Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/16/12
 Washington Redskins quarterback, Robert Griffin III,  was able to steal away the Heisman Trophy from fellow quarterback, Andrew Luck. Stealing the Rookie of the Year trophy away from Luck should be a much more difficult task. Griffin III will need veteran teammate Santana Moss to have a good year to have a shot at stealing Rookie of the Year votes away from Luck.
Last year was Moss' worst season statistically, since 2002, his second year in the league. He's coming off a season that saw him catch only 4 touchdown passes and gain only 584 yards. Those who have followed Moss in his career know that he is capable of being a 1,000 yard receiver, as seen in 2010. That year he compiled 1,115 yards, 70 yards per game, and 6 touchdowns. These are the numbers that Griffin III will need from his receiver to have a shot at competing for the Rookie of the Year.

Luck has the better receiving corp of the two quarterbacks, with Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne. If Moss doesn't have the season that Griffin III is looking for, than his only reliable option is Pierre Garcon. The loss of Jabar Gaffney to the New England Patriots is going to hurt the Redskins a lot. He would've been a valuable target for Griffin III to throw to and also would take a lot of pressure off of Moss to have outstanding numbers.

One thing that Griffin III does have over Luck is mobility. In his four years in college Griffin III ran for close to 2,200 yards and 32 touchdowns. If Griffin III's receivers don't live up to what they are capable of, then a lot more pressure is going to be on him to gain yards on the ground. This is a nice weapon to have, but also puts the quarterback in a more likely position to get injured. This is more likely to happen as the Washington Redskins don't have that great of a running game to turn too if the passing game isn't working.

Griffin III is being thrown into a position where he really does have to be the leader of that offense. Because of this, there is going to be more pressure on him than on Luck. If Moss can have a good season right out of the gate, and can stay healthy, then a lot of that pressure would be relieved off of Griffin III. Moss and Garcon have the talent and skill level to be 1000 yard teammates. If they can do that, than not only do I think Griffin III can win the Rookie of the Year, but also the Redskins would be capable of a winning record.

When you compare the schedules of the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins, I believe that the Redskins do have an easier schedule. The toughest tests for Griffin III are going to be in week eight against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens. While Luck has to face off against the Houston Texans twice, the Cleveland Browns at home, and the New York Jets on the road. Three teams who were near the top of the league in passing defense last year. 

Luck has the pieces around him to help boost his stats up while Griffin III has the weakness of his teams schedule on his side to help inflate his numbers a bit. With that being said, the real key to Griffin III winning the Rookie of the Year is going to be the performance of Moss. If he has a bad year, then unless one of his other receivers steps up incredibly, Griffin III is probably going to have a mediocre year. If Moss can perform at a high level, and have numbers close to his numbers in 2010, then Griffin III will have a good shot at winning the Rookie of the Year award and the Redskins should have a winning season.


 

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