs. Packers
For Robert Griffin III, his teammates and the legions of Washington Redskins fans around the country, the franchise quarterback's return to action in Week 1 wasn't exactly what everyone was hoping for.
But despite the former Heisman Trophy winner's dismal first half against the Philadelphia Eagles, RGIII quietly rebounded in the game's final two quarters, leading Washington down the field for three touchdowns late in the game.
In fact, had Washington not spotted Chip Kelly and company an overwhelming 19-point lead by halftime, this could have been a salvageable game for Mike Shanahan's boys. In the end, it wasn't meant to be, as Griffin's two picks in the first half were too much for the team to overcome.
Now, with the Redskins set to travel to Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, D.C. needs RGIII to be much, much better in Week 2, because Clay Matthews and the Packers defense is nothing to sleep on, especially after suffering a loss of their own in Week 1.
But Griffin has made a name for himself in this league by making the seemingly improbably become reality, and that's one reason why he'll lead Washington to an all-important road victory over the Packers.
Last season, when virtually every analyst and football fanatic outside of D.C. assumed this team would be sitting in the NFC East cellar come Week 17, Griffin, despite injuries, lead his team to an extremely unexpected postseason berth, en route to Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Yes, things went south from there, but that's in the past, and at least for a time last week, RGIII appeared to be back in business.
During the second half of the Eagles game, Griffin finally looked like the guy that took the league by storm last season, as he went 25 of 38 for 276 yards and two touchdowns, bringing the Redskins within striking distance after having been dominated thoroughly early on.
It's been interesting to see how quickly RGIII's been downgraded as an offensive threat following the loss to Philadelphia, but at least on paper, it seems completely illogical to think that he's not capable of bouncing back, as it's precisely what he's done since his days at Baylor.
As Yahoo! Sports' Les Carpenter eloquently pointed out, Griffin's late-game effort should have actually been a reminder to the rest of the sports world of what he's capable of, despite the rust that clearly lingered.
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But if nothing, RG3 loves a doubting world. He thrives on criticisms – real or imagined. He told the world he was "All in for Week 1." And so even if his leg wouldn't let him run like he was used to, or his passes weren't true and his pitches to running back Alfred Morris weren't in the right place, he would fight.
His 329 yards passing in a 33-27 defeat might have been his greatest performance yet in the NFL because this time it wasn't done with a gimmick that caught the rest of the league unprepared.
So, with the Packers on tap, Griffin will be taking on a defense that allowed 404 passing yards against the 49ers last weekend, and though RG3 clearly won't be the running threat (at least not yet) that he was as a rookie, there's no doubting his ability to command an offense through the air.
It's worth keeping in mind that the Eagles, despite their struggles as a team last season, actually surrendered less passing yards than the Packers did in 2012, so if Griffin is as good as he was during the second half against Philadelphia, why can't Washington leave Lambeau Field with a victory?
It may be a shootout, with both quarterbacks and offenses putting up big numbers, but RGIII has demonstrated time and time again an innate ability to rise to the occasion when he and his team are counted out.
He'll do that once again against Green Bay on Sunday, getting his city and his team back to level footing in the process.
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