Will Robert Griffin III Return To Form in 2015?
With 6 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, down by 7 to the Seattle Seahawks, he turned to recover a poor snap and it was over. The hope and optimism remaining in FedEx Field, the strength of Griffin's knee, gone.
Playing on a sprained LCL, RGIII embodied the warrior mentality by remaining on the field to help his team in the wild-card game. He put himself at risk for further injury because he knew that he was still the best option under center.
Although the Seahawks went on to win the game, the more important issue in Washington was the health of the franchise quarterback. It was later revealed that the former Baylor Bear had tears in his ACL and LCL, a significant setback for the young signal caller.
After this injury, Griffin has been unable to sustain the success he had during his rookie year, due to both his own poor performance and the disfunction of the franchise.
The "sophomore slump" hit Robert Griffin III hard, as Washington was just 3-10 with him under center during his second year, prompting Mike Shanahan to bench Griffin for Kirk Cousins. There was tension between the quarterback and coach throughout the season, thus the decision was not surprising, despite Griffin's health and ability to play.
Obviously Shanahan and the franchise had to move apart because the benching of Griffin could only hurt the young talent. Taking him away from games in which he could have continued to develop and try to gain momentum going into the next season was not in the best interest of the organization or player, just adding on to the awkward relationship.
There are no excuses for his poor play, but the difficulties with his coach in addition to coming back from injury made it arduous for RG3 to find the groove he had the season prior.
Going into his third season, Griffin looked to return to his explosive form with a fresh coaching situation as Jay Gruden took over, as well as having a big-play talent in DeSean Jackson to sling the deep ball to.
However, another season did not go to plan as he injured his ankle in Game 2 of the regular season against the Jaguars, forcing him to sit out 6 weeks, to return only in Week 9. Although the season went off its proverbial tracks, all was not lost, as after being benched for Colt McCoy after three straight losses, Griffin impressed as he replaced an injured McCoy in a loss to the New York Giants, throwing for 236 yards and 1 TD.
Being named starter for the last two games of the regular season, he began to remind everyone why he was the second overall pick, as he threw for 220 yards against the Eagles and 336 against the Cowboys, scoring a passing and rushing touchdown in the final regular season game. This flash of electrifying play, in addition to a year learning with Jay Gruden and gaining chemistry is extremely encouraging for the 2015-16 season.
Although Griffin has been unable to produce consistently for Washington in the past two years, his rookie year was still phenomenal and shows only the beginning of his potential. Throwing for 3200 yards with a 20 to 5 touchdown to interception ratio, Robert Griffin III showed that he obviously has the talent to excel at the NFL level.
Also, through the injuries, it is easy to forget that his completion percentage in his third year actually increased from his rookie year, going from 65.6 to 68.7 percent, even during a season in which he could not stay on the field to gain momentum and had an incapable offensive line, as he was sacked 33 times.
Being completely healthy, and having a year under his belt with his head coach, the young gunslinger will look to show in 2015 that spending the second overall pick on him, as well as the organization not straying and remaining supportive during the tribulations of his young career, was an extremely valuable decision long-term for the franchise.