Early in the season, Robert Griffin III was taking the NFL by storm, with good reason. He was running for insanely long touchdowns, completing 70 percent of his passes, and making people care about the Redskins for reasons other than “Dan Snyder is the worst” for the first time in a while. That guy who got taken ahead of him in the draft, Andrew Luck? He was playing well, too – at or above RGIII’s level according to more advanced metrics, in fact – but he wasn’t as electrifying. Offensive rookie of the year honors were Griffin’s to lose.
And then… the Colts started winning, and Luck started getting even better. Forget offensive rookie of the year talk – there were MVP murmurs. At the same time, the Redskins slumped, and their quarterback came back to earth a bit with them. In a couple weeks’ time, the narrative flipped. But now, the Colts are coming off a loss in which the Patriots picked off Luck three times, the Redskins have won two in a row, and RGIII has been almost literally perfect. Yesterday in a 38-31 (road) win over the Cowboys, he went 20-for-28 for 311 yards and four touchdowns… and uncorked this deep ball:
Sure, there was no defender anywhere near Aldrick Robinson – but some of the credit for that has to go to the quality of the play-action sell, no? Additionally, it wouldn’t have mattered if even if there had been a defender in the area, because the pass couldn’t have hit Robinson any more perfectly in stride. Let’s remember again what Shutdown Corner’s Doug Farrar said when evaluating Griffin prior to the draft:
Contrary to the assertions of some who believe that Griffin is just another spread offense “grip it and rip it” guy, he’s actually very accurate, even and especially with the deep ball — in 2011, he led the nation in yards per attempt (10.7) and completed 72.4 percent of his passes. Can make all the throws, but is especially accurate on all kinds of deep balls… Gets the ball downfield with a minimum of effort — like Michael Vick, he can flick his wrist and the ball just hums… there are elements of Aaron Rodgers’ deep accuracy in what Griffin does.
I mentioned the narrative surrounding the respective rookie seasons of Griffin and Luck before. I’ve got a new narrative for everyone to follow: Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck are both excellent NFL quarterbacks right now, they’re going to get even better iin the coming seasons, and it is going to be a damned pleasure watching both play the game for the next decade or so. Every time Griffin throws one deep, there’s a chance he’s about to make an NFL defense look like a Big 12 outfit. Let’s not forget that if he has one tough game at some point.