What’s Next? Terrorizing Robert Griffin III


Editor’s Note: What’s Next? is a weekly column on Wednesdays where I will turn the attention onto the upcoming game or the bye week. Sometimes we’ll talk about impriving on something that happened last week and sometimes we’ll tackle how the Jaguars can take on their next opponent, like we do this week with the Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin. Like something? Hate something? Leave it in the comments!

With the atrocity that was week one behind us, we now turn our attention to what’s ahead: Robert Griffin and the Washington Redskins. The Jacksonville Jaguars start the season with half of the tour against the NFC East, or as NFL.com  so aptly put it, the NFC Least. The Jags took on the strongest team of that division last week and this week should be a very winnable game against the ‘Skins.

The biggest concern for teams taking on the Redskins is the athleticism of quarterback Robert Griffin III. He of a meager 3-10 record as a starter last season. Griffin poses problems because he can extend plays and hurt you with his feet or with his arm. He took a step back in year two (16 TDs, 12 interceptions compared to 20 TDs and five interceptions in his rookie campaign) but that doesn’t mean he still can’t break one open on any play. The Jacksonville Jaguars will have to limit him.

During last week’s loss, Griffin managed to complete a ridiculous 78.4% of his 37 passes. All that netted him, however, was 267 yards and zero touchdowns. The previously-linked article from NFL.com has this to say:

"It’s not that Griffin threw the ball terribly in Houston. We charted only one truly bad pass for his entire game. It’s that Griffin was barely noticeable at all, a third-year game manager. His instincts of how to evade pressure and get rid of the ball quickly will take time to improve under Jay Gruden. Griffin doesn’t look like a confident player, and the coaching staff doesn’t treat him like a confident player."

That is pretty much the truth of it. Or at least that is the way it appeared all last season and during the first game of this season. But the ability to get the balls to talented receivers like Pierre Garcon (10 catches for 77 yards) and DeSean Jackson (eight receptions, 62 yards) should have the Jaguars worried. The Jags’ secondary has played pretty well (when the starters are in) and they will have to continue that against some really quality receivers.

It’s the defensive line that I’m most excited about against Griffin, though. They should be able to terrorize RGIII all day. The ‘Skins gave up three sacks last week and the Jags should be able to replicate what the Texans’ success. With five sacks spread across four players last week and the ability to rely on the secondary for some possible coverage sacks, RGIII will be looking at a long day whether he scrambles or stays in the pocket.

I would be more worried about Griffin’s ability to make plays with his feet, but Nick Foles didn’t get an opportunity to run against the Jags’ D last week. Part of that was the Eagles playing catch up in the second half, but another part of that was the defensive line punishing Foles during the first half. Honestly, I expected Foles to use his legs more (he had 57 attempts last season) but he didn’t chance it. I am confident that if Griffin tries to make something happen with his feet he will regret it.

Heading into the Redskins game, expect the Jags’ defense to be hungry. I’m anticipating zero interceptions but at least five sacks. Griffin will be hard pressed to complete 70% of his passes against a defense that wants to prove it can be consistent and keep the pressure on all game long.