Robert Griffin III Is Victim of Unfair Expectations
Robert Griffin III suffered tears to his ACL and LCL last season, yet somehow this seems to be forgotten through the first two weeks of the 2013 campaign.
Griffin—who had surgery on both ligaments in January—was given a recovery timetable of six to eight months. Even if he's physically recovered at this point, there's also the mental aspect of coming back from such an injury. Players like Adrian Peterson know this all too well.
In fact, Peterson himself—who raised the bar just a bit too high after returning from a torn ACL last season—expressed confidence that the man known as "RG3" would be back to normal soon enough.
Peterson noted, per ESPN.com:
With (Griffin), it's going to be week by week. The quarterback position is different. He's not just running the ball -- he's back there going through progressions and trying to find guys and really being on alert. He'll be OK.
Peterson added, "Mentally, just have that confidence that the ligament is strong and trust your body."
Through two weeks of football, Griffin ranks 15th in yards per pass attempt (7.29) and 18th in completion percentage (62.9). He's tossed three interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback has also managed just 25 rushing yards after racking up 815 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground in 2012.
More importantly, the Washington Redskins are 0-2 after going 10-6 and making the playoffs last season. In a sports world that only cares about what you have done lately, in a sport that consists of only 16 regular-season games, it was inevitable that this world would start turning on the 23-year-old.
But before everyone in D.C. starts panicking and jumping to conclusions, understand one thing: Even if Griffin is never the running threat he once was, it's hard to imagine that element of his game being completely taken away. Running the pigskin out of the backfield is about more than racing, people. You also have to have pretty good vision, too. Griffin's vision hasn't vanished into thin air.
Also, considering Griffin ranked first in the NFL in yards per pass attempt, third in quarterback rating and fourth in completion percentage last season, people seem to be underestimating his ability as a pocket passer. He wasn't drafted second overall just because he could run.
The fact that the Redskins have been blown out in the first half of the first two games has also led to some exaggeration and hyperbole across the nation. What people aren't recognizing is that Griffin has actually played very well in the second half of ballgames, which proves he can still play dynamic football.
Will RG3 bounce back this season?
Griffin has gone 11-of-24 (46 percent) for 6.67 yards per pass attempt while tossing two interceptions in the first half this season.
He has gone 45-of-65 (69 percent) for 7.52 yards per pass attempt while tossing five touchdowns to one interception in the second half.
As Griffin gets more comfortable after January surgery, don't be surprised if the rest of his season resembles how he has played in the second half.
It's been two weeks.
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