Griffin accomplished what he needed to while completing 4 of 6 passes for 70 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass on a screen play to wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who’s clearly developing something good with his new teammate.
If Griffin were at all rattled in his 14-play career opener, or confused by the defense, he didn’t show it.
Was Griffin perfect? No. Not even close. Nor should anyone have expected him to be at this point.
But for the Redskins and their fans, Griffin continued to provide reason for optimism. It’s these types of small steps that lead you to believe the Redskins finally have the correct guy in the most important position.
Although Griffin’s development is the key to the Redskins’ present and future, Coach Mike Shanahan has other concerns, too. With three-fifths of the first-team offensive line sidelined by injuries, the Redskins relied on backups to help protect Griffin and lead the running game. Not surprisingly, they had mixed results.
Evan Royster got the first shot in the three-way running back battle. He had some good moments.
And second-year defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins, who appeared headed for a big rookie year, played in his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury last preseason. He’s slowly rediscovering his game.
Shanahan and his staff will have a lot to consider when they break down the game film. Let’s take an early look at some of what they’ll see:
●GRIFFIN’S START:Shanahan intended to limit Griffin and the first-team offense to no more than 20 plays. He mentioned 12 on the low end. The Griffin-Garcon touchdown occurred on play No. 14. That’s called following the script well.
At times in training camp, Griffin has held the ball too long while cycling through his route progressions. Most rookie quarterbacks experience that problem while trying to adjust to the speed of the NFL, which is much faster than college football. Think of go-kart racing compared to the NASCAR circuit.
The Redskins went three and out on their first two drives. On their opening possession, Griffin made a nice throw to Garcon on a sideline route that probably should have resulted in a completion (the official ruled Garcon failed to get both feet inbounds). What I liked about the throw, and I’m sure Shanahan will as well, is that Griffin put the ball in a good spot for Garcon, and not the defensive back in coverage, to make a play on the ball.
On the Redskins’ third possession, Griffin got into a rhythm, made the right reads and displayed patience by remaining in the pocket.