Griffin said Wednesday that he watched his team’s first four games, three of which were losses, before a few days’ break from football and all of his normal responsibilities. Then he returned to reality and reacquainted himself with the strengths and weaknesses his team showed through a fourth of the 2013 season.
The distance was enough, he said, to re-energize his body and clear his mind, allowing him to look toward the remaining games on his team’s schedule.
“I feel good. Great, actually. Rejuvenated,” Griffin said during his regular media address Wednesday afternoon. “Everybody’s got a lot more energy coming off the bye week, just ready to do what we know we have to do, and then as a team, I think we’re all just moving on from those first four weeks.”
Griffin played his best game of the season in the fourth week, passing for 227 yards and a touchdown. Those aren’t his highest numbers, but he threw no interceptions, and Washington’s offense was able to control the tempo in a 24-14 victory against the Oakland Raiders.
Then, a breather and a chance to reflect on what worked for the Redskins and what didn’t.
“We got the win going into the bye, which is real beneficial to us, but aside from that, we didn’t really play like we know we can play,” Griffin said. “We’ve just got to get back to doing us, and that’s kind of the approach I took as well during the bye. Just relax my mind and get back to being myself.”
This season, Griffin hasn’t often looked like himself, or at least like the emerging star who led his team to a seven-game win streak to close the 2012 season, the NFC East championship, and being named rookie of the year.
That emergence began in earnest last season in Dallas, when during a Thanksgiving Day, nationally televised win in Texas, where he grew up, Griffin passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns, including a 59-yarder, in a 38-31 win. It was a fine homecoming for Griffin, who had made his name and won the Heisman Trophy while at Baylor, whose campus is about 100 miles south of AT&T Stadium.
He also outdueled Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who at the time established a career high with 441 passing yards. This past week, in a 51-48 loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, Romo passed for 506 yards, breaking a 50-year-old Cowboys record.
On Wednesday, Griffin was asked if another visit to Dallas could curb what has so far been a disappointing season.
“You’ve got to take each game, each year as a new experience,” he said. “They’ve got the same guys there, but they’ve got a totally different [defensive] scheme. And they bought into that scheme, so we’ve got to attack that. We can’t just go attack those individual guys.”
By this past Sunday, his break from football finished, Griffin said he watched the Cowboys’ game against Denver, in which Dallas scored the most points in a loss in franchise history.
“I know they were on fire,” Griffin said, “and we don’t want them to be like that against our defense, of course. Whatever game that ends up being, that’s what you’ve got to go win — high-scoring, low-scoring, in between, we’ll be ready for anything. We’ve just got to go take it.”
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.
● At 7 a.m., Greg Schimmel ponders whether ‘Hard Knocks’ would be a good move for Washington.
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