Robert Griffin III Must Reestablish Running Game to Turn Around Season
The 2013 NFL regular season has not been kind so far to the Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III, and the only answer to their offensive woes is for RG3 to get back to having success on the ground.
Griffin has, to say the least, been a nonfactor with his legs through two games. He carried the ball just nine times for a total of 25 yards, including four carries for one yard in the Redskins road loss to Green Bay in Week 2.
This underwhelming start to the season comes on the heels of a 2012 rookie campaign that saw RG3 surpass 800 yards rushing and average 6.8 yards per carry. Griffin had five or more carries in 12 of 15 games last year; he did not reach that total in either game this season.
The second-year pro acknowledged to ESPN's John Keim that his limited running has been an issue—and it's something he's focused on remedying.
He also told Keim that Washington getting down by multiple scores early against both Philadelphia and Green Bay played a big role in failing to execute the offensive game plan:
The plays are in, they're ready to run, and I'm ready to run them...We just haven't had a chance to do them because we've fallen behind too much...It's not that I want to run more, I just feel like that's what we need and if that's what it takes for us to win games, I'm willing to do that. It's not anything I'm going to shy away from.
Another reason for the decline in RG3's running production can be tied to his recovery from his last January's knee injury, a setback that kept Griffin out of the preseason and had him battling a timetable to get back for Week 1.
But if Griffin is simply too unhealthy to scramble outside of the pocket, or if Mike Shanahan is erring on the side of caution by telling his star QB not to run, then RG3 should be sporting a headset on the sideline until his coaching staff can trust him running the ball.
How many carries should RG3 have per game?
Griffin is far from an average passer—even with his early-season struggles, he's surpassed 320 yards passing in each of his first two games—but it's his ability to pressure defenses with his legs that elevates him from a solid passer to an unstoppable dual-threat weapon.
The Redskins were at their best last season when Griffin used his dual-threat capabilities to put defenses on their heels early. In both games this season, Washington's offense sputtered throughout the first half and the Redskins found themselves down big at halftime.
RG3 showed what he was capable of as a rookie, and just how deadly his speed can be on the outside when coupled with a solid running back—Alfred Morris, who notched 13 carries for 107 yards against the Packers—and a potent aerial attack.
And until he can find that success in 2013, the Redskins don't stand a chance of turning around their season.
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