Despite the numbers, which include 649 passing yards and five touchdowns, Robert Griffin III has looked nothing like the rookie phenom from a season ago. Yes, a god-awful defense has been a bigger issue for the 0-2 Redskins, but what happens if RG3 doesn't return to his 2012 form?
Yes, we know: He's eight months removed from a serious knee injury, and he didn't take a snap in the preseason. It's reasonable to think that Griffin is just rusty, and untrusting of a knee still healing. But Troy Aikman, a Hall of Fame quarterback who now serves as a color commentator for FOX Sports, fears that RG3 may not be the same player in 2013.
“Well, I think the knee's getting in the way, first and foremost,” Aikman said during a recent interview with the Sporting News (via Sports Bog). “I don't see how the knee could be healthy. I mean, he will tell you that he's 100 percent -- I don't know how that could possibly be true. How limited is he? It's hard to really say. As someone who wore a knee brace, I know how cumbersome that can be, and it's restrictive as far as your mobility. Even for someone like myself who really wasn't all that mobile, it still kept me from being able to do certain things.
“And now you consider the fact that RG3 is obviously a very athletic, mobile guy. We haven't seen the athleticism from him that we saw last year and that we were expecting," Aikman continued. "I don't think it's so much the knee brace; I just think the knee isn't completely healed. And I don't know -- I said it during our broadcast last week -- I don't know that we'll ever see the same guy that we saw last year. And if we don't, that's fine. He can still go on and be a great player, he's a guy that can certainly throw the football. But I think there's a lot of things that are affecting him right now, and probably way down that list is the knee brace.”
Of course, this would be less of an issue if the defense wasn't the sorriest unit in the league. According to FootballOutsiders, this group ranks 32nd overall, 31st against the pass and 32nd against the rush. And while RG3 hasn't returned to his 2012 form, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees couldn't have outscored the Eagles and Packers in the Redskins' first two games.
The point: Maybe 2013 Griffin will only be a shadow of his 2012 self, but unless Washington's defense decides to show up, Griffin will continue to be the least of this team's worries.