Image by: Keith Allison
By Thomas Stone
The legend of rising NFL star Robert Griffin III, or RG3, grows after each and every game. Last week against the Ravens, the former Baylor quarterback sprained his right knee on the Redskin’s last drive in regulation. He’s expected to return.
Before his injury, Griffin completed 15 of 26 passes for 242 yards and one touchdown. He placed his team in perfect position to at least take the game into overtime and that is exactly what the Redskins did.
They took the game into the fifth quarter and beat the Ravens by a score of 31-28, improving their record to 7-6 and enhancing their chances of making the playoffs.
Prior to the grandeur of last Sunday’s win and the fear surrounding RG3’s injury, he was the toast of the sports world. Bobby Three Sticks – another nickname of Griffin’s, first heard on the Tony Kornheiser Show out of Washington D.C. – is leading the league in passer rating and may be the first rookie quarterback to have 14 more passing touchdowns than interceptions since Dan Marino.
The kid is really just that good.
Yet, he hasn’t played a full season. For the moment, he’s the best quarterback that the Redskins have had since Mark Rypien. He can beat opposing teams with his arm and legs and he is doing something that not many NFL quarterbacks are able to do: Make his teammates better.
He is the Redskins’ best hope of making it to the playoffs this season, which would be their first trip since 2007.
Over the long haul, everyone should take a step back and breathe deeply. Griffin III is still a rookie, has a decade or more of football ahead of him, and still has a lot of learning to do. If we compare that to the last rookie quarterback sensation that we saw, Redskins fans may want to cool their heels.
Last season, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. He set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 14 and was the first player in the history of the NFL to pass for 4,000 and run for 500.
In Newton’s first two NFL games, he threw for over 400 yards in each game, setting another NFL record for a rookie.
Griffin is on the same type of tear.
Image by: Matthew Straubmuller
He set an NFL record in his very first game as he was the first rookie to ever throw for 300-plus yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He’s also knocking on the door of being the first NFL player to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000.
Griffin is also trying to break the stigma of being a “one hit wonder.” Newton is in the midst of a sophomore slump, Michael Vick was the first quarterback of his type to enter the NFL and couldn’t deal with its spoils (his troubles have been well documented), and other so-called athletic running quarterbacks simply fell off.
RG3 is better than all of those guys. He is more accurate – completing 66% of his passes – doesn’t turn the ball over, only has four interceptions all season, and knows how to win games, leading his team to seven wins this season.
There is no ceiling on how high Griffin III can ascend; it is just up to him on how far he wants to go. He has the keys to the District of Columbia and can take this Redskins team as far as the Super Bowl.
Yeah, he’s just that good.