Robert Griffin NFL Stats
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Robert Griffin NFL Game Log
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(Compared to other QBs)
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Baltimore Ravens Team Injury Report
The former Heisman winner looked to revitalize his career last season by heading to Cleveland, a place not accustomed to quarterback success. RGIII failed to buck that trend, playing in only five games on the year due to a shoulder sprain and a nagging concussion. His completion percentage of 59 (87 for 147) was a new career low, and he only managed to find the end zone twice while throwing three interceptions. His limited performances weren't enough to keep the former first-round selection around, as the Browns released Griffin in early March. Still unemployed, it appears that Griffin's days as a starting quarterback in the NFL are numbered, giving his extensive injury history. However, it's hard to rule out a team taking a chance on the 27-year-old midway through the season given a long-term injury to their starting quarterback.
It's been a long, slow, public fall from grace for Griffin, as injuries and coaching conflicts tainted his time in Washington after his dynamic rookie season in 2012. Finally cut loose after not playing a game last year, he signed a two-year deal with the Browns and subsequently earned the starting job over veteran Josh McCown, the closest thing the team has to an incumbent. When he's healthy, and there's no guarantee he will be, Griffin is a dynamic runner who also has the arm strength to get the ball downfield without seeming to sacrifice any accuracy, but despite his physical gifts the rest of his game seemed to stagnate, as his decision-making and ability to read defenses were often not adequate in Washington. His pocket awareness and patience in letting plays develop were also an issue, leading to more scrambles, more hits and more injuries. Former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is taking over as the Browns' head coach this season, and while his offense could be a good fit for Griffin's skill set, at least early on, the roster lacks anything close to a receiver of A.J. Green's talents. In fact, the cupboard at WR was so bare that the front office used five draft picks on the position, starting with 15th overall selection Corey Coleman. There's still upside with Griffin, but also a tremendous amount of risk. On the plus side, talented pass-catcher Josh Gordon has been conditionally reinstated by the league, and if things keep moving forward for the 25-year-old wideout, he could potentially re-emerge as a dangerous weapon for RG3 in the team's offense.
For the second consecutive year, Griffin's season was ruined by injury, and questions abound about his future in Washington and whether he'll ever realize the promise of his rookie season. Griffin dislocated his left ankle Week 2, which kept him out six weeks. He returned for three lackluster games before a 106-yard effort Week 12 sent him to the bench. He only started the season's final two games because Colt McCoy suffered a season-ending injury. For all of his mechanical flaws, Griffin stills throws a great deep ball — he had eight completions of 40-plus yards in nine games — but he also took 33 sacks (12th-most), often because he held the ball too long or tried to make something out of nothing with his legs when he should have just thrown it away. Though Griffin entered training camp as the franchise's starter at QB, by the end of August, he was supplanted by Kirk Cousins and thus relegated to backup duty.
It might take a leap of faith to rank Griffin so highly after he followed up his late-season 2012 ACL tear with a disappointing and drama-filled 2013 season, but there are at least a few reasons to expect him to enjoy a breakout season in 2014. The most obvious is that his health should be improved now that he's had an entire season for his knee to recover, and his rhythm ought to be sharper as a result. The second is that the Redskins greatly improved their offense in the offseason, adding receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. Griffin has one of the best deep balls in the league, so the addition of Jackson, potentially the league's best deep threat, could pay major dividends. They even added a potential upgrade at right tackle in third-round pick Morgan Moses. The third reason is that Mike Shanahan's replacement, Jay Gruden, oversaw an aggressive passing game in Cincinnati, turning the generally unimpressive Andy Dalton into a 33-touchdown player in 2013. With his rare rushing skills, Griffin won't need 33 passing touchdowns to be a smashing fantasy hit in 2014. A healthy Griffin throwing to Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed in a pass-happy offense has the look of a profitable fantasy situation.
There's probably no quarterback more difficult to project than Griffin. We know players have recently been able to return from torn knees at a faster rate than ever before, but we've never seen it with a quarterback who relies so much on his legs. While Griffin is certainly a remarkable passer, a huge portion of his yards came off of play-action, read-option looks, and those were set up by his prowess as a runner. Actually, he turned in the highest passer rating off of play-action looks in the history of the NFL. If defenses don't fear his legs, though, they won't respect him as a runner, and that could drastically change the nature of the Redskins' offense.
As it stands right now, it's a safe bet Griffin won't match his 2012 rushing numbers. The Redskins coaches will hold him back, at least early in the season, so the quarterback's versatility won't be such a major factor in his success. If Griffin is going to remain among fantasy football's elite, he'll need to beat defenses through the air. He did it last year to the tune of a 65.6 percent completion rate and 8.1 YPA, but again, we'll need to see how the nature of Washington’s offense might shift.
Even if Griffin struggles in real football terms as a rookie, his likely high pass-attempt volume in Washington should result in big aggregate numbers. Despite enduring the clownish play of Rex Grossman and John Beck, the Redskins voluntarily subjected themselves to 591 pass attempts in 2011, which ranked as the fifth-highest total in the league. Given the team’s additions of free-agent wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan and the late-season 2011 emergence of running backs Roy Helu and Evan Royster, Griffin will also have better weapons with which to work. With a deep ball that should be among the league’s best from Day 1 and 4.41 speed, Griffin should make good use of those weapons, especially down field. Moreover, a significant number of those pass attempts will be converted to scramble runs by Griffin, which figures to be a huge aid to his fantasy value given that he ran for 2,254 yards and 33 touchdowns in 41 games at Baylor – and that’s with the NCAA subtracting yardage for sacks.