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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Robert Griffin III has the trust of his teammates.
The Washington Redskins players say the second-year quarterback is back to his old self on the field, but it’s been tough to see that in two ugly losses.
The way the Redskins‘ offense has been inept in the opening half of the first two games of this year, it’s becoming evident that Griffin is still trying to work off the rust as he returns from his knee injury.
“He’s getting in a rhythm with the wide receivers and things like that, but he’s doing a lot better,” running back Alfred Morris said. “He looks like what he did last year, that’s just from my vantage point. Somebody could say something different, but I feel like he’s back to his normal self.”
He hasn’t played like the RG3 that Redskins fans have grown to love. During Sunday’s 38-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, he was just 6 of 13 passing in the first half for 107 yards and one interception. Griffin turned it up in the second half for the second straight week, but the Redskins were already down 31-0 at that point.
Griffin agrees the tough starts are hurting the team.
“It’s frustrating, but I think there was clear difference between this week’s first half and last week’s first half,” Griffin said. “We hurt ourselves a lot on turnovers last week, you know, and this week it wasn’t necessarily turnovers. But talking to guys in the locker room, we can’t really put our finger on what it is and that’s the real frustrating part.”
Griffin completed only four passes to his wide receivers in the opening half. So, how long is it going to take to get back into rhythm with his receivers?
“I think he was in sync with them today,” Morris said. “We had a couple drops. Compare it from last week to this week, it’s a big difference.”
The statistics don’t really reflect a big difference. Last week, Griffin was 5-for-11 for 53 yards and an interception in the opening half vs. Philadelphia. He finished the game 30-for-49 for 329 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Against the Packers, Griffin closed out the day 26-for-40 for 320 yards and three scores to go along with the one interception.
“I don’t see nothing wrong with his passes,” Garcon said. “He’s been throwing it well all week. He’s throwing it well in the game. Sometimes we’re just an inch off. Sometimes it’s the receiver’s fault. It’s not always the quarterback’s fault, it’s the receiver’s fault.”
“He looks fine to me. I don’t see anything physically wrong with him,” left tackle Trent Williams said. “He’s capable of doing everything he’s been doing in the past.”
Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson believes the offense’s problems should be pinpointed to every player, and shouldn’t rest solely on Griffin’s shoulders.
“It’s about all 11 of us, it ain’t just him,” Hankerson said. “It’s about us staying on the same page, everybody getting on the same page. Everybody putting in the work, that’s going to get the job done.”
The Redskins need to kick it into another gear on offense if they want to get out of this early season funk. After just 75 first-half yards against the Eagles last week, the Redskins finished the game with 382. Against the Packers, the Redskins tallied just 155 yards in the opening half, but finished with 422.
“I don’t think anybody’s playing up to their standards right now and that’s probably why we’re seeing the results that we are,” center Kory Lichtensteiger said. “I’m not worried about Robert not being able to do his job. I think across the line we just need to step it up.”
By John R. Bolton
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