Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/6/12

Let me start by saying that I believe Robert Griffin III is going to have a long and successful NFL career.

He is a brilliant young quarterback with the arm and legs, to back up his mind.

However, he is still a rookie, and every rookie experiences growing pains.

Even in a great performance last night in the win over the Giants, Morris Claiborne had rookie moments. 

For a cornerback, these moments can be glossed over with help from a teammate or a couple of good plays.

For a quarterback, every mistake is greatly magnified.

The Saints' defense is no slouch, either, even without Jonathan Vilma. The Saints went out and signed Curtis Lofton away from their rivals, the Falcons, to replace their defensive signal caller while he is out. 

They also added two more linebackers and a defensive tackle who should perform well for Steve Spagnuolo.

Griffin also has not had a lot of time to get in sync with his receivers. A great passing game is about timing, execution, and like-minded hot reads. This week's match-up is going to show how important these things are, with RG3 overthrowing receivers or putting the ball where they aren't because he saw the coverage differently.

I expect Griffin's stats to be mediocre, but certainly not downright ugly. A throw-first quarterback that can move well, both in and out of the pocket, will create plays for his team. 

His opening day issues will limit him to a 50-55 percent completion rate, and cause two or three picks, but he should still pull out 200 yards with a TD during garbage time.

His real impact will be on the ground, with what I anticipate to be 70 yards and a rushing TD coming on a mix of designed and broken plays.

At the end of the day, the Saints will win this game by a wide margin. Expect a score along the lines of 35-17 midway through the fourth quarter, with a final like 38-24.

The author is a Cowboys fan surrounded by a family of Saints fans, so he knows the Saints personnel better than he should.  You can follow him and the stuff his family says in response to his articles on Facebook (RGDSports@yahoo.com), or just track his articles on Twitter (@RGDSports).



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