Robert Griffin III isn’t your ordinary NFL quarterback. He’s so much more. And with the Redskins now at 6-6, NFC playoff contenders better start saying their prayers.
The NFC East got a helluva lot more interesting on Monday night, as Griffin led the Redskins to a late-game comeback win over the Giants. Now, Griffin has Washington neck and neck with the Cowboys and within shouting distance — which actually translates into just one game — of the division-leading Giants.
That means that with a quarter of the season remaining, which doesn’t look all that daunting mind you, Griffin has the Redskins in prime position for a playoff push.
Not only is Washington within one game of the NFC East crown, and holding the would-be division tiebreaker, but they’re also just a game back of Seattle for the second wild card spot. So, even with Mike Shanahan‘s blessing to “evaluate” for next season already on the table, the Redskins are positioning themselves nicely.
With plenty of momentum already behind them, coming off a win over the rival Giants, the Redskins also have a favorable schedule down the stretch. A visit from Baltimore will be their toughest test, but trips to the Browns and Eagles don’t seem all that daunting before wrapping up the season back at home against the Cowboys.
Their final slate alone should have them in a position to lock up a spot in the postseason come Week 17, but if that’s not enough then Griffin’s electric play of late will at the very least give them an edge.
During the ‘Skins current three-game win streak Griffin has been near unstoppable. He’s completed better than 73 percent of his passes, thrown nine touchdowns compared to just one interception and rushed for 185 yards on the ground. Simply put, he’s been making opposing defenses look silly.
Griffin’s rare combination of speed, accuracy and strong decision-making have developed him, far quicker than imagined, into one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in football. He makes more plays, and in more ways, than almost any other quarterback, save for Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and maybe Ben Roethlisberger.
It’s like he’s a riddle without an answer, an enigma with no known reaction. Griffin makes plays that befuddle even the most sound football minds, and makes even the worst plays look good. Take his first quarter fumble on Monday night for example.
Where most quarterbacks would awkwardly shuffle the football around like a hot potato, Griffin watched as it smoothly bounced off his chest and into the waiting arms of Josh Morgan, who took it in for the touchdown. It’s like everything he does is cool.
There’s just nothing he does that is anything but.
Griffin’s cool demeanor and charisma aren’t what should worry potential playoff opponents, though. Rather it’s his dynamic playmaking abilities referenced above, that should have them quivering in their cleats.
With a defense that continues to get better with each passing week, and a running game as stout as any across the league, the Redskins are built for playoff football. But Griffin will always be the decisive factor.
Whether it’s the Packers, Bears, 49ers or the Falcons, every NFC team better be keeping an eye on the Redskins, and Griffin is the reason why.
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The six biggest movers of the past week in the NFL
1. Kansas City Chiefs: WAY UP — Football is important to plenty of people around the country. But on Sunday, the Chiefs proved that sometimes the sport is more than just a game. The pain of Jovan Belcher‘s death may not be gone, but such an emotional win is nothing short of inspirational.
2. Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets: DOWN — The final straw may have finally been pulled. Rex Ryan benched Sanchez after three interceptions, and Greg McElroy led a comeback win against the Cardinals. If his starting job isn’t gone yet, it’s only a matter of time now.
3. Charlie Batch, QB, Steelers: UP — He’s 37 years old and just led the Steelers to a win over one of the best teams in football, not to mention a longtime rival. Can’t get much better for a third-string backup.
4. Drew Brees, QB, Saints: DOWN — We didn’t forget about you Drew. Five picks in an almost must-win game against a division rival you’ve owned of late? Playoffs are all but a wash at this point.
5. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts: UP — The numbers weren’t tremendous, but they haven’t been all season. A game-winning touchdown drive with no time left gives Luck and the Colts eight wins, which is already six more than they had last season. A playoff berth is right around the corner. As if his stock couldn’t get any higher.
6. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: UP — 200-plus yards later, Peterson is on track for an 1,800-yard season — his best as a pro. Talk about comeback player of the year may be focused on Peyton Manning, but Peterson is changing the way people view ACL tears. Unreal.