Nightmare season for Robert Griffin III gets worse in Redskins' loss to 49ers

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Griffin has struggled through much of 2013, but his season may have hit a new low on Monday.

What a difference a year makes.

In Week 12 of last season, Robert Griffin III was busy shredding the Dallas secondary en route to a 304-yard, four touchdown performance. The win was the second of six straight for Washington, helping the Redskins win the NFC East. It was also the second straight game Griffin completed at least 70 percent of his passes and averaged more than 10 yards per attempt. He was as efficient as anyone and could do very little wrong in Washington.

Fast forward a year and it's a completely different story. Griffin has flashed the skills he showcased last season, but still appears to be bothered by a knee injury. His accuracy has gone by the wayside and he's become turnover prone just a season after throwing five interceptions. He got off to a painfully slow start on Monday against the 49ers, completing 1-of-6 passes for minus-1 yard and an interception in the fist quarter. He finished the night with just 127 passing yards on 27 attempts.

Griffin hasn't shown the dynamic ability he had last season. He's also made some poor decisions under pressure, including his first quarter interception. When he did get passes off under pressure, he rarely made an accurate throw. He excelled under pressure last season, completing 56.2 percent of his passes when pressured while tossing five touchdowns compared to two interceptions, according to Pro Football Focus. He's completing just 47 percent of his passes under pressure this season and his interception on Monday was his fifth of the season when pressured.

A year ago, Griffin was arguably the hardest quarterback to gameplan against. He could beat teams in so many ways. That isn't the case this season and the 49ers were able to keep Griffin and the Redskins out of the end zone. The Redskins went down 24-6 late on in the third quarter. The game was on Griffin's shoulders. Washington needed him to be Superman, just like he was last season. It just wasn't there. Instead, the Redskins gained just 23 yards and one first down in the fourth quarter. Their 30 total yards of offense in the second half is the lowest mark by any team this season.

Griffin's 4.7 yards per attempt on Monday was the second-worst average of his career. The Redskins gained just 190 total yards and were held to two field goals. It was the first time Washington failed to gain 200 yards and score a touchdown in 10 years. It was the first game in either college or the NFL that a Griffin-led offense failed to get into the end zone.

Last season at this time, Griffin was the unquestioned future of the Redskins and arguably the best young quarterback in the NFL. This season has been such a drastic downturn that ESPN announcer Jon Gruden openly questioned what the future offense would look like in Washington and implied a different coaching staff could favor backup Kirk Cousins over Griffin.

Griffin is still supremely talented and may just need more time to fully recover from his knee injury. This season, however, won't do anything to help the confidence of Washington fans. Especially with Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson in the playoff mix while Griffin falls behind.

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