Nice job rookie(subtle pat given on the back side). However, one game- a season does not make.
Redskins' rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III's week one numbers are undeniably amazing. 320 yards passing, two touchdowns and no interceptions as Washington beat New Orleans 40-32. Plus, he dizzied Saints' defenders like a piñata at a 3-year olds birthday party.
The Griffin hype train now makes a stop at the Edward Jones Dome for a tilt with the Rams this Sunday. But Griffin's head coach Mike Shanahan is hardly the engineer of that iron horse isn't running full steam ahead with the hype.
"Let's not get carried away with all this. It was his first game," Shanahan said.
No love for the rook's skills?
It's just that Shanahan knows a thing or two about quarterbacks. He coached QB John Elway in Denver when the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998, and also knows that excellence is defined over time.
The simple fact is, Griffin is no longer playing at Baylor, and his Heisman Trophy won't help block a lightning-fast defensive end from taking his head off on a bull rush. This is the NFL. A league where even the brightest star can be eclipsed by a well-prepared defensive coordinator's game plan.
Griffin is walking into his second road game in a row. Tough for a veteran let alone a newbie like him. Not only did the Rams' defense send Lion's quarterback Matthew Stafford seeing Rams jerseys in his sleep, but they let Detroit grab a sure-victory out of their hands after three and a half quarters of tough play.
But that all changed on the Lions' final two possessions of the day, both of which resulted in touchdowns and ultimately a 27-23 Detroit victory.
In those final two series, six of Stafford's completions went for 18 yards-plus. After averaging 5.9 yards per attempt on Detroit's first nine possessions, he doubled that on the final two series — averaging 11.8 yards per attempt.
With that painful memory still very fresh in their minds, don’t look for Chris Long, Robert Quinn and company to give Griffin more respect than he deserves. And you can bet head Coach Jeff Fisher made that a focus in practice this week.
Here is a snippet from the St. Louis Post Dispatches Jim Thomas about just that.
"Guys were dropping a little bit (too deep), too concerned about the big play down the field to Calvin," Fisher said. "As a result, we allowed some chunks. So, we got that corrected."
We'll see if that's the case Sunday when Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins present their own kind of challenge in the Rams' home opener. The Redskins put 40 points on New Orleans in their opener, with Griffin throwing for 320 yards and two TDs and rushing for 42 yards in his NFL debut.
"We've got our hands full," said head coach Jeff Fisher. "But our defense's focus is on their whole offense and not just the quarterback."
If Griffin is going have success against the Rams, he'll have to add some new tricks to his scrambling repertoire. Something the signal caller already understands.
"Every offense has to evolve," said Griffin. "You just try not to show the same thing twice."
The one thing the Rams can ill-afford to do Sunday, if it's close late in the game, is let Griffin lead a last- minute drive like the Lions did last week. Otherwise Griffin could be thinking this NFL gig isn't too hard after all while taking any positives the Rams may have held on to.