After a Week Two ankle injury, Redskins fans were forced to wait to see their star-studded Quarterback in action. The organization hinted at Robert's return for the Monday Night matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, but that hype never came to fruition. Instead, Griffin waited a week to make his return against the Minnesota Vikings in Week Nine.
The third year signal-caller did pretty well considering it was his first game action in over a month. Griffin threw the ball 28 times and completed 18 of those attempts, resulting in a 64% completion percentage. He also tossed a touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson. These are respectable numbers, however, the Redskins still didn't manage to win the game. They fell 26-29, sending them into their bye week with a 3-6 record.
There were a lot of things to cheer for when Griffin handled the ball, but he also had some miscues worth pointing out. The Redskins got the ball back at the end of the 2nd quarter with about a minute left to play in the half. Washington led 10-0 at this point in the game. Do they play conservatively and settle for getting the ball back after the half; or do they play aggressively and try to get more points and stack their lead? They took the latter option. Robert dropped back to pass, pulled the trigger when he shouldn't have, and it resulted in an interception. The Vikings marched back down the field and scored a touchdown before the half was over. This cut Minnesota's score deficit to only three points, which is much more manageable. This was a rookie mistake and it could have been prevented had Griffin just taken a sack instead.
Griffin also had a chance to lead his team to victory in magnificent fashion on their very last drive, but he couldn't orchestrate the comeback. The Redskins were down 26-29 with three minutes to go, which was plenty of time to work with. After moving the ball and getting sacked a few times, the Redskins were nearing field goal range. There were so many x factors on this particular drive, but it all comes down to the last play. It was fourth down and the Redskins had to convert. Griffin had a chance to hit Garcon over the middle for a first down, but missed his golden opportunity and threw it down at his receiver's feet.
Other than those two mistakes, Griffin had a good game and the offense looked more effective than it ever has been in 2014. What's the reason behind this renewed offensive success? The answer is Robert Griffin III. Contrary to what some may believe, Griffin actually has an arm, a good one for that matter. Remember when we saw Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy under-throwing all of their receivers? This will not happen with Robert under center. RG3 has superb deep ball accuracy, which is a tremendous asset considering DeSean Jackson's speed. Expect to see the "RG3 to DeSean Jackson" connection a lot for the rest of the season.
Also remember that RG3 has track star speed, and is always a threat to defenses with his legs. This doesn't mean he must run to keep the opposing defense on it's heels; just the threat of Robert running is enough to keep the defense guessing. Notice how we saw Alfred Morris break off more big runs in RG3's return. This is the threat of Griffin's running ability at work. Alfred Morris was having a sub-par season before Griffin came back because Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy don't have that same mobility. As a result, Morris couldn't perform like he had in his previous two seasons.
With all that said, Griffin has plenty of weapons and tools to help him succeed for the rest of his 2014 campaign. The rest of the offense will benefit from having him under center because he is a better all-around athlete than any other Quarterback on the roster. His teammates have expressed great support and approval of Griffin and this should help his confidence as he grows as a signal-caller. This confidence and trust will be needed if Washington hopes to win out for the rest of the season.