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Griffin has looked out of sync with his offense, but it's not all his fault.
A lot has been written about Robert Griffin III and his knee.
America is as well-versed in the recovery period following ACL surgery as it’s ever been. Griffin has fanned the flames of expectation himself, but all that would have been forgotten with a strong performance in Week 1.
Hell, all that would have been forgotten with a poor performance in Week 1 and a strong one in Week 2. Instead, the only time that Griffin has looked comfortable is in garbage time, which seems to be the entire second half for this team.
Why isn’t Griffin running on zone-read option plays? Are his rusty mechanics a result of pain in his knee? Is wearing the brace resulting in inaccurate throws? Are the coaches protecting him because of the outrage that followed the Seahawks game?
All of these things could easily fill slides of their own, yet the overall picture is concerning. Remaining unpredictable was such a huge part of the 2012 Redskins’ success. Now that teams know Griffin isn’t running, Washington's whole offense breaks down.
It’s not all on Griffin, admittedly. His receivers have continued to drop passes on crucial downs that force the defense back on the field. Meanwhile, the running game has been stymied by a Washington defense allowing so many points that there’s nothing to do but throw the ball to try to stay in the game.
However, Griffin missed a lot of reps in the offseason and it was insane to think he would come back and immediately be the same player we saw in Week 1 last season.
Those suggesting that Kirk Cousins should be put in as the starter at quarterback are missing the point, however.
Griffin needs the game time, which cannot be achieved by putting him on the bench. His awareness in the pocket will sharpen and he’ll feel pressure better, resulting in fewer sacks.
He’ll get out of the pocket and extend the play because, barring Trent Williams, this offensive line can’t protect a pocket-passer. That is where his great natural ability will shine.
Tom Brady played poorly when he came back from ACL surgery in 2009, and he actually played in that preseason. Adrian Peterson—despite his huge year last season—wasn’t the same player for the first few weeks. It takes time to get back up to speed.
In August, Jordan Raanan of NJ.com broke down the performances of all NFL quarterbacks in their first season back from ACL surgery. The results were mixed, to say the least.
Unfortunately, with an 0-2 start and the leakiest defense in the NFL, neither the Redskins nor Griffin have the luxury of time on their side. More than ever, the Redskins is relying on Griffin to drag them back to relevancy once more.