ESPN Monday Night Football announcer Jon Gruden said toward the end of the Washington Redskins' 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers that he counted seven quick-screen completions by Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The tape rolled, confirmed Gruden's math and accentuated how far Griffin has fallen. Mired in a sophomore slump, the dual-threat dynamo that took the NFL by storm as a rookie is a shell of himself in 2013.
Griffin is not the threat he once was as a runner, and he isn't the same passer as he was a season ago. Thus, he can no longer be relied on as a viable, No. 1 fantasy football QB.
The second-year signal-caller completed 17 of 27 passes for just 127 yards and an interception while scampering for 22 yards on six carries. That gave him 33 total attempts from scrimmage for an average of 4.5 yards per play.
This fact from ESPN Stats & Info pretty much says it all:
This was the first time in RGIII career as a college or pro QB in which his team's offense didn't score a TD— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2013
Although the 23-year-old star was under duress often and was sacked four times by the Niners' swarming defense, the game plan was discouragingly conservative.
Griffin is at his best slinging the ball deep, yet he hasn't connected on those passes as often this season. His yards per attempt and completion percentage are down significantly from his maiden pro campaign, and he's more than doubled his number of interceptions.
11th interception of the year for Robert Griffin III. He's had a pick in 9 of his 11 games, after having 5 interceptions all of last season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2013
When will Griffin return to his rookie-year form?
Whether it's because pro defenses have caught up to what RGIII does as a passer or he is suffering a regression, it does not look like a pretty product on the gridiron in the nation's capital.
And entering Monday's game, Washington had the No. 1 rushing attack in the league—far more thanks to running back Alfred Morris (918 yards rushing through 10 games) than Griffin's athleticism.
In other words, the other dimension of the offense isn't the culprit for the struggles Griffin is enduring.
Washington has fallen to 3-8, and has a shorter week than normal to prepare for the NFC East rival New York Giants.
That game will take place in FedEx Field, but Griffin is a dubious fantasy play at best after a limitations-laden debacle on Monday evening.