Today the Washington Redskins get their first opportunity to unleash their new weapon and quarterback Robert Griffin III against a division foe for the first time when they play the New York Giants at 1:00pm. Griffin has passed every other test so far in his rookie year in the NFL, and if I had to guess I would say that he’ll pass this one too.
Washington is coming into the game with a 3-3 record after a big win last week over the Minnesota Vikings. RG3 sealed the victory over the Vikings with a memorable 76-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The play was impressive because before the snap Griffin realized that the Vikings were bringing what's called a double-A gap blitz. He knew that he would have to throw to his hot read or, with his dynamic athleticism and running ability, he would have a huge lane to run through if the Vikings didn’t run the blitz correctly. They didn’t and he made the right decision and then the rest is history.
The intelligence combined with superior athleticism that he displayed on the play has Giants all pro defensive end Osi Umenyiora backtracking on previous comments and showing respect to RG3. Either that or he’s just fattening frogs for snakes...my guess is that it’s a little bit of both. Before the season started Umenyiora asked why reporters were calling Griffin by his “cool nickname” RG3 before he had even done anything as a pro in the NFL, he then called him “Bob Griffin”. Coming into week 7 Umenyiora had this to say about what he would call Griffin “Sir. His name is Sir Robert Griffin” “That’s what I refer to him now. I mean, look at what he’s done. Look at the way he’s performed as a rookie. You don’t see players coming into the league and performing like that at that stage in their career. So, all the respect in the world to goes to him. He’s a phenomenal football player.”
And when asked about Griffin’s speed and arm Umenyiora said “Ridiculous, we saw guys who are known as fast guys just trailing behind him. You just saw him blazing down the football field, so we know what type of speed he has. But more importantly, he has an arm. He’s a good quarterback. You know, forget all the running stuff, this guy is good. They got a real good player on their hands, and we’ve got a problem on ours.”
But Griffin isn’t getting all praise from the Giants locker room...defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul offered a warning to Griffin “Don't bring it to my side, go the other way” Pierre-Paul then added “Trust me, we chase quarterbacks all the time, we turn and run to the ball, no matter what. He may get past us and zoom right past us, but trust me we’re right behind him. You’ve got to respect that, too. It’s not all about the speed. We’ve got guys, all 11 guys that can run to the ball very quick. You’d be surprised. Very surprised.”
It looks like Pierre-Paul is confident in his speed and his defense overall...but you know how the saying goes...seeing is believing. Lets see what Pierre-Paul has to say after the game. The Giants are 4-2 and are very confident after giving San Francisco a beat down last week. You would think that the Redskins might be able to catch the Giants slipping and overconfident in a game like this, but that won't be the case for multiple reasons. The Redskins swept the Giants last year and the Giants are 0-2 in the division right now. A loss to the Redskins would send them to 0-3 and that would be a deep hole to climb out of in this tough division.
So needless to say this is a big game for both teams. First place is on the line and it’s RG3’s first ever division game. He seems to be a gamer who steps up his level of play in big games and clutch situations. He knows how big this game is and seems excited to get out there and compete in the NFC East. Earlier in the week he had this to say about the upcoming game “It’ll be fun to do something different out there, play a division foe,” he continued. “The New York Giants are Super Bowl champions, and I look forward to it.”
And us fans are looking forward to it too. RG3 will be unleashed in the division for the first time. As a Redskins fan it’s fun to finally have a player that the other division teams and fans will hate to play against. I think he’ll show up big against our division foes, and it starts today...let’s hope he saves the best for the Cowboys though. Hail To The Redskins!