In his rookie year, Robert Griffin III took the NFL by storm, leading the Washington Redskins to the playoffs. There’s still 15 weeks remaining in the 2013 NFL season, but RG3 doesn’t appear to be the same quarterback.
After winning the NFC East in 2012, the Redskins are one of eight teams that have yet to pick up their first win. Griffin has thrown for five touchdowns and an 89.6 passer rating, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He padded his numbers late in the game when the Redskins had already fallen behind by several touchdowns. In their losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers, the Redskins have been outscored 50-7 in the first half.
Griffin may still be feeling the effects of the torn ACL and MCL that he suffered in the playoffs. He hasn’t utilized his legs nearly as much as he did a year ago when he averaged over 54 rushing yards per game. In two games, he has compiled just 25 rushing yards on nine attempts.
The quarterback’s struggles have some experts questioning whether or not he should even be starting. NBC analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison both agreed that backup Kirk Cousins could do a better job of running the offense if Griffin isn’t completely healthy.
Mike Shanahan, however, has scoffed at the idea of benching Griffin. There is no reason to believe he won't start against the Detroit Lions in Week Three.
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"We've got a lot of confidence in Robert," said Shanahan. “Anytime you start out a little bit slow and we're down as many points as we've been down and we get to a two-minute attack a little bit earlier than we would like to, you probably put people in the toughest situation you can."
While Griffin tries to get himself right against Detroit, Matthew Stafford might not have any trouble putting up big numbers against the Redskins. It might be hard to find a worse pass defense than Washington, who allowed Aaron Rodgers to throw for 480 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in Week 2.
A large part of the Detroit’s effectiveness on offense may have to do with Reggie Bush. The running back injured his knee in the team’s loss the Arizona Cardinals. Bush tried to play through it, but was hampered by the ailment. He’s hoping to play in the game, but will likely be held out. Bush was instrumental in the Lions first win, rushing for 90 yards and receiving for 101 yards.
The public’s level of confidence in Griffin and the Redskins continues to go down. At home, the betting line opened up with Washington as 2.5-point favorites. The point spread now has the Lions favored by one.
TV Channel: FOX
Live Stream Online: NFL Sunday Ticket Max
Prediction: Detroit 30, Washington 23