After an extraordinary first year with quarterback Robert Griffin in front of the offense, the Redskins had very high expectations for this season, but after 12 games, they have to start thinking about 2014.
At the beginning of the season, the odds for repeating the title were pretty good and in sportsbettingdime.com they were favorites, followed by Giants, Cowboys and Eagles.
Now there are whispers whether he should be benched and doubts about head coach Mike Shanahan's return. The loss to the Giants on national TV mathematically and conclusively ended Washington's playoff dream. There was no more RG magic pixie dust to help the team fly.
Last year, the Redskins won seven straight games and finished with 10-6 record to win the NFC East title for the first time since 1999, and become the only team in the last 16 years to make the playoffs after a 3-6 start. In the Wild Card game, they lost 24-14 against the Seattle Seahawks. In that match, Griffin reinjured his right knee and then underwent surgery to repair his ACL and LCL.
The No. 2 overall pick in 2011 Draft and former Heisman Trophy winner set some records last year by a rookie quarterback, but this seasons he has struggled. After the first 11 games, RG3 has only completed the 59% of his passes for 2,832 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
One of the bright spots of Mike Shanahan’s team this season has been their rushing offense. They are the best of the league averaging 151 yards per game. Alfred Morris is the leader of the squad with 970 yards and five touchdowns in 195 carries; while Griffin has 372.
Washington has not won two consecutive division titles since 1983-84. The last time the Redskins were in playoffs two years in a row was in 1992, when they did it three straight times from 1990 thru 1992.
In Week 12, a defeat against the 49ers was the first time in his college and professional career that Griffin failed to score a single touchdown. Redskins’ offense ended that game with only 190 total yards, their worst performance since gaining 178 in a 23-0 loss to Buffalo two years ago.
Washington has won three Super Bowls, but the last one was 22 years ago when they defeated Buffalo Bills 37-24. Since Mark Rypien left the team in 1993, this squad has used 22 different starting quarterbacks, including Griffin.
The Redskins fans should not lose hope in Griffin, but Washington must find a way to protect him better in 2014, because if he continues to take that kind of punishment his NFL career could be very short.