What will the Giants be doing in the locker room before their Sunday revenge match with the Cowboys in Dallas? My guess is their eyes will be glued to the TV watching Robert Griffin III leading the Redskins against the Steelers at Pittsburgh. If the Giants and the Redskins both win Sunday, New York will be two games up on the Skins in the loss column, but it will make December 3 rematch at Washington even more important.
Everyone in the league is keeping an eye on RG3 — and for good reason. He may well be – and probably is — the most spectacular rookie quarterback in NFL history.
The Giants’ dramatic 27-23 victory over Washington last week – by the
margin of Eli’s 77-yard pass to Victor Cruz with 1:13 left to play –
has obscured what should be the main lesson of that game: without a
ridiculous breakdown in coverage, the Redskins would have won, and, in
any event, RG3 out-dueled Eli.
Manning did his usual solid thing of 26 of 40 for 337 yards – that’s
an average of 8.4 yds/pass — but he threw two interceptions and went
through 58 minutes of the game without a TD pass. Throwing against a
much tougher defense than Manning, Griffin was 20 of 28 for 258 yards –
that’s 9.2 a throw – with two TDs and just one int. He also was the
game’s best ball carrier – 89 yards on 9 tries.
This kid is for real. He is currently third in NFL passer rating at
101.8, behind Aaron Rodgers (109.6) and Peyton Manning (105.0). (Eli is
only 10th at 92.5, largely because he’s been picked off 7 times in 265
passes, the worst interception ratio in the top ten.)
In the statistic I rate QBs by, yards per throw, Griffin’s number one
in the league. In fact, he’s easily number one in the league with a
whopping 8.47, a full half yard ahead of Peyton and Eli (both at 7.97).
Plus, RG3 has thrown just 3 interceptions in 189 throws. Tack onto that
468 yards rushing for a healthy 7.3 average and 6 more TDs.
If this kid learns to use his mobility and speed to set up passes
instead of running with the ball, he’s going to be deadly. What has so
far kept the Redskins from the top of the NFC East has been their
defense – 27th in the league in yds/pass allowed with 8.0. Any
improvement the Redskins make in their defensive game between now and
the rematch on Monday Night Football December 3 is going to make them
very dangerous. Meanwhile, keep your eye ion RG3 every week, because
you’re watching history.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 26, 2012