Steelers vs. Redskins: Robert Griffin III the most dangerous player Pittsburgh has had to plan for this season
By Neal Coolong on Oct 23
Robert Griffin III could be the best player the Steelers will have gone up against by the end of Pittsburgh's Week 8 game against Washington.
The Redskins traded up with St. Louis for the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. They gave up their first round pick in 2012-14, and a second round pick in 2012.
Washington got the better end of the bargain.
The Giants - Pittsburgh's Week 9 opponent - dispatched the pesky Redskins - who travel to Pittsburgh for a Week 8 game - 27-23 behind some late-game heroics and an untimely fumble by Washington wide receiver Santana Moss.
The loss doesn't take the shine off the performance of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was 20-for-28, passing for 258 yards and two touchdowns along with one interception in the loss. He also rushed nine times for 89 yards, and has 227 rushing yards in the Redskins' last two games (1-1).
After the game, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck had this to say about the rookie quarterback.
He takes away from your enthusiasm for the game when you play a play perfectly and he still has the 4.3 speed to outrun guys and make plays. If I was going to run an offense and you asked me if I wanted Vick, Cam or RGIII, I'd take that guy hands down.
Not that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick or Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (both No. 1 overall picks) have shown the same level of success Griffin is having in shorter passes - his lowest one-game completion percentage is 61.8. Even with that, Griffin still leads the NFL heading into Week 8 with 8.47 yards per passing attempt.
In comparison, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is ninth at 7.51.
Griffin also leads the league in completion percentage at 70.4. Not since Patriots QB Tom Brady's MVP season in 2007 has a quarterback led the league in both categories after 16 games.
That's insane. While most rookie quarterbacks look like Matt Cassel most of the time, Griffin appears to be as comfortable as any other non-Chiefs quarterback. While the Redskins have done a great job of putting him into winnable situations, it's scary what he'll be able to do if they decide to take the reins off him and let him chuck 40 times.
No rookie quarterback has ever defeated a Steelers team with Dick LeBeau as its defensive coordinator. This is the most significant challenge he will have faced in that time.
Griffin will bring with him to Pittsburgh something the Steelers didn't have to worry about much against Cincinnati; a dynamic offense.
The Steelers, under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, have typically been able to suffocate one-dimensional offenses. Cincinnati was living and breathing on its ability to get A.J. Green the ball deep down the field. Upon successfully scheming to take him out of the game (lots of man coverage out of dime packages with deep safety help), the Bengals offense wilted, late in the game in particular.
Griffin doesn't have an A.J. Green-level receiver, but he's playing at a level that makes the Redskins offense extremely difficult to scheme for and is perhaps the most athletic and well-rounded passer in the game.
We're going to break him down a bit more, but be forewarned, this is, skillwise, the best player the Steelers' defense has faced this season.