The swirling winds and frigid temperatures inside of Fed Ex Field on Monday night teetered near the freezing point. However, the thermometer couldn’t capture how cold Robert Griffin III was from the pocket during San Francisco's 27-6 beatdown of Washington.
Neither quarterback had a hot hand, but Griffin was icy.
Colin Kaepernick still holds on to the ball too long, but against the Redskins secondary he had his first 200 yard passing day in 10 weeks.
Comparing his night to Griffin’s is unfair, though. Kaepernick didn’t have the 'Niners defense bearing over him and his receivers all night. The Redskins wet toilet paper secondary played toilet bowl defense.
His completion percentage was approximately 62 percent, but Griffin never challenged the 49ers vertically. He amassed just 78 yards after the third quarter as the 'Skins playcalling consisted of screen, bubble screen and checkdowns as if they were trying to impress Alex Smith.
Griffin may have taken a step back this season, but after watching Derrick Rose’s recurring injuries in Chicago, the Redskins should count themselves lucky.
According to NFL.com, entering Monday night, the Redskins were ninth in quarterback hits, so we know the knee is fine.
The 'Niners, on the other hand, are 30th. Football is won and lost in the trenches. That not only speaks to the 'Niners superior offensive line play, but also to the type of zone run-blocking linemen that the Redskins deploy.
From week to week, Griffin is involved in more scandals than Olivia Pope, but the real conundrum is Washington’s meek offensive playcalling. It’s almost as if once they fell behind by a few scores, the coaching staff became more concerned with slowing the flood rather than advancing the ball and going for the win.
Take a peek around the National Football League and you’ll notice what differentiates Griffin from Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. The other three are transitioning into accurate pocket passers with the option to dash if/when the play breaks down. RGIII seems to get caught up in the thrill of running at DBs.
Everytime he dropped back and passed on Monday night, the first reaction from rash observers was to urge him to escape the pocket and run for a five-yard gain. Most of the time, he obliged.
Griffin’s mobility makes him a dual threat, but short-term memory loss (or maybe some of those crunching hits on the sideline) has erased his nine-month rehabilitation from memories.
Unfortunately, it also creates bad habits and ruins the flow of the Redskins' vertical passing attack. By the end of the fourth quarter, he had so many grass stains, you would have confused his Skins jersey with with an authentic Philadelphia Eagles Mitchell & Ness replica.
Kaepernick, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson are buoyed by top-10 defenses. The Redskins have the most poorly constructed defenses in the league. The Redskins have shown too much loyalty to Jim Haslett, and the only reason Shanahan probably won’t be fired is because his contract expires next season.
The summer of 2013 was all about Robert Griffin III’s knee reconstruction. The summer of 2014 should revolve around upgrading the talent around him.