Earlier in the week I looked at Robert Griffin III against the Oklahoma. Today I decided to move onto his game against Texas. The Longhorns ranked 33rd in the FBS rankings in points allowed per game with an average of 22.2 points allowed per game. But when Griffin III came to town. his Baylor Bears put up 48 points, with Griffin III stat line as follows: 15 of 22 (68.2% completion) for 320 yards, two touchdowns and an interception at a rating of 211.3 (he also ran in another two touchdowns, but that's a different story). Lets go to the tape, starting with the second play of the game.
Here we see Griffin III having to avoid the rush by sliding to his left.
Then he delivers what looks to be an effortless throw.
He places the ball perfectly. Kendall Wright doesn't have to adjust to the ball and never breaks stride as the ball falls over his shoulder and into his hands. He takes it the rest of the way for a touchdown. Not the worst way to start a football game.
This next play might not look all that impressive, but it's something coaches will like.
Griffin III has had to break the pocket, but is keeping his eyes down the field looking for a target.
He doesn't stick to just one target, but notices everyone is covered.
Griffin III makes a good decision to tuck it and step out of bounds for a positive gain. As I said, this might not look all that spectacular, and it's not. But it's a good decision not to force the throw. Trust me, as a Redskins fan who suffered Rex Grossman last year, this is a good play from Griffin III. Rex would have forced a throw and probably would have been intercepted...
Now I have waxed lyrical about Griffin III's deep throwing ability, but it's only fair I show one he doesn't quite get right.
Wright is running through a zone and the safety over the top is late to get back. This should be pitch and catch for Griffin III and Wright.
Wright has to come back to the ball and stop his route, allowing the safety to catch up.
Wright makes a great adjustment and makes the catch, but the safety has caught up and is able to make the tackle. For someone of Griffin III's ability, that should have been a touchdown.
Here's just a quick note for anyone who thinks he's a run first quarterback.
There's no questions about his toughness. He steps into this throw despite a big defender in his face about to flatten him. The ball lands incomplete, but how many "run first" quarterbacks do you know are willing to step into a deep throw with a defender about to kill them? There's not many out there as most would take off and run before that.
I praised him for a good decision earlier, but I'm going to kill him for this bad decision.
Griffin once again has to break the pocket and roll out to his right.
But then he decides to try and force a ball into the end zone despite heavy traffic. He gets picked off, and rightfully so(note, this is what I'm used to with Rex Grossman... being a Redskins fan can be so very depressing...). This is something Griffin III cannot afford to do in the NFL. He needs to make a decision like he did earlier in the game to tuck it and run or throw it away rather than try to force the throw.
Lets move into the second half.
Here's something he's not asked to do very often. He checks his initial read but reads the defense is in a zone coverage.
So he goes through his progressions and checks back to the other side of the field. He finds a man running into a gap in the zone coverage and pulls the trigger.
The pass is complete and they get a first down. That's something Griffin III will have to learn to do every play in the NFL. There's a good chance that his NFL team will make it easy on him to start with by only giving him half the field to read (like the Panthers did last year with Cam Newton early in the year), but he will be expected to have to go through progressions in the NFL.
One more play to show he's not a run first quaterback.
Here Griffin III looks all set to scramble up the middle after the pocket begins to collapse on him. But he keeps his eyes down the field and at the last second spots a target.
He fits the ball into a tight window and gets a first down.
I'm going to finish this post the way I started it, with another beautifully thrown deep ball for a touchdown.
Griffin III is given time in the pocket, he has Terrence Williams running a go route and takes a shot.
The defender fails to get a jam on Williams at the line, so he just fly's past him. But look at that touch and accuracy on that throw. The ball travels a good 45 yards in the air and falls over Williams shoulder in stride. He makes it look easy, but it's far from it.
That just about wraps it up for Robert Griffin III vs Texas. Keep checking back for more tale of the tape, let me know in the comments or on twitter (@UkRedskin1) who you'd like to see in my next post.